If McCarthy is allowed to discuss health issues on the show when she starts in September, these sorts of problems will only get worse. Bill Nye “the Science Guy” told the Huffington Post that he hopes the show will “promote this conflict, or at least vigorous disagreement, about the role of science in medicine” because he “believe[s] Ms. McCarthy’s views will be discredited.” But the reality is that misinformation is extremely difficult to counter with facts alone. That’s why it was laudable that the Chicago Sun-Times stated that McCarthy would “not be writing about vaccines or giving medical advice” in her advice column for the paper. Will ABC do the same? Or will the network and View co-host Barbara Walters sit by while McCarthy misleads millions of Americans, including many young women, about a medical issue that could cost children their lives?

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Brendan Nyhan is an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College. He blogs at brendan-nyhan.com and tweets @BrendanNyhan.