The Lie that Went Round the World

The Lie that Went Round the World
American Values 2024 | April 15, 2024

By Blake Fleetwood, The Kennedy Beacon

All these publications got it wrong: The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, MSNBC, Axios, NBC, USA Today, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Fox News, CNN, The Independent, Newsweek, ABC News, Washington Times, Detroit News, The View and perhaps hundreds of other local newspapers and media outlets.

Thanks for reading The Kennedy Beacon! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

In reporting what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said on Erin Burnett’s CNN show, OutFront, broadcast on April 1, they wrote, either in their

But none of the above reputable mainstream media news organizations even bothered to listen to or verify the original Burnett interview, in which Kennedy clearly said that both Biden and Trump were dangerous to democracy. (Since the interview and Kennedy’s pushback, a few of the outlets have changed their misleading headlines.)

So much for responsible journalism or accuracy in the news. This follows a pattern of mainstream misquoting and misrepresenting RFK’s revolutionary presidential campaign.

Kennedy supporters were happy he was finally getting a 32-minute Erin Burnett interview on CNN. Kennedy said, “I am very grateful to Erin Burnett. CNN has not let me on for a live interview in a decade… but she actually let me speak.”

Matt Taibbl and Walter Kern, in their Racket News podcast on April 5, take apart Burnett’s silly and naive questions but praise the interview for the interesting things Kennedy was allowed to say in prime time.

Kennedy said, “There is a revolution happening in our country. It’s the same kind of thing that was happening when my father was running. The polarization and demonization are the most toxic since the Civil War. The middle class is feeling forgotten by the Democrats. I am a populist. My father was a populist for the cops, firefighters, blue-collar workers, farmers, the anti-war movement, and young people.”

Kennedy emphasized that neither Trump nor Biden has the capacity to address the issues that threaten our existence. Both Trump and Biden are operating in a narrow band.

The narrow, culture war issues like abortion, guns, and the border are all important issues, but our very existence is not threatened. The $34 trillion debt can destroy our democracy and our way of life. The chronic disease explosion will affect hundreds of millions of Americans, and our forever wars have the possibility of leading us into an atomic apocalypse.

Who ran up that debt? Trump and Biden. And it was created by the corporate capture of Washington politicians over the last seven years. RFK Jr. said, “If somebody wants change, they are going to vote for me.”

Burnett was not especially friendly to Kennedy. She repeatedly tried to get him to say that he was playing the role of spoiler for Biden’s re-election. Kennedy replied that in recent Harvard/ Harris and Quinnipiac polls, he took votes from both Biden and Trump, but in a four-way race, he took two percent more from Trump than Biden.

In later replays of the interview, CNN shows its anti-Kennedy bias by having someone else rebut Kennedy’s statements about why he picked Nicole Shanahan as his vice presidential running mate. CNN did not give him a chance to answer. This is Erin Burnett’s professional task to interview and refute. But, apparently, CNN executives didn’t think she was up to the job, so they brought in a “political director” to do it for her. Apparently, CNN decided after the interview that they were too soft on Kennedy, and they let him say too much.

A big “No No.”

This kind of misquote is symptomatic of the mainstream media misrepresenting Kennedy’s positions. Earlier this month, The New York Times employed a similar tactic in an interview podcast with RFK Jr.: Turning down his volume while a voice talked over him, contradicting him. He couldn’t hear what they were saying to defend himself. (See my coverage in The Kennedy Beacon, here.)

Earlier this year, when Kennedy was having a serious discussion about the dangers of bioweapons and citing a Cleveland Clinic study, the New York Post accused him of anti-semitism. This was a made-up accusation that resulted in erroneous headlines around the country.

Network anchors repeatedly denigrate RFK and his views. Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Jake Tapper have been particularly brutal and unprofessional. The mainstream media seems to be suffering from Trump derangement syndrome (TDS), which justifies the most odious smears against Kennedy, whom they see as taking votes from Joe Biden.

This is not free and fair journalism and must not stand.

Blake Fleetwood was formerly a reporter on the staff of The New York Times and has written for The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Village Voice, Atlantic, and the Washington Monthly on a number of issues. He was born in Santiago, Chile and moved to New York City at the age of four. He graduated from Bard College and did graduate work in political science and comparative politics at Columbia University. He taught politics at New York University.

Thanks for reading The Kennedy Beacon! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.