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Media Smears Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. For “Conspiracy Theories” Even As Many Come True

Media Smears Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. For "Conspiracy Theories" Even As Many Come True

Authored by Michael Shellenberger and Leighton Woodhouse…



Media Smears Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. For "Conspiracy Theories" Even As Many Come True

Authored by Michael Shellenberger and Leighton Woodhouse via Public Substack,

Yesterday, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. appeared on a Twitter Spaces panel co-hosted by Elon Musk, Tulsi Gabbard, and venture capitalist David Sacks. He spoke for over two hours on a range of issues, including the war in Ukraine, energy policy, gun control, and the origin of SARS-CoV-2. And Kennedy deplored the corporate takeover of the Democratic Party, excoriated President Biden’s pro-war instincts, decried the domination of US foreign policy by neo-cons and promoted renewable energy.

And yet, according to the New York Times and CNN, it was an orgy of right-wing conspiracy theorizing. “Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of the country’s most famous Democratic families,” wrote three New York Times reporters, “dived into the full embrace of a host of conservative figures who eagerly promoted his long-shot primary challenge to President Biden….On Monday, he sounded like a candidate far more at ease in the mushrooming Republican presidential contest.”

In pre-Trump America, Kennedy, an anti-war, pro-free speech environmentalist and fierce critic of corporate power, would have been universally regarded as a far-left candidate in the mold of Ralph Nader or his current campaign manager, Dennis Kucinich. He once called for the Koch Brothers to be criminally prosecuted. Kennedy believes that the war in Ukraine is being fueled by “the neo-cons in the White House” who want “regime change with the Russians.” In his campaign announcement speech, he described his mission as ending “the corrupt merger of state and corporate power” that is threatening “to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism in our country.”

But a dizzying political realignment has scrambled all of the traditional categories and left in its wake just two sides: not left and right, but insider and outsider. And no matter the substance of one’s beliefs, to the media, “outsider” means, by default, “right-wing conspiracy theorist.”

On yesterday’s Twitter spaces conversation, the shift was lost on nobody, including Kennedy. “The Democrats slowly became pro-corporate, pro-war, and pro-censorship,” said Kennedy, and “Republicans became anti-censorship, pro-civil liberties, and anti-war. There's been this tremendous realignment.”

Kennedy’s rising profile ignited a media backlash yesterday that felt almost orchestrated. Kennedy’s “crackpot claims” and “outlandish views” have won him “favor on the right,” Vanity Fair moaned. “Mr. Kennedy has found another benefactor who seems to enjoy deluging the press with excrement: Elon Musk,” snarled The Independent. “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Spends an Hour Sucking Up to Elon Musk in Twitter Space,” blared a New Republic headline.

Business Insider called the conversation on Twitter “a bizarre Twitter Spaces conversation littered with falsehoods and conspiracy theories” and dismissed Kennedy’s “odd and occasionally incoherent policy positions.” Rolling Stone sneered at his “outlandish and pseudoscientific ideas” and labeled Kennedy a “fringe candidate” with “crank beliefs.” Esquire called him a “raving anti-vaxxer” and lambasted the very idea of having a contested Democratic primary.

But none put it as plainly as The Washington Post. “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tests the conspiratorial appetite of Democrats,” wrote the Post’s Michael Scherer. Kennedy, Scherer alleged, “campaigns on the idea that powerful people have been working in secret to deceive you.”

The Washington Post may believe that the public’s distrust of the elite is nothing more than a conspiracy theory. But if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that powerful people have, indeed, been working in secret to deceive us.

Consider how many suspicions that were dismissed as conspiracy theories turned out to be true: 

  1. Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the U.S. government was indeed spying on millions of Americans without a warrant and without their knowledge and that such claims of widespread surveillance were neither paranoid nor conspiracy theories. Obama’s Director of National Intelligence had lied to Congress about NSA surveillance before Snowden revealed the truth.

