On Tuesday, Daily Show host Jon Stewart savaged Republican presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Chris Christie for statements expressing cautious misgivings over childhood vaccinations. “Oh, for f***’s sake,” the comedian sighed, after Senator Paul said he’d “heard of many tragic cases” where children developed mental disorders after being vaccinated.
But the Comedy Central star sang a very different tune back in 2005, when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appeared on his show to talk about the link between vaccines and autism. Stewart nodded thoughtfully while Kennedy explained the perceived link — which some health experts say was discredited as far back as 1998. “I appreciate you getting the word out,” he said at the interview’s conclusion.
To be fair, Stewart did acknowledge the decade-old interview at the end of his Tuesday segment — “it’s easy to get swept up in the passion of it,” he said.
But it’s also worth noting that while Kennedy is Democratic royalty, the two politicians the comedian criticized on Tuesday are both Republicans.