You might have noticed that I haven’t written much about Jenny McCarthy in a while. The reason is fairly obvious. She seems to have faded into the background as far as her previous promotion of a vaccine-autism link. Three years ago, she was leading marches on Washington in which anti-vaccine activists claiming not to be anti-vaccine but “pro-safe vaccine.” Today, even though she remains nominally head of anti-vaccine crank organization, Generation Rescue, she’s clearly been making an effort to be seen as “respectable” and to downplay that anti-vaccine message that she used to promote. Oh, she hasn’t abandoned it entirely. For example, when Brian Deer published his latest series about Andrew Wakefield’s perfidy earlier this year, Jenny couldn’t resist being drawn back into the fray to bring home the stupid in the way that only she can.
This time around, McCarthy’s doing something that is leaving me scratching my head. In fact, I really can’t figure out what the point of it all is. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. The launching of this new product–dubbed, oddly enough, the Magic Bullet–by McCarthy was presaged by a post on–where else?–the anti-vaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism and by a video:
Actually, it’s called Limited Edition Rescue Bullet, and it’s touted thusly:
Introducing the Rescue Bullet, the limited-edition blue Magic Bullet, where a portion of the proceeds benefit Generation Rescue. Catch Jenny McCarthy on HSN July 18 and visit the Facebook page July 19 to get your own Rescue Bullet before they run out!
So let me get this straight, McCarthy is selling a glorified blender on HSN in order to make money for Generation Rescue? What interests me is that only “a portion” of the proceeds will actually go to benefit GR. One wonders where the rest of the proceeds will go, one does. Probably into the pockets of the company that makes Magic Bullet blenders–and of Jenny McCarthy. One also wonders what all those Rescue Angels who slavishly buy whatever Jenny tells them to will do with their brand new “Rescue Bullets.” They’ll probably use it to mix up all the supplements and bizarre diets to which they subject their children in a vain effort to “recover” them.
So what, exactly, is Jenny selling? To me, it appears to be nothing more than a blender that’s nothing special. Of course, even a “portion” of the funds will go to support this:
The best-selling author says a portion of the proceeds from the Blue Limited Edition Magic BulletÂ® will go directly to families with autism.
“Our partnership with Magic BulletÂ® allows us to leverage its worldwide popularity to generate funding for Generation Rescue’s programs that provide education, support and access to medical services for families with autism,” she says.
Somehow, I doubt that Jenny actually came up with that statement herself. Likely some PR flack at Magic Bullet wrote up a canned statement for her to use. Be that as it may, annoyingly, the article is completely credulous about McCarthy’s anti-vaccine crusade, referring to her as an “activist mama” and basically citing her as though what she says about autism or vaccines has any validity whatsoever. Basically, Jenny McCarthy is someone who had a mildly promising TV career back in the 1990s and has long since been washed up. Now she is famous mainly for being famous and for having been Jim Carrey’s girlfriend–oh, and for her anti-vaccine crusade, which the Hollywood press is all too happy to confuse with actual “autism activism.” Now that her more famous boyfriend is an ex-boyfriend, her fame for fame’s sake due to her promoting autism pseudoscience is apparently all she has left as a career.
Unfortunately, that appears to be enough, because she is apparently working on even more plans to annoy the U.S. with her presence in the media:
What’s up next for the blonde beauty? “I’m currently developing my own talk show and writing my next book titled Sinner,” she says.
On the other hand, think of the come down this must be for GR. Not so long ago, it was holding fundraisers attended by celebrities galore, from Hugh Hefner to Britney Spears to Charlie Sheen. Now she’s shilling for a “special edition” blender that shares its name with a line of vibrators. Somehow, it fits. It occurs to me, though. Given AoA’s penchant for tossing the “pharma shill gambit” around hither, thither, and yon, would I now be justified in concluding that Jenny McCarthy is now in the thrall of Big Blender? Fair’s fair, after all.
72 replies on “What is Generation Rescue selling now?”
Maybe. The big difference is she will actually get money (presumably) from this venture whereas most of us pharma shills get only the joy of science learning.
So buy up folks, Jenny needs more botox!
