You may have seen the Jon Stewart bit about the measles outbreak, where he teed off on Tracy Skytt, a Marin County mom presented as a goofy liberal California anti-vaxxer. What you may not know is that Stewart and his producers edited out part of the original CNN clip — the part where CNN reported that Skytt's children have, in fact, been vaccinated against measles.
Let's look at the tape. Here's the Stewart video from the Daily Show. It's a 9-minute video, but you can cut to the 3:50 mark to see where he gets to Tracy Skytt:
The clip shows Skytt saying her kids are vaccinated "for the most part," which Stewart says means, "No." Then Stewart jumps forward to Skytt saying that she lives in Marin, where people are educated and liberal and so if they don't get their kids vaccinated, they probably have a good reason. Bam! In comes Stewart with a joke about Californians practicing a "mindful stupidity" and steaming their vaginas and getting espresso enemas.
But if you watch the full CNN clip you'll notice that Stewart's producers jumped over a somewhat important part — the part where the CNN journalist says Skytt did in fact vaccinate her kids for measles.
In the part of the clip where Skytt is interviewed, the reporter says Skytt had her kids vaccinated for measles — but opted out of other vaccines. Skytt shows up around the 1:15 mark.
[There was a video here]
The Daily Show must have seen that part about the Skytt kids getting the measles vaccine. Maybe the producers figured this was not important, or that it got in the way of the comedy.
Nevertheless, it seems a bit unfair to hold Skytt up for ridicule in a bit about the measles (Les Measlesrables is the title of the segment) when she has, in fact, had her kids vaccinated for measles.
You might argue that Skytt is a jerk for not getting her kids vaccinated against everything, and that, as CNN reported, "She doesn't believe in forced immunizations." But why not at least mention the measles part?
A quick Google search pops up some other information about Skytt. It appears that she runs a company, TSJ Design Group, that she started with her husband, Johan Skytt — who died last June from pancreatic cancer, at age 48, leaving behind two kids, ages 9 and 6.
What a great person to kick in the shins! Nice work, Daily Show. Well done.
UPDATE: Check out this clip where Jon Stewart talked to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was making the case that vaccines cause autism. Just look at how Jon Stewart mocked him! Oh wait. No he didn't. Jon Stewart said: "Certainly it would seem like it's very hard to argue the idea that putting mercury in things ... with so many passionate people on the case of it, it would seem there must be something there. Where there's smoke there's fire."
Why not? I know what you're going to say: it's a comedy show, on Comedy Central. Right?