Amy Wallace, Get Over Yourself
Recently journalist Amy Wallace wrote an op-ed piece for “The New York Times” about how she was deeply offended by those who have publicly disagreed with her articles on autism. Wallace basically labels likens all criticism and (yes, it can be very tasteless) cartoon-like renderings to a sex crime.
Before autism took over my life I worked with survivors of rape and incest. They inspired me every day. I have known many survivors of sexual assaults and sexual discrimination. I have worked with many survivors of sexual assaults and sexual discrimination. Amy Wallace, you are not a victim of a sexual assault or sexual discrimination via the Internet.
To waste one’s time feeling sorry for oneself because of what strangers and trolls say about you on the Internet is sad. Yet then again, maybe I am envious? I am talking to all you autism parents out there; imagine if tasteless cartoons were your biggest problem in life? How nice that would be, right?
Ms. Wallace very much perceives herself as a victim of autism as well as her pal Dr. Paul Offit. Indeed, some people say mean things about Dr. Offit online. I know, it must be hell on earth! However, Ms. Wallace describes Dr. Offit’s lovely Tudor house, notes there are 2 very nice cars in the garage. Dr. Offit has a caring, successful professional wife and two bright, healthy children. Oh and he has made over $10 million on his vaccine patents. Wow, what a victim … it is a wonder how he goes on living!
Amy Wallace is apoplectic that critics render her as Paul Offit’s stooge (to quote Wallace: Offit is, “so quick-witted and funny!”) in obviously Photoshopped pictures. Yes the pictures are crude, but really Ms. Wallace, time to grow up. No one said the First Amendment is always pretty but it is essential to a free press. You should know this as a professional journalist. Time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and put on those big girl pants!
Jenny McCarthy (who is not an anti-vaccine activist) receives tons of hate mail and is portrayed in grotesque ways on the Internet. Do eyou ver hear Ms. McCarthy complain about it? Never. I think she has better things to do than scour the Internet looking to be personally offended. I would bet McCarthy is actually busy being a single working mother and caring for her young son with severe seizure disorder. Too bad Ms. Wallace cannot find a better use of her time.
In the past I have written about how my family received bomb threats when NBC (my father worked for NBC at the time) aired controversial shows. Additionally, we had really, really angry people picketing in our driveway for months. So what, it was awkward but that is life, you deal with it. Ms. Wallace, this is a life lesson, if you put yourself out there people will disagree with you. If you receive a real and credible threat call the police. What you do not do (as the police will tell you) is whine and complain to the media that you are being persecuted, that only emboldens your opposition to continue their behavior.
Wallace is disliked by those in the autism community for her poor quality reporting, period. Wallace’s autism related work is sloppy and one-sided. Ms. Wallace asserts there is no autism epidemic, our children would have been labeled “mentally retarded or just plain slow,” in the past. Charming characterization, right? Wallace argues that GI disease is not common among ASD children and that problems with constipation are merely behavioral. That would be such a neat trick, teaching oneself not to have a bowel movement for weeks at a time! There is so much upside to that!
There are not enough hours in the day to detail why autism families hold Ms. Wallace’s work in such low regard. Yet according to Ms. Wallace all criticism of her autism writing is thoroughly unjustified and solely a result of her womanhood. This is a delusional form of self-pity and an insult to all the women who struggle every day under the yoke of real sexual discrimination.
I am not professional writer but I thought one of the most important rules of professional journalism is don’t make it all about you?
The title of Ms. Wallace’s Op-Ed was “Hot or Not?” If that is not embarrassing I don’t know what is. Newsflash Ms. Wallace -- no one cares what you look like. Really, nobody cares….at all. Additionally, do us all a favor and try to remember that neither you nor Paul Offit are victims.
Let me introduce some of the real victims of the autism epidemic.