Is there a room of scoiopaths somewhere constantly coming up with ideas to empty the pockets of desperate parents? Jenny has been riding the ASD gravy train for too long now. Time to stop Jenny. Enough is enough.
This is actually a surprisingly good product for her to be marketing considering the audience she is trying to reach. The organic food crowd has a big overlap with the anti-vax crowd, and both smoothies and making your own baby food are very popular right now. The magic bullet blender is very popular amongst this crowd.
Of course, the fact that it’s also the name of a line of vibrators works well for her previous target audience as well.
We also note that “The magic bullet” is an old phrase for a solution (or cure) that fixes a multidimensional problem.
And. . . Magic Bullet vibrator.. gives a new twist to the old phrase “bite the bullet. ”
This is a tabloid quality post. It must be linked to that British tabloid scandal. BTW who hired Brian Dear to do his “investigative” work?
It just occurred to me:
AoA could stand for Age of Autism, or Age of apocalypse.
Coincidence? I think not.
It is the tabloid quality of Jenny you are seeing, not the post. Do keep up.
My bad. I forget that the SBM types get caught up in ideology and confuse this for science. I thought it was yellow journalism day or something.
Ad Hominem character attacks are definitely not beneath the skeptical brand of critical thinking.
“Look everyone has abandoned Jenny McCarthy and now she’s selling crack on the street just to feed herself. Awe how pitiful. This definitely proves that she’s wrong. Let’s all point and laugh so as to discourage anyone who opposes our status quo.”
is an ad Hominem. No rationalizations or pedantic maneuvers changes that.
Scientism Bloggers can’t hold their own skeptic, critical thinking, science standards. Measure for measure. Have fun.
A Do While loop AND line numbers with a goto?
You know, as an example of anti-vaxer code, it works perfectly!
How many times do people have to correct you on what the ad hominem fallacy is?
If Orac had stated something to the effect of:
“Jenny McCarthy has been reduced to hawking overpriced blenders for Generation Rescue, therefore her claims about vaccines & autism are wrong”, only then would he be guilty of the fallacy.
What I get from Orac’s post is something to the effect of:
“Large numbers of important people are now recognizing that Jenny McCarthy’s claims about vaccines & autism are wrong, therefore they are dissociating from supporting GR, resulting in her being reduced to hawking overpriced blenders.”
Your ongoing failure to grasp the distinction between insults and the ad hominem fallacy, your complete misrepresentation of Orac’s claims in this post, and your ongoing failure to provide even the slightest evidence supporting your insinuations of malfeasance or incompetence on Brian Deer’s part, lead to the conclusion that you remain an incredibly dense idiot.
(For the record, the above is also not an ad hominem fallacy.)
A good post on Jenny McCarthy. It is real what happens to it but we know that it has confidence to succeed.
But I don’t want to be rescued by a bullet! That’s a terrible name. “Rescue Magic” would have at least described what they were trying to do.
Poopie pants is an insult, Ugh troll is an insult, flute player is an insult.
A 500 word gossipy diatribe (“ppst, have you heard what Jenny McCarthy is doing these days. OMG, girlfriend. No she din’t. She has really gone down the drain)is a character attack designed to target credibility. That is an ad hominem.
Vitamix, now there’s a blender!
Yes, “Troll” is an insult, but it’s an objective fact in this case, so…
Wow, yeah, another tabloid post instead of reporting of and analyzing the new CATS study pointing to environmental cause for autism. This is actually getting pathetic.
Augustine, nattering nabob of nonsensical non-sequitirs, spewed forth:
Ray Thomas and Ian Anderson would like to have a word with you out back.
That would require assuming the non-sequitir that JM has any credibility in the first place. Please point us to her lengthy list of peer-reviewed publications, o obutuse one.
“Just Sayin” is passive aggressive
How big of a boy are they? How much do they bench?
Sorry, I’m just not physically intimidated by any flute players. Nice try, though.
Wait.. maybe you meant something else. I’m not interested.
I thought Hollywood had declared that Evan never had autism (as we had suspected), but Landau-Kleffner syndrome.
Hey if you can’t trust Hollywood Life, who can you trust?
