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Does ABC Approve of Jenny McCarthy’s Anti-Vaccination Message?

[ 219 ] July 16, 2013 |

Pareene on ABC hiring Jenny McCarthy to co-host The View:

McCarthy certainly has a more pleasant, or at least less confrontational, television style. Really the only problem with hiring her is that her life’s mission at this point is the advancement of dangerous fictions about vaccines. She devotes a great deal of energy to promoting the untrue belief that vaccines lead to autism, and it seems possible that she now views her career as a television personality and prominent celebrity as a means of carrying out her mission to spread what she believes is the truth about autism.

Vaccines don’t cause autism. Vaccines, instead, prevent disease. Vaccines have wiped out a score of formerly deadly childhood diseases. Vaccine skepticism has helped to bring some of those diseases back from near extinction. Children have actually died as a result. Vaccine skepticism isn’t just some “alternative viewpoint” that is stupid but ultimately harmless, like “detoxing” or 9/11 trutherism. Parents have been convinced by McCarthy and the people she works with and promotes. They have forgone vaccination for their children. The result has been the recurrence and spread of preventable diseases. It’s incredibly irresponsible for a broadcast television network to think Jenny McCarthy should be on television — in a position where her job is to share her opinions — every day. It should seriously be a major scandal.


But McCarthy’s idiocy is of a very different, and much more damaging nature than the standard-issue right-wing idiocy of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. McCarthy is not expressing a disagreeable political position, she is spreading misinformation that has actual, tangible health risks. America’s public health authorities should be sounding the alarm. The American Medical Association and the surgeon general should be publicly calling on ABC to reverse its decision to hire McCarthy. They should have begun the campaign before the announcement was official.

Vaccine conspiracies, like so much modern cult conspiracy culture, perpetuates itself and lives on indefinitely thanks to the community-building and archiving of the Internet. With the help of some very prominent advocates, with huge audiences and a great deal of influence, it has spread far beyond the fringe. McCarthy has been one of the movement’s most prominent voices for years, and, infuriatingly, much of the media has treated her bullshit as weepy celebrity “awareness-raising” fare instead of crackpotted nonsense.

Pareene also reminds us the many Huffington Post articles giving credence to this idiocy, with links.

Comments (219)

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  1. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    But McCarthy’s idiocy is of a very different, and much more damaging nature than the standard-issue right-wing idiocy of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. McCarthy is not expressing a disagreeable political position, she is spreading misinformation that has actual, tangible health risks.

    Without in any way disagreeing with Pareene on McCarthy (about whom he is entirely correct), it’s worth pointing out that today’s “standard-issue right-wing idiocy” also imperils lives, through cuts in foodstamps, opposition to “Obamacare” (and particularly, at the moment, Medicaid expansion), hostility to women’s reproductive freedom, climate denial, warmongering, etc. etc.

    I appreciate the fact that the fringe-iness of McCarthy’s anti-vaccination nonsense makes it somewhat easier to discredit than standard-issue right-wing idiocy. But we shouldn’t forget how far to the right the Overton Window has shifted and how many lives hang in the balance when we pretend any of these unreasonable positions are just part of the conversation.

    • On the one hand, yeah.

      On the other The View is a show about trivia and does not specifically require Jenny McCarthy.

    • Green Caboose says:

      Agree. At some point I would like to be part of the class action lawsuit: Citizens of the World vs. Energy Execs, Wingnut Pundits, Paid Liars with Science Degrees ™, et al. When all is said and done they’ll be up there with Mao, Hitler, Stalin, etc in terms of greatest damage caused by humans.

    • UserGoogol says:

      I’d say the difference is how the speech leads to action. A famous but politically powerless individual saying that they think food stamps should be slashed doesn’t really affect much, they’re just one out of many forces lightly nudging the political scene in the direction of implementing bad policies. The same person endorsing anti-vax ideas can have a fairly immediate effect, since parents can respond to that by immediately choosing to not vaccinate their children. And because these are infectious diseases we’re talking about, that has a significant multiplier effect.

    • Marek says:


  2. efgoldman says:

    Off topic, but it appears that Balloon Juice, where many LG&M commentors cross-comment, has unwittingly become host to some sort of malware. Firefox, Avast!, and Malwarebytes really don’t want me to go there.
    Front page is fine, but click through to any comment thread and…. OY!

  3. JMP says:

    So yeah, McCarthy is partly responsible for the deaths of a couple hundreds or thousands of children, and giving her a bigger platform may lead to several thousand more dead kids, but that just shows she’s controversial and can bring in the ratings, in the amoral land of TV executives.

  4. cpinva says:

    correct me if i’m wrong, but to my knowledge, ms. McCarthy has exactly zero medical/science education/training/experience. her sole “qualification”, for opining on the efficacy/dangers of vaccinations, is that she’s a parent. as a parent myself, also with no other qualifications to judge the efficacy/dangers of vaccinations, why the hell would I listen to her, much less do as she suggests, and not have my children vaccinated? why would any other parent, similarly situated (and, presumably, with at least two functioning synapses), listen to her and follow her advice, with respect to having their children vaccinated? aside from the obvious, that the world is full of stupid people, I am at a loss here.

    • gratuitous says:

      The world is indeed full of stupid people. In fact, you and I probably fit into one or another category of stupid. That’s part of the reason human beings cluster themselves into societies, to ameliorate the bad effects of our individual brands of stupidity.

      People will fall prey to their stupidity for a whole bunch of reasons. Ignorance is probably the biggest one, but there are others. I have a former sister-in-law who didn’t want to vaccinate my niece (I don’t know why), and used her parents’ membership in the Jehovah’s Witnesses as the rationale for not incurring the trouble and expense of taking my niece to the doctor for her vaccinations. She also glommed onto Jenny McCarthy’s statements as further argument for her own cussed laziness.

      Having a nincompoop like Jenny McCarthy on a nationally broadcast talk show lends her lunatic views a cachet they don’t deserve. ABC knows better, I’m sure, but their irresponsible decision to provide McCarthy a platform (even if she never says a word about vaccinations) gives her credence as “nationally known talk show host” Jenny McCarthy in other venues. And surely you will concede that celebrity status confers credibility, otherwise advertisers wouldn’t lavish quite so much money on Tiger Woods or Alec Baldwin to hawk their products. They could get a schmuck like me to be their spokesperson for far less.

