"You’d expect better from a Playmate": Doonesbury issues a Jenny McCarthy smackdown

In today’s Doonesbury, Boopsie bemoans the bum wrap Jenny McCarthy is giving to all of those former Playmates that don’t write books about bogus health scares…

As a wise man once said, Don’t Ever Change, Boopsie. Don’t ever change.

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22 Responses to "You’d expect better from a Playmate": Doonesbury issues a Jenny McCarthy smackdown

  1. Maurine Meleck says:

    This cartoon will make absolutely no difference in Doonesbury or Mnookin’s website to the tens of thousands of parents who watched their normally developing children regress from encephalopathy
    and gut disease following vaccinations. In fact, this type of joke at the expense of those children who suffer extraordinary pain daily, will likely increase the will of parents with children on the spectrum—to make their information known to the rest of the world.
    It’s sad that people have to resort to this kind of mockery to explain away a probable cause of autism. These same people have no other explanation for its cause.
    Maurine meleck, SC

    • Rob says:

      How much did big pharma pay Seth Mnookin and Gary Trudeau? It is very sad that Jenny McCarthy ever stooped to whoring herself for Playboy so that she wont be taken seriously. I watched my child regress IMMEDIATELY after being administered vaccines. Who the #@%& are any of you to say it isn’t even possible? Do you even read the warnings on medicine bottles? do you read about the adverse side effects? Or are you all a bunch of media puppets following blindly as big pharma gets rich off your ignorance, your apathy, and your illnesses.
      Wake up you blundering idiots and really look into EVERYTHING before you chose sides! No infant should be given 6 diseases at one time. Thats what your vaccine is; a disease. Not every child will be able to fight that amount of illness without some consequence. And since we are passing damaged DNA through our genes, it stands to reason, REALLY, that VACCINES ARE DANGEROUS to infants. ESPECIALLY given in bunches by doctors who put their patients on an assembly line. They book like 3 patients evey 15 minutes now. C’mon REALLY think about this!!!! Or are you no longer ABLE to think for yourself and need the media to think for you????

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  3. Andrew says:

    As the parent of an autistic child, I’m very much against jokes about autism, and very much in favor of mockery of people who lie about the dangers of vaccines, so I’m very much in favor of this Doonesbury cartoon, and hope to see many more people like Trudeau telling the truth.

  4. Sullivan says:

    “explain away a probable cause of autism.”


    First, vaccination in general isn’t a probable cause of autism. More to the point of the cartoon: Andrew Wakefield’s hypothesis of MMR causing autism is as improbable a cause as one might propose.

    Jenny McCarthy pushed herself into the scientific debate with such eloquent statements as “Bullshit!”, shouted on Larry King Live to a pediatrician who was calmly discussing the facts. Garry Trudeau’s response, years later, is mild.

    Ms. Meleck attempts to use disabled children to shield Jenny McCarthy from criticism. Jenny McCarthy earned this criticism. And more.

  5. Sullivan says:

    “don’t ever change, Boopsie” is a classic line. I remember it well from reading and re-reading “The Doonesbury Chronicles” as a kid. It dates back to the very early days of the character, back when they were still in College. I thought about the line myself when I first read the comic.

  6. David in Cal says:

    I totally agree with Trudeau and Mnookin. There is no reason at all to think that vaccines are a cause of autism. Sadly, some children will suffer unnecessary diseases because they didn’t get vaccinated. And, these diseases could spread and infect to other children as well.

    At first, I thought Mnookin might be complaining about faulty wax paper, when he wrote, “Boopsie bemoans the bum wrap…” :)

    • Twyla says:

      There are plenty of reasons, including:
      – thousands of parental reports of vaccine reactions followed by loss of language and social skills, and development of self stimming repetitive behaviors
      – published peer reviewed studies showing higher rates of immune system issues in people with autism, including inflammation in the brain, inflammatory cytokines in the spinal fluid, family history of autoimmune disorders (susceptibility factor), imbalance between Th-1 and Th-2 cells, auto-antibodies against the myelin basic protein coating nerve cells, and more
      – huge increase in autism during the past 25 years in tandem with the huge expansion of the vaccine program
      – vets and pet owners describing the same health issues in over-vaccinated pets as are common in children with autism (e.g. seizures, GI issues…) http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/veterinarian-wi.html
      – historical cases of encephalitis and encephalopathy reported after vaccines
      – encephalitis and encephalopathy listed in the government’s vaccine injury table and on the MMR package inserts as possible side effects

      • Andrew says:

        You might not realize it, but comparing autistic children to pets is offensive to parents of autistic children, and to autistic adults as well. It’s comments like this that make it very hard for the autistic community to take antivax advocates seriously.

