Forbes on “Stars Vs. Science” once again the autism community looks bad

15 Jan

Forbes Magazine has an article, Stars Vs. Science, From Jenny McCarthy to Tom Cruise, some Hollywood hot shots are leading a war against modern science. The opening paragraph is pretty telling about the tone:

When the medical journal Pediatrics released a consensus report early this year concluding that autistic children do not benefit from special diets, ABC News’ Diane Sawyer knew just whom to call. Jenny McCarthy, former MTV game host, nude model and now mother of an autistic son Evan, enthusiastically denounced the study. “Until doctors start listening to our anecdotal evidence, which is it’s working, it’s going to take so many more years for these kids to get better,” she opined

Or, you can just take a look a the URL–science-jenny-mccarthy-business-healthcare-hollywood-autism.html

Once again, the Autism community takes it on the chin that our representative in the public eye is, well, in a league of her own when it comes to understanding science. Even though the story is about celebrities and science in general, autism plays a big part in the story as a whole. Take a look at the celebrities that were selected for the “slideshow”

Of course, there are Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey (click to enlarge and read the caption):

Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Carrey have been trying to shake loose the anti-vaccine image for a while. It doesn’t appear to be working. From the article:

But some of the best-known celebrities use their soap boxes to spread scientifically dubious–and potentially harmful–messages. Jenny McCarthy believes vaccines cause autism, despite numerous studies to the contrary. She campaigns against child vaccines that have been shown to save lives. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control reported that measles outbreaks had spiked because more parents were deciding to leave their children unvaccinated, thanks to the burgeoning anti-vaccine movement.

Others who made the cut? Arriana Hufffington, of the Huffington Post, (again. click to enlarge):

It is worth reading the caption to that one. Dr. Rahul Parikh is quoted from his Salon.com piece, The Huffington Post is crazy about your health, Why bogus treatments and crackpot medical theories dominate “The Internet Newspaper”.

The quote:

But Huffington has distorted science and facts…fairness and accuracy in health and medicine take a back seat to sensationalism and self-promotion

In his piece, Dr. Parikh had noted the Huffington Post blogs by “David Kirby, Jenny McCarthy’s pediatrician Jay Gordon and detox advocate Dierdre Imus” and also spends a considerable amount of time discussing a piece by Jim Carrey.

The Forbes piece also discusses Oprah Winfrey (click to enlarge):

Once again, autism is prominent in the description given by Forbes.

I’m sure some readers will assume I’m putting this up to embarrass these celbrities. Yeah, like being in Forbes is so low profile that LBRB is going to be the embarrassment for Oprah and company. No, this is just another vent of anger. Anger that the autism community is once again seen by the public as the home to people who are “leading a war against modern science.” Tell me how that helps us advocate.

One notable entry outside of autism is Bill Maher. (click to enlarge)

I bring this up because Forbes notes that Bill Maher has been discussed by “quack busting doctor-blogger David Gorski”. That’s the same guy you can find on Science Based Medicine,

The article does seem to be following a recent trend: they aren’t looking for “balance” by quoting groups from the anti-science side. Instead, qutoes are had by:

William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt School of Medicine:

“These are folks who really don’t have the best information, but because they are vocal and well organized their message has gotten out” [as a result] “around the country pediatricians and their staffs are having to spend more and more time persuading parents to have their kids vaccinated in a timely fashion. It is an enormous problem.”

Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch.org

“Talk shows don’ t pay any attention to whether the advice on their program will kill people. … Producers consider it entertainment,” he says, adding: “Never take health advice from a talk show.”

and

Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Why do celebrities feel the need to spout off on medical or scientific matters? Because they’ve excelled in one field, stars “think they’re an expert in many things,” says the vaccine expert Offit. “That part doesn’t bother me. It’s the part that we listen that bothers me.”

I’m inclined to agree with Dr. Offit. It is the part that we listen to celebrities when they talk about things far outside their expertise that bothers me.

8 Responses to “Forbes on “Stars Vs. Science” once again the autism community looks bad”

  1. Sullivan January 16, 2010 at 00:41 #

    Note that being autistic doesn’t keep you off the list. Dan Aykroyd, reputed to have an Asperger syndrome diagnosis, was listed for his views on UFO’s:

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/14/science-jenny-mccarthy-business-healthcare-hollywood-autism_slide_5.html

    Around minute 29 on this interview is where he talks about having “Tourettes/Aspergers”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=4181931&m=4181932

  2. jason Nolan January 16, 2010 at 15:28 #

    that’s not the autism community. those are the parents of autistic children (or whatever you want to call it. I bet Aykroyd’s self-diagnosed 🙂 The aspie/autie community detests Jenny McCarthy and her ilk. Speaking as an aspie who is a science educator.

    Anyway, the gross unthinking over generalizations that they suffer from is exactly the sort of thing that you’ve done in not realizing or stopping to think what the term ‘autism community’ means. You apply it to the parents of the community and ignore the community itself.

