Makes sense. Rosie O’Donnell was a 9/11 Truther and they let her blather about it on air repeatedly, but the only thing Rosie’s brand of trutherism killed was brain cells. They had to up the ante so they went out and got the queen of the anti-vaccination movement, whose deeper thoughts have inspired body-count websites.
If there’s anyone who deserves a late-morning soapbox from which to reach America’s stay-at-home moms, it’s someone who wants parents to think twice before inoculating their infants from killer diseases like measles and whooping cough. Writing last week at Commentary, when McCarthy’s hire was still just a rumor, Bethany Mandel was aghast:
Who would believe that 24 percent of parents would look to someone for their children’s medical advice who was best known for her blonde hair color and ample bosom? Unfortunately not just for the children of those surveyed in this 2011 University of Michigan poll, but for all Americans, it appears that two percent of parents trust celebrities “a lot,” and 24 percent trust them to “some extent.”…
There have been countless stories over the last several years about outbreaks of diseases that were on their way to becoming rare before the anti-vaccination movement took hold. The KQED Science blog for NPR reports today on recent outbreaks of pertussis, also known as whooping cough:
“In 2010, the United States saw 27,550 pertussis cases, the most since 1959, when health officials logged 40,000 cases. Following the cyclical nature of the disease, incidence dropped the next year (with 18,719 cases reported) but then exploded to 41,000 in 2012, when 49 states reported disease spikes.”
Mandel wasn’t the only one ringing alarm bells last week — pieces in Slate, U.S. News and World Report, and the Atlantic, just for starters, begged ABC not to give a platform to someone whose “advice” could end up getting babies killed. And yet, here we are. I can only assume that she’ll be under a strict gag order in discussing vaccination on air; even if the network’s protected from liability by the First Amendment, the publicity from a lawsuit filed by a grieving mother whose child died after she watched a Very Special Episode of “The View” and decided not to have him/her inoculated would be catastrophic. But even if they muzzle her on the show, they’re rising her profile off the show by hiring her. She’ll sell more books now, she’ll get bigger crowds at public appearances, she’ll be a hot ticket for guest shots on radio and TV. Will they insist in her contract that she stay away from this subject off the air too?
Exit question: Remember that time Sherri Shepherd stayed studiously agnostic about whether the world is flat?
Update: Then again…
Please, tell me more about how The View's new casting decision will degrade the usual high intellectualism we've all come to expect.
— J.P. Freire (@JPFreire) July 15, 2013