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Jon Stewart: Vaccine Bully? Say It Ain't So.

StewartNote: We invite readeres to learn more about vaccination injury in this piece by Bob Krakow, Bachmann Vaccine Injury.

By Julie Obradovic Julie headshot

Dear Jon Stewart:

I love you.

No really, I mean that. You make me laugh all the time.  As a working mother of three (a high school teacher, mind you) with bills to pay, a marriage to maintain, and children to raise I truly appreciate people who can make me laugh. You are one of them.

Even though we don’t always agree on serious political issues, I can always count on you to find the humor and ridiculousness in them. Making things simple to understand is a form of genius. Making them funny at the same time is a gift. You have the ability to do both. I am a huge fan.

But sadly, there was nothing funny about one component of last Monday night’s episode of The Daily Show. It was during your monologue while you were pointing out the latest technique of news programs to simplify debates into a “good thing” or a “bad thing” that I unexpectedly had my breath taken away.

You may remember. While using a clip of a conversation between Wolf Blitzer and Rep. Michelle Bachman to make your point, you paused it to emphasize the stupidity of Ms. Bachman. You did so by reminding everyone that she believes vaccines can cause brain damage.

As the mother of a vaccine injured child, you get used to being bullied. You learn quickly that no one really gives a crap if your child was hurt or not; that most people will never believe she actually really was injured because vaccines are great, and they save lives, and that wouldn’t happen, and they “proved” it didn’t happen, and maybe you’re mistaken, and you just need someone to blame, and on and on and on.

You learn that you can’t talk about it outside of certain groups of friends and family, or hell, even with certain friends and family, without risking an uncomfortable debate or conversation. You learn that doing so very well might result in the loss of those friends, get you blocked on Facebook, and often launch a bunch of strangers on the Internet into a frenzy.

You sit by while an ignorant neighbor suggests the loss of your child’s brain and her physical suffering are all acceptable things for the greater good, because hey, things happen, and it’s better than everyone having polio. Everyone except for her of course, but again, they don’t care. And they’ll tell you right to your face. Quit complaining. At least she’s not dead. Be thankful for that, they say. Or think.

I could keep going, but you get the idea. Ten years of being told your child’s life doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things, and that hey, by the way, you’ll likely never see a dime for her loss, pain and suffering anyway, and well…you tend to grow a thick skin.

You walk around with imaginary armor, constantly bite your tongue, and politely decline the flu shot being doled out at the local grocery store for 10% off of your groceries because you just can’t get that seizure, or that rash, or that godforsaken scream she made out of your head and really just need to get out of there before you have a nervous breakdown.

Funny, the pain and the memories never seem to dull.

So, anyway, as you may imagine, I like to think I’m at least somewhat safe from the insensitiveness in my home. But even that’s not true because we watch television and vaccines are advertised left and right and lots of vaccine spokespeople get tons of time to tell me on a national platform that I’m wrong, and I’m an idiot, and I’m hurting children by even suggesting my reality is just that. Reality.

Finding out Monday night that you’re one of the bullies left me devastated. Another punch in the gut, I thought with a sigh, right when I least expected it.

You see, I’ve fantasized for many years about you doing a monologue about the ridiculousness of our medical community and vaccines. About the vaccine “court” and Simpsonwood and autism and all of the amazing coincidences that surround it.

It’s stunning to me that you don’t see the parallel between them and all of the other political entities you call to the carpet: Doctors admit they know absolutely nothing about autism…except that they didn’t cause it.

John, they did. And continuing to ask them to admit it is the equivalent of waiting for OJ to find the real killer.

There was a time I thought you got that. I still remember Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. appearing on your show regarding this issue, and you making the comment that the S.O.B.s responsible should be cut with a million cuts and dipped in salt water…or something like that. It was surprisingly graphic and angry coming from you.

But then, something changed, and alas, no such luck. No such monologue.

So instead, I have watched you for escapism. Escape from the dull ache in my chest that from the time I wake up until the time I fall asleep never ever completely goes away. Only laughter makes me momentarily forget and feel peace.

Jon, you may not like Ms. Bachman, and you’re not alone. Lots of people find her polarizing and idiotic, and so be it. But Ms. Bachman is not wrong that vaccines can cause brain damage, and I’m hoping that even if you feel like my old neighbor does, you can at least admit in this instance, you were wrong.

