The news yesterday
that Jenny McCarthy signed a contract with Harpo Studio to host her own
talk show caused a lot of eye rolls and head scratching, especially in
parenting and medical circles. After all, Jenny's own ideas on
parenting and the pediatric world are not exactly main stream and
uncontroversial. Do we really want to support her being a more powerful
voice for any cause?
Jenny is first and foremost and
entertainer. If she sticks to that role for her new show, our worries
may all be for naught. In fact, the very public platform and link to
Oprah may be what keeps Jenny and her views in check on air. I can only
speculate for the moment as no details of the show have been released
but I would imagine she will go to great lengths to not harm the Harpo
and Oprah image. To accomplish that, Jenny will have to learn to temper
her own views for the sake of balanced, fair and reasonable journalism.
In other words, her show won't be able to be a soap box for her
misguided views on parenting, autism or vaccinations.
If, on the
other hand, Jenny uses her show to air her misguided views, a Pandora's
box will open that will cause harm to many, many vulnerable families.
As the hype for the show mounts, people should keep in mind that Jenny
is a celebrity and entertainer, not a parenting or medical expert.
Concerned parents should never listen to celebrities for advice about
their kids but turn to their pediatricians - that's what 24/7 on call
systems are for either by phone or email. Believe me, pediatricians and
their staff of amazing nurses want to answer your questions and address
your concerns so call or email instead of googling what you hear on TV,
the Internet or read in a magazine in a celebrity interview.
will tell which way the pendulum will swing for Jenny's new show. As
long as people keep in perspective and recognize that her show is just
another form of entertainment we may dodge a bullet and little harm
will be done. If Jenny airs her opinions and people take her advice,
however, the amount of harm that could be done could be epidemic.