        However, I appreciate your recognition that the pharmaceutical companies are honest about reporting the risks of their products in the package inserts – so at least you reject the conspiracy theories that many antivaxxers adopt.

        • Twyla says:

          Andrew, I’m not comparing autistic children to pets. Dogs and cats and humans with autism and humans without autism are all mammals, and we share a lot of attributes, such as lungs, hearts, brains, nerves, stomachs, blood, immune systems… This is why products are often tested on animals for safety.

  7. Birgit Calhoun says:

    There used to be a time when Doonesbury had something to say. I suppose anyone has the right to say what they feel like saying. However if you want to be credible, Seth, you better start looking around for other illustrations. Doonesbury has lost his touch and by printing this cartoon you are not far behind. Are you married? Do you have children? Do you know what it is like to have a child who is fine one day and then due to the vaccine schedule changes into a different being, someone you don’t recognize? It is a shame that compassion is missing in your book. Think how it would be if, suddenly, you had to care for someone who got one shot too many.

  8. Maureen says:

    Jenney McCarthy is the one who popularized an autism-vaccine link???!! I thought that was Dr. Wakefield!!!. Or maybe it was us parents who read the Simpsonwood Transcripts. Probably Gary doesn’t have time to read – too busy being funny.

  9. Ingrid says:

    This is just yet another classic case of the media, cartoonists included, not understanding AT ALL what Jenny and others who are wary of vaccines have been saying for years. We did not look at ONE tiny little study done by a doctor in England and decide that vaccines must be terribly dangerous. Heck, that study studied only 12 kids! Do you seriously, SERIOUSLY, think we’re that stupid? Well, maybe you do. Maybe you do assume that a beautiful sexy woman with large breasts MUST be stupid. (In which case, who’s stupid?)

    No… we didn’t take one study and run with it like a band of crazies. We looked at EVERY SINGLE STUDY that has been done on vaccines. We scoured the research. We analyzed the assumptions. We looked at who funded the studies and what conflicts of interest exist in them. We are, by far, the MOST highly educated demographic of parents out there. We – the “stupid” moms who are wary of vaccines.

    And what did we all conclude? Not enough studies have been done to determine their true safety. For instance: there has not been a single study done comparing kids who have been vaccinated “on schedule” with those who have never received vaccines. There has not been a single study comparing kids who received high dose versions of aluminum vaccines as opposed to those who received low aluminum doses. (The amount of aluminum in vaccines varies from brand to brand.) There has not been a single study that even tested whether or not giving 9 shots in one sitting is a safe practice, and yet pediatricians do this all the time assuming a study was done showing it is a safe practice. Nope.

    There are HUGE glaringly obvious aps in the kinds of studies that have been done on vaccine safety. This is what we, Jenny and other beautiful and intelligent mothers like myself have a problem with.

  10. Doom2doones says:


  11. Twyla says:

    As Katie Wright wrote on the Age of Autism site, “Gary Trudeau recently took a cheap shot at a single Mom who cares for her recovered, yet chronically ill, son. When this Mom is not with her son she can be found donating almost all her time and energy towards helping other ASD families in need. When is the last time Gary Trudeau fielded phone calls from broke ASD families and offered them tangible assistance? When the last time Gary Trudeau went to an autism conference and was mobbed for 5 hours by crying moms sharing stories of their sick autistic children? When was the last time Gary Trudeau spend Valentine’s Day in the hospital with his small son after he suffered a series of seizures? When was the last time Gary Trudeau heard his child spontaneously speak – today? – yesterday? For me it was 2004, just prior to a series of adverse vaccine reactions that took away his voice.

