Monday, May 4, 2009

Oprah Tries to Cash In On Woo*

Oprah's New Protégé: Jenny McCarthy

By JOYCE ENG

Oprah Winfrey is taking Jenny McCarthy under her wing.

Following in the heels of Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray, McCarthy has signed a deal with Harpo Productions to develop multi-platform projects, including a syndicated talk show and a blog, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

McCarthy's blog launched Friday on Oprah.com and already features three entries from the actress.

In recent years, McCarthy has been a frequent guest on Winfrey's talk show, discussing her efforts in helping her son, Evan, combat autism. She also appeared this past Friday as part of Winfrey's Friday Live panel.

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* Woo is a derisive term that skeptics like James Randi use to describe non-scientific or illogical claims or beliefs presented by non skeptics. Woo can be belief in the paranormal or in non-traditional ideas. Mostly Woo depends on blind adherence to belief in a idea or movement.

Jenny McCarthy if not the queen of Woo is at least a a high ranking princess of Woo. Ever since the birth of her autistic son Ms McCarthy has been all over the landscape offering very odd opinions about her child. At first he was some sort of next step in the evolutionary ladder, a crystal child or some such. It is all a bit wild and wooly and very New Age. It is long on absurd claims and short on reason.

But after a while Jenny's very special child became even more special when he was diagnosed as autistic. Having saturated herself in all kinds of New Age anti-rational thinking Ms. McCarthy of course blamed her very special child not so special condition on inoculations. It was just another bit of Woo she latched on like a lamprey attaches itself to a fish. Never mind the link behind autism and thimesol, a preservative used in inoculations, has been thoroughly debunked, never mind the original research has been proven to be a fraud, her son's autism was definitely caused by the evil drug companies foisting needless inoculations to make a fast buck. Bonus points for ignoring the fact that thimesol has not even been used in MMR shots for over 20 years and thus could have no connection to her son's afliction. But Ms. McCarthy won't let a small thing like the facts get in the way of her crusade against immunisations.

Even better Jenny has now "cured" her son of his autism via the magic of a very special diet. It is a cornucopia of Woo at the McCarthy home. All this would not be very remarkable if Ms McCarthy were not a-list and much in demand on the talk show circuit. Thus her oddball views get broadcasted far and wide by vapid host who do absolutely no due diligence and give credence to Ms. McCarthy's rants. Chalk it up to our celebrity obsessed popular culture that a former center-fold and comedian is interviewed as an "expert" on the subject on autism instead of a woman who actually works in the field of autism research.

Ever the business woman Oprah see gold in them implanted hills and will now give McCarthy an even bigger megaphone to broadcast her content-free views. What is next Tarot card readings from Ophrah approved psychics? I guess some one has to pick up the torch from Dianne Warwick and it may as well be Ms. Winfrey.
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