      • cpinva says:

        “And surely you will concede that celebrity status confers credibility, otherwise advertisers wouldn’t lavish quite so much money on Tiger Woods or Alec Baldwin to hawk their products.”

        tiger woods has a lot more credibility endorsing golf products or cars, than ms. McCarthy does spewing nonsense about vaccinations. hell, alec Baldwin is more credible, endorsing credit cards with airline miles, than ms. McCarthy is about vaccines.

    • Jordan says:

      I think the worry is that parents will hear McCarthy say this nonsense. Then they will google “vaccines autism” and find site after site after site that tells them there is a link, and that a real, honest to goodness doctor says that there is a connection.

      • sparks says:

        It’s just as bad if the links are of the assortment that suggest opinions differ without anyone’s search being able to discern that one side is backed by research and evidence while the other is backed by fear and fraud. The fear will drive many people the wrong way just on its own.

        • Jordan says:

          Right. They’ll get a muddle, and the fear mongering will motivate many to take manifestly terrible actions.

      • Josh G. says:

        I think the worry is that parents will hear McCarthy say this nonsense. Then they will google “vaccines autism” and find site after site after site that tells them there is a link, and that a real, honest to goodness doctor says that there is a connection.

        In that case, maybe we should be asking whether Google has a social obligation to prioritize medically-accurate results over pseudoscientific crap, or at least put up a disclaimer above the search results.

        This would not be unprecedented. IIRC, there was a situation for a while when searching for “Jew” on Google returned the anti-Semitic site “Jew Watch” as the first hit. They didn’t change the algorithm, but they did put up a disclaimer on that search explaining how the algorithm worked and saying that its presence there didn’t mean they were endorsing that site. Eventually I think it dropped out of the top search result due to search engine optimization on the part of other sites.

        • Jordan says:

          Huh, I don’t remember that. FWIW, the hate site is still #2, behind only wikipedia, at least for me. They do link to their explanation, but only at the very bottom as “paid ad,” weirdly enough.

          Really doubt they would do something similar for vaccines, though.

    • J R in WV says:

      But she’s on TV, on a “News Show” — so it must be true!!! They couldn’t put it on TV if it wasn’t true!

      I plan to approach this like I did Gush Limburger and his vile spew-I’m going to inform ABC that I’ll be contacting their advertisers, and refusing to patronize their advertisers while that woman is allowed her bully pulpit! And then I’m going to list the advertisers I’ve already contacted!

      Hit them the only place they can feel it, in their wallets!

      A more cruel hoax can’t be imagined, killing innocent infants and kids just to remain in front of the public eye! And make money…

  5. Hogan says:

    The gossip columnist in the Metro said pretty much the same thing today. I’m no expert, but once you start losing the gossip columnists, you’re probably in some fairly deep trouble.

  6. whatever says:

    First, to be blunt, you could never argue with me for even five minutes that vaccinations are very dangerous without trouncing off in silence. Because your statement that they are “safe” is not simply wrong, it has no evidence to support it at all in any way. It is a religious belief. The White Coat Man has appeared before you in a Revelation and given you the Good News that Vaccines Are Safe.

    But, if you wish to amuse me for a single reply before you delete my posts, we can start with the question as to why product liability for vaccines are handled by special courts and why you believe these special courts rules are in any way defensible.

    Why don’t you just delete this post and save yourself the trouble of deleting me latter when you can’t find any credible arguments to back up your completely wrong statement?

    • efgoldman says:

      Why don’t you just delete this post and save yourself the trouble of deleting me latter

      What an excellet idea, with pancakes and maple syrup.

      • cpinva says:

        “What an excellet idea, with pancakes and maple syrup.”

        I don’t know, he’s mildly entertaining, in a blandly ignorant way.

      • whatever says:

        So, person, how about those special courts?

        Not gonna talk about them?

        Didn’t even know they exist?

        Don’t know anything about vaccinations at all except that you imagine you know something?

        That’s what I thought.

        • Anonymous says:

          I thought you were so busy being deleted. Enlightening us about them.

          And you’re right: polio and smallpox never existed, and it has all just been a giant conspiracy to make it seem that way.

        • Mr. Ekko says:

          “Special Court”? It’s basically an administrative program, you sue in the US Court of Federal Claims and compensation is paid from a fund-basically, the government insulates vaccine companies because vaccines are important and we don’t want to dissuade people from making them (they’re expensive to research and don’t make that much money compared to other things pharmaceutical companies make).

          Yes, there are terrible injuries from vaccines and there’s a special program- two friends of mine make part of their living from it. No, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vaccinate our children.

    • Murc says:

      Well, I know next to nothing about immunology, but people who spend their lives studying it are pretty united in their belief that vaccines are pretty damn safe.

      My understanding is that they are not, of course, 100% safe; as with any medical treatment, there’s always the possibility of an adverse reaction, and some of those adverse reactions are going to involve morbidity. That’s the case with any medical treatment, though.

      Basically, if you want to argue that vaccines “aren’t safe”, you are making an extraordinary claim that flies in the face of the opinion of all the experts in the field. Your extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.

      • cpinva says:

        “Your extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.”

        i’ll just assume you’re not holding your breath.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

        I had a minor dustup at my now-mothballed blog about this issue. Basically, I responded to a post on another blog with a very loudmouthed post about how the McCarthyists are killing kids, and a very earnest, very visibly pained parent who had lost an infant in unexplainable circumstances weigh in, and the grief and desire to find and explanation included grasping at the Anti-vax crowd. He admitted that there was no real justification for doing so, but that his pain and horror wouldn’t allow him to discard it either.

        So, I did a little digging into the usual sources, and found that, as with much modern medicine, there are anomalies, albeit very small probability ones. They are kind of unexplainable, and especially with infants, the complexity of the other factors makes it difficult to isolate. But neither is vaccination completely, 100% innocuous, either. Heck, no medical treatment is; and with millions of kids, extremely low probabilities do arise.

