ABC’s top rated network talk show The View has named ex-playboy model, actress, and outspoken Autism campaigner, Jenny McCarthy as their newest host. But the announcement has caused controversy within media circles.
Ms McCarthy’s son, Evan, now 10, was diagnosed with Autism in 2005, and she has spent a vast amount of time campaigning publicly against early vaccination in children against Measles, Mumps and Rubella, as she believes that these vaccines caused her son’s Autism.
In a previous interview with CNN she said: “Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan’s autism. People are also dying from vaccinations. Evan, my son, died in front of me for two minutes.”
“You ask any mother in the autism community if we’ll take the flu, the measles, over autism any day of the week. I think they need to wake up and stop hurting our kids. The reason why [the medical community] is reluctant to talk about it is because there’s such a huge business in pharmaceuticals.”
The New Yorker staff journalist, Michael Specter, dubbed McCarthy’s views as potentially dangerous in an article printed July 16 , writing: “McCarthy has spent much of the past ten years campaigning against vaccines – which, it must be said, are the most effective instruments of public health in human history, aside from clean water. By preaching her message of scientific illiteracy from one end of this country to the other, she has helped make it possible for people to turn away from rational thought. And that is deadly.”
Other concerned celebrities to come out against the outspoken actress are The Salon’s Alex Pareene and Bill Nye, the science guy. Mr Nye said: “We must all keep in mind that regulations requiring vaccinations are not only created to protect a kid from extant germs; vaccinations also protect my kid from yours.”
There is no evidence to link Ms McCarthy’s theories on vaccination with Autism onset in children. In fact, research which appeared in The Journal of Pediatrics confirmed that exposure to the vaccines did not increase the risk of developing autism.
Ms McCarthy, 40, will fill the vacancy left by Joy Behar and will begin working on September 9. She is said to be thrilled with her new role on the 17th season of the hit show. Alongside co-hosts comedienne Whoopi Goldberg and TV personality Sherri Shepherd. Creator of The View Barbara Walters said: “We love her because she is fun, she’s uninhibited and she’s opinionated enough to help us begin the latest chapter in The View history.”
Some argue that with the quick wit and irreverence at times of the co-hosts, may in fact show the errors in Ms. McCarthy’s logic.
Tom McCarthy of the Guardian points out:
“If, however, McCarthy’s moving future descriptions of her son’s condition and her family’s struggle on The View become attempts on her part to spread flimflammery, there’s a good chance she’ll find herself alone on one side of an argument that she loses, badly.”