We Posted It First!

You Can’t Believe Everything on TV

On May 25, 2009 we questioned the medical advice promoted on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in our article, “Beware of the Queen of Talk You Can’t Believe Everything You See on TV.”

The June 8, 2009 issue of Newsweek has “Crazy Talk Oprah, Wacky Cures & You” as their cover story.

The staff at Be the Best Nanny Newsletter actually love watching “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” We just want viewers to be wary of medical advice given by celebrities like Suzanne Somers, Jenny McCarthy, and Robin McGraw (Dr. Phil’s wife) who do not have medical training or any professional medical experience.

Remember that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is not meant to be objective broadcast journalism, but rather a talk show. The shows more closely mimic tabloid television, not news broadcasts. Don’t believe everything you read or see. Certainly do not rely solely on advice from celebrities on talk shows.


  1. I have been disgusted by Oprah's peddling of pseudoscience for years. Her discussions on medical illnesses with celebrities is an insult to all intelligent people everywhere and shows no respect for her target demographic (women like us nannies). What we really need is an Oprah-like female role model who promotes skepticism and critical thinking. I would prefer she have experts on the show to discuss both the pros and cons of each medical topic discussed. There were no critical questions, jut a big tv commercial when these celebrities are on her show. Libbie

  2. Jenny MCarthy and Suzanne Somers are looney tunes. I don’t mind that they have written books and believe to be true in their own minds. But Oprah should have not allowed her show to become their pulpit.I really love the Oprah show so it’s hard to admit that she’s basically just a “feel good” show. She likes to inspire people, which she does. To promote Jenny McCarthy is really stupid and even crazy. I had to turn the show off when Jenny was on — what a nut. I don’t doubt it worked for her child, but please listen to the hundreds of trained medical doctors and experts on autism before listing to a former Playboy Bunny. Trying her diet is fine. But the diet only works for some. To not vaccinate is insane!!!Katherine, Near Phiily PA

  3. I know this may start a big debate about Jenny McCarthy and her views…but…. being a nanny of a 2 and a half year old boy who went thru similar things her son did- I am a BIG believer of what she says- basically because I LIVED IT with my charge!The actual cause of autism and a definitive treatment are still being researched and are under debate. Every 20 minutes, a child is diagnosed with autism. In a study of select populations around the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that one in 150 children has the condition. According to the Autism Society of America, this is the fastest growing developmental disability with a 10-17% annual growth rate. Jenny McCarthy and thousands of concerned parents, doctors, and health advocates aren’t just waiting for an official cure. They’re finding answers, and getting results. Since the above poster- “Katherine Near Philly”-did not watch the entire show with Jenny on it-she probably missed what Jenny said about vacines:This is a quote from Jenny’s book: “Despite what anybody thinks, I’m still not against vaccines … if I were you, I would educate myself on each shot and what it protects against, along with the possible side effects.” In Jenny’s book- Jenny and Dr. Kartzinel discuss vaccine pros and cons, side effects, an alternative shot schedule, and the ingredients in vaccines. Biomedical intervention looks at nutrition, detoxification, and removal of interfering factors, such as yeast, food allergies, viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals. Jenny and Dr. Kartzinel admit that biomedical interventions do not help everyone, but thousands of children have improved with this type of therapy. An important focus of this approach involves supporting the body’s innate healing response with healthy food and nutritional supplements. Their book asserts that autism is not rooted in one cause, and therefore successful treatment is often multifaceted. You say Jenny is a nut- and to listen to to trained doctors…Her book: “Healing and Preventing Autism”, is co-authored with Jerry Kartzinel, MD, a pediatrician who has successfully treated hundreds of patients with autism. Dr. Kartzinel is also the parent of a son with autism.So alot of what she says IS backed by doctors.