        Vaccines are extremely safe. Safer than caffeine. MUCH safer than driving. But parents do need to enter into it with the understanding that medicine is not a completely hazard-free science. Vaccinations are far, far safer than not vaccinating kids; vaccinations are why children don’t get measles or chicken pox or the mumps. Vaccinations have made the world far, far safer than it used to be.

        Nobody has ever claimed that vaccinations made the world completely safe.

        • sparks says:

          If vaccines were completely safe, there wouldn’t be a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. However, the risk of death from diseases a child gets vaccinated from is so much higher that you’d think most parents would rather take that risk. Parents aren’t always rational, though.

          • sparks says:

            uh, would not take that risk.

            • MH says:

              You know, if you bothered to do even the slightest bit of research (I mean, reading the wikipedia page) you’d know that the reason this exists is because of anti-vax nut cases scaring everyone in the mid 80′s.

              The program was established by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), passed by the United States Congress in response to a threat to the vaccine supply due to a 1980s scare over the DPT vaccine. Despite the belief of most public health officials that claims of side effects were unfounded, large jury awards had been given to some plaintiffs, most DPT vaccine makers had ceased production, and officials feared the loss of herd immunity.[1]

          • (the other) Davis says:

            …the risk of death from diseases a child gets vaccinated from is so much higher that you’d think most parents would rather take that risk.

            The problem is that as long as herd immunity persists, the risk of death from those diseases is still low enough that most parents won’t notice the difference.

            The whole reason anti-vax nonsense can survive and thrive today is that most people are too young to remember how awful the pre-vaccine, pre-herd immunity era really was. It’s depressing to think we may need a temporary return to those days before we can banish this nonsense back to the extreme fringe where it belongs.

            • whatever says:

              You are so wise. You don’t even know the history of vaccines do you, you ignorant savage?

              Did you know the reason why the first vaccine ever was for rabies?

              Because the original culturing of vaccines created a dangerous vaccine with a fairly high level of mortality. Since people bit by a rabid animal had a far higher level of mortality, it was still acceptable.

              The original Salk vaccine for polio had a number of serious and dangerous problems to, but polio was a very, very bad disease.

              And now we immunize against fairly harmless diseases with very low levels of harm and mortality.

              I guess they sure have fixed the danger levels the original vaccines posed.

              Or not.

              Or not.

              • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                And now we immunize against fairly harmless diseases with very low levels of harm and mortality.

                Yeah, what are these “fairly harmless” diseases, and give us a link to before and after fatality rates.

                Give us some actual proof, not based in woo and crappy statistics, indicating that the current results from vaccination are worse than what went on before.

                • whatever says:

                  Are you a moron? You sound like a moron.

                  I googled the CDC schedule, saw measles, thought “that doesn’t sound scary”, looked it up and discovered it had a mortality rate of 1 per 1000 infected according to Pubmed.

                  That’s a 0.1% mortality rate. So we are looking at a target of less than 1% negative complications rate from the vaccine to make it worse than measles itself. Honestly though, simply by not being a “stupid animal”… you know.. like you… and giving it to only children of +4 years of age we could have effective herd immunity with far lower mortality rates.

                  But that would involve not being a dumb beast. And you, good sir, are a dumb beast. A brutal thug.

                • whatever says:

                  What I especially like about the punks is they never admit to being wrong, they just move effortlessly to their next point of petty, unthinking nitpicking.

                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  Are you a moron? You sound like a moron.

                  Well, you oughta know.

                  Links. proof. cough it up, you diseased salamander.

                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  I googled the CDC schedule, saw measles, thought “that doesn’t sound scary”, looked it up and discovered it had a mortality rate of 1 per 1000 infected according to Pubmed.

                  That’s a 0.1% mortality rate. So we are looking at a target of less than 1% negative complications rate from the vaccine to make it worse than measles itself.

                  Shit, an idiot with an internet connection and a complete misunderstanding of statistics and modern medicine.

                  Do you not realize that the low measles fatality rate is due to….vaccinations? Do you not remember being vaccinated against measles?

                  Sheesh, the own-goaling and self-pwnage is precious, sunshine.

                • DocAmazing says:

                  Anyone who thinks measles is “fairly harmless” needs to look up “subacute sclerosing panencephalitis” a nonrare complication of measles that makes mad cow disease look pleasant.

                  Or you could stay ignorant.

                • Emma in Sydney says:

                  I went to school with kids who were crippled, blinded and deafened by measles complications. Google complications of measles. But hey, they didn’t die, so that’s okay. If you are looking for a minor disease to make your point, measles is not the one to choose.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  I’m so sorry I missed this. This idiot is hilarious.

                  That’s a 0.1% mortality rate. So we are looking at a target of less than 1% negative complications rate from the vaccine to make it worse than measles itself.

                  Take a look at that; the idiot is comparing the fatality rate from measles with the “negative complications” rate of the vaccine.

                  Tell us, only person here who’s not an idiot; what’s the “negative complications” rate of measles?

              • laura says:

                Yeah, medical science has advanced since the 1880s. We don’t bleed people to restore their humors anymore either.

                • whatever says:

                  Your faith in the White Coat Man is great.

                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  Links. Proof. You splattered lab coat.

                • Warren Terra says:

                  That’s “humours”, please. Got to preserve those anachronisms properly!

                  And “whatever” is clearly suffering from an imbalance of some sort. I’m not saying they should have leeches applied to them, but then I’m not not saying it, either.

              • badjim says:

                First vaccine ever was for smallpox. At first they just used smallpox itself, which was fairly dangerous, but a risk George Washington thought was worth taking with his troops. Later it was found that exposure to cowpox conveyed immunity.

                The very words “vaccine” and “inoculate” are derived from the process of using cowpox to induce immunity to smallpox.


                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  so you just showed that “whatever” is wrong, or lying, about his supposed history of vaccinations.

                  Interesting, that.

                • Warren Terra says:

                  Yeah, I was gonna say. I mean, Edward Jenner and all that. “The first vaccine was for rabies” my foot.

              • DocAmazing says:

                The first vacine was not for rabies; it was for smallpox (Variola) and is very ancient. Edward Jenner then began using cowpox (Vaccinia, hence “vaccine”) to protect agains smallpox.

