I plan on heading out to the store later today, and I'm hoping that it's not too late to pick up a copy of the issue of Newsweek that criticizes Oprah for her having guests on that present all sorts of questionable "health" information. I, for one, have also criticized Oprah for this as well, but for some reason, I don't seem to get the same kind of reaction that Newsweek gets. I'm thinking that it's some sort of anti-comic book-related blog bias on the part of the media.
Anyway, I haven't read the article, and I don't regularly watch Oprah, but the one thing that I do enough about to comment is the fact that she's had Jenny McCarthy on her show several times. For those of you who don't know, McCarthy is one of the prominent voices for the "vaccines cause autism" movement. Despite the fact that there's no evidence for this, and repeated studies keep showing that there is no link, McCarthy continues to make such argument-ending statements like "My science is named Evan, and he's at home. That's my science."
Oy vey! See, this is the problem with this country. People don't even have the slightest grasp as to what science is, even though it affects nearly every aspect of their daily lives. (The sheer fact that you're reading this right now proves that point.) Her "science" is her son? What the hell does that even mean? It doesn't mean anything, but it appeals to people who are more likely to respond to emotions than facts.
Here's what I think about Oprah. She's defended herself, of course, saying that she's had all sorts of guests who present all sorts of different health issues. The problem though with giving somebody like McCarthy a voice is that she's legitimizing junk science. Oprah also stated that her audience is smart enough to look into the issue and check out all the facts for themselves. Well, here's a newsflash - for many of them, that very well may be true, but some of them definitely aren't.
Oprah has every right to present junk science as being legitimate. However, if I had her influence, I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror if I gave people like McCarthy a forum to spout her nonsense. It's irresponsible at best, downright evil at worst. Think I'm being over-the-top by calling it evil? Try telling me that if there's a measles outbreak (which can, you know, KILL people).