Picking Apart the Propaganda
The Character Assassination Campaign against RFK Jr.
By Kristin Christman, The Kennedy Beacon
Upside down, inside out, round and round. You get the feeling that the Americans driving the US propaganda machine against Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have Diana Ross’s song playing in the background, inspiring them to ever-greater leaps of the imagination, twisting Kennedy’s words every which way and turning his character and ideas upside-down.
Kennedy is the target of a vicious character assassination campaign. Staging its signature fictional drama of good vs. evil, the US propaganda machine pits the powerfully intelligent Kennedy and his supporters on the side of falsehood, absurdity, and anti-scientific thought, while, unbelievably, casting the US government and the media as defenders of truth, logic, and science, eternally protecting democracy at home and abroad with their authoritarian toolkit of dogma, censorship, propaganda, coups, and invasions.
In its effort to portray Kennedy as the “bad guy,” the machine is obviously compelled to omit from media discussion the vast bulk of his campaign platform, along with his integrity, genuine character, and decades of passionate commitment as an environmental lawyer.
The machine also omits discussion of Kennedy’s eye-opening books Crimes Against Nature, which describes polluting corporations’ staggering degree of control over environmental policy, and The Real Anthony Fauci, which documents greed-inspired individuals’ and pharmaceutical companies’ harmful control over health agencies, as well as eerie military-intelligence-health-agency collaboration in “germ game” simulations centered on coercive responses to pandemics.
The slim percentage of Kennedy’s words that do enter the media are first run through the US propaganda machine’s special tool: the scrambler. The scrambler ingests Kennedy’s words, discards several, tosses in more, scrambles them up, spits them out, and then applies much negative innuendo in order to portray his words as hinting at something scandalous.
The scrambler’s results are absurd. Policy and media makers, for example, accuse him of insensitivity to Holocaust victims because he drew comparisons between Nazi totalitarianism and sweeping, undemocratic COVID-era mandates—as if his warning were an insult and not a wake-up call about precarious freedoms.
Crucial to the machine’s success is its refusal to allow Kennedy to defend himself in the arenas where he’s criticized. Instead of conversing with Kennedy, the machine illogically misrepresents his arguments and then dismisses them as illogical.
For example, machine operatives ignorantly label Kennedy a “capitalist apologist” who really doesn’t care about the environment. Why? They’re confused by the words profit motive and free market. If they were to speak with him, or simply read up on his views, they’d learn that Kennedy maintains, quite logically, that if taxpayer-funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry were cut and polluting companies were required to fully pay for the environmental and health damage they cause, degrading the environment would no longer be profitable—these industries would have to clean up their act or go out of business. Far from putting the profit motive first, he would like to put it in service to environmental protection.
Photo: Kennedy, center, with a group of fellow Waterkeepers. Enjeuux Energies on X
Kennedy also emphasizes the need for a broader focus in our stewardship of the environment—a focus that will not only help remedy climate change, but that will also include other crucial goals such as habitat preservation and regenerative agricultural practices. Together, all of these goals can serve the larger mission of detoxifying, restoring, and protecting the environment. He astutely warns of an imbalanced emphasis on artificial carbon capture that shows signs of being geared more towards earning corporate profits than truly caring for the environment in manifold ways.
Another favorite tactic of the machine is ridicule—the old “Ha, ha!” line of argument that substitutes for investigation. For instance, the machine nonsensically mocks Kennedy as being anti-science for his revelations that US health authorities promote dogma, not necessarily science. Kennedy documents how their dogma actually suppresses scientists’ and doctors’ discoveries and instead supports illogic, skewed studies, and corruption. Incredibly, the machine resorts to “disproving” his accusations of authorities’ dishonesty by quoting statements from those same authorities.
Desperately hiding behind the curtain of Oz, the machine applies its “Ha, ha!” argument to mock Kennedy’s evidence-based accusations—of widespread US agency corruption, distortion of agencies’ missions, collaborative censorship by the US government and the media, US provocations of Russia, US biolabs in Ukraine, and ethnically targeted bioweapons—as indicators of Kennedy’s own allegedly crazed mind.
Take note that on page 60 of its report “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, cofounded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan—husband of Biden’s undersecretary of state, Victoria Nuland—was already writing with shameless enthusiasm 23 years ago about the development of bioweapons that can target specific genotypes.
The machine next pulls out its “lone wolf” tactic, portraying Kennedy as unworthy of the Kennedy pack because certain other Kennedys disagree with him, including those connected to Biden’s administration. Without convincing evidence, the machine implies that it’s these other Kennedys who know what they’re talking about—rather than the other way around.
The machine then turns to far-fetched theorizing. Disregarding Kennedy’s own stated reasons for running for president, including his crucial mission of separating avaricious corporate power from government policy, US machine “experts” skip out onto limbs and offer their own unflattering theories as to why Kennedy is campaigning and why he draws supporters.
According to the machine, which ignores supporters’ tremendous admiration for Kennedy’s character and platform, we’re allegedly attracted primarily to his last name—as if certain other Kennedys could ever hope to win our votes. Our support for his views is trivialized by the machine as indicating nothing more than our relishing the thrill of being “contrarian.”
Notice another tactic the machine employs: the double standard. What better way to distort reality into a good vs. evil drama than to judge an action as bad when allegedly performed by the “bad side,” and then describe that same action as good—even when taken to a greater extreme—when performed by the “good side”?
For instance, while Kennedy—despite providing extensive documentation—is incessantly accused of being a conspiracy theorist who lacks evidence, the theories that US “experts” concoct about him—their own conspiracy theories—are supposed to be