Vaccines absolutely can cause brain damage. And death. And a whole host of other problems. In fact, there’s never been a debate about that. The only debate is over how many people it has happened to, if they deserve recognition and compensation for their suffering, and whether or not their suffering is justified for the “greater good”.

Not surprisingly, it always is.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt you simply aren’t familiar with any stories of vaccine-induced brain damage, so let me help you out.

Start by watching this video here for evidence. It’s the story of a baby from Australia who received a batch of bad flu “jab”. Her trusting parents had no idea that upwards of 100 children had also had horrible reactions to the vaccine when they held her down. They believed they were doing right by her. They trusted their doctors and medical authorities. They shouldn’t have. Their daughter is now severely brain damaged and also almost died.

You can then research a little boy named Elias. Elias received 11 vaccines in one day, went on to be diagnosed with autism and epilepsy, and died from a seizure several years ago. Elias’ parents were compensated by the federal government, who happens to be the only one who pays for the damage inflicted upon a person injured by vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies pay nothing.

And I’m sure you’ve heard of Hannah Poling, the little girl from Georgia whose neurologist father and nurse/lawyer mother also sued the government and won compensation for their daughter’s brain damage.

In fact, I think you of all people would really appreciate the wording the government came up with in that case. They pulled her case out of an omnibus proceeding of 5,000 additional parents who also witnessed their children suffer brain damage from vaccines and quietly compensated her on the side because her case was so compelling.

Only they won’t say that. See, they claim that she had an underlying mitochondrial disorder that upon receiving 9 vaccines at once was aggravated, thereby resulting in the symptoms of autism, but not actually giving her autism. It’s fancy doctor-speak meant to calm everyone down. They actually stand by the notion her vaccines didn’t cause her autism.

But funny thing…seeing as I know how you like humor and sarcasm…that’s the equivalent of saying that you have an underlying metabolic disorder that was aggravated by the consumption of too much food resulting in the features of fat, but that you aren’t really fat and that the food had nothing to do with it.

I like finding the ridiculousness in things, too.

I could go on, but I’m not sure you’ll even read this, so I’ll wrap it up. Most of the stuff we parents of collaterally damaged kids write pretty much only gets circulated among other parents who live with the same pain. Like I said, not too many people really give a crap. I have yet to hear one person…one person…say thank you to my family or most important, my daughter, for her sacrifice in the war on disease we are fighting.

Not one.

But there’s a reason for that. Veterans in the war on disease are only honored, recognized, and cared about if they die from enemy fire. We were taken out by friendlies.

Perhaps tonight or next week you can touch on the Congressional Briefing that took place on November 7th regarding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. There’s also going to be a hearing soon. I’d love for you to tune in.

Turns out, legislation was passed in the 1980’s giving liability protection to all manufacturers of vaccines, and all of those agencies and individuals who give them. Congress was convinced that if they didn’t do this we would all die. No pharmaceutical companies would take the risk of making a product everyone might need in the event of a terrorist attack or disease outbreak, they reasoned, and therefore decided to give them blanket immunity (no pun intended) so they would.

Now, I know this will be hard for you to believe, but gasp! They have used that to their advantage. Remember, instead of actually only being given that protection in the event of an outbreak or terrorist attack, they’ve been given that protection for all time. And man, coincidence among all coincidences, right after they found out they could make a product that they would never have to pay a dime on even if they put gasoline in it, a product that would have a never ending stream of customers that were being told they had to have in order to participate in society, wouldn’t you know it? We tripled the vaccine schedule for kids! Amazing!

You mean they can make a product, sit on the advisory teams that put it on the recommended schedule, profit from it, study it for safety, run the court that decides if a person was hurt using their own science to defend themselves, and never be held personally or financially liable if it’s unsafe? Cha-ching!

That’s right. Taxpayers pay. A tax on all vaccines funds the court on which the hearings are being held.

And speaking of a license to kill, Gardasil, the vaccine to which Bachman was referring when she made her claim, happens to be a vaccine that was actually created by the US government. Did you know that? Did you know that the National Cancer Institute of the NIH is the one who licensed the technology to Merck, and that they receive royalties on its sale? Read the series, A License to Kill: How A Public-Private Partnership Made the Government Merck’s Gardasil Partner.