  2. Jeffrey Epstein may have been running a honeypot blackmail operation with the knowledge of the CIA, whose director visited him frequently, according to his private emails.

  3. The evidence is today overwhelming that President Joe Biden’s son and brother sold access to Joe Biden, when he was Vice President, to foreign investors, including Chinese with close relationships to military intelligence.

  4. The Biden administration and media elites have aggressively pushed for bans and restrictions on natural gas stoves while claiming that those who claimed they were pushing for such bans and restrictions were spreading conspiracy theories.

  5. The U.S. really did manage bio-labs in Ukraine, despite propaganda from NPR and others dismissing this reality as a conspiracy theory.

  6. The Pentagon had indeed been covering up evidence of UFOs for decades.

  7. Emails show former NAID director Anthony Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins conspired to spread the lie that the Covid lab leak hypothesis had been debunked. In truth, there is a long history of lab leaks in the US and around the world, and scientists had hotly debated whether coronavirus research should occur given the high risk of a leak.

The New York Times wrote that “American intelligence agencies do not believe there is any evidence indicating that” COVID-19 was created as part of a bioweapons program. But Fauci’s NIH funding for gain-of-function research may indeed have originated as a biodefense effort.


Calling someone a “conspiracy theorist” is powerful and insidious. It does more than imply that a person is gullible or stupid. It suggests that they suffer from some kind of mental illness, and their opinions are not worth listening to.

Calling someone a conspiracy theorist is an act of delegitimation, just as calling them a racist or climate denier is. The goal is to ostracize and stigmatize, to un-person one’s political adversaries, and to banish their arguments from public discourse instead of refuting them. This is what the media is doing to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


Kennedy’s zealous support for free speech runs counter to the media’s goal of “combating disinformation” by monitoring and censoring ordinary people online and thereby establishing themselves, once again, as the arbiters of truth and falsehood.

This is another reason the media is so determined to destroy his candidacy.


That’s an existential threat to the mainstream media, so outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN are doing everything they can to discredit both the platform and Kennedy’s candidacy. That alone makes both worth fighting to defend.

Subscribers to Public substack can read the full article here...

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/06/2023 - 19:25

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Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl…



Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl to 18 years in jail and a travel ban for posting tweets in support of political prisoners, according to a rights group.

On Friday, ALQST rights group, which documents human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, revealed that the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court handed out the sentence in August to 18-year-old Manal al-Gafiri, who was only 17 at the time of her arrest.

Via Reuters

The Saudi judiciary, under the de facto rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has issued several extreme prison sentences over cyber activism and the use of social media for criticising the government.

They include the recent death penalty against Mohammed al-Ghamdi, a retired teacher, for comments made on Twitter and YouTube, and the 34-year sentence of Leeds University doctoral candidate Salma al-Shehab over tweets last year.

The crown prince confirmed Ghamdi's sentence during a wide-ranging interview with Fox News on Wednesday. He blamed it on "bad laws" that he cannot change

"We are not happy with that. We are ashamed of that. But [under] the jury system, you have to follow the laws, and I cannot tell a judge [to] do that and ignore the law, because... that's against the rule of law," he said.

Saudi human rights defenders and lawyers, however, disputed Mohammed bin Salman's allegations and said the crackdown on social media users is correlated with his ascent to power and the introduction of new judicial bodies that have since overseen a crackdown on his critics. 

"He is able, with one word or the stroke of a pen, in seconds, to change the laws if he wants," Taha al-Hajji, a Saudi lawyer and legal consultant with the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, told Middle East Eye this week.

According to Joey Shea, Saudi Arabia researcher at Human Rights Watch, Ghamdi was sentenced under a counterterrorism law passed in 2017, shortly after Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince. The law has been criticised for its broad definition of terrorism.

Similarly, two new bodies - the Presidency of State Security and the Public Prosecution Office - were established by royal decrees in the same year.

