Jenny McCarthy and Wishful Thinking
A lot of readers sent us this story posted on Hollywood Life: New Report Says Jenny McCarthyâ€™s Son May Not Have Had Autism After All. The story says that Jenny McCarthy is reversing her position on the vaccine and autism link and that she admits her son never had autism but instead has a neurological disorder called, Landau-Kleffner syndrome. The Hollywood Life reporter is basing his or her statements on a TIME magazine article released on February 25th in which Karl Taro Greenfeld interviews Miss McCarthy. You can read the TIME article in its entirety here.
I like many others in the skeptical community got really excited when I read the Hollywood Life story. Heck, I even tweeted about it. I had read the first part of the TIME article the night before and didnâ€™t recall reading anything mentioned like that at all but hey, it seemed reasonable to me and I just figured I hadnâ€™t read that part of the story. With the recent Lancet retraction of the Wakefeild study it would make sense that McCarthy might reverse her stance. She has literally nothing to base her autism-vaccine beliefs on at this point. So it must be true! Right?
Hooray for science! High fives everybody!
Jenny has seen the light of science!
I went back and read the entire TIME magazine article and nowhere did I find any comments from Jenny McCarthy insinuating that she had changed her view whatsoever.
From the TIME article:
McCarthy says she does not believe all vaccines are bad â€” though she swears she will never allow Evan to receive another â€” nor is she saying you shouldn’t vaccinate your child.
Come on! This is like saying you can go ahead and vaccinate your child but if you want to be a good mom like me, you wonâ€™t. That is not the voice of someone reversing his or her stance on anti-vaccination.
What about the Landau-Kleffner syndrome that was mentioned in the Hollywood Life report? Jenny herself was never quoted as saying anything of the sort. It was simply the author of the article alluding to what skeptics and pediatricians have been saying all along, that Evan may never have had autism to begin with.
I dislike what Jenny McCarthy promotes and I would be thrilled if she reversed her position and actually paid attention to scientific evidence. But unfortunately I see no signs of that happening anytime soon. Instead a comment that she made while appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show is requoted in the article:
My science is Evan. He’s at home. That’s my science
Not only does the TIME article say nothing of her changing her stance it at one point actually refers to her as being “dangerous” and the article serves as a warning with this statement:
She has just completed shooting the pilot for a daytime talk show for Oprah Winfrey’s TV network to begin airing later this year â€” which will be, she promises, yet another platform for her message.
Sorry everyone. I really wanted to believe it too but nothing has changed and we clearly havenâ€™t seen the last of Jenny.