    But you’re forgiven… 🙂

  3. Samantha January 20, 2010 at 03:02 #

    “those are the parents of autistic children…”

    You left out the word “some.” No fair generalizing about the parents of autistic children.

  4. reasonablehank January 21, 2010 at 08:41 #

    Great post Kevin.

    Why do celebrities believe that they should be dispensing medical advice?

    Dunning-Kruger Effect.

  5. jason Nolan January 21, 2010 at 14:11 #

    reasonablehank, good point, but then again, everyone else does it. The question might be who is qualified to give out medical advice on what particular topic and in what context. I bet we’ll find out that very few medical professionals are ‘qualified’ too, yet do it, though they may be certified to do so.

    Samantha, ‘those’ was in error, I probably should have said ‘they’, which would have not been a totalizing statement. I wasn’t including my parents in that group. I don’t think there was anything in the statement that identified ‘her ilk’ as ALL parents. Though if you took offense, I do apologise.

  6. Ralph Colon August 13, 2010 at 20:44 #

    LOOKING FOR THE AUTISM HERO MOVIE PRODUCER

    Famous Actor John Travolta lost his son to a seizure that may have contributed to autism without realizing that his son may have had Autism at the time of his son‘s death. Many Actors and families alike today have Autism Children, and most of them do not understanding how their children contracted the Autism, because Autism does not run in their immediate family. Fact is, in most cases the genes really does not play a part in contracting Autism besides the identical twin at birth, and of course there are doctors that would disagree, because the power of control and greed. But, there other doctors that would agree. It’s a crazy country we live in. The signs of the times you might say.

    I am a new author. Just a grandfather who wrote an incredible true story 64.000 words all true about how my grandson got Autism. After my long and exhausted research -now I am out to save millions of children who are born normal from contracting the Autism Disorder. I am out to stop what they did to my grandson that no other child should go through but unfortunately, this is happening everyday to thousands of children. I am looking for a movie producer to make this movie on what happen to my grandbaby and the sad events that we went through to save Christopher’s life, and to save the millions of children of tomorrow who are born normal to Autism. I have no-money to self publish and many publishers and agents won’t deal with a new author – a catch 22 that it has exhausted me, so now I’m forced to look for a movie producer with this shocking true story.

    I know this is not the way to do this without an agent, but I cannot afford to do everything through the norm. I just have to take my chances against this cruel and greedy society looking for Mr. Autism Hero that can make this happen. It is known that a child can be born with Autism at birth because of the genes. A disease growing in unstoppable numbers both at birth and in years later after birth. It is also a well known fact that out of 1 in 90 children that are diagnose today with Autism Disorder a great majority is diagnose with this disease years after a normal birth, making it a puzzling effect on a great many families, including families of stature.

    The mega population of Autism children that are born normal – parents find out years later when the child hits 3 to 5 years old that their children are diagnose with Autism. Fact is, for many families their child should have never been diagnosed with Autism. My findings and research took some years to authenticate. It seems that a great many families are being fed the recipe for their child to be infected in a timely manner for the Autism to take affect. This recipe is like baking a cake after a certain amount of time in the oven, the cake is baked and cooked. Same goes here for the child – after a certain amount of time adding to the deadline of no return the child starts to have developmental delays on most of his functioning mentally at 3 to 5 years of age. In Christopher I was ordered to feed this recipe to him in a nine month period which was to short to soon that he almost died. Whether this is intentional or not we would never know, what we do know is that greed and profits exist in this country. Unbelievably – this is the truth, and the proof is with my grandson and my research. For a great many families their children are fed the recipe for their child to be infected in a timely manner for Autism Disorder to take affect. In the pass 3 years alone Autism has increases unbelievably. In 2007 1 in 166 children were diagnose with Autism. In 2008, 1 in 150 children being diagnose. In 2009, 1 in 130 and today 2010 the numbers now read 1 in 90 children being diagnosed with Autism. You will find that these numbers vary with different researches, but it does not change the production of Autism as we are witnessing today. In 1970, the numbers were 1 in 10.000.

    In the mid 1970’s the numbers fell to 1 in 2.500 children being diagnose with Autism. Fact is – if you knew the true story as to why a child who is born normal to later at the age of 4 years old that child is infected permanently with Autism Disorder, you would be writing letters to your congressman’s and to lawmakers and the President. You would not be to kind to our government after knowing the truth that our government has been allowing doctors to do something to harm our children of America for 30 years infecting our children to reach this diagnose of Autism today. The $64.000.00 Question Is – “Why? Why would our Government allow this to happen to our children for 30 years? I can say this – that when it comes to stocks no one cares about the outcome that makes them wealthier than yesterday, no one will stand in their way. They could care less about complaints or outcome of any child dead or alive, as I have researched first hand on the many children who have died from these experiments, that if the child does not die he will defiantly become developmental delay -”Autism,” just like my baby. This is a Fact!

