Another Jill Stein boycott has been sought by the supporters of her presidential campaign. John Oliver made third party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson part of a segment during the October 16 episode of his HBO show. The intent of this episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver was to shine some light on candidates gaining support from voters who are turning away from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Several points that Oliver made were not well received, with many Stein supporters calling for a boycott on social media.
Oliver said it very succinctly when he stated that, “When your two main options are depressing, any third choice seems good.” This followed a segment covering the latest front page news that Republican nominee Donald Trump has had following sexual assault allegations against him last week. Oliver then began to break down the other candidates running for president, circling Jill Stein and Gary Johnson as the two who have drawn the most interest from voters. He then focused in on one particular issue Stein has spoken about in the past, quoting her in the process.
“We’re the one party that’s actually calling for canceling student debt and bailing out a generation of young people like we bailed out the bankers on Wall Street. We can do that for this generation and unleash them to be the stimulus package of our dreams.”
John Oliver talked for a while about the claims of Jill Stein that she would wipe out student debt if elected. It has been one of the calling cards of her campaign, with many supporters of the Green Party candidate extolling about how great this proposal would be for students. Oliver also revealed another quote, where Stein states that “The president then has the authority to cancel student debt using quantitative easing.” John Oliver stated that only the Federal Reserve has that right and that it doesn’t take marching orders from the White House.
This wasn’t the only component of his show that has led to the Jill Stein boycott, as he took it one step further while discussing the viability of third party candidates in this election cycle.
“The more you look at both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, the more you realize that the lack of coverage they complain about so much might have genuinely benefited them because their key proposals begin to crumble under the slightest scrutiny.”
The Jill Stein boycott from supporters extends beyond just John Oliver and his show, as some supporters have taken to Facebook to claim that it is a conspiracy by HBO to get Hillary Clinton into office. It was only a matter of time until her campaign made an official response and that came through a press release issued on her website. In a rebuttal to claims Oliver had made, Stein stated that it was a “deceptive attack” and that statements she had made were “taken out of context.”
“We were pleasantly surprised when John Oliver’s research team reached out to us regarding several statements that have been frequently taken out of context to ask if we felt they were missing any context, which we promptly provided. It was beyond disappointing to see that our responses were completely ignored. The same tired, misleading attack lines were trotted out, and Oliver chose to misrepresent our campaign on the lone substantive issue that he addressed: our plan to cancel student debt.”
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) October 20, 2016
The Jill Stein boycott of John Oliver and HBO was furthered by a supporter going by the name Victor Epstein. Epstein has been posting an article on many social media sites for Jill Stein, often going by the name “Victor Jeremiah.” His main argument was that HBO and John Oliver are targeting an important platform idea of a third party candidate in order to further the campaign of Hillary Clinton. It isn’t the first time that his show has been accused of that, as a Donald Trump supporter also tried to start a boycott last summer.
The next episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs on Sunday, October 23, giving the show a lot of time to prepare a response to the rebuttal from Stein’s campaign and her supporters. It may even bring more eyes to HBO as viewers look to learn more about Jill Stein as the election approaches. While Stein hasn’t spoken directly about a boycott of Oliver, HBO, or the show, she also hasn’t dissuaded supporters who are expressing their frustrations through social media.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]