@ Jen – To clarify the issue of what *environment* means, I’ll take it out of the controversial arena of autism entirely:
Environmental risks for schizophrenia:
1.birth- in winter; in urban area
2.infection- by influenza, respiratory, rubella, poliovirus, CNS
3. pre-natal – famine, bereavement, flood, unwantedness, maternal depression
4.Obstetrical- hypoxia, CNS damage, Rh incompatibilty, low birth weight.
( from schizophrenia.com; link illustrated graphically)
Jen @17: “Wow, yeah, another tabloid post instead of reporting of and analyzing the new CATS study pointing to environmental cause for autism. This is actually getting pathetic.”
You mean the twins study showing that prenatal envirnment had a part to play in the development of autism but had nothing to say about vaccines? Now who’s looking pathetic?
ugh troll, unless and until you can provide references to Jenny McCarthy’s overlooked contributions to the scientific literature in the domains of vaccine & autism research, you are (a) still incorrect in claiming that she is the victim of ad hominem or other fallacious attacks, and (b) wasting your time trying to dodge out of the corner you are in.
Put up or shut up.
I can’t wait to read your well reasoned retort to the analysis of it. It’ll be a cliffhanger:
Will it be links to a opinion piece veiled as science?
Will it be an attack on Orac’s ability to analyze the study?
Or will you just declare him a pharma shill?
I’m on the edge of my seat, srsly.
@21 You forgot these:
Handedness (also a risk factor for autism)
Familial Criminality (a negative risk factor for autism)
Oh, come on. I hate Jenny McCarthy’s crackpot remarks and behavior, but this isn’t exactly an assault on reason. The Magic Bullet is a crappy product, by the way, way overpriced and underpowered. (Those of us who use them for protein shakes at work know.) Here’s how these sales work, usually: she has either waived her normal fee for commercials in return for them donating some portion of profits, or she has been give a flat fee for appearing and also talked them into donating a portion of the profits. It’s pretty unlikely that she is personally getting a cut. I ask this because I don’t know, so forgive my naivete: does GR do anything at all you wouldn’t object to? Does it in fact support legitimate autism research or provide support to families for what you all would consider appropriate, medically-supported intervention? If so, isn’t it possible that the funds raised would go to these legitimate activities, especially in light of Jenny’s own somewhat backed down antivax stance (as you have described it yourself here)? In short, it may be something good may come of this. Certainly, she’s not pimping it as the way to support antivax research. And finally, it’s ad feminem.
@wannabe: AFAIK, GR does not support any legitimate research efforts. I have not heard of them offering support to families. I do know they have run several advertising campaigns.
Certainly no one here would protest if funds went to support families who have members with autism.
. . . referring to her as an “activist mama” . . .
Somewhat OT, but I’m still trying to figure out exactly how becoming a mother automatically makes someone an “authority” in any other field of her choosing, no matter how much actual experience in that field she has. Or why motherhood should lend additional credibility, as in:
“I’m a doctor, and I’m also a MOM.”
“I’m a running halfback, and I’m also a MOM.”
“I’m a (whatever) and I’m also a MOM.”
Obviously being just a plain “activist” isn’t enough for Jen.
Particularly ironic that Jenny implies that being a mom makes her all-knowing wrt her child, when she used to believe said child was an alien consciousness come to lead humanity into a new era.
“Oh yes, I was completely wrong before but THIS time I’m infallible!”
As soon as you post ORAC’s.
You just don’t think ahead do you?
Before anyone else says it:
I claim “You can’t compare an autistic child with a schizophrenic adult any more than you can compare an Indigo Child with a Cyan Sprog.”
What will Jenny’s grow into next?
A better example of ad hominem attack:
Psst Jen, when your preferred mode of information, aka AoA can actually produce some posts of substance regarding accurate analyses of scientific studies, you might get to say this. Until then, let me point out that environmental is not tacit for vaccines and is, in fact, more likely to suggest pre-natal. But feel free to post your comments regarding a study analysis, instead of regurgitating equally ignorant pundits.
Ah, Jen, you sweet little AoA troll. Instead of regurgitating everything that terrorist Heckenlively posts or his co-conspirators, maybe you should expand your horizons a bit to people with actual educations.
