This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
ABC News refused to air a portion of its interview with Robert Kennedy, Jr., the recently announced Democrat primary challenger to Joe Biden, because it disagreed with his criticism of COVID vaccines.
Rather than play the full interview so that viewers could evaluate Kennedy's own words, ABC chose to censor them, with reporter Linsey Davis giving what Kennedy said was a "defamatory disclaimer" on air: “[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,” she said in the interview published April 27.
Davis added, “[Kennedy] also made misleading claims about the relationship between vaccination and autism. Research shows that vaccines and the ingredients used in the vaccines do not cause autism, including multiple studies involving more than a million children and major medical associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the advocacy group Autism Speaks,” according to an Epoch Times report on the manipulated interview.
"The claims in question were not listed, and ABC did not return a request for comment," Epoch Times reported.
Kennedy issued a long tweet April 28 in response to what he called the journalistic "hatchet job": "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 said.
"Offering no evidence, @ABC justified this act of censorship by falsely asserting that I made 'false claims.' In truth, Davis engaged me in a lively, informative, and mutually respectful debate on the government’s COVID countermeasures. I’m happy to supply citations to support every statement I made during that exchange," he continued, adding, "I'm certain that ABC’s decision to censor came as a shock to Linsey as well.
"Instead of journalism, the public saw a hatchet job. Instead of information, they got defamation and unsheathed Pharma propaganda," he said. "Americans deserve to hear the full interview so they can make up their own minds. How can democracy function without a free and unbiased press? As President, I will 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."
Twitter added an advisory note to Kennedy's tweet: "Readers added context they thought people might want to know." It reads: "47 USC 315’s censorship prohibition applies only when candidates 'use a broadcasting station.' The law explicitly exempts newscasts & news interviews, which [they] are allowed to censor," and was followed by a link to that portion of the U.S. Code in question.
Turley: 'Wrong for country and journalism'
Legal analyst Jonathan Turley assailed ABC News for "actively seeking to prevent voters from hearing a presidential candidate on an issue of great public interest and debate."
As described Monday in his column, the George Washington University law professor and frequent Fox News contributor said, "ABC is now claiming the right to censor presidential candidates to protect the public from harmful thoughts or disinformation, including major issues behind a campaign. It is wrong for both the country and for journalism."
"We do not have to be protected from dangerous thoughts by the media," Turley wrote. "A far greater danger lurks in the indoctrination and orthodoxy that comes from censorship."
As Turley reported, ABC’s Davis began the interview with a condescending and skewed description of Kennedy's work, describing the son of the assassinated attorney general under President John F. 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.”
As WND and others have reported, there is a growing skepticism in the medical field of the government's COVID vaccine narrative that the shots are "safe and effective" — repeated ad nauseam in the last two years and now again by Davis. Dissenting doctors like Peter McCullough have earned the respect of many millions worldwide by bucking the government line on COVID and simply informing the public of the risks associated with the shots, including a spike in "sudden deaths" and myocarditis injuries thought to be a product of the vaccines.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to investigate "whether [COVID vaccine] companies misrepresented the efficacy and safety of the vaccines and manipulated vaccine trial data," WND reported Monday.
Turley pointed to the double-standard in how ABC News treated Kennedy versus how it covers Biden, whose record as a serial liar (and plagiarist) long preceded his occupancy of the White House: "It is not clear where ABC draws the line. Joe Biden has made so many false statements that the Washington Post gave him a 'bottomless Pinocchio.' Likewise, many view contested claims over climate change and transgender issues to be dangerous. Will ABC now be censoring these other candidates or positions?"
Several news programs, not all of them on the political right, have conducted uncensored interviews with Kennedy, his campaign website states, providing links to each.
Kennedy took a dig at ABC by announcing his April 29 interview with CNN: "Thanks to Michael Smerconish @CNN for hosting me in this far-ranging and uncensored interview. #Kennedy24."