LOS ANGELES, Oct. 2, 2019 — This week The HighWire with Del Bigtree will interview the controversial Canadian couple, David & Collet Stephan. The Stephans stood trial for the 2012 death of their son Ezekiel, originally thought to have died from bacterial meningitis.
During the trial, The Stephans were portrayed in the media as irresponsible parents whose choice to not vaccinate their son, Ezekiel, led to his untimely death. However, as the case progressed, facts emerged implicating the Crown in a smear campaign against the nontraditional natural health and organic-focused family. In addition to hiding the true cause of Ezekiel Stephan’s death, there was potential to set legal precedent for any Canadian family that chooses a vaccine-free lifestyle.
“This story is another double tragedy where a child dies and parents are needlessly scapegoated and villainized,” says Emmy-award winning Bigtree, founder of the nonprofit Informed Consent Action Network. “It’s trial by media, whereby when the real trial finally comes and mom and dad are exonerated, the story is mostly ignored or spun away from truth and justice.”
The Stephans’ case indubitably provides insight to media’s ability to shift public perception.
By the Stephans’ account, Canadian media initially supported the family, even directing people towards fundraising to assist them. They continued to portray the Stephans in a fair and balanced light until March 2016. The government media, CBC (Canadian version of PBS), did an attack story in March 2016 that was broadcast nationally. All news media followed, and have steadily been attacking the family since, even following exoneration in the courts.
David Stephan, Ezekiel’s father, gave a few interviews to Canadian media before shutting down all communications with the press. His wife, Collet, Ezekiel’s mother, has never spoken with the news media previously. Both will appear on The HighWire this Thursday.
The HighWire with Del Bigtree streams every Thursday at 11am PST on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and it’s website TheHighWire.com.
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