I have the other Magic Bullet. It’s discreet, yes, but a bit… disappointing. :p
Hasn’t that study been explained to Jen several times already? I think trying to get her to grok it is like trying to get Th1Th2 to understand the proper definition of… well, any given word.
Jenny McCarthy has set herself up as having superior expertise on the subject of autism etiology (by claiming an unsupported causal role for vaccines) to people who actually do research autism etiology & vaccine safety.
Until you (or any other McCarthy-apologist) can establish that she can credibly do so, you have no case to make that she is subject to a character attack by Orac here. All the more so since, as noted above, you have to rely on falsely reversing the order of events involved to do so.
A review of various posts on Respectul Insolence (such as through this category search) suggests that Orac is accurately representing or interpreting the scientific literature on vaccines and contra McCarthy is not suggesting he possesses superior expertise than actual vaccine or autism researchers (such as Dr Paul Offit).
It seems that Age of Autism already had McCarthy’s latest foray into hawking crappy supplements, treatments and now gadgets…Kim Stagliano provided the web site for her readers to post at the website. Several readers then posted about some awful commentary posted they had read at “Celebrity Baby Scoop”.
There were 179 comments on the website:
Jenny McCarthy: My Story of Evan’s Recovery is Not Unique
Many of the 179 posters did not receive Stagliano’s edict and they are gems.
Orac wonders just how much of Jenny’s “take” will be given directly to families with autism:
“So what, exactly, is Jenny selling? To me, it appears to be nothing more than a blender that’s nothing special. Of course, even a “portion” of the funds will go to support this:
The best-selling author says a portion of the proceeds from the Blue Limited Edition Magic BulletÂ® will go directly to families with autism.
“Our partnership with Magic BulletÂ® allows us to leverage its worldwide popularity to generate funding for Generation Rescue’s programs that provide education, support and access to medical services for families with autism,” she says”
So, I visited the HSN website and to find out about the crappy $ 49.95 gadget, made in China and located the answer:
* All pieces except power base are top shelf dishwasher-safe or hand washable
* Capital Brands, the vendor, is contributing $2 from the sale of each Magic Bullet to Generation Rescue. This organization provides support and guidance to families with autistic children.
What a scam…a measly two bucks that is not going directly to families with an autistic member, but rather kicked back to Generation Rescue. Nothing but a has-been minor aging celebrity grifter.
Orac, just wondering if any autism charities get a cut of the advertising revenues from this blog?
Well, Jenny must still have pull in her fan base, the special model is sold out.
Yes Mu, I noticed that the crappy bullet blender is sold out; not necessarily to Jenny’s adoring fans. There are so many pathetic shopaholics that wait for their welfare or medicare checks to clear and then go on sprees. HSN is just another outlet for these shopping addicts to spend money…in the comfort of your own home in your own recliner…sad.
Sophia8, duh, it didn’t say anything about vaccines. It was the largest, best study to date, though, to shoot the whole genetics bullshit. And, yeah, it’s pretty pathetic that Orac and scienceblogs has discussed Kent H.’s post and now Jenny, but not an actual new and important study.
JoeKaistoe: I’d just like to see a scientist discuss the study. Period.
Shoots the whole genetics bullshit? Really jen? Could you please take some rudimentary science classes before posting again? Given that ASDs are a constellation of symptoms with multiple aetiologies, it is rather premature to simply declare a non-genetic aetiology, particularly in light of de novo mutations that can occur.
@ Jen: Kent H’s post is off limits? Jenny’s hawking of her wares is no-no? Sez who? Certainly you are not putting yourself up as the arbiter of good taste, are you?
Why don’t you run along now and visit your usual haunt Age of Autism and post how you scored points with your (inane) RI posts.
P.S. Why don’t you supply your (inane) postings at RI for your friends at Age of Autism…please also supply the postings that replied to your (inane) postings…I’m sure JB and the other loonies will be duly impressed.
Except it did nothing of the kind. It did show that there are environmental effects but also recapitulated the effects of genetics. This is why 70% of identical twins had ASD compared to 35% of fraternal twins. This study did not “shoot the whole genetics bullshit” at all.
JoeKaistoe: I’d just like to see a scientist discuss the study
Will you go away if I do? You need to offer some incentive.
If the blender is made shoddily enough, it could double as a vibrator.
