As an avid reader of CNN.com I was a little shocked to see an op-ed penned by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey regarding autism. First of all, in my limited memory, I can’t remember CNN.com ever doing a “guest” op-ed. And secondly, why do I care what Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey have to say about autism?
I thought that abuse of celebrity only applied to political and environmental issues but apparently now it has extended into science and health policy. It would at least be understandable if either of them had ever played a doctor on television (anyone remember the 70s ads “I’m not a doctor but I play one on television”?) but these two are best known for posing in Playboy magazine and playing a pet detective who pretends to talk with his butt cheeks (respectively). I don’t think I’d take acting lessons from this couple let alone seek medical advice.
Yet they felt it their duty to share with us that vaccines are responsible for autism even though at this point there’s virtually zero scientific evidence to support their claim. There is a recent court ruling, however, that has given ammunition to the bandwagon of parents who think that vaccines caused their kid’s problems. The only difference is that most of these parents aren’t celebrities in the position to abuse their…um… position.
And to the editors of CNN.com…what exactly were you thinking?