    “Jenny McCarthy’s ‘crime’ is advocating for objective vaccine safety research. Guess what Gary? Millions of American parents want objective vaccine safety research too. Safe vaccines are their number one health care priority.”

  12. Anita Newhouse says:

    This cartoon is meaningless spin enjoyed only by those without a clue. All of the parents, grandparents, healthcare providers/ doctors, teachers, childcare providers and anyone else who works day-in, day-out with children on the autism spectrum don’t really care what any of the rest of you think. Actually living with ASD is enough “proof” that something is wrong. Jenny simply asked questions that all parents ask before we decide whether or not to vaccinate our kids. She used her connections-and many are grateful for it- to pursue the lack of answers and information about what has been happening to 1 in 110 children, per the CDC. Just as the housing and derivatives markets were kept afloat by studies and complicit firms before those complex truths couldn’t be powered by spin anymore, I will not be at all surprised to “learn” that some individuals may indeed be injured by the process currently used to control childhood illnesses that adversely affect productivity and GDP. No worries, at the rate of 1 in 110, the basic cost of services as these children grow up will be astronomical, bankrupting not just familes of these children, but also governments that must provide for those who turn 18 and can’t care for themselves. THAT’S when it will become publicly relevant to answer the questions Jenny put forth. All of the people attached to the 1 in 110, will be those already moving ahead finding not just a new way to provide herd immunity (if it can ever really exist) to protect the GDP, but also, reaping the benefits of all of knowledge that comes form actual problemsolving vs denial.

  13. Anon says:

    I’d expect better from a former heroin addict, Seth.

  14. McD says:

    I wish all you ‘warrior-moms’ only the best. I do know what you are going through, from sitting for hours numb with fear while search-and-rescue are combing the river banks for the run-away, again; to scraping poo from the carpets and wallpaper, again. Like you I want to do the best for my son.

    What really really pisses me off is the cynical, cold-hearted way you, and yes, Jenny, have been manipulated into service as disposable pawns in a manufactroversy designed to wring money out the bloated money-grubbing drug and vaccine industry and dribble it straight into the maw of the bloated money-grubbing vaccine-damage lawyering and ‘expert’ witnessing industry.

    Since 1999, autism-related claims have made up 67% of vaccine court cases. Before 1999, the percentage was 0.

    You can see the stats here: http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statistics_report.htm

    Since 1988, autism cases have made up 41% of the vaccine-court lawyers’ case-load.

    Since 1988, vaccine court has paid out $2,183,595,780.77. yup, Two billion dollars and change.

    Of that, $48,604,511.80 was paid in attorneys fees for DISMISSED cases alone – a significant proportion of which will have been autism cases. And as payments lag a few years behind hearings, this doesn’t even include the 400-odd dismissed cases in the past two years.

    Those bottom-feeders, and their expert witnesses get paid out of trust funds whether they win or lose. Autism parents provide a significant proportion of their revenue stream, The industry actually have quite a lot to lose if the parents realize what’s really going on here. The only losers are the parents who are being manipulated into making baseless claims to pad out some shyster’s case load at public expense.

    Actually there are other losers – people with autism – who miss out when attention and research funds are
    diverted from investigating reasonable prospective causes and therapies.

  15. Arthur says:

    Those of you who are not parents of autistic children, or or not autistic yourself, will probably not be aware of how much autistic people and their parents dislike Jenny McCarthy, both for her attacks on parents (whom she describes as “loving the victim role”) and on autistics (whom she describes as having lost their souls, and for whom any “treatment” no matter how dangerous, is justified). It’s nice to see someone in the mass media like Trudeau taking Jenny to task for this – too long she’s been treated with kid gloves, and allowed to continue her abusive behavior. I’ll probably be accused of being a “pharma shill” by Jenny’s followers for this, but the truth will out, no matter how much they lie.

  16. Marie says:

    Autism moms: we’re not all menaces who victimize ourselves and our kids.


    -A Skeptic Autism Mom

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