                You could look it up.

                Or you could stay ignorant.

        • whatever says:

          Well then, good sir, will you please refer me to a webpage explaining the special courts with have on deaths from caffeine.

          Oh wait, that’s right, you are wrong.

          Let us listen to the wisdom of the “Special Masters”(YES THEY ARE CALLED THAT!) of the NVCIP courts:

          Proving a case ‘on the table’ has never been easy.
          Some of the most tragic cases go
          uncompensated. For example, when very severe sympto
          ms are present within the time
          requirements for them to present themselves accordi
          ng to the table, the child is usually dead. The
          Court has an often-repeated standing rule that “dea
          th alone is not a table injury” and the Masters
          routinely hold against the Petitioner for lack of p
          roof. Generally the baby died too fast for
          anyone to observe the signs and symptoms listed in
          the table.

          Isn’t that nice!

          • DocAmazing says:

            This is because the profit margins on vaccines is quite small. Pharmaceutical companies would rather make boner drugs or New Purple Pills; the government essentially bribes them to make vaccines, and that’s what the special liability is all about.

            That, and lunatics bringing baseless suits alleging harm having nothing to do with immunizations, but requiring lawyers to respond to.

          • (the other) Davis says:

            Let us listen to the wisdom of the “Special Masters”(YES THEY ARE CALLED THAT!)

            Holy shit, officers of the court being called “special masters”? Who’s ever heard of such a thing?

            Of course, it’s unsurprising that you’re just as ignorant of the law as you are of immunology, statistics, and probability.

      • JMP says:

        And they’re a hell of a lot safer than the alternative of not getting vaccinated and therefore being at risk of dying from a completely preventable case of measles, whooping cough or the like. Plus, unlike with most alternative “medicine” quackery, the person who falls for the anti-vaccine conspiracy nonsense isn’t risking killing themselves, but their children, who weren’t the ones who signed up for the bullshit, along with others who are more likely to catch deadly diseases due to reduced herd immunity, especially those who can’t be vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons, such as kids with compromised immune systems or newborns who are not yet old enough for vaccines.

        In other words, whatever isn’t just wrong, but dangerously so, in a way that has actually lead to the real deaths of many children.

        • whatever says:

          Good sir, are you claiming that your vaccinated children are not in fact protected from the disease they are vaccinated from?

          So non-vaccinated children, because they can get the disease like your vaccinated children can, need to be vaccinated so they can’t get the disease so your children can’t get the disease.

          A fascinating peace of logic there.

          Can I be banned now?

          • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

            Good sir, are you claiming that your vaccinated children are not in fact protected from the disease they are vaccinated from?

            Not even close. Wow, what the hell were you reading?

            What were you saying again?

            So non-vaccinated children, because they can get the disease like your vaccinated children can

            Oh, yeah, nonsense.

          • JMP says:

            No, moron, I’m claiming that non-vaccinated children shouldn’t have to suffer and die because their parents are credulous idiots.

            • N__B says:

              That sounds like commie talk. Next you’ll be telling us that it benefits everyone if sick people are treated regardless of their ability to pay for care.

          • DocAmazing says:

            Actually, a vaccinated person can often catch the disease against which they are vaccinated if the innoculum is large enough–if, for example, a person immunized against polio were put into a large community of polio-infected people, that immunized person might well develop polio–though probably an attenuated case of it.

            You could look it up.

            Or you could stay ignorant.

          • Emma in Sydney says:

            It’s the babies too young to be vaccinated fully against whooping cough yet who die of it, having caught it from older unvaccinated children. Quite a few in your country just this year actually. Look it up. And imagine watching your beautiful baby cough to death from a preventable disease because some bullshit artist persuaded the credulous to avoid the jab.

            • Cody says:

              There has actually been quite the ad campaign here in Indiana (at least, idk about other states) imploring parents to get vaccinated for whooping cough.

              Baby pictures everywhere, warning not to be near children unless you have been vaccinated.

      • whatever says:

        Are you a moron? Cause you sound like a moron.

        My extraordinary evidence is that vaccines have a “special court” run by “Special Masters”.

        Tell me, where is the “special court” for surgery malpractice cases?

        Tell me, where is the “special court” for any malpractice suit?

        Tell me, where is the “special court” for other drugs?

        Yeah, yeah, I know. They don’t exist.

        Sounds to me like vaccines are kinda special compared to other medical “problems” because they have their own special court.

        Now, why don’t you, without rolling your eyes like a punk, explain to me why vaccines require a “special court” that no other, NOT ONE OTHER, medical field requires?

        • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

          Are you a paranoid? Because you sound like a paranoid.

          Do you want to also tell us about the conspiracy behind chemtrails?

        • MAJeff says:

          Is it the Bilderbergers, Illuminati, or Elders of Zion behind all this? It gets so confusing.

          • RedSquareBear says:

            Bilderbergers, Illuminati, or Elders of Zion

            Look who’s being a credulous idiot now. They’re all the same: reptile-jews. In space.

        • MH says:

          Because a bunch of anti-vax nutcases nearly managed to bring enough lawsuits against companies producing vaccines to shut down the national supply, jackass.

    • Bitter Scribe says:

      There are no “special courts.” There is a tweak to the liability law that excuses vaccine companies from having to defend themselves in court against every Tom, Dick and Idiot who can find his or her way to a courthouse.

      • whatever says:

        Are you claiming the Special Masters don’t exist? Boy have you descended into a delusional fantasy world!

        Because the Special Masters are quite real in their Special Courts. I have no idea why you are even bothering raving such nonsense.

        • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

          “Special Masters”? Are they Lizardoids?

          Are the Special Courts part of the Star Chamber?

          Wow, I had no idea Jenny McCarthy read LGM.

        • JMP says:

          “I have no idea why you are even bothering raving such nonsense.”

          Oh, the irony in this coming from a paranoid conspiracy theorist like you is truly thick.

          • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

            He’s busy pulling together all the information on chemtrails.

            • JMP says:

              Will whatever tell us what really happened behind the so-called moon landing too? Ooh, and maybe who really did 9/11!

              • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                He already told us: it was the Special Masters.

