The low point of last week’s Green Our Vaccines rally in Washington, DC, came early in the day, before the 2,000 or so anti-vaccine parents began their one-mile walk down Constitution Avenue to the Capitol grounds.
Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey had just spoken with the media, then walked down the line of marchers, stopping to say a few words. McCarthy gave a brief, energetic pep talk, thanking everyone for coming, then handed the loudspeaker to her boyfriend. Carrey, appearing uncomfortable, told the crowd “You are a shining example of unconditional love.”
“Thank you, Jim!” shouted someone unfamiliar with the word “irony”.
Vaccines are the greatest medical discovery of the last 200 years. They have saved millions of lives around the world, and have flushed smallpox down the memory hole. The case against vaccines is based on a shared mass delusion whose moment in the sun cannot end too soon.
The eventual demise of the anti-vaccine movement will not end well for Mr. Carrey, whose physical comedy translates wonderfully into any language. McCarthy, whose toxic D-list soft-porn comedienne shtick has made her immune to disgrace, will mutate into a less virulent form of celebrity, attaching herself to mall openings in Fargo. Carrey’s fall will be much, much harder.
But Jim Carrey and the anti-vaccine movement are safe as long as the news media remain willfully blind to the science that McCarthy has claimed as her own. On the Capitol grounds, she claimed that scientists once assured us that cigarettes are good for us, “proof” that she knows more about immunology, toxicology, neurology and epidemiology than those pesky, E-list scientists.
Reporters yawned. Diane Sawyer gushed. A tiny-minority of parents cheered their hero and cursed a medical miracle.
Arrogance, it is said, is a kingdom without a crown. McCarthy and her acolytes, drunk on imaginary power, challenged reporters to investigate the “autism epidemic”, and to expose a purported decades-long conspiracy to hide the deliberate poisoning of a millions. One of these days a reputable journalist will take McCarthy up on her challenge. And that reporter will learn that vaccines do not contain anti-freeze or aborted fetal tissue, as McCarthy and her minions claim. The reporter will learn that “dose makes the poison”; that vaccines are not toxic; and that although thimerosal has been gone from scheduled pediatric vaccines since 2002, the rate of autism among today’s three to five year olds has not declined.
And if we’re really, really lucky, the reporter will write that D-list Hollywood celebrities are not a reliable source for medical advice.