And it’s not even good ethics, good politics or good parenting.
Cock of the snook to Meg for this brilliant public communication (supported by real science here) on science being more moral than stupidity and selfish isolationism much less celebrity as authority, when it comes to loving our neighbors as ourselves and the Golden Rule:
When Favorite Daughter watched this video, she grabbed my notebook and linked to a related anti-antivax post she warned me was for a crass young male demographic but I should read to the end anyway. I did. You might want to, too, but just in case you can’t stomach it, here’s the gist:
Don’t Listen to Jenny McCarthy
Now, Jenny McCarthy, I’m not saying that autism isn’t heartbreaking, and I’m sure you want someone to blame, and more importantly you want to do something to prevent autism for the future. Also, you want to be mad, like everyone else in your position.
I know this.
But I also know that, in general, people like to listen to the nice, good-looking people that talk on their televisions. And you’re one of those people, Jenny McCarthy, so you can’t just get mad like everyone else.
You are an Oprah-certified celebrity on a daytime talk show; People are going to eat up what you say. This is a celebrity culture, so for better or worse, there is a large chunk of the population that is going to listen to and often follow the example of its prettiest celebrities.
. . .Sure, there are doctors to ask, and the research is out there but, unfortunately, the things that celebrities say resonate more with the public than the things that doctors say. It’s awful, but it’s true. According to Science, we do this because “evolutionary pressures acting on a tribal group of protohumans instilled in us an instinctive need to listen to authority figures.”
So doing what an authority figure tells us is wired into our brains. The problem, Science argues, is that we’ve confused “famous” with “authority,” and that’s what makes us turn a skeptical eye on our doctors while at the same time spouting off half-remembered, misleading statistics we heard from that pretty lady on Oprah’s show.