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Friday, July 14, 2023
Newsmax Columnists Also Boosting RFK Jr.'s Presidential Bid
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's "news" side isn't the only part of the organization to give Robert Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign a boost in the hope that it might interfere with President Biden's re-election plans -- its columnists have been happy to hype him as well. Jeff Crouere used his May 1 column to defend Kennedy over a TV outlet declining to air his anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories:

ABC News obviously did not care for the claims that Kennedy was making about vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry. According to Kennedy, “47 USC 315 makes it illegal for TV networks to censor presidential candidates but Thursday, ABC showed its contempt for the law, democracy, and its audience by cutting most of the content of my interview.”

The censorship involved Kennedy’s comments about the government’s actions during the COVID pandemic. He said, he will be “happy to supply citations to support every statement I made” and lamented that “Instead of journalism, the public saw a hatchet job. Instead of information, they got defamation and unsheathed Pharma propaganda.”

In his response to such blatant censorship, Kennedy asked, “How can democracy function without a free and unbiased press?” If elected President, Kennedy promised to “free FCC from its corporate captors and force the agency to follow the law by revoking the licenses of networks that put the mercantile ambitions of advertisers ahead of the public interest.”

Of course, a "free and unbiased press" also means that the media is allowed to choose what it publishes and airs. Crouere would freak out if Newsmax was ordered to air all points of view.

In his May 2 column, Daniel McCarthy touted how President Biden "has to contend with a real Kennedy for next year's Democratic presidential nomination," then hyped how he went conspiratorial over assassinations of family members, noting that "He's convinced Sirhan Sirhan did not fire the fatal shots" that killed his father and that "He also holds the CIA culpable for the murder of his uncle in Dealey Plaza 60 years ago." McCarthy then insisted that Kennedy's penchant for conspiracy theories is somehow noble and that his family name legitimizes them:

Robert Kennedy Jr.'s penchant for "conspiracy theories" leads Biden-friendly commentators and political strategists to dismiss him.

He threatens to spoil their myth that Republicans are the crazy party, whether or not he poses any risk to Biden.

But in fact conspiracy theories have as much of a home in the Democratic Party as in the GOP, if not more of one.

The difference is that Democratic conspiracy theories, such as those alleging Russian responsibility for the election of Donald Trump in 2016, often come with the imprimatur of prestigious media outlets.

RFK Jr., on the other hand, is a Democrat whose conspiratorial beliefs don't dependably align with the elite media's prejudices.

He's long believed that vaccines contribute to autism. And he's a fiery critic of Anthony Fauci and the response by government and the medical establishment to COVID-19.

Views like those are supposed to be the province of QAnon, not Democratic primary voters, according to the commentators who routinely burnish the party's image — and tarnish the GOP's.

But the guardians of the Democratic Party's respectability are in for a rude awakening.

The Kennedy name, Biden's weakness and the profound distrust millions of Americans feel toward institutions such as the CIA, the media and the pharmaceutical companies will make RFK Jr. formidable.

McCarthy concluded by insisting that RFK Jr. is the real "Kennedy dream":

Biden, leader of a party whose liberalism is very different, hid behind the Kennedy dream.

RFK Jr. takes that away. And the bottomless sense of betrayal that animates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an epitaph for a generation.

Boomer Democrats loved the American dream. But they failed the real America.

A May 12 syndicated column by Mona Charen, however, deviated from the agenda. She noted Kennedy's penchant for conspiracy theories and his offensive claim that COVID vaccine mandates were like the Holocaust, adding that "he cost tens of thousands of Americans their lives thanks to minimizing the seriousness of COVID." She declaring that he "belongs in the select company of major figures who have used their power for harm. Perhaps he isn't quite right in the head. Who knows?" But she also admitted that he "appeals to significant numbers of Americans, and particularly to those who have always been on the other side of the aisle." Unlike with Crouere's and McCarthy's columns, though, Newsmax felt the need to stick a disclaimer at the top of it stating that "The following is not an endorsement, on the part of Newsmax, of any political candidate, or political party" -- even though it's clear she was not endorsing Kennedy.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT

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