                • JMP says:

                  My guess is that the Special Masters are an evil conclave of Robert Delgado, Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts, Derek Jacobi and John Simm, all able to work together despite being different incarnations of the same being because of some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey thing.

                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  And James Franco, of course.

                • mds says:

                  the Special Masters are an evil conclave of Robert Delgado, Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts, Derek Jacobi and John Simm


                  (I might have thrown in Peter Pratt and/or Geoffrey Beevers for completeness, and possibly Gordon Tipple for absolutely insane over-completeness, but top marks, top marks.)

          • whatever says:

            See the irony? The absolute resistance to facts or good-faith discussion?

            And someone said I was being “to mean” to them.

            Ha ha ha.

            These post are being so deleted. Cause, ya know, you guys were shown to be the religious wack-jobs you are.

            Praise the White Coat Man!

            Praise the Good News he has brought us!

            • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

              You have presented no facts, and demonstrated an amazing lack of being able to contribute to a good-faith discussion.

              I have asked several times: Links. Proof. Are you going to make me ask again, Typhoid Whatever?

            • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

              And someone said I was being “to mean” to them.

              Links. Need Links, Typhoid Boy.

            • JMP says:

              Yes, I do see the absolute resistance to facts or good-faith discussions (not to mention good grammar, or even basic coherence) a paranoid delusional troll calling him-or-herself whatever is inflicting upon the rest of us.

            • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

              wait, religious? Where did religion enter in?

              Are you a troll? Because you seem like a troll.

            • (the other) Davis says:

              Praise the White Coat Man!

              Yes random anonymous internet person, your behavior here clearly establishes you as far more credible than someone who researches this stuff and makes statements based on evidence they’ve published for everyone to see.

              Evidence is for suckers, amirite?

            • Jordan says:

              “See the irony? The absolute resistance to facts or good-faith discussion?”

              We certainly do. I don’t think you do.

        • (the other) Davis says:

          Are you claiming the Special Masters don’t exist? Boy have you descended into a delusional fantasy world!

          You ignorant pantload, “special master” is a standard term for a particular type of officer of the court. Federal judges regularly appoint them to carry out certain judicial duties. Having your case overseen by a special master doesn’t mean you’re in a special court.

          • ChrisTS says:

            I am so stealing “you ignorant pantload.”

            Not sure when I could use it – probably not on students, Deans, or the College Prez… still, I am stealing it.

          • witless chum says:

            The most famous being Kenneth Feinberg, who held this supposedly incredible position that’s so incredible for both the BP oil spill and the fund for survivors of the 9/11 victims. Why would anyone have heard of a special master, when it was part of two of the biggest news stories of the century?

    • (the other) Davis says:

      Because your statement that they are “safe” is not simply wrong, it has no evidence to support it at all in any way.

      The quotation marks around “safe” denote that the anti-vaxxer definition applies: vaccines are only “safe” if 100% of people can receive them with 0% chance of ill effects.

      Meanwhile, those of us living in reality understand that safety is a relative concept, that nothing in life is 100% “safe”, and that a world without herd immunity poses far more risk to one’s children than does any vaccine.

      • whatever says:

        Fixed it for you.

        “vaccines are only “safe” if 100% of people can receive them with 0% chance of ill effects(including immediate death)”

        • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

          That’s not fixing, it’s straight up lying.

          Links, dude. Show us why your completely irrational views are supported by any scientific basis that isn’t related to homeopathy.

          I normally would let you go, but this bullshit actually kills people.

          • whatever says:

            You refuse to look up the CDC schedule or PubMed articles? Really? Fine baby.

            CDC schedule:

            PubMed article:

            So the mortality rate for measles vaccine must be under 0.1% for all doses for it to even break even with the mortality rate from “doing nothing”. However, other negative effects of the vaccine and measles itself have to be weighted in. This is assuming a 100% infection rate for measles. IE EVERYONE gets measles at least once if not vaccinated. That number is of course high. Also, measles vaccine is given twice in the childs life so the mortality per dose would have to be under 0.05%.

            Measles vaccine probably marginally breaks into the “useful” category. Unless it doesn’t. A 1 in a 2000 death rate really is quite low and all numbers are diligently hidden by the government.

            • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

              Yeah, like I said up above, that mortality rate is due to the control of the disease due to….VACCINATIONS.

              Wow, your ability to self-pwn is really kind of legendary.

              • whatever says:

                That mortality rate is FOR CASES OF THE DISEASE. NOT PER POPULATION YOU SAVAGE.


                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  Yeah, but it’s for the current situation. If you wanted to compare it for actual effectivity, you might look at what the fatality rate was BEFORE there was an available vaccine.

                  Don’t be mad, death-bro.

                  Perhaps if we also stop doing tetanus vaccinations, we can also have a fun renewal of lockjaw!

                  “Bleeping”? LOL.

                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  Wait, I thought I was a punk.

                  I DEMAND TO BE CALLED A PUNK.

                • Emma in Sydney says:

                  Visit a nineteenth century graveyard, and count the small graves. Diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, polio, smallpox. Sometimes 4 kids in one family in one year. If it doesn’t break your heart you don’t have one.

                • tt says:

                  More to the point, the fatality rate for the MMR vaccine is much, much lower than .1% (essentially 0). If it were .1% there’d be a dead kid in every other elementary school.

                • witless chum says:

                  My dad actually liked visiting little 19th century graveyards and would drag us along and point out all the kids who’d died from disease and the women who’d died in childbirth. Just one of the things that helped me be a better, smarter person about things.

                • ZRM –

                  You are a punk..You are a punk..You are a punk.

                  Happy? Sheesh.

                • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

                  THANK YOU PALEO.

            • mpowell says:

              So what you are saying is that even though the mortaility rate for the measles vaccine is much less than 0.1%, you can’t conceive of probabilities that low and therefore people should not get the vaccine? Hmm, try again.

    • Anonymous says:

      The “special court” thing is interesting; some background here.
      I don’t think Pareene is claiming that vaccines are “safe” in the 100%, no-adverse-effects ever sense you are claiming the sheeple all believe. But a sheeperson would think that.
      At least you aren’t actually trying to dissuade people from vaccinating their kids; that comment of yours is so bile-filled it almost works as propaganda for the other side.

