***Update***: The Sun-Times told me McCarthy will not be writing about vaccinations.
A couple of days ago, I posted about how Jenny McCarthy signed a deal to write a column for the Chicago Sun-Times‘ “Splash” website.
That link, by the way, is to a post dated 10/23. The original post, which looks virtually the same as this one, went up on 10/19. I’m not sure what changed, and all searches for a cached copy of the old post turned up empty. But many readers have told me their (polite, respectful) comments were being deleted from the 10/19 post. I wonder if the old post was deleted because too many commenters were expressing their frustration.
I was appalled at the decision because McCarthy is notorious for pushing dangerous ideas.
For those who don’t know, McCarthy believes (with no scientific evidence to back her up) that her son’s autism was caused by childhood vaccines he received. She has done this based on faulty information and has never apologized for it. For years, she has been pushing a harmful message that other parents should stop vaccinating their children because, you know, I HAVE A POWERFUL ANECDOTE!
I wasn’t the only person upset and angry about the decision. It’s just irresponsible for the newspaper to offer up McCarthy as someone worth reading and whose advice you should listen to when she has been so dead wrong on such an important issue like vaccination.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon, I got an email from a staffer at the Chicago Sun-Times.
It seems they weren’t happy with my blog post.
I wanted to note that Jenny McCarthy’s role with Splash is being inaccurately reported in a few places as a “parenting blog,” which you may have read somewhere as a source for your recent posting. Jenny McCarthy’s column and blogging will be lifestyle focused, which includes broad topics including dating, relationships, fitness and the trials and tribulations of being a single mom. It would be inaccurate to report that the contract is for a parenting advice blog.
Let me translate: “You think this is a parenting blog. It is not a parenting blog. Jenny McCarthy will be blogging about many things… including parenting.”
I emailed and called the Sun-Times requesting clarification on the matter since I’m not really sure what the difference is. I also wanted to know whether McCarthy was going to be allowed to promote her anti-vaccine stance on those days when she writes about motherhood.
I made that phone call and sent that email Tuesday afternoon. It’s now Thursday and I still haven’t heard back from anyone. When you’re handling a PR crisis, that’s one hell of a long time to not get back to someone. It suggests that McCarthy can write about whatever she wants, no matter how much damage she does in the process.
If you still have a subscription to the Sun-Times, this would be a good time to cancel it.
On a side note, The Beachwood Reporter managed to get off this fantastic line yesterday:
The Sun-Times Website… is broken this morning. Apparently new hire Jenny McCarthy persuaded them to remove their anti-virus software.