Just be careful. For God’s sake, be careful.
Except for Augustine, of course.
one thing that is missed by many who did not get to see the ‘presentation’ of the product is jenny got to make many references to her ‘generation rescue’ site, as well as letting everyone know her google PhD is still intact…the magic bullet is BPA free! both she and the host then made faces to let people know that BPA must be a bad thing while encouraging them to ‘go look it up on the internet and see what’s said about it’ so they may see how BPA is a bad thing. though i’m sure many consumers were her adoring fan base she also got another platform to spout her misinformation and scaremongering to millions, at the least, disguised as being a caring, ‘informed’ mommy. (by the way lilady, not everyone who watches and/or shops with the home shopping channels is waiting for their welfare or medicare checks, i’m neither and i enjoy finding the occasional good deal on something for my place.)
i forgot to mention in my post (and forgive that i made it one long paragraph, i apologize) that HSN actually is fairly conservative in the making claims department, i’ve watched shows where they’ve actually blocked out what was said by vendors (since they’re live they can’t edit it later) as the comments must have been unsubstantiated or could put them in a legal bind by claims that couldn’t be met. most likely that is why the beloved suzanne somers jumped ship to shopNBC where she can say anything she wants and she does, apparently shopNBC is not as worried about such issues. (okay, so i like home shopping! lol! i’m a bit of a curmudgeon and don’t like going shopping around a lot of people!)
I’m sure Jen will quickly explain the difference between fraternal and identical twin autism rates by the proven fact that mothers of identical twins vaccinate both but mothers of fraternal twins always drop one from the schedule.
@ jc: Yes, the bullet gizmo is manufactured in China so we are assured that there are no BPAs in any of its components….
I’m sure that measly two buck donation “kickback” goes right on Jenny’s back or for her botox treatments…being that she is the spokesperson for the “charity”.
Jenny’s got a Ph.D?
lilady, i’m suggesting her previously mentioned “google” PhD! 🙂
@ jc: Thanks for the clarification…I suspect many of our high school dropout Trolls bypass undergrad and masters level programs and shoot for the pinnacle of academia…Google U Ph.D.
“Now she’s shilling for a “special edition” blender that shares its name with a line of vibrators.”
Sounds like you have some knowledge in that area.
Like I said, no pedantic maneuver or rationalizations changes the fact that it’s an ad hominem. i why did I say that in the first place? Because I knew someone like you would try pedantic maneuvers.
Composer: “Well uh, her status was never high so it technically isn’t an ad hominem because she uh never uh established any scientific credibility in the first place uh, yeah that’s the ticket.”
Ole County Nurse
Too many years down at the local health department has jaded you I see. You’re good at seeing the worst in people. I know, it’s just how you’re bent. It’s that whole “glass half empty” thing. Makes it tough to be objective when you come in jaded doesn’t it?
The “magic bullet” is your personal, versatile, countertop magician that prepares any meal in then seconds or less. Not including peeling, cutting the food into chunks that fit into it, cleanup etc. You are better off having five or six of them handy if you need to do more than one thing.
It is also “the ultimate party machine”, apparently.
Having said that: better JMc that the creepily sexless woman in the infomercials.
@ paulmurray: Well stated. My local mall has a shop “As seen on TV” selling all the “miracle products” that formerly cost 49.99 plus shipping and handling, for the unbelievable price of 9.99 with no shipping and handling. I wouldn’t take one of them home if they were giving it away. Too bad Jenny won’t be getting my two buck donation for Generation Rescue and her personal share of each gizmo she is hawking on the HSN.
Screw the Bullet. The Ninja works much, much better.
Once again, Boring Troll:
Saying “You’re an empty-headed bint, so you’re talking rubbish” is an ad-hominem.
Saying “You’re talking rubbish and mocking experts who know way more than you do, so you’re an empty-headed bint” is not an ad-hominem, even though it’s an insult. We’re doing the latter to Jenny McCarthy.
Ya know, even as the mother of a child with autism, I wouldn’t support GR simply because of who JM is. I personally find her trashy and tactless and she doesn’t think before she speaks, obviously, or she wouldn’t have put herself into the situation she is now attempting to distance herself from so discreetly.
