Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Remember when the networks were hyping the fact that Rand Paul and Chris Cristie were sympathetic towards parents skeptical about vaccines for their children in February while ignoring similar statements in the past by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? Well, a well known figure from a prominent Democrat political family has gone off the deep end as far as paranoia about vaccines yet silence from the major networks except for Fox News. The person in question is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who went so far as to condemn vaccines as being a "holocaust" as the California legislature takes up the matter of whether to ban vaccine exemptions.
Only days before USA Today reported that the recent measles outbreak had reached a "critical point," The Washington Post declared that opponents of vaccination were "ruining things for everyone."
Following the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland, Jason Millman, a reporter for The Washington Post's Wonkblog, called out "the anti-vaccination movement" in a January 22 post, describing them as "over-privileged group of rich people" who "overwhelmingly" voted for Obama. Millman repeated the observation "that you only had to go visit a Whole Foods to find anti-vaxxers."
Readers of the New York Times know it as the "Weddings/Celebrations" section, which appears in every Sunday paper. Cynics have taken to labeling it the Women's Sports Page. It made for delightful reading this past weekend.
Those browsing through the most recent installment weren't likely to miss the prominent placement of a story about attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and actress Cheryl Hines tying the knot at the home of Ethel Kennedy in Hyannis Port on Aug. 1.
The media just won’t let anti-vaccine nonsense die, as evident by the July 20 issue of Washington Post Magazine and its cover story about Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s “Lonely Crusade.”
In an eight-page story (including photographs), Keith Kloor profiled “The Messenger” Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent anti-vaccine activist. He explored the political consequences of Kennedy’s anti-vaccination crusade.
Despite the rise in deaths from preventable childhood diseases, the networks spent the last 15 years fueling speculation that vaccines cause autism. Just in the past seven years more than 1,300 died from such diseases, according to CDC data.
The medical community widely refuted such claims and the medical journal that once published the study later retracted it. But for years the broadcast networks continued to report on the alleged connection between vaccines and autism.
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On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell gave left-wing environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a platform to denounce the Keystone Pipeline. Kennedy ranted: "The people who are promoting this are the Koch brothers, who spent $2 million trying to hurt him [Obama], the Tea Party people in Congress, and the Republicans who have been trying to block every part of his agenda. There's nobody who traditionally supported him or traditionally supported the interests of children or the environment or democratic civilization as we – you know, at our highest ideals, that wants this thing to happen. It's a catastrophe, and he needs to use his power to say – just say no." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell's response to that outrageous pronouncement: "Robert Kennedy Jr., thank you very much. An impassioned plea against the pipeline."
When it comes to light that a prominent liberal Democrat has committed a series of sexual transgressions, there are two typical responses from media outlets: ignore the story and hope it goes away or spin it as best as they possibly can. The latter approach typically involves either highlighting how said politician and his wife are grappling with rebuilding their marriage and family or by virtually lamenting the emotional turmoil suffered by the adulterous pol as a result of his inability to control himself.
A textbook example of the latter was dutifully provided by Time magazine's Dan Kedmey in a September 9 post Swampland blog post headlined, "Report: In a Secret Journal, RFK Jr. Records a Painful Struggle With 'Lust Demons.'" Kedmey picked up on a New York Post exclusive about a journal purportedly kept by Kennedy in which, "[o]n the days he resisted the temptation to have an affair, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. marked the occasion in his secret journal with a one-word exaltation: “Victory!” But on the days of defeat, the ink really began to flow across the page." Kedmey continued (emphasis mine):
Given that his grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, was one of the most notorious appeasers of the last century, you'd think Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might refrain from maligning anyone else as a Nazi sympathizer.
Turns out it wasn't just Grampa Joe with a soft spot for Der Fuhrer -- so did his second eldest son and future president John F. Kennedy during trips to Germany as a young man, according to a new book, "John F. Kennedy -- Among the Germans: Travel Diaries and Letters, 1937-1945." (Audio after the jump)
I always look forward to Mike Papantonio's appearances on radio, since he invariably says something that leaves me shaking my head in bemusement and pity.
Papantonio, an attorney and co-host of the "Ring of Fire" radio show, was guest hosting on Ed Schultz's radio program Friday and talking about the legal challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the Supreme Court. (audio clips after page break)
It is really getting old to hear liberal politicians and pundits complaining about conservative media as being destructive, as if the country would be better off returning to the halcyon days of the monolithic liberal media.
That seems to be the view of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who complained about "the right-wing control of the American media, particularly starting with Fox News." During a discussion on HuffPost Live, Kennedy said, "Ninety-five percent of talk radio in our country is right-wing ... so a whole section of our country that's what they're hearing."
Robert F. Kennedy Jr said of Fox News Friday, "It's divided our country in a way that we haven't been divided probably since the Civil War."
This occurred during an online video interview with the Huffington Post (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's Today on Monday delved into the tabloid gossip of Robert Kennedy Jr and his late wife Mary Kennedy, who killed herself last month. The report featured documents "obtained" by Newsweek. Reporter Jeff Rossen highlighted RFK Jr's. complaints, including court affidavits claiming, "Mary's violence and physical abuse towards me began before we were married."
Rossen touted the grim details of Kennedy's complaints, reciting, "When he went over to the house, 'Mary was intoxicated. I opened the door and she leapt out of her bed and hit me with a roundhouse punch.'"