      • whatever says:

        No it does not.

        Reasoning with the punks leads them to be insanely mouthy.

        Notice the punks are admitting that vaccines can cause problems.

        They are admitting that days earlier than they would have had I been nice to them.

        • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

          Notice the punks are admitting that vaccines can cause problems.

          I don’t think ANYONE has ever claimed that there are never adverse effects from vaccines. Show me where anyone has.

          They are admitting that days earlier than they would have had I been nice to them.

          Cool story, death man. Fuck you. So are you going to admit that your are full of shit now? Yeah, that doesn’t work so well, does it.

          Plus, I am a damn proud punk. You want me to be insanely mouthy? Heh.

        • DocAmazing says:

          No, we’re actually finding you ignorant.

    • Hey, speaking as someone who caught whooping cough from some unvaccinated kid on my floor freshman year and spent a couple months coughing until I vomited and drowning in the open air desperately trying to breath, unvaccinated people are not safe.

      • whatever says:

        Were you vaccinated?

        How did you get a disease you were vaccinated against?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because it doesn’t offer 100% protection against a disease, something no proponent or manufacturer has ever claimed. The more contacts a person has with an infected person, the more likely that person will get a disease, vaccinated or not.

          But you would already know that, being an expert and all.

          • whatever says:

            So what is the claimed efficiency? Do you even know?

            OF COURSE YOU DON’T!

            All you know is the soothing voice of White Coat Man! Giving you the Good News!

            What is the ACTUAL severe reaction rate? What is the ACTUAL rate of non-crippling injuries that still do more damage than the vaccine does good?

            Do you know? Do you care?

            Or do you just think of your wonderfullness and feel great about yourself?

            Oh, and about Jenny McCarthy, of course Mercury causes brain damage. At what level does it become toxic for a two month old child?

            Your answer is “whatever level makes Master right!”.

            My answer is rather more experimental. It is “a lower level than the idiots used”. This was determined by a nationwide experiment.

            • Really? Of all the discredited canards, you’re going with the “MERCURY POISONING OUR BRAINS!” line? Studies after studies have shown no effect of thiomersal on rates of pervasive developmental disorders. Thiomersal was removed from all vaccines over a decade ago, and rates of autism have continued to rise.

              That dog won’t hunt.

            • like totally says:

              But the vaccines-autism link came from Andrew Wakefield, a White Coat Man. Wheels within wheels and MOAR CAPLOCKS.

              • JMP says:

                The irony is that Wakefield, a former doctor who fabricated data to invent a link between vaccines and autism because he was paid off by lawyers looking to sue vaccine manufacturers, actually does fit the conspiracy-minded White Coat Man supervillain image whatever is putting forth here.

                But I suppose, to a paranoid delusional mind, the fact that Wakefield was caught and stripped of his medical license just proves that the Secret Masters were ought to get him, not that he was a dangerous fraud.

            • DocAmazing says:

              If you’re going to talk about the toxicity of mercury, you need to know the difference between methyl mercury and ethyl mercury, and how they are taken up (or not taken up) in the body.

              I await the demonstration of your knowledge.

        • The whooping cough vaccine is designed to be strongest in the first two years, because that’s when whooping cough is fatal. After that “protection decreases over time. This is known as waning immunity. Similarly, natural infection may also only protect you for a few years…Our current estimate is that Tdap vaccination protects 7 out of 10 people who receive it,” according to the CDC. This is largely the result of the vaccine being weakened in the ’90s.

          • BigHank53 says:

            Yeah, the immunity granted by vaccines wears off. That’s why your pets get a rabies booster every year. (Your vet and local animal control officer gets one too.) We immunize the hell out of infants because they have crappy immune systems and fewer reserves for fighting off infections.

            This is high-school freshman biology stuff. The point that whatever is making…is not the point they wanted to make.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Ignorance again.

          Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine does not confer lifetime immunity: like tetanus vaccine, it must be re-administered every ten years or so. Most adults don’t get boosters, so they are the reservoir for the disease, and they are susceptible to it. (Most adults don’t get the severe symptoms that Mr. Attewell did; it usually presents as a chronic hacking cough in adults.)

          • DocAmazing says:

            (Or, What Mr. Attewell Said.)

          • I experienced an unusually bad version for an adult, but it didn’t help that I was misdiagnosed twice and thus didn’t receive proper treatment for a while – luckily, my dad was old enough to have remembered what whooping cough sounded like when he was a kid and demanded the doctors test me for whooping cough, over their protests.

        • Emma in Sydney says:

          Pertussis vaccination only lasts about 10 years. Which is why all 12 year olds in my country are revaccinated. Unless their parents are cranks of course, which is why babies still catch it sometimes. Whooping cough is a bastard of a disease, and much worse for the completely unvaccinated.

      • whatever says:

        You can mouth off at a mother like Jenny McCarthy who has to live EVERY SINGLE DAY with a crippled child who will never get better, never get married, never have anything like a normal life and then you fall into some little whine fit about how you “coughed for a few months”.

        Yeah. I don’t care. At all. Way less than you do about Jenny McCarthy which is not at all. My caring has a negative value.

        • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

          Asswipe, even the Dimwit Jenny has finally admitted that her son’s issues are due to something other than vaccination, and it’s due to a different disease altogether.

          She’s fucking lucky, though, that her precious spawn didn’t catch one of the many other preventable diseases while she went on her dimwitted crusade.

          I normally only mock idiots like her, but in a case where here stupidity not only endangers her Special Snowflake but every other kid in the vicinity, she deserves to be slapped around without reserve.

          She admitted she was wrong, when will you?

          • whatever says:

            She admitted she was wrong, when will you?

            We’ve all seen that dog and pony show before. Spare it for a rube who just moved to the city.

            Don’t tell me, you have no idea what I’m talking about, right? Of course you don’t.

            • Walt says:

              Dude, nobody gives a shit about your weird rhetorical ticks. You’re a dumb gullible fucker whose stupid ideas are hurting the health of children. So don’t expect much politeness or interest in your cutesy mannerisms.