  4. False hope is what is dangerous.The complaints of Oprah viewers is false hope.I think “anonymous” above is missing the point. (Why remain anonymous if you are secure in what you beleive?) The entire show was not unbiased or objective. The point is that Oprah IS an emotional talk show meant to inspire emotions. The discussion was not unbiased. For all ailments of which do not have cures people say all types of things work. Hallelujah if HER DIET worked for Jenny’s child and your charge!! Seriously, I am so happy for you! But what about the hundreds it doesn’t work for? There are vitamin supplements and homeopathic remedies to CURE diabetes, even though diabetes is uncurable. There are vitamin supplements, diets, and homeopathinc remedies for fibromyalgia, yet there is no cure. I’ve read zillions of books and changed diet to cure my arthritis but there is no cure despited the claims of the authors that they can cure arthritis!Do diets, homeopathic rememdies and diets work at lessening the symptoms? Certainly. But there is not a one size fits all solution for many illnesses, including autism.If my child were diagnosed with autism would I read Jenny’s book and follow her diet? Of course. Would I be devestated if it doesn’t work? Absolutely. The Oprah show was a commercial for Jenny offerning false hope to some and not a complete discussion on the topic.I did watch the whole show. Jenny is against many vaccines. She says in her book HER SON BECAME AUTISTIC AFTER VACCINES. She says the THREE specific vaccines caused the autism. Then the diet helped tremendously, which is really great. It really is.Oprah didn’t produce a complete discussion on the causes and treatments of autism. Simply left much out. It was an emotional book review.

  5. Helping with allergies is not curing autism. Jenny's diet helped with her son's food allergies.IT IS CALLED THE PLACEBO EFFECT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlaceboOne-third of all treatments "help." It is the placebo effect — any poisitive action is perceived as helpful. Parents are especially poor judges regarding their own children. Kartzinel has self-reported helping autistics, but not submitted the results to independent audit http://www.healautismnow.org/article6.htmlSandy, Parent, New Jersey

  6. The vaccine Jenny complains about is actually one vaccine for three illnesses. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/mmr_vaccine.htmBecause signs of autism may appear around the same time children receive the MMR vaccine, some parents may worry that the vaccine causes autism. But that is coincidence! The time atusim is diagnosed is the same age childen receive the vaccine.Vaccine safety experts, including experts at CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that MMR vaccine is not responsible for recent increases in the number of children with autism. In 2004, a report by the Institute of Medicine concluded that there is no link between autism and MMR vaccine, and that there is no link between autism and vaccines that contain thimerosal as a preservative.Worst side effect is pain in the injection site.The only agreed upon treatment of autism is early intervention. The sooner you try to help the child with their individual weaknesses, the better. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, whatever they need.I do not disagree that they shouldn't try diet changes. But like others have expresed than the child is more likely to have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods and chemicals.The benefits of having the vaccine well outweigh the dangers caused by the vaccine.In Jenny's case: I understand if something works for your child you may want to share that news with the world in hopes that it will help others. But, I am skeptical because of the fact she is making money off this. Why not provide this info on a web site for no charge? Give out the book for free? She is wealthy enough to do that.

  7. Sandy: I think parents are the best judge of what helps a child.

  8. CNN aired a report this morning about parents who get unproven and expensive treatments for their terminally ill children. The story focused on one family spending $26,000. for three stem-cell injections in China, based on online anonymous testimonials. Treating autistics with celebrity-endorsed unproven methods is wishful thinking. Understandable but not in the best interest of the child. No follow-up studies, no database, no science. I think it all misses the point of the original posting: Oprah is more interested in her own benefit than that of the parents or the children.Sandy, Parent in NJ

  9. As a medical student, I've tuned in a few times on her medically relevant shows to see what is being said, only to watch some of what Oprah and her guests are spouting with horror, confusion, and disgust. People need the truth when it comes to their bodies and health, and they often don't get that on Oprah's show – all they get is hype about some product that Oprah wants to shill or some crackpot (like Jennie McCarthy) with an out-there idea that no one believes but that person. I was so sad to see that Dr. Oz is leaving the show, because atleast he had medical training and offered the truth! Oprah needs to learn how to be less biased. She needs to get more medical professionals on her show – she needs to get people who will talk about the facts, what has been proved and tested and believed by the majority in the medical field because it is true, not random people with ideas that aren't backed up by any evidence. Oprah has a lot of power and can sell anything. She out to do so more cautiously.

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