Parenting
Parenting

Jenny McCarthy's New Talk Show May Cause Harm to Families

| by Dr Gwenn
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.

Time 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.