A Worm Ate My Brain! Unmasking The Playbook

A Worm Ate My Brain! Unmasking The Playbook
American Values 2024 | May 15, 2024

By David Talbot, columnist, The Kennedy Beacon

Who Is Bobby Kennedy, the new video about the real RFK Jr., begins with Kennedy reading various statements that have been made about him by reputable news sources like The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian and Vanity Fair.

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“He’s nuts and clearly disturbed…”; “His own family hates him…”; “He sounds like he’s transmitting from another galaxy…”; “Kennedy is a humorless bully living in a paranoid reality…”; “What the fuck is wrong with Bobby Kennedy?…”; “He’s a walking, talking conspiracy theory…”; “He is vile…”; “Being with him was the low point of my summer…”; “He’s a crank…”; “He’s a crank who cranks out whoppers the way that Taylor Swift disgorges perfect pop songs…”; “He has conversations with dead people.”

The last one makes Kennedy shake his head in disbelief. “I wouldn’t vote for that guy either,” he says with a wry smile.

If you challenge the political status quo, if you make powerful enemies, this is what happens to you. These days they don’t assassinate you in America. Too messy, too risky. They just assassinate your character.

Former political consultant Jay Carson, who co-created the Who is Bobby Kennedy video, calls this character assassination operation “The Playbook.” Carson should know. As he points out in the video, Carson worked for nearly 20 years on Democratic campaigns, including as spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run.

“Here’s the way The Playbook works,” Carson explains in the video.

“First, they attack you broadly and they question your facts. They say you’re lying and it’s ferocious. But if you’re moving after that, they move on to character assassination. They take you on as a person. They dig up everything bad about your past and they leak it to the press. If you had a fender-bender, you’re a reckless driver. If you paid a bill late, you’re a deadbeat. And so on, and so on. Every part of your life goes under their microscope. They try to embarrass you. To make you say this fight isn’t worth what it’s costing me, and you quit.”

But some people don’t quit. They’re too bullheaded or courageous, too dedicated to telling the truth, no matter what. Like Bobby Kennedy, Carson points out. In that case, the smears get worse.

“They say you are an antisemite and a racist,” Carson continues. “No two slurs in America are worse than those. No slur. Except crazy. Crazy or kook or crank or nutjob are their mainstays. That’s their nuclear option. Because if they can get everyone to dismiss you as a wacko nutjob, everything you say is suspect… And here’s the thing: it works. Like damn near 100 percent of the time, it works.”

And that was all before last week, when mainstream news – even Saturday Night Live went gaga over the parasite that invaded Kennedy’s brain. The sci-fi-like revelation was conveniently leaked to The New York Times from a 2012 deposition in Kennedy’s divorce proceedings. The story seemed to sync with the mentally defective narrative about Bobby. See, there’s a medical reason for why he’s so wacky.

But sometimes The Playbook goes upside down. That’s right, the worm soon turned on the story. On May 9, the day after the Times broke the news about Kennedy’s parasite, NPR stated that “RFK Jr. is not alone” The radio network reported that according to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people have parasitic worms because of contaminated food or water. Other news stories about the global health crisis quickly followed, muting the Times’s initial “a worm ate my brain” shocker.

Kennedy has effectively used his own medical history – his own body – as Exhibit A in what ails America. Parasitic worms? He suffered from that. Mercury poisoning? Ditto – from all the fish he ate caught in polluted waters. “We have poisoned this generation,” Kennedy has said. “Chronic disease is bankrupting the nation.”

This rings true for the millions of families who are struggling to care for their sickly loved ones and to pay for their treatments.

Kennedy is the only major presidential candidate to pointedly ask why the U.S. spends more on health care than any other high-income country but still has the lowest life expectancy at birth and the highest percentage of people with multiple chronic diseases.

Here’s the thing, as Jay Carson would say. As Kennedy has become more controversial in the mainstream media and politics, he has become more beloved by average Americans.

“If all the newspapers and news shows you trust tell you someone’s a crazy person, they must be a crazy person, right?” Carson says in the Kennedy video. “Wrong. A lot of times the crazy person is someone brave enough to speak truth to power.”

Once upon a time, Bobby’s worst fear was to be what he called “marginalized.” That’s what he told me over breakfast at Boston’s historic Parker House hotel during the 2004 Democratic Convention. Since then, he’s decided to go all the way, to understand how power really works in America and to use it for common good.

In the process, he has said, he lost lifelong friends and various jobs as well as the political party he called home. He has been censored and, yes, marginalized.

But in the end, he might become president.

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