I put my trust in an organization that actually has helped me, they have given me resources and have made me feel welcome and when my son screamed in the middle of someone speaking and I apologized, they told me I didn’t need to apologize there because they all understand.
This is the organization I will support, because they support me back. That’s why I’m walking for Autism Speaks in August! By the way, I’m a flute player and I think I could take Augustine… ;D
I know this is OT, but I immediately thought of “Your Friday Dose of Woo”.
“At the end of a long day, many gamers zone out by competing in online death matches, or they check out by escaping to virtual realms. Spiritual leader Deepak Chopra is hoping gamers will instead choose to chill out with âLeela,â his ambitious new effort to combine gaming and meditation.”
@ Julian Frost: Hmm, just what we need…some more video game addicts..who neglect their partners, their children, their jobs and are zombied-out on Chopra. Does Dr. Oz know about this?
@ Venna: No need for a flute competition, you’ve already beaten the clueless one intellectually…sort of a backhanded compliment to be sure and a dubious achievement, due to the competency of your competition.
I actually have SEVERAL “as seen on TV” products (not a magic bullet, but the chopper, a hand blender and, my favorite, the salad shooter) and they’re great. I use my salad shooter on a weekly basis.
Criticize anti-scientific autism quackery all you want, but leave my kitchen gadgets alone!
Jen, why don’t you start with a critique of the paper you want Orac to review? Maybe you should try that first and see what you get. Real scientists always look for the flaws first and see if there is any merit left after that. Try it and post your results. Then maybe Orac will feel inclined to review it…….doubtful but it would be a great exercise for you to try and read a paper you think has worth with a critical eye rather than trumpeting its success…….
To let magic bullet know how you feel about this you can contact them at [email protected]
LOL! Nice one. I used to have a handy chopper, salad shooter and various other things like that. I’ve not ever had the magic bullet simply because I’m not a party girl so I have no use for “the ultimate party machine”. It doesn’t have sufficient capacity for the number of people I prepare food for anyway. The only people I personally know who have purchased a magic bullet blender only use it for mixed drinks. I love kitchen gadgets too, I just don’t have many anymore and don’t have room for them (in an apartment) anymore anyway. I miss my salad shooter and handy chopper though, they were AWESOME!
@ Allie: I hope you waited to buy the gadgets at greatly reduced prices at the “As Seen on TV” stores. Like Venna, I too have a small kitchen…fortunately in a house with a basement where I stash my not-often-used appliances and huge pots and pans.
The best appliance I ever bought was (Orac don’t dare moderate me for using a brand name), the Sunbeam Oscar food processor. After 40 years this 2 cup processor is still going strong…although I restrict its use whenever mauling, heavy- handed hubby is concocting a new recipe. Truly a terrific machine that goes for a premium used…on E-Bay. If you are ever making the yard sale circuit and you find one, grab it.
I have a Magic Bullet from years ago, which I got secondhand from someone who got it for about 15 or 20 bucks. It works great for me, but I’m a single and don’t host parties, so I don’t have to put a lot of stuff in it at once. I wouldn’t buy this one if it were the last Magic Bullet on Earth, though (it’s the principle of the thing – and I bet they charge a lot more buying it on TV than discounted at stores). At least the other kind of Magic Bullet wouldn’t make me feel disgusted and dirty.
Chill out with her?
This intrigues me.
@ TBruce: You’ll have to chill out a bit longer…Leela will not be available until November, 2011…just in time for the Christmas buying season.
Apparently Leela is not a cartoon lady but some patterns and swirls…the better to hypnotize one.
Chopra made some sort of slick deal here as the Leela program will be available on X-Box and Nintendo Wii.
Jenny McCarthy is an idiot.
She needs to put her brains in that blender. It would be an improvement.
At least she had a modicum of respectability when she was with Jim Carrey. I really believe he reigned her in, in a way that probably only Jim Carrey can do.
Look at her now. Stupid getting stupider; a has-been still trying to be a sexpot at 40. Ms. McCarthy it is over. It’s not working. You have nothing to offer us except more lies about autism and needed vaccinations.
Uh…in case you can’t tell, I don’t like her. She is an embarrassment to womanhood.