The outcry over ABC’s hiring of Jenny McCarthy as the new co-host of ‘The View’ continues to grow with voices from various publications representing all sides of the political spectrum. The latest harsh criticism comes from Michael Specter in The New Yorker:
Jenny McCarthy, who will join “The View” in September, will be the show’s first co-host whose dangerous views on childhood vaccination may–if only indirectly–have contributed to the sickness and death of people throughout the Western world. (See jennymccarthybodycount.com.) McCarthy, who is savvy, telegenic, and pulchritudinous, is also the person most visibly associated with the deadly and authoritatively discredited anti-vaccine movement in the United States. She is not subtle: McCarthy once essentially threatened the actress Amanda Peet, who has often spoken out about the obvious benefits of childhood vaccinations, by warning Peet that she had an angry mob on her side. When people disagree with her views on television, McCarthy has been known to refute scientific data by shouting “bullshit.”
Last week, Salon.com also came out against ABC for hiring the former nude model-turned childhood development expert:
McCarthy sees herself as a “spiritual warrior” and a “mother warrior,” a woman full of self-righteousness, alarming self-certainty and a truly uncharismatic penchant for tweeting about footwear. It’s enough to make you miss Hasselbeck – at least she could go all emotional loose cannon now and then and make for some interesting television. McCarthy, in contrast, is the worst kind of bore – the kind who earnestly believes she’s interesting and important, and who is fully convinced she’s right.
USA Today reports that vaccination experts and children’s’ health advocates are outraged over the hire. “Jenny McCarthy’s unfounded claims about the dangers of vaccines has been one of the greatest impediments to efforts to vaccinate children in recent decades,” Amy Pisani, the executive director of Every Child by Two, an international vaccination group co-founded by former first lady Rosalynn Carte, told the paper. “ABC has reached a new low when it comes to bringing on a ‘controversial’ host to improve ratings,” said Austin pediatrician Ari Brown, author of Baby 411.
Specter closed his criticism of ABC with a scathing summation:
Executives at ABC should be ashamed of themselves for offering McCarthy a regular platform on which she can peddle denialism and fear to the parents of young children who may have legitimate questions about vaccine safety. Presumably, those executives have decided that the revenues Jenny McCarthy might generate are worth more than the truth. That’s their right. But it’s a strike against reason and progress and hope. That is a cost that the network won’t be able to afford for long, and neither will the rest of us.