Avonte Oquendo was from my hometown of New York City. The entire city had been looking for Avonte for 3 months. He was 14, severely affected and nonverbal. Avonte walked out of his school when no one was watching. Parts of his body were found in the East River last week. Another autistic child, Mikaela Lynch age 9 from San Francisco wandered away from home. Mikaela’s body and was later found in a nearby creek. Alyvia Navarro, just 3 years old, wandered away from her grandmother’s home in Wareham Mass. Hours later her body was tragically discovered in a lake.
Try looking outside yourself Ms. Wallace and remember who is really paying a price for autism, it isn’t you.
Katie Wright is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
The pro-vaccine fanatics LOVE to portray themselves as victims. Aw. So tough to side with big corporations and big government. Takes a HUGE amount of courage and chutzpah!
Posted by: PutinReloaded | February 08, 2014 at 07:36 AM
Great job. Great points. Right attitude. Right on target.
And the comments I've seen so far are excellent.
Posted by: Tim Bolen | February 06, 2014 at 09:06 PM
The cartoon, or the-thing-that-wouldn't-die, is five years old at this point and took all of twenty-five minutes to do. A little satire on "increased recognition" rhetoric. People interpreted it however they wanted, but the message was pretty clear (course, crude, obvious, not dry or overcooked). For instance, 40 years ago or 140 years ago, no one would have noticed a large population of individuals so disabled that they can't speak, suffer from massively elevated rates of seizures, gut disorders, early mortality or who tragically die in drowning accidents at a rate of one a week in the warm seasons. Back in the day, no one would have drawn any dark or offensive meaning from this-- like the idea that there might be an epidemic going on. They thought it was "normal" in the free-love Victorian era but at last we recognize the condition.
Just like those stupid old-timey people wouldn't have noticed, say, a live, sleeping baby in a bowl in the middle of a holiday buffet. Things like that used to blend right in and drew no dark or terrible interpretations. The blender wasn't invented until the 1920's after all. That's progress for ya.
Posted by: main course | February 06, 2014 at 08:07 PM
Regarding Offit's stance against vitamins, we see a myriad of reasons as to why people may need them more than ever.
Posted by: Falsejournalistsmakemelaugh | February 06, 2014 at 06:54 PM
More of Offit's lies and misrepresentations exposed:
Posted by: Falsejournalistsmakemelaugh | February 06, 2014 at 06:49 PM
I did a short search but I couldn’t see anywhere else where Amy has defended females in the media prior to this article. Actually what I did see, is how she contributes to the culture of objectifying women. In her Wired piece, her first mention of JM is as Jim Carrey’s girlfriend (Seriously Ms. Wallace?)
“Recently, Carrey and his girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, went on CNN’s Larry King Live”
I’d guess that Jim Carrey is capable of his own opinions but let’s face it, he was on Larry King on that occasion in the supportive role as the boyfriend of JM. The decent and fair way would have been to mention JM’s role as a mother to a child diagnosed with autism, something more relative to their appearance on the show.
But instead, Amy purposely mentions it paragraphs later as JM’s third role, behind of course being in Playboy:
“McCarthy, an actress and a former Playboy centerfold whose son has been diagnosed with autism”
And also on this search that turned up mostly interviews with celebrities I came across her article about Katy Perry. I was taken aback with how fixated Amy appeared to be with Katy’s appearance particularly her chest:
“Now, on prime-time television, she’s about to twist her image one more quarter turn, transforming from America’s audacious, outrageous cleavage-bot into its selfless, doting concubine.”
“She is bare-shouldered, bare-legged, barefooted—bare-everythinged, basically, except for the wig cap on her head and the teensy light blue Hello Kitty terry-cloth wrap that cinches above her breasts and ends where butt meets thigh.”
“Far more wholesome than that twisted genius Lady Gaga, Perry still exudes vastly more heat and sensuality than, say, Taylor Swift. Part of that’s due to Perry’s top-heavy physicality, but her sly lyrics and full-throated delivery deserve credit, too.”