Rights groups have said that the 2017 overhaul of the kingdom's security apparatus has significantly enabled the repression of Saudi opposition voices, including those of women rights defenders and opposition activists. 

"These violations are new under MBS, and it's ridiculous that he is blaming this on the prosecution when he and senior Saudi authorities wield so much power over the prosecution services and the political apparatus more broadly," Shea said, using a common term for the prince.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 11:30

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Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op…



Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op gesture to win union votes, Biden will head to Michigan for a token visit.

Biden to Walk the Picket Line

Taking Sides

CNN had some Interesting comments on Biden Talking Sides.

Jeremi Suri, a presidential historian and professor at University of Texas at Austin, said he doesn’t believe any president has ever visited a picket line during a strike.

Presidents, including Biden, have previously declined to wade into union disputes to avoid the perception of taking sides on issues where the negotiating parties are often engaged in litigation.

On September 15, the day the strike started, Biden said that the automakers “should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.”

Some Democratic politicians have been urging Biden to do more. California Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday told CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich that Biden and other Democrats should join him on the picket line.

“I’d love to see the president out here,” he said, arguing the Democratic Party needs to demonstrate it’s “the party of the working class.”

UAW Announces New Strike Locations

As the strike enters a second week, UAW Announces New Strike Locations

UAW President Shawn Fain called for union members to strike at noon ET Friday at 38 General Motors and Stellantis facilities across 20 states. He said the strike call covers all of GM and Stellantis’ parts distribution facilities.

The strike call notably excludes Ford, the third member of Detroit’s Big Three, suggesting the UAW is more satisfied with the progress it has made on a new contract with that company.

General Motors plants being told to strike are in Pontiac, Belleville, Ypsilanti, Burton, Swartz Creek and Lansing, Michigan; West Chester, Ohio; Aurora, Colorado; Hudson, Wisconsin; Bolingbrook, Illinois; Reno, Nevada; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Roanoke, Texas; Martinsburg, West Virginia; Brandon, Mississippi; Charlotte, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Lang Horne, Pennsylvania.

The Stellantis facilities going on strike are in Marysville, Center Line, Warren, Auburn Hills, Romulus and Streetsboro, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Plymouth, Minnesota; Commerce City, Colorado; Naperville, Illinois; Ontario, California; Beaverton, Oregon; Morrow, Georgia; Winchester, Virginia; Carrollton, Texas; Tappan, New York; and Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Contract Negotiations Are Not Close

Good Luck Getting Repairs

Party of the Working Cass, Really?

Let’s discuss the nonsensical notion that Democrats are the party of the “working class”.

Unnecessary stimulus, reckless expansion of social services, student debt cancellation, eviction moratoriums, earned income credits, immigration policy, and forcing higher prices for all, to benefit the few, are geared towards the “unworking class”.

On top of it, Biden wants to take away your gas stove, end charter schools to protect incompetent union teachers, and force you into an EV that you do not want and for which infrastructure is not in place.

All of this increases inflation across the board as do sanctions and clean energy madness.

Exploring the Working Class Idea

If you don’t work and have no income, Biden may make your healthcare cheaper. If you do work, he seeks to take your healthcare options away.

If you want to pay higher prices for cars, give up your gas stove, be forced into an EV, subsidize wind energy then pay more for electricity on top of it, you have a clear choice. If you support those efforts, by all means, please join him on the picket line for a token photo-op (not that you will be able to get within miles for the staged charade).

But if you can think at all, you understand Biden does not support the working class, he supports the unworking class.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 10:30

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UK Quietly Passes “Online Safety Bill” Into Law

UK Quietly Passes "Online Safety Bill" Into Law

Authored by Kit Knightly via,

Buried behind the Brand-related headlines…



UK Quietly Passes "Online Safety Bill" Into Law

Authored by Kit Knightly via,

Buried behind the Brand-related headlines yesterday, the British House of Lords voted to pass the controversial “Online Safety Bill” into law. All that’s needed now is Royal assent, which Charles will obviously provide.

