A BB across the bow of the USS Vincennes

I do not like Oprah.

I do not like her orgies of consumption. I do not like the whole brouhaha with James Frey, which appears to be never-ending. And I hated The Corrections.

More than all of that, however, I am appalled that a woman who has the fame and influence that Oprah enjoys would use it so terribly irresponsibly. In particular, I am appalled that she would give the ludicrous Jenny McCarthy a blog of her own under the "Oprah.com" banner (as well as, God help us, a show it seems).

I will leave it to my colleagues at Respectful Insolence and PalMD to go through her blog in more detail than I can stomach right now. If you read Bleakonomy with any regularity (may the Lord preserve you), you probably already know what I think of her and her boyfriend. (I think they are dangerous lunatics, in short.)

However, it is one thing for Ms. McCarthy to have her anti-scientific beliefs, and to expound upon them to her heart's content. It is, as they say, a free country. It is another thing entirely to provide a woman who apparently thinks her child's poop should be free of bacteria (hope you eat lots of Vitamin K-rich foods, kid) with a venue that will doubtless be read by a great many people, and which will be assumed to bear Oprah's stamp of approve as a result. People, for whatever reason, pay attention to Oprah, buy what she says, read what she reads, and (probably) voted how she told them to. The last thing this country needs is for her to be giving a ninny like Ms. McCarthy a wider audience.

Update: In trolling around the Web after writing this, I came across this post by the mother of a child with autism. Money quote (hat tip Liz Ditz):
We live in a culture where some people make critical health decisions for their children based on the opinions of self-proclaimed celebrity graduates from "The University of Google." I'm asking you to help right the balance, to ensure that science-based viewpoints counter earnest but misinformed sensationalism in the autism -- and parenting -- communities' information flows.

I know that some people will never vaccinate their kids, no matter the argument or evidence. Herd immunity will compensate and keep the rest of our kids healthy *if* enough other children get vaccinated. That is why it is so important to reach and talk to parents who are still formulating their immunization opinions, to educate ourselves with facts rather than furor, to have the confidence to spread the word about what we know and believe, to tear down the wall of harm that Jenny and co. have erected, and to shout it loud:

There is no proven link between autism and vaccinations! I believe it is my social responsibility to vaccinate my children!


  1. Of course there is a proven link between autism and vaccinations, I know a child who got vaccinated and later got autism. It is a fact.
    There is also a proven link between watching back to back Simpsons episodes and choking on popcorn, because it happened to me once. For a doctor you really doesn't no anything.


  2. By the way this is from her post:

    I don't know why I've always loved talking about poop, but to me it is a great tool in detecting what's wrong in our bodies. I continuously monitor Evan's poop by sending it to labs to get tested to make sure things are all running smoothly (no yeast, no bacteria, no infections). Sometimes these things can exist without any physical manifestations, so I like to test for them to make sure he is in perfect health. I decided to take the test myself and see how my body was doing, considering I come from a history of lifelong constipation (I'm talking once every 14 days before a movement).

    Good lord, this is one seriously deranged woman. But she is hot so I guess she must be right.