Censored? Robert Kennedy Jr. Won’t Quit Talking.


The speech clocked in at nearly two hours, and in the middle of it, I wondered if Kennedy believed he had to do this because it was the last speech he would ever give. About three-quarters of the way through, just as Kennedy was talking about how Saudi Arabia and Brazil were ditching the U.S. dollar in new trade agreements for their own currencies, an alarm went off in the hotel ballroom, and a voice came over the loudspeaker telling everyone to calmly leave, there was an emergency. Kennedy told the crowd that an aide had told him, “There is no emergency that affects us” and tried to make a joke that the powers that be were trying to shut him up — “Nice try” — but then just kept on plowing through, willfully oblivious to the sirens.

All of which is to say, the man can be kind of exhausting. If you have ever found yourself in a college dorm room talking with someone who can’t believe how you don’t know how Mumia Abu-Jamal was framed or about the fluoride in the water because you have been turned into a sheep by the corporate overlords who control the media and the government, well, talking with Kennedy is like that.

He unleashes a torrent of stats and information about the pandemic far too fast to permit any kind of fact-check, threads together vast conspiracies of government figures doing the bidding of their corporate pay-masters, says that Vitamin D supplements are superior to the Covid shot, insists he has been proven right by everything (“Tell me one thing I got wrong,” he says) and can’t believe how you have been fed lies about the cover-up involving the conspiracy to kill both his father and his uncle.

“Everything you are saying is wrong. The evidence is so voluminous, you just don’t know about it, and you really need to ask yourself why that is,” he said to me when we first spoke in April. “All you are doing is repeating the narrative that is, of course, supported by the New York Times. You are walking around in a sleep state right now.”

As Kennedy tells it, the offending post that got him kicked off Instagram in 2021 was something that pointed out the ties between the National Institute of Health and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the lab in China that some believe concocted Covid, or at least allowed it to escape its confines. It’s not clear that he is right on this point: The Biden administration had previously flagged a tweet from Kennedy that pointed out that baseball star Hank Aaron died after receiving the Covid shot (Aaron was 86 and died peacefully in his sleep two weeks after receiving the shot; the local medical examiner said he died due to “natural causes”). And when Kennedy was removed from Instagram, the company said that it was “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.” Instagram declined to name specific posts, but over the Covid summer of 2020, Kennedy posted, to name a few examples, that the CDC was secretly counting deaths from pneumonia and influenza as deaths from Covid, something that was demonstrably false, and did an hourlong interview with actor Alec Baldwin in which Kennedy spread inaccurate information about vaccines and claimed that lockdown would cause more deaths than Covid.

This feeling, that he wasn’t being properly heard and considered, and that so-called experts were dismissing him, is not a new one for Kennedy. In 2014, Kennedy wrote a book titled Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, which picked up on an argument Kennedy made in a 2005 article co-published in both Salon and Rolling Stone which alleged that childhood vaccines caused autism. The article was so error-ridden — including by vastly overstating the amount of mercury in vaccines, conflating ethylmercury with methylmercury, misattributing quotes and getting basic factual details wrong — that it received five major corrections within days of publication, and in 2011 was retracted entirely by Salon, which could no longer stand by the piece.

For the book, Kennedy told me he spent a year reading the literature on PubMed, a database of medical studies. “And I just thought: ‘When this book is published, it’s over, they are going to take this stuff out and everybody is going to feel like we made a mistake and we have to go fix this.’ And instead, it wasn’t a ripple. The book was totally censored. It was reviewed 12 times by people, all of whom hadn’t read it,” he said, without explaining that’s because there were no pre-publication copies made available by his publisher, Skyhorse. (For what it is worth, subsequent reviews have been no kinder; Time Magazine said that Kennedy was “wrong — utterly wrong, so wrong it’s hard even to know what the biggest piece of that wrongness is.”)

The reviews didn’t slow down his reach; Kennedy published six books in the eight years after Thimerosal was released, including a defense of his cousin, Michael Skakel, who was convicted for the 1975 murder of his Greenwich, Connecticut, neighbor. (Kennedy fingers two teens of color from the Bronx as the real killers, saying they were “obsessed” with the neighbor’s “beautiful blonde hair,” and daring the men to sue him if they were wrong; they say they do not have the money to mount a suit. Skakel was released in 2013 when a judge ruled that his lawyer had not provided an adequate defense. In 2016, the state Supreme Court reinstated his conviction, then reversed itself again in 2018.) Much more recently, and more sensationally, he published The Real Anthony Fauci, which even a sympathetic reviewer in the conservative Claremont Review of Books found so wrong on its facts and contradictory in its claims as to be entirely without merit, a book that “will be of very little use to future historians, except as an example of the strain of extreme paranoia that is an ineradicable, but not admirable, part of human nature in response to crisis.”


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