by Ben Whedon
ABC News removed large sections of its interview with Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. during which he made critical comments about COVID-19 vaccines.
Kennedy spoke with the outlet’s Linsey Davis in an interview published this week. The release of that interview did not include his remarks on vaccines.
At the beginning of the segment, Davis introduced Kennedy as “one of the biggest voices pushing anti-vaccine rhetoric, regularly distributing misinformation and disinformation about vaccines, which scientific and medical experts overwhelmingly say are safe and effective based on rigorous scientific studies.”
Davis herself made disclosures about the edits after airing clips from the interview, saying “[w]e should note that during our conversation, Kennedy made false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines. We’ve used our editorial judgment in not including extended portions of that exchange in our interview.”
The Democrat on Friday fumed over the edits, insisting that the network’s decision to remove his comments constituted a breach of federal law.
“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 with host Linsey Davis leaving only cherry-picked snippets and a defamatory disclaimer,” he tweeted.
“In truth, Davis engaged me in a lively, informative, and mutually respectful debate on the government’s Covid countermeasures,” he said of his conversation with Davis. “Instead of journalism, the public saw a hatchet job. 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.”
Curiously, he expressed confidence that his interviewer was likely shocked by the censorship, but did not appear to address her own disclaimer or direct comments about the edits.
“I’m certain that ABC’s decision to censor came as a shock to Linsey as well,” he said.
Kennedy vowed that, under his administration, he would empower the Federal Communications Commission to resist corporate influence and force networks to follow the law if they “put the mercantile ambitions of advertisers ahead of the public interest.”
Multiple recent polls have shown Kennedy claiming approximately 20% support among the Democratic electorate in his bid to unseat President Joe Biden as the party nominee in 2024.
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Ben Whedon is the night editor for the Just the News. He came to the company from Breitbart News and is a graduate of Washington and Lee University.
Photo “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “ABC News Ticker” by André-Pierre du Plessis. CC BY 2.0.