Since her son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Jenny McCarthy has done a lot as the celebrity poster mama for austistic parents.
Jenny has written misleading books, appeared on Oprah blaming vaccinations for the escalating incidence of autism, and opened a center for the treatment of autistic kids near where she lives. She’s campaigned relentlessly in defense of the discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield.
Jenny McCarthy has probably done more to single-handedly reduce the vaccination rate in this country than any other individual. The Jenny McCarthy Body Count keeps track of deaths due to vaccine-preventable illnesses, and lays the blame at her influential feet.
Now, she has a new idea to help autistic children. One that plays more to her strengths.
Jenny says she’d pose nude in Playboy again, if the money went to help autistic children.
For this, she gets some respect even from me. There’s nothing wrong with posing naked in a magazine. I admire her willingness to ante up her real skills for the cause: Jenny’s not a scientist, or a medical expert of any kind. But she’s an impassioned activist with a famous name and a great body. Why not use her real assets to help kids, instead of promoting her crazy theories?
The real problem with Jenny’s activism, of course, is her focus on vaccines. She’s such an effective spokesperson for her cause, she lends credibility and popularity to what would otherwise be a thoroughly debunked theory. Because she’s so good at staying in the spotlight, Jenny distracts attention and money away from research and programs that really could be making a difference in the lives of autistic children and their parents.
Here’s a better idea, Jenny: Instead of posing for Playboy, go to med school. Then come back and be a spokesperson for real autism research. That would be awesome.
Photo: Duncan Arsenault