“Teeth clean, Perry appraises her cleavage, which is rosier than her face. “
And then I remembered that this was GQ. Maybe there is a minimum breast mention requirement or maybe Amy deftly panders to her audience. Makes no matter the results are the same. A paycheck seems to be the deciding factor in whether focusing on women’s body parts over their intellect/talent/message is a good thing or not.
Posted by: Amy is no feminist | February 06, 2014 at 06:19 PM
Thank you, Katie!
I went to the original 2009 article, and am regretting it. It's one VERY long piece of propaganda, with an ode to High Priest Offit. It's extremely shoddy journalism, no matter what gender she is. There are factual errors everywhere, and a total lack of critical thinking.
One of many ironies: " 'The intention is ‘Shut up!’ and it has a chilling effect,' says Joanna Pearlstein, deputy managing editor at Wired."
Which was exactly what Amy Wallace's original article meant to do to those who question and criticize vaccines.
Posted by: Taximom5 | February 06, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Amy Wallace and her biased cronies indulge in the journalistic equivalent of spousal battery. She should not be surprised when the good people she defames react in anger.
Corporate media's mistreatment of vaccine injury victims has been a grotesque object lesson in laziness and corruption. May they one day experience an Ebenezer Scrooge moment of understanding and redemption.
Posted by: nhokkanen | February 06, 2014 at 04:37 PM
I finally found an internet link to Amy Wallace's NY Times editorial. I found it an appalling piece of journalism. Judge for yourselves:-
Posted by: Jenny Allan | February 06, 2014 at 01:58 PM
Thank you thank you Katie. Your lovely sarcasm just makes the day brighter for me! Karma is a bitch. Wallace, Offit, Deer - they will all take their turn. Keep on writing!
Jill and Megan Fenech (age 20, 75% recovered)
Posted by: Jill Fenech | February 06, 2014 at 01:39 PM
Wow, what a victim! Is Amy living in the real world? Has she seen the way virtually anyone with any visibility can be ruthlessly attacked in both words and pictures?
She should go onto some of the local New Jersey web sites and read what people say about Chris Christie! And Obama surely gets more hate than love in most comment sections. Re crude and demeaning talk about female body parts and sexuality, no one has been on the receiving end of more of that than Jenny McCarthy!
Anyway, this isn't the real topic she's getting at. She's again trying to paint people that question vaccine or GMO safety as crude, unsophisticated and yes, dangerous.
I see this as a desperate tactic. The walls are closing in on industry. Progressive places like Colorado and Oregon have declining vax rates and increasingly powerful activists demanding labeling for GMOs. Colorado has boldly legalized marijuana, in essence flipping off the federal government. People are taking back their health and challenging governmental and medical decision-makers, no longer trusting the "experts".
Posted by: Jenna | February 06, 2014 at 01:37 PM
I think this is it:
Posted by: cia parker | February 06, 2014 at 01:25 PM
The Science Blog shills have taken to calling me mentally ill every time we meet. They have evidently met to discuss the best way to deal with my comments on vaccine damage and my daughter. They know I have graduate degrees and am both sincere and passionate in what I say, so they decided that the best strategy would be to show "compassion" for me, I am delusional, and completely mistaken in my beliefs. There are such good mental health professionals where I live, they beg me to go there to get the help I need. I am not angry, only amused that that's the best ammo they can come up with.
Posted by: cia parker | February 06, 2014 at 01:02 PM
Someone tell Ms. Wallace to ask Ms Tsouderos about how she portrayed me on the FRONT PAGE of the Chicago Troubledune as a mother feeding her kids toxic waste.... We autism Moms are about the MOST reviled in the media - God forbid we take responsibility of our children's health. Got kids, Ms. Wallace? Feel free to send me their vax records - and yours too. And frankly - I would HOPE there would be gaps as YOU decided to manage your personal and family healthcare rather than relying on your industry.
Posted by: Stagmom | February 06, 2014 at 12:27 PM
Thank u everyone.
