One false and slanderous claim against Stein has picked up a huge amount of traction in the press: the idea that Stein is an “anti-vaxxer,” opposes vaccines, or has pandered to individuals who believe vaccines cause autism.
The Washington Post is primarily responsible for this smear. It had two of its reporters, Sarah Parnass and Alice Li, interview Stein. David Weigel, another Post journalist, wrote about the interview, and a Post editor gave it the following headline, “Jill Stein on vaccines: People have ‘real questions,’” which was extremely misleading.
At the moment, over a dozen media outlets have picked up the interview and chastised Stein for supposedly having anti-science views. Some of the pieces on Stein’s interview are mean-spirited, written by journalists who would have found something to make her look like a crank even if the Post had not spoken with her about vaccines.
It is not as if vaccines are critical to her platform or her campaign. This is not a pressing issue she raises on a regular basis. Why was a question asked about vaccines?
The answer is Stein participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) chat back in May. A Reddit user asked her, “What is your campaign’s official stance on vaccines and homeopathic medicine?” She replied with her “personal stance” on the issue and noted her campaign did not have an “official” stance.
The United States Green Party’s past positions on homeopathy and medicine in general have been treated as a metric for judging the party’s presidential candidates. When the Post made the decision to ask Stein this question, the intent was to call attention to whether the party still is a home for quacks or not.
Now, because Stein’s remarks have garnered so much media attention, here they are in full. Anyone with basic reading comprehension …