The bill’s (very catchy) long-form title is…

A Bill to make provision for and in connection with the regulation by OFCOM of certain internet services; for and in connection with communications offences; and for connected purposes.

…and that’s essentially it, it hands the duty of “regulating” certain online content to the UK’s Office of Communications (OfCom).

Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Dawes could barely contain her excitement in a statement to the press:

“Today is a major milestone in the mission to create a safer life online for children and adults in the UK. Everyone at Ofcom feels privileged to be entrusted with this important role, and we’re ready to start implementing these new laws.”

As always with these things, the bill’s text is a challenging and rather dull read, deliberately obscure in its language and difficult to navigate.

Of some note is the “information offenses” clause, which empowers OfCom to demand “information” from users, companies and employees, and makes it a crime to withhold it. The nature of this “information” is never specified, nor does it appear to be qualified. Meaning it could be anything, and will most likely be used to get private account information about users from social media platforms.

In one of the more worrying clauses, the Bill outlines what they call “communications offenses”. Section 10 details crimes of transmitting “Harmful, false and threatening communications”.

It should be noted that sending threats is already illegal in the UK, so the only new ground covered here is “harmful” and/or “false” information, and the fact they feel the need to differentiate between those two things should worry you.

After all, the truth can definitely be “harmful”…Especially to a power-hungry elite barely controlling an angry populace through dishonest propaganda.

Rather amusingly, the bill makes it a crime to “send a message” containing false information in clause 156…then immediately grants immunity to every newspaper, television channel and streaming service in clause 157.

Apparently it’s OK for the mainstream media to be harmful and dishonest.

But the primary purpose of the new law is a transfer of responsibility to enable and incentivize censorship.

Search engines (“regulated search services”, to quote the bill) and social media companies (“regulated user-to-user services”) will now be held accountable for how people use their platform.

For example: If I were to google “Is it safe to drink bleach?”, find some website that says yes, and then drink bleach, OfCom would not hold me responsible. They would hold Google responsible for letting me read that website. Likewise, if someone tweets @ me telling me to drink bleach, and I do so, Twitter would be held responsible for permitting that communication to take place.

This could result in hefty fines, or even potentially criminal charges, to companies and/or executives of those companies. It could even open them up to massively expensive civil suits (don’t be surprised if such a legal drama hits the headlines soon).

Unsurprisingly the mainstream coverage of the new laws barely mentions any of these concerns, instead opting to put child pornography front and centre. Because the Mrs Lovejoy argument always works.

That’s all window dressing, of course, what this is really about is “misinformation” and “hate speech”. Which is to say, fact-checking mainstream lies and calling out mainstream liars.

Section 7(135) is entirely dedicated to the creation of a new “Advisory committee on disinformation and misinformation”, which will be expected to submit regular reports to OfCom and the Secretary of State on how best to “counter misinformation on regulated services“.

This is clearly a response to Covid, or rather the failure of Covid.

Essentially, the pandemic narrative broke because the current mechanisms of censorship didn’t work well enough. In response, the government has just legalised and out-sourced their silencing of dissent.

See, the government isn’t going to actually censor anyone themselves, protecting it from pro-free speech criticism. Rather, huge financial pressure will be applied on tech giants to be “responsible” and “protect the vulnerable”. Meaning de-platforming and cancelling independent media via increasingly opaque “terms of service violations”

These companies will be cheered on by the vast crowd of jabbed-and-masked NPCs who have been so successfully brainwashed into believing the “they are a private company and can do that they want” argument.

This has been going on for years already, of course, but that was covert stuff. Now it’s legal in the UK, and is about to get a lot worse.

It won’t be just the UK either, considering the messaging on “misinformation” being seen at the UN in the last few days, we should expect something similar on a global scale.

You can read the full text of the Online Safety Bill here.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 08:10

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