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Who Is Mayim Bialik? A Terrible Choice for Jeopardy Host. Mother Jones – Mother Jones

Posted: August 15, 2021 at 1:48 am


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Yesterday, the producers of the long-running gameshow Jeopardy! announced two new co-hosts to replace the late Alex Trebek: the shows executive producer, Mike Richards, and actress Mayim Bialik. Richards has his own issuesincluding being named in a pregnancy discrimination employment lawsuitbut Ill let others open that can of worms.

Instead, Ill focus on Bialik. On paper,she seems like a great choice for a show that celebrates the human intellect: Most famous for her starring roles in the TV sitcoms Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, she also has a PhD in neuroscience. Yet despite her scientific bona fides, Bialik has dabbled in realms that are distinctly anti-science. Lets take a look at her track record.

First, theres Bialiks mixed messages on vaccines. Back in 2009, she told People magazine that her family was non-vaccinating. In 2012, in a post on the website Kveller, she endorsed anti-vaccine parenting books, including one by Dr. Bob Sears, the California pediatrician who had his medical license revoked for handing out dubious medical exemptions for immunizations. Shes since backtracked on that statementin 2015, she said in a tweet that her kids were vaccinated. Last year, she released a YouTube video in which she said, cryptically, that she delayed vaccinations for reasons you dont necessarily get to know about. She has publicly endorsed the COVID-19 vaccines, yet she told Yahoo Lifein January, I have a lot of questions about the vaccine industry, as do a lot of people. I have a lot of questions about the profits involved.

Bialik is also a long-standing proponent of the pseudoscientific field of naturopathy. She has hawked a questionable supplement that claims to enhance brain function, including in an ad thats on air right now, and in which she leverages her degrees.Shes been featured recently on a naturopathy podcast. In April, on herown podcast, Bialik ran an episode called Alternative Medicine, Acupuncture & Adrenal FailureDoulas Do It Right. In the show, she interviewed midwife Elizabeth Bachner, whose naturopathic clinic in Los Angeles, Gracefull, peddles scientifically unfounded treatments, including IV therapy for anti-aging, oral chelation for heavy metals, and homeopathic hormone-balancing injections.

But wait, theres more: Abundant research shows that birth control pills and devices are safe and effective. Still, Bialik has joined forces with actress Ricki Lake on her crusade against hormonal contraception. Last year, she was a speaker at Lakes Body Literacy Summit, which warned women about the supposed dangers of the pill. Other presenters included midwife and herbalist Aviva Romm, who has written critically about vaccines. (After this piece was published, Romm told Mother Jones that she does not consider herself a vaccine skeptic and has advocated for COVID-19 vaccines, though she did write a book about alternatives to vaccines.) Bialik also hosted Lake on an episode of her podcast dedicated to criticizing birth control pills.

I could go on. Bialik has worked extensively with La Leche League, an organization that frequently promotes some scientifically dubious practices, including the discredited notion that birth interventions such as IV fluids and epidurals can prevent women from breastfeeding. Shes also written a book about attachment parenting, a child-rearing philosophy that, among other questionable teachings, warns parents that sleep training babies will permanently damage them. And all of this isnt even to mention Bialiks weird hypocrisy on feminism: Shes written an empowerment book for teen girls, yet in a 2017 New York Times op-ed, she implied that women invite sexual harassment by dressing immodestly.

Its incredibly depressing that someone as accomplished as Bialik promotes medical and scientific misinformation. But its beyond disappointing that Jeopardy!a show that is literally about factswould choose her to be its public face. Ill take someone else, please for $1,000.

This piece has been updated.

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Who Is Mayim Bialik? A Terrible Choice for Jeopardy Host. Mother Jones - Mother Jones

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