Right Jenny McCarthy is targeted by so many bitter and ill informed medical professional and vaccine groups. It is one thing to be criticized for what you do say, that is fair game. But Jenny seems to be only criticized for beliefs that were never hers in the first place!
I always ask these people to show me 1 quote in which Jenny says she is "anti-vaccine," or the quote in which McCarthy tells people not to vaccinate. They cannot find one such quote. And I know they looked- and looked hard! Or the ridiculous accusation that Jenny is talking about autism and vaccine safety for publicity. She was relentlessly bashed for telling her child's story, no one wants that publicity. In fact it probably cost her jobs but she never complains.
Yes Jenny advocates for safer vaccines. So if the AAP or vaccine companies have a problem with that go ahead and say so. Say that you or your company do NOT want safer vaccines. Disagree with what she really said instead instead of libeling Jenny. They will not do this because they know that Jenny's real and public positions are common sense and reasonable, so vaccine makers create fake quotes and attribute them to Jenny.
Amy Wallace, on the other hard, is criticized for the poor quality of her reporting. She is NOT criticized because of her physical appearance. Oh my God, what projection, what a neat way of refusing t take responsibility for one's work.
Posted by: Katie Wright | February 06, 2014 at 12:23 PM
Amy Wallace was interviewed on CNN here:
"Female reporters face Internet abuse" - CNN
Posted by: SarahW | February 06, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Amy Wallace can eat it. The mainstream media is dying. They have made moves to close comments sections, insisting on facebook usage etc. and chosen to take industry stance on health matters. They have willfully ignored any news that contradicts the party line. Even The NYT has come under scrutiny even by its own journalists lately-
Amy Wallace has chosen to be a pawn in their little corporate sponsor game and now she complains about it?
Funny you mention it but Jenny McCarthy or Dr. Wakefield, who have been publicly bashed and lied about have been nothing but class. In fact I hope they do seek legal options where needed.
Posted by: Falsejournalistsmakemelaugh | February 06, 2014 at 11:15 AM
BRAVO!!! Out of the park! Thanks for writing that piece. I feel as though I've taken a giant.... I know. gross.
It's just so hard to spend time reading the likes of this disgusting waste of oxygen.
Take your place (Wallace) in the long long long line to hell. Should be fun yucking it up with your "Offit" pals, or will it? X's 10. Think about it.
Posted by: Vaccine Injured | February 06, 2014 at 10:42 AM
The conversation about autism is often harsh and while that is not good, it is understandable.
People often have to shout when they are not being listened to.
Our opponents deny virtually every aspect of our experience and often resort to ridicule and abusive language to do so. In denying the increase in autism they have given those in authority the room and comfort to do nothing to prepare for coming humanitarian crisis. This is done for the single purpose of preventing a public conversation about WHY the autism epidemic is happening.
Wallace and Offit may be charming, sophisticated people. However, the fact is that they are involved in a course of conduct in which character assault, supression of meaningful investigation (Offit cheered the cancellation of the Congressional hearings on the VICP) and silencing debate are tools to protect their interests.
They have prevailed in the past but we will win the future.
Posted by: Louis Conte | February 06, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Cold comfort I know, but my attempts to google Ms Wallace's NY Times article failed. In the UK, we are thankfully not regaled with the toxic opinions of Wallace and Offit, in our press and media outlets.
A UK book signing and launch of Offit's book 'Deadly Choices' was cancelled and the book pulped in the UK, after a legal challenge for defamation. Offit's mistake was repeating verbatim, Deer's BMJ lies about the lawyers dealing with the UK group MMR litigation, involving more than 1000 children. The litigation was abandoned when the UK Government withdrew the childrens' legal aid.
Thank you Katie for informing us about Amy Wallace's one sided autism articles. This does not reflect well on the New York Times. Another Murdoch publication?
Posted by: Jenny Allan | February 06, 2014 at 06:29 AM