My irony meter just exploded

How stupid do you have to be for Jenny McCarthy to legitimately toss the epithet back at you?

This question may seem unanswerable, but in this case, McCarthy may have gotten it half right regarding Dennis Leary. The headline at MSNBC delcares: McCarthy calls Leary ‘obviously stupid’

I don’t know much about Leary, but like many comedians he has said something that he will probably regret and move on. In attempting to be funny, Leary scored an epic fail (you can tell it’s an epic fail because Jenny did get it half right):

“There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.”

OK, in or out of context, not very funny. Autism is a serious neuro-developmental disorder, and his unfunny pseudo-Scientological riff doesn’t help advance the cause of autism diagnosis and treatment. So Jenny is right (if somewhat non-specific and unsophisticated) in calling him “stupid”. But Leary is up against some serious competition, and when it comes to bringing the stupid, no one does it quite like Jenny McCarthy.

“My fight isn’t with Denis Leary, my fight is with the government — a bigger fish to fry. So I’m still gonna work on the vaccines and I’m still working on pediatricians and Denis Leary can go hopefully be more educated by every mother that stops him from this day forward to give him a piece of their mind,” she said.

I’d argue that Leary’s comments are an opportunity for public education. To minimize a public figure’s idiotic comments about autism in favor of a fight against “the government and vaccines”, is a level of stupid unique to Jenny. The only conspiracy in Jenny’s world is her own conspiracy of ignorance. He’s is a conspiracy that prepares fertile soil for other real conspiracies—those by quacks and charlatans who give parents false hope, steal their money, harm their children, and distract from real autism research.

Brava, maestra!

Open letter to Jenny McCarthy

Dear Jenny,

Jenny, Jenny, Jenny. Oh, Jenny. Look, I realize I might have been somewhat less than kind in the past, but I’m hoping you haven’t written me off. I’ve been told you catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar, so please take this letter in the spirit it was intended—corrective, constructive, and condescending.

I have it on good authority that you are planning on leading a “March on Washington” tomorrow. That’s a really interesting idea. Many groups have marched on Washington—the Bonus Army, Dr. Martin Luther King, anti-abortion groups, pro-choice groups, a Million Black Men—all to help bring attention to their causes. It is only natural (or should I say “green”) that you would wish to do the same. Other groups that have made the march have had pretty clear goals, whether they be veterans’ benefits, racial equality, or other political causes. I was wondering precisely what your goal is?

According to the website, the goal is “to give everyone who loves a child with Autism (sic) a day for their voices to be heard.” That being sufficiently vague, the website also states that you wish to:

…[d]emand [that] Congress take action to Green Our Vaccine Supply (sic) while reassessing our current vaccine schedule. Ask Congress to reenact legislation that would eliminate mercury and other toxins from our children’s vaccines, study the instance of Autism (sic) and other neurological disorders in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, and to extend the statute of limitations to allow all children affected by vaccine induced Autism (sic) to file in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).

I can understand racial equality and other socio-political causes, but I’m a little confused about your goals. The whole “giving a voice” thing seems rather devoid of actual content, so lets move on to your other statement.

[d]emand [that] Congress take action to Green Our Vaccine Supply (sic) while reassessing our current vaccine schedule.

First, I’m not sure what Congress has to do with this. Leaving that aside, what does it mean to “green our vaccine supply”? Do you wish them to be more verdant, like the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day? I suspect not. Perhaps you could clarify?

Ask Congress to reenact legislation that would eliminate mercury and other toxins from our children’s vaccines…

I’m sorry, Jenny, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You already made us stop using mercury compounds, despite the overwhelming evidence of safety, and yet autism rates haven’t dropped. What “toxins” do you mean? I’m sure you couldn’t mean that list of “chemicals” in some of your literature—since everything is “chemicals”, I’m not sure which ones are “greener” (except copper—that can get pretty green, but it’s not in vaccines—yet). You mention “anti-freeze”, and yet there isn’t any in vaccines. Some have a compound with a similar name (polyethylene glycol vs. ethylene glycol—that “poly” makes a big difference, but it’s kind of “science-y” so I’ll leave it out for now). You mention “formaldehyde”, which is used to inactivate the viruses in some vaccines, but it’s present is such small amounts, that common environmental exposures are much more significant. In some flight of fancy, you also mentioned “aborted human fetus cells”. That’s truly bizarre. A cell culture line has existed for over 40 years whose ancestor cells came from human fetal tissue. To call these culture “human fetal tissue” is, well, wrong.

Oh, wait, here’s one of my favorites: “chick embryos”. Jenny, that’s a synonym (that means “means the same as”) “egg”. Eggs (yes, the same kind we eat) are used to make flu vaccines. It’s too bad, because people who are allergic to eggs will have to wait until we find a new way to make the vaccine in order to benefit from the shot.

I hope you have good weather, and at least check out some of the museums. Even better, you might want to drive a short way out of town and visit the NIH. They do science there. That means the test hypotheses, keeping the good ones and discarding the bad.

Jenny, you’ve been fed a disproved hypothesis (that means “you’re wrong”). It’s time for you to give up your degree from Google University and go back to being a mom and actress. You’re probably good at at least one of those.

Jenny McCarthy is an idiot—and I don’t mean that in a nice way

I have a certain amount of sympathy for any parent dealing with a sick kid. I also don’t think people should “suffer in silence”. If, for instance, your child is injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, speaking out publicly is a public service.

If, however, you are a fuckwit with no relevant education, and are famous only for being famous, leave the bully pulpit to others. Case in point, Jenny McCarthy. Many of us have been following McCarthy’s descent into woo-filled madness as she has dealt with her son’s growth and development. As a brief primer: Son diagnosed as autistic, McCarthy buys into anti-vaccination movement, re-invents word “indigo”, subjects child to bizarre dietary regimen, proclaims him cured, doesn’t shut up about it.

OK, now that you’re caught up, the “not shutting up” continues, and this time CNN is giving her all the bandwidth she needs to show off her stupidity.

I’m not a journalist, and as such, I don’t really have an obligation to, you know, the truth. Still, I’m a physician, and I have a reputation (of sorts) to maintain, so I do my best. I would think that CNN would have journalistic standards somewhat higher than your humble blogger.

Not so much.

McCarthy seems upset that the rest of the world isn’t knocking down her door to spread the word of her son’s “cure”.

We believe what helped Evan recover was starting a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines…

Lot’s of kids believe in Santa with the same level of evidence, but that doesn’t make him real. Where is the evidence?

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