Did you know that the NCI under the NIH is a part of the DHHS and that the DHHS is the one who regulates its safety? And promotes its uptake? And funds and completes the science to claim its safety? And then runs the court to compensate injured parties?

I mean, I know that’s a lot of acronyms, but man, no amount of letters can make that any bigger of a mess than it already is.

But, I digress. Sorry, I get worked up about this stuff. Funny thing happens when someone hurts your child. You get all passionate. You understand though, so thanks.

I’ll leave you with this final video.

It was shown at the Congressional Briefing on November 7th, 2013. It makes the whole mess pretty simple to understand. Just like you always do.

Only unlike you, sorry to say, there’s absolutely nothing funny about any of this.

Julie Obradovic is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.



I have to believe he cares. He is on the right side of every issue dear to my heart and I hope he reads this letter because I sincerely believe he would seriously reflect.

Jon is one of the few who have the balls to really KNOW...really understand the facts of an issue.....or so I thought.

Jeff C

Good article and I understand the sentiment, but should we really be calling everyone pushing vaccines in a less than friendly way a bully? If they are all bullies, that makes us just another group of helpless victims. Nonsense. Our family and most of the readers here have taken charge of our kids health and could care less what Jon Stewart, Paul Offit, some pushy pediatrician, or anyone else thinks. Screw them. If we need to call them something, plain, old-fashioned jerks works just fine.

Laura Hayes

Powerful letter, Julie. Thank you. You have such a gift for putting into words what so many of us feel. Please keep on writing!


Didn't Bill Maher - of all people - publicly make the connection between vaccines and autism? Not just once but several times. That was a few years ago. I wonder if he would stick to his guns today.

Bob Moffitt

"While using a clip of a conversation between Wolf Blitzer and Rep. Michelle Bachman to make your point, you paused it to emphasize the stupidity of Ms. Bachman. You did so by reminding everyone that she believes vaccines can cause brain damage."

While I have laughed at some of John's monologues that are shown as snippets of late night commedians making fun of politicians .. admittedly .. I don't usually watch the Stewart show. Having said that .. thanks to Julie's observation .. I will make it my goal to never watch his show .. PERIOD.

I can understand John's intention of ridiculing Ms. Bachman .. as she is an easy target for those who disagree with her brand of conservative politics .. but .. I fail to see any "humor" in going out of his way to ridicule Ms. Bachman because she believes vaccines cause brain damage. NONE.

In fact .. that comment .. even if said in jest .. is cruel and offensive to thousands of families who agree with Ms. Bachman on this single issue.

Julie is right .. John's comment is the act of a bully .. not a commedian.

Cat Jameson

Excellent letter, Julie. Imagine what could happen if John takes the time to read it and act upon it--he could use his voice for good, for the good of our children.


Great, great article. I remember thinking the same thoughts when I watched The Daily Show on Monday. Stewart's comments were surprising seeing that he seems to at least understand the struggles of children and adults with autism. He plays a big role in the Night of Too Many Stars annual fundraiser. Of course, now Johnny is pretty much bought and paid for by Corporate America so he needs to toe the line in order to make sure those Cialis commercials keep funding his program. Sad, you would have thought if anyone had the balls to expose the sheer ridiculousness of the whole Pharma-Goverment-Vaccine cluster that you so clearly set forth it would be someone like Stewart. Maybe asking the simple question of why the health of our children continues to worsen and why autism continues to grow at alarming rates is just a little too serious for J Stew. OK, that's fine Johnny, just lay off the jokes at our expense cause vaccine induced brain injury just ain't that funny.

Maurine Meleck

This is not the first time he has talked in favor of vaccines and against our group of vaccine safety worriers. It was at that point that I stopped watching him.

Not an MD

Oh, Julie, Julie, Julie… That letter you wrote struck me right in the heart. While that letter was personal to you, I could have written the exact same letter myself. I saw that John Stewart show, and his words bothered me, too.

I hope Mr. Stewart reads your letter. I believe he is one of the celebrities who takes part in The Night of Too Many Stars to benefit those with autism. One would think he, of all people, would care. I, for one, sincerely hope he does.

Lisa Thompson

Wow! Superb job!

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