White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki points out why we’re fighting the righteous fight against Robert Kennedy, Jr:
Her source? This report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which found that just 12 people were responsible for all anti-vaccine misinformation on social media, and a whopping 73% on Facebook.
And No. 2 on the list? Robert Kennedy, Jr.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed. Thanks to Public Citizen for waging an amazing defense of our community, pro bono. If you want to help fund these legal efforts against a dangerous, murderous, conspiracy theorist, please click here. Also consider a donation to Public Citizen, for having this community’s back.
What’s amazing about Kennedy’s accomplishment is that there are some real pieces of work further down the list. No. 4 on the list is Sherri Tenpenny, who is famous for claiming that vaccines made people “magnetic.”
“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said. “They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that.”
That’s some real piece of work, leading to that classic woman claiming the vaccine had magnetized her, yet unable to make anything stick to her.
Yet as ridiculous as that woman and her claims are, Kennedy still bests her on the list of greatest misinformers.
Kennedy also comes ahead of this creep:
(The information was never confirmed, because it was bullshit, but that was all according to plan. Sow fear, minsinformation, distrust. Mission accomplished!)
Kennedy was an even bigger danger than Rashid Buttar, who has happily distributed this kind of misinformation:
There’s Erin Elizabeth, who spreads shit like this:
You get the idea. There are a lot of dangerous people out there, but Kennedy is near the top of the list (second only to a guy with 3.6 million followers in his social media channels) because he has the unearned built-in credibility bestowed by his regal last name.
As Mark Sumner wrote earlier this week:
When someone doesn’t understand vaccines, or microchips, or cellphone technology, it’s possible to get them to believe anything about any combination of those technologies. It’s possible to hold hearings in Ohio in which a woman repeatedly tries to stick a key to her neck, and then demands to know why a vaccine she proudly did not take made her magnetic, even after the key won’t stick.
Disinformation sticks, no matter how ridiculous it might seem. And the consequences? Here’s more Mark Sumner:
[R]ight now in Mississippi, there are 12 children too young to take any current vaccine who are in ICUs fighting for their lives. That is entirely because some people still won’t get vaccinated [...]
Every time Tucker Carlson plays up false fear of the vaccine on his program, he is killing American children. Every time Marjorie Taylor Greene makes false analogies to “experimental drugs,” she is killing American kids. Lauren Boebert and Ted Cruz are killing American kids. Every damn bastard in the nation who tries to create doubts about the vaccines for political purposes is killing American kids. That’s you, Tennessee legislature. And you, Missouri governor. That’s you, every single person at CPAC.
And of course, it’s not just children that continue to die needlessly. Not that Republicans will care, given how happy they are to continue seeing children gunned down in a nation awash in weapons of mass death. But you’d think at least that might move some of them, given their supposed fealty to “life.” Forget that we’re still averaging over 300 COVID-related deaths every single day. Conservatives don’t care about seniors, who are particularly vulnerable, either. Or about anyone in between kids and seniors.
But isn’t it ironic that Kennedy’s misinformation perch is called the “Children’s Health Defense”?
Daily Kos is currently locked in a legal battle with Kennedy, who is trying to dox a community member for writing about his presence at a Nazi-organized-and-attended rally. See my coverage of the legal case, in chronological order, here, here, and here. An update post will be coming shortly, as there have been some interesting developments since the last update.
Kennedy is dangerous, both in his pro-COVID advocacy and in his efforts to subvert the First Amendment. I’m so grateful to have the ability to fight him on both those fronts—thanks to a perch that you have helped build (this site, Daily Kos), and with the resources you have donated to wage the legal battle on behalf of your own ability to engage in politics pseudonymously. I take those contributions seriously, with more gratitude than you can imagine.
Kennedy thought he could use his vast, unearned wealth to stifle criticism and publicly expose his critics. Legal battles are expensive, and we are now waging a two-front war, in both California and New York, and the way things are moving, a third state may soon enter the picture. You have given me and our lawyers the freedom to vigorously and aggressively resist Kennedy without fear of financial problems. Kennedy didn’t expect that. He can’t believe his legal threats didn’t carry the day.
So thanks to everyone who has contributed. Thanks to Public Citizen for waging an amazing defense of our community. If you want to help fund these legal efforts against this dangerous, murderous conspiracy theorist, please click here. Also consider a donation to Public Citizen, for having your back. They are a great ally to have in this fight.