ABC Worries About Anti-Vaccine Celebs, Forgets It Had One as a Host

ABC is worried that Hollywood celebrities have been promoting anti-science, anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Yet, the network seemed to forget that it employed one, Jenny McCarthy, as a host. Not only that, but ABC prompted actress McCarthy to spout her uninformed vaccine views. 

Nightline’s Dan Harris on Wednesday explained the threat posed by not vaccinating: “Just last month, Washington declared a state of emergency after a measles outbreak in Clark County where 7.9 percent of children have gotten exemptions from vaccines.” He warned, “Followers of the anti-vaxx movement refute the scientific consensus that vaccines are good for public health and believe vaccines can have serious risks.”

Harris blamed: 

Popularized by the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Robert De Niro, the movement has become more mainstream than ever and public health experts say it’s having an impact.

 

 

At no point in the segment did Harris explain that his own network hired McCarthy as a co-host of The View in 2013. ABC also helped McCarthy spin her real feeling on vaccines. On the May 7, 2014 Good Morning America, co-host Lara Spencer helpfully claimed, “You said that you've been wrongly branded as anti-vaccine.” 

Offering no criticism, she tossed this softball: “Where did this perception come from, do you believe?” Citing an op-ed by the Playboy model, Spencer charitably described McCarthy as a “gray thinker” when it comes to vaccines. 

In that piece, you talk about the fact that many people think in black and white and that, that just isn't the way you operate. That you are a gray thinker when it comes to vaccines.    

 

 

The reality? On April 1, 2009, McCarthy falsely connected autism to vaccinations: "If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the fucking measles.”

On another occasion, she concluded, "Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered [my son] Evan's autism." 

In an April 13, 2014 article in the Chicago Sun Times, McCarthy tried to hide her past statements, revising, “I am not 'anti-vaccine.' This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted.”  

The blame for the spread of false information on vaccines is broad and wide. It certainly includes uninformed celebrities. But ABC is also culpable for repeatedly touting the people with those views. 

Partial transcripts are below. Click "expand" to read more. 


Nightline
2/13/19
12:43am ET

DAN HARRIS: Followers of the anti-vaxx movement refute the scientific consensus that vaccines are good for public health and believe vaccines can have serious risks, such as causing autism, a myth with roots in a debunked and fraudulent 1998 study. 

DR. JENNIFER ASHTON (ABC News health and medical editor):  The autism experts retracted it. The study’s author retracted it. Really, everyone in science and medicine has accepted that weigh were taken down an incorrect path. 

HARRIS:  Popularized by the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. And Robert De Niro, the movement has become more mainstream than ever and public health experts say it’s having an impact. 

ASHTON: What we've seen recently is a resurgence of infectious diseases that were effectively eradicated. 

HARRIS: Just last month, Washington declared a state of emergency after a measles outbreak in Clark County where 7.9 percent of children have gotten exemptions from vaccines.  


Good Morning America
5/7/14
8:32am 

LARA SPENCER: We're gonna get to the book in one moment, but you recently wrote an op-ed for "Chicago Sun Times" that, in which you said that you've been wrongly branded as anti-vaccine. For those who haven't read this, why do you, what, where did this perception come from, do you believe?

JENNY MCCARTHY: I think people not doing their own kind of critical thinking. I think people should read exactly what I have said instead of reading headlines. And that's why I wanted to write that piece. So, everything that I've said, everything I believe in is in that piece, so I hope people go and refer to that so they know exactly what I've been saying.

SPENCER:  In that piece, you talk about the fact that many people think in black and white and that, that just isn't the way you operate. That you are a gray thinker when it comes to vaccines.

MCCARTHY: Hey. Everyone, everyone should ask questions. But I'm certainly not against them.

NB Daily ABC Nightline Video Dan Harris Jenny McCarthy
Scott Whitlock's picture


Sponsored Links