        • Jenny McCarthy’s child does not have autism and autism didn’t cause her child’s illness.

          I experienced drowning in open air on a daily basis for months because people listened to her about something she knew nothing about. But you know what? I got off light.

          In 2005, the year I got sick, there were 25,000 incidences of pertussis in the U.S; in 2012, we’re up to 41,800. 28% of those cases are children younger than 6 years old, and it’s a lot more dangerous for the children than it is for adults. 17 children died of pertussis in 2012.

          I care about those kids – and the 100 who died from 2000-4, and the ones before that. Because these were kids who didn’t have to die. In 1976, before immunization rates began to drop, there were a grand total of 1,000 pertussis cases in the U.S.

        • like totally says:

          Yeah, it’s important to mention how worthless her child is now. If there is anyway to show compassion towards people with autism, it is to go on about how worthless their lives are.

          • JMP says:

            I still can’t believe that one. As someone who does have a relative with autism, to see him described as “a crippled child who will never get better, never get married, never have anything like a normal life” is just mind-bogglingly patronizing and insulting.

            • DocAmazing says:

              I have a number of autistic patients. Most function at least as well as whatever.

            • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

              I have friends with a lovely autistic child, and another set of friends with a sweet young son born with spina bifida. I don’t even find it offensive that troll-slime told me I ignore those kids, because I know better, I find them delightful and I am certain they will have a great life, even if internet clinicians say they are not ‘normal’.

    • Murc says:

      Okay, having watched this entire exchange, and participated in it, and all I can say is: bravo, sir.

      Usually the trolls we get around here are really, really bad at it, and I need to give them explicit pointers.

      But you? A master of the craft.

      Seriously guys. Take notes. THIS is how you troll a comment thread, and troll it hard. I mean, my god. It’s the perfect mix of bombast, goalpost moving, aggression, and juuuuuuuust enough of what looks like a legitimate engagement with the facts (in the form of those CDC links) to make it look like a legitimate, if enraged, poster, but it is not.

      I can’t think of a single thing I’d have done differently in your place. MAYBE I wouldn’t have stepped so hard on the whole “Special Masters” thing, that was what gave you away, but you have to really be paying attention to see something like that.

    • Xenos says:

      Define ‘safe’.

      Not to feed a troll, but there are some interesting psychological dynamics at play here. Back when people had 8 children so they could be reasonably secure in expecting 2 or 3 to survive, the risk of a hypothetical vaccine that eliminated childhood diseases but left 1 in 10 children mentally disabled would seem like a pretty good deal. The great-grandchildren of those parents, facing a 1 in 150 chance that their one child could be made mentally disabled by a vaccine, are in a panic.

      They still do not understand science, math, and so on, but it is part of a larger cultural trend of parents and communities being unable to reasonably calculate and consider the real risks to their children.

      • witless chum says:

        Safe= less likely to cause severe impairment or death than the alternative. Not that hard to define in the case of vaccines.

      • DocAmazing says:

        It’s actually quite bit less than 1 in 150. Head X-rays are much riskier (though necessary after certain types of falls).

    • J R in WV says:

      Well, safer than no vaccine and pertussis may not be exactly the same as just safe, but…

      Disease is a known killer. The fact that a tiny handful of people may suffer allergies or reactions to vaccinations doesn’t mean that the statistics don’t prove the relative safety of the vaccination programs.

      Doctors just want to kill kids, right? That’s how I feel about the people who help heal me, and saved my wife’s life after she wound up in ICU on a ventilator for weeks with septic shock!!

      No cure for stupid!

    • sharculese says:

      The White Coat Man has appeared before you in a Revelation and given you the Good News that Vaccines Are Safe.

      You get how stupid you sound when you talk like this, right?

    • Tristan says:

      What if they delete you former

  7. thebewilderness says:

    I’m surprised the bean counters have not considered the effect this may have on their ad revenue. It isn’t likely that the drug companies don’t know who she is.

  8. Bitter Scribe says:

    Jenny McCarthy is an airhead who gets/got a lot of attention because she looks good with her clothes off.

    • sparks says:

      It used to be a sport of mine to watch newly-minted actors on Carson/Leno/Letterman and see just how much nonsense they could utter. When I saw Katie Holmes early in her career, I thought it was a wonder her brain functioned well enough that she could remember to breathe.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

        Must have gotten so you couldn’t keep up.

        My favorite was on teh Daily Show before Stewart took over, Kilbourn had the “5 questions” shtick. He asked Kathy Ireland to give ‘three words that describe you’ to which she replied “ummm….Ohhhh…..ummm….” and he said “Well, I guess we can accept that!”

        • sparks says:

          Oh, yes. There were a couple of male actors just as dumb, but they lost their notoriety so I can’t remember their names now.

          • john not mccain says:

            i remember marky mark doing 5 questions. he looked like a deer caught in headlights. he was actually looking to the audience for help.

  9. mch says:

    An angle on the vaccine issue I hadn’t thought of until a friend recently had a stem-cell transplant for AML. Many adults who are being treated for cancer or who, for one reason or another, are on a regimen of immune-suppressants, are very vulnerable to infection, of course, and in the case of people who have had stem-cell transplants for leukemia (I don’t know about other medical conditions), have lost the protections of their own vaccinations. These people probably would not survive exposure to something like measles or mumps.

    • ChrisTS says:

      As a person on an immune-suppressor (just took my weekly shot today), I have to say that the vaccine-deniers hold a special place in Hell my heart.

    • Katya says:

      Yeah, it’s not just unimmunized babies who are at risk from vaccine-preventable diseases. People with HIV, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, pregnant women, etc. Herd immunity matters.

  10. ChrisTS says:

    I am too sick-and-tired to read all the comments. I only ask if there is a petition, somewhere, that might capture the attention of the idiots who singed this person.

  11. zombie rotten mcdonald says:

    Okay, I apologize to all the commentariat, and the Owners hereabout, for my demolition of the anti-vaxxer troll up above.

    I would like to offer the following as extenuating circumstances:

    1. I had several glasses of wine.
    2. Anti-vax woo actually kills children.
    3. he was really, really very stupid.

    Again, I apologize. I recognize that responding to trolls, even stupid and evil ones, does nothing but encourage them. I will try to do better, and will accept any punishment as you might deem.

