ABC News censors presidential candidate’s vaccine comments
ABC News has censored an interview with US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – Joe Biden’s top challenger for the Democratic Party’s 2024 nomination – by removing his allegedly false assertions about Covid-19 vaccines.
“We should note that during our conversation, Kennedy made false claims about the Covid-19 vaccines,” ABC anchor Linsey Davis said on Thursday after airing her interview with the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.
She added that Kennedy made “misleading claims” contrary to research findings about a link between certain vaccines and autism. “We’ve used our editorial judgment in not including portions of that exchange in our interview.”
Davis sparred with Kennedy during the interview, saying his past claims about vaccines causing autism had been totally “debunked.” As the candidate began to explain why he believes major public health agencies, such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are “captive,” his comments were cut off. The clip then cuts to Davis pointing out that some of Kennedy’s family members disagree with his views on vaccines.
“I’m just curious, if you’re not able to get your own sisters to vote for you for president, how would you make that appeal to American voters?” the host asked. Kennedy replied that he has a large family with a tradition of openly discussing issues on which they disagree. “That’s something that I think is a lesson we ought to learn for this country. We can disagree with each other without hating each other, without marginalizing each other.” Davis shot back, “I’m just using your family’s words to call you dangerous, rather than saying that’s not like the typical family that might have disagreements around the kitchen table.”
Kennedy noted on Friday that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring presidential candidates.
“Instead of journalism, the public saw a hatchet job,” he said. “Instead of information, they got defamation and unsheathed pharma propaganda. Americans deserve to hear the full interview so they can make up their own minds. How can democracy function without a free and unbiased press?”
A Fox News poll released on Thursday showed that although President Biden’s rivals for the Democratic Party’s nomination are longshot candidates, Kennedy is gaining ground. While 62% of Democrat voters want the party to nominate Biden for re-election, 19% favor Kennedy. A previous poll indicated that Kennedy was supported by 14% of Democrats after entering the race earlier this month.
Kennedy is the nephew of John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and the son of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot dead on the campaign trail in 1968. He has pledged to end the “corrupt merger between state and corporate power” and has spoken out against Washington’s policy of using military power to enforce global hegemony. “The Ukraine war is the final collapse of the neocons’ short-lived ‘American Century,’” he said earlier this month.