    The government refuses to do anything about the leading source that is infecting our children with Autism until this day. Thirty years ago, they refuse to contact the source to look at the complaints of parents that their children are turning Autism due to this
    Problem. Now, look at today 2010 with this mega population of Autism. If our government would have done something about the source causing the Autism Affect on our children back in the 1980’s today my grandbaby would not have Autism Disorder today, and we would not be seeing this mega population of Autism children today 30 years later. Vaccines are not and never have been the problem. They saw a window of opportunity to cover-up the truth that was coming out in the 80’s, to protect their new stock venture, by using the vaccine dilemma through privet sources. With that in mind, the medical community and suppliers threw out other excuses to pediatricians and doctors to build up ignorance and confusion. But 30 years ago a majority of parents from all over this country stood their ground on what was coursing their children’s Autism, they did not believe it was vaccines although you had a few who were filled with ignorance.

    My research is full proof because Christopher is alive today to show it, and the world must know what happen to Christopher and the bloody horrible tragic events that took place throughout the course of this incredible story. The medical community says Environmental or Genetics have been causing the Autism Production Problem we see today on children who are born normal to Autism, but this is a lie. Until this day, a great majority of parents will dispute that. As far as genetically inheriting the Autism disease being born with it, I fully agree to that assessment, but only to the identical twins. After my study’s I came to realize that the amount of children who fall in this category “Genetics” are not quite as many as they claim it to be for the children born normal to Autism. These two terms – Genetic and Environmental was created for one purpose only – To satisfy the parents Questions and Concerns since the 1980’s when the truth broke out, it was their way to redirect the parents.

    As far as “Environmental”, this is an assumption created for doctors to add it to Autism questions and concerns from parents. It is very easy to point out that you can catch something or a disease by touching something contaminated, and this is why doctors will throw in the Environmental Solution to all parents just to shut them up. It is all about money and over powering anyone who stands in their way by using these logical excuses. They will keep infecting as many children as they can with the Autism Affect destroying our children of our future. What I am saying may sound unbelievable but is all true, and again – I can prove it! My story is filled with true facts that if and when I publish this incredible true story to the media, I would have to move out of this county and state for the security of my family. The Autism production of our children here in America can be stopped, and it will if the people and the viewers learn the truth on what happen to my grandson. We the people in this country have lived on lies long enough in just about everything that comes from the government, I think is time for them to realize that our children in this country are more important than pharmaceutical companies and the lobbyist they hold in their purse. How much more money is enough?

    How much more Autism children do they need? Aren’t 1 in 90 children being diagnose with Autism today enough? Next year we will witness 1 in 50 children. If it were not for the almost dying experience that my grandson went through, I would have never found out the truth about why we have millions of children being diagnose with Autism today after being born normal. Adding my research with what happen to my grandbaby I say there is no doubt that we have so many children on Autism because of money, profit, gain, and control. This is a very serious problem that must be faced. Again, I am speaking about the children who are born normal then later when they reach the age of 3 to 5 years of age they are diagnose to Autism without families having a genetic history to the problem, and little do many families know this disease is being created deliberately.

    What I need is for a Movie Producer to look my story and put it on the big screen. This is the story that thousands maybe millions of people have been waiting for, for over 30 years. What I’m asking for, is for God to send me a caring and giving producer to give me and my grandbaby this dream come true – to save as many children from Autism due to this 30 year crime-spree that has been infecting and in many cases killing our children – because is all true! If you cannot help me, please help me with a donation to publish my book – 3625 Grand Prix Drive Sebring Florida 33872-2954. Your donations will be paid back with the proceeds on what my book will make, because I am sure it will sell thousands of books. The Bible says – “Ask and you will receive”, so I am asking you to please make this worthwhile donation to my address above. God will bless you for it. God Bless You.

    GOD BLESS OUR CHILDREN. GOD GRANT ME THE POWER TO HELP CHANGE WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO HURT OUR CHILDREN FOR 30 YEARS THROUGH A MOVIE PRODUCER IN MAKING THIS MOVIE COME TRUE, OR HELP ME WITH A DONATION TO PUBLISH MY BOOK. AMEN!

    Ralph Colon – RC GRANDPA autismhero54@yahoo.com 863-385-2030

  7. Chris August 13, 2010 at 22:48 #

    Found on your twitter:

    leading cause of the production of Autism today and I can prove it. Please do not give your children Amoxicillin. They have other….

    So I should have just let the strep throat infection continue?

    You should actually provide proof without begging for a publisher and producer.

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  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Forbes on “Stars Vs. Science” once again the autism community looks bad « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - January 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, GraceBarkwell, Brandon Blietz, Squillo, Peter Brown and others. Peter Brown said: Forbes on “Stars Vs. Science” once again the autism community looks bad http://bit.ly/8cPre6 #autism […]

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