Yesterday, it was formally announced that controversial television personality Jenny McCarthy would be replacing Joy Behar on the upcoming season of The View. The backlash against the casting choice began almost immediately–many are fearing that McCarthy will use the panel show to spread her views on not vaccinating children.
There is basis to this fear–many hold McCarthy personally responsible for the decline in vaccinations and rise of diseases as she was very publicly spreading the word of a debunked report that certain vaccinations are the cause for the rise of Autism in children, as her son was diagnosed with the disorder. She has also been claiming that her son has been cured of the incurable and complex disorder thanks to a gluten free diet and chelation therapy. It’s totally justified that people that people are questioning her position on a panel show.
However, there are other things to consider here–firstly, who made Jenny McCarthy the voice of God? Who decided that she was the be all and end all when it comes to Autism and the various treatments some use to manage it? Second of all, The View is not known for having a concrete team of respectable journalists outside of Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira and Lisa Ling. Departing panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck first got national recognition as a contestant on Survivor. Joy Behar is a comedian. Whoopi Goldberg is an EGOT-winning actress. I could go on. I’m not trying to discredit their intelligence (although Sherri Shepherd admitted on air that she thought the Earth was flat,) but come on. You can’t take The View that seriously. It’s notMeet the Press or Face the Nation.
“But Kathleen, many people listen to her! She’s written books about pregnancy and raising children that were big sellers! By having her on The View, more children will lose their lives, oh, it’s horrible!” Okay. This is not the worst thing that has ever happened. I actually think that it may be good to have her on the panel, provide another point of (forgive the pun) view. While her argument against vaccines is ill informed, she does have a right to present it. The other panelists on The View have the right to challenge her, and bring on specialists that can refute her dangerous claims. Again, she is not the be all and end all when it comes to Autism and treatments, she is just the most vocal.
Honestly, I think McCarthy was just passionate about the anti vaccine thing and decided to be vocal. She honestly thought she was doing other families with Autistic children a favor, being a crusader and trying to stop a very, very complex disorder that not many seem to fully understand. I don’t think her intentions are the worst; although she should do more research before using her status as a celebrity to bring it into the limelight. Also, I can’t stress this enough–she got her start as Playmate of the Year (1993) and was the co-host of a dating show on MTV where she would pick her nose and belch into the microphone. Again, not trying to discredit her intelligence, but let’s put things into perspective. The woman is not a doctor.
So what do you think? Should McCarthy not be allowed on The View, or is this just a case of Helen Lovejoy-ism?