    • JMP says:

      But we all Learned Something. Before, I thought that Capitalization was used for Proper Nouns, now I know it is Actually for Random Words just for Emphasis.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

        I confess, I am prone to Random Capitalization. I blame reading too much of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prose. Hunter Thompson didn’t help, frankly.

        Special Masters!

      • Murc says:

        Actually, is capitalizing a word just for emphasis actually considered improper grammar?

        For most of the 19th century it was a wholly accepted method, even in formal writing, of giving your words special emphasis. We don’t do it that way anymore, of course, but I don’t know if it’s actually considered improper.

        • N__B says:

          Was it emphasis? It seems to me it was used for class nous (e.g., Trees), treating them as if they were proper nouns, and sometimes for verbs working on class nouns. That’s my uneducated anecdata, so feel free to shoot that theory full of holes…

    • ChrisTS says:

      Meh. I’m trying to think of the proper award for zombie evisceration of dangerous idiots.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

        Yeah, it’s that dangerous moron thing that sets me off.

        I had a similar reaction to a Libertidiot over at driftglass recently, who completely misunderstood what physicists meant by ‘free energy’ combined with no understanding of what it means for water to be a “dipole” so that he figured that magical eternal energy was nothing more that sticking a few wires into a pond.

        I don’t mind arguing (heck, many have noted that I kind of like it), but what aggravates me is when someone completely misrepresents some science or history or their opponents positions. Don’t lie. Don’t falsify. Don’t construct edifices of straw (unless N__B has signed off structuraly)

        In any case, a simple willingness to buy me a drink if we are ever in the same pub at the same time will do fine. I am an easily satisfied zombie.

    • Cheap Wino says:

      I feel ya. If I had been online when this was going on I’d have been right there with you in whatever’s 1s and 0s of a face. The anti-vax crowd really pisses me off because people are dying that absolutely do not have to. I’m a sucker for trollery (trolling?) on the vaccines issue.

      Usually the anti-vax people that show up to defend McCarthy are well meaning mothers who just have put more faith in their emotional response than they should. It’s kind of sad. whatever, however, is just an asshole of a troll. The tipoff is in his original post where he dares to be banned. You can tell it’s happened before and he likes it. I still would have engaged, sadly.

  12. whatever says:

    In conclusion, Jenny McCarthy has a crippled child that will always be crippled and even if you don’t agree with her, your failure to respect the grief of a mother with a crippled child is unbelievably evil.

    And I am being kind. Very, very kind and very, very understanding.

    • like totally says:

      Yes, and the fact that her child is crippled means that everything she (and, by extension, you)claim is true.

    • DocAmazing says:

      What is Jenny McCarthy’s child’s diagnosis?

      You seem to know an awful lot about the kid’s prognosis and capabilities given that you don’t know what the kid’s condition is.

      • J R in WV says:

        “Neurologists have pointed out that her description of the symptoms, and recovery, are more consistent with a rare disorder, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome. ”

        Google is your friend, unless you aren’t interested in facts.

    • JMP says:

      What about the grief of all those mothers (and fathers) who have dead children who will always be dead, because of Jenny McCarthy?

    • sharculese says:

      Jenny McCarthy has a crippled child

      This is a pretty shitty way to talk about someone with autism and pretty establishes you as an asshole.

      • Chilly says:

        Thank you. I’ve been following discussions of anti-vaccine hysteria at Respectful Insolence. As someone whose son has autism, I could understand their motivations at first, but I’ve become increasingly astonished at how hateful some of them are toward their children.

        • Cheap Wino says:

          Respectful Insolence is a great blog.

        • Katya says:

          I never really understood why, even if vaccines caused autism, you wouldn’t vaccinate your kid. I’ve seen pertussis firsthand. I’d rather my kid was autistic than that she died of whooping cough. Or polio. Or tetanus.

          Of course, since vaccines don’t cause autism, it’s a moot point, but still–you’d rather your child die than that he or she have autism?

          • sharculese says:

            It doesn’t come up as much, but a lot of anti-vaxers also claim the efficacy of vaccines is overstated, and completely dismiss the concept of herd immunity. It’s the only way they can justify their scorched earth approach.

  13. ChrisTS says:

    I would also point out to “whatever” ( what an absolutely perfect nym for a troll who does not care about vast numbers of children and adults because…whatever) that many adults cannot safely have boosters for things such as pertussis. So, thanks to all the assholes who are willing to kill children and adults. Ta Da!

  14. Manju says:

    Alex fucked up. If ABC cans her now children will die.


    Its a fucking conspiracy theory. Thats what they want. Give it to them and every other bozo is going to thing Big Pharma put the screws on Barbara.

    Sarah Palin’s 1A originalism will no doubt make an appearance, RFK jr will adapt it, the two will have an affair, and on Oprah they shall go.

    And then more children will die. Its a slippery slope.

    • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

      OK, since this seems to be a different troll, I have to say:


      that is an EXCEEDINGLY incoherent and artful post. I suspect many generations of people with brains will spend… ohhhh, SHEER MINUTES trying to discern what the fuck you meant.

      but at least you can sleep tonight knowing that zombies are pointing at your post, and laughing.


      • sharculese says:

        Manju is being snarky. It’s hard to tell sometimes because he’s totally bugfuck, but he is joking.

    • witless chum says:

      Wittily stated as usual, Manju, but the crazies that will be moved by that story are largely already crazies who’ll believe anything and do. (Studies supposedly show that most conspiracy theorists don’t just believe one conspiracy theory.) The nice, everday uninformed people who will watch The View, google Jenny McCarthy and then run into a bunch of anti-vaccination woo and lies are a much bigger group.

  15. Jeffrey Beaumont says:

    I am glad the anti-vax trolls were so self-evidently nutty. I mean you know they are, but a lot of their position can be argued without being straight nuts right out of the box. Good thing they didn’t waste our time.

  16. Matt T. in New Orleans says:

    I think it’s funny that “whatever’s” comments didn’t get deleted and he wasn’t banned, like he originally claimed would happen. That’s got to chafe a troll something fierce.

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