Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Fox News barred content that reflected negatively on vaccines to appease its big-money advertisers in the pharmaceutical industry.
During a June 5 Twitter Spaces interview with the platform’s owner, Elon Musk, Kennedy disclosed that he approached former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in 2016 about doing a story on the mercury content in vaccines but was shut down.
“He said that any of his hosts who allowed me on TV to talk about this, that he would be forced to fire them,” Kennedy recalled. “And he said that 75 percent of his advertising revenues for the nightly news shows were at that point coming from pharma.”
According to Kennedy, Ailes was sympathetic to his cause but knew that such a story would result in a call from Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch “within 10 minutes.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Fox News for comment.
Banned From Platforms
As an outspoken critic of the COVID-19 vaccines, Kennedy has faced his fair share of being removed from platforms in recent years, with the most recent example being his campaign’s suspension from Instagram.
Last week, Kennedy shared the news on Twitter, noting that his personal account was banned years ago and has not been reinstated despite his political candidacy.
“To silence a major political candidate is profoundly undemocratic,” he wrote on June 1 in a tweet. “Social media is the modern equivalent of the town square. How can democracy function if only some candidates have access to it?”
Musk, responding to the news, invited Kennedy to join him for a Twitter Spaces discussion.
And Instagram’s loss appeared to be Twitter’s gain on June 5, as more than 56,000 people tuned in to the conversation, which featured a wider discussion of how the government and major corporations work to control the speech of Americans.
Bait and Switch
“Free speech and the free flow of information is the water, it’s the sunlight, it’s the fertilizer and soil to democracy,” Kennedy said. “Without it, democracy withers and dies.”
Noting that those who censor speech are historically viewed as “the bad guys,” the candidate stressed that he has met many Americans who feel like the democratic aspect of the U.S. government has become nothing more than a front.
“So many Americans today feel like the promise of democracy has been a bait and switch, and that we’re no longer living in a democratic system where we are actually the sovereign of our own destinies,” he said.
Money, drugs, and large corporations, he said, had turned the government into an “instrument of corporate power” that was being wielded against U.S. citizens.
And the media, he contended, has been complicit in that process.
“The function of media traditionally is supposed to be the guardians of the First Amendment. They’re supposed to speak truth to power, and instead, they become propaganda vessels for the powerful, for you know, the big military-industrial complex or the pharmaceutical companies.”
While Kennedy stressed that democracy thrives best in an atmosphere of debate, his political party appears to have chosen a different route, opting to forgo presidential primary debates and back the reelection of President Joe Biden.
Kennedy, however, has decried that decision as undemocratic and unfair.
“We’re living in a time in this country when there’s so many Americans who feel like this whole system, the economic system and the political system, are rigged against them, but also that elections are actually rigged.
“And I think it’s really important that the Democratic Party make itself a template for democracy,” he told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on May 25.
“I hope at some point President Biden will share my sympathies and will debate his opponents,” he added.
As of yet, Kennedy is one of two candidates to challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination, with the second being author Marianne Williamson.
Pointing to recent polls, Kennedy has said he believes he has a path to defeating Biden in the primaries.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, as of June 5, Biden holds a substantial lead with 42.5 percent of the vote compared to Kennedy’s 16.8 percent. Williamson places third at 6.8 percent.
However, a Redfield and Wilton Strategies poll conducted on April 30 suggests Democrat voters want Biden to debate his challengers.
According to Newsweek, the survey found that 79 percent of eligible voters who supported Biden in the 2020 presidential election said the Democratic Party should hold televised primary debates. Among all eligible voters, 68 percent said the same.
“We need to be able to show people that democracy works and the United States isn’t just like the Soviet Union, where the party picks candidates and the public really doesn’t have a say,” Kennedy told Fox News in another recent interview.
He continued: “We should be trying to convince the public that we are the Democratic Party and that we do believe in democracy. And that the public actually gets to choose candidates, get to meet them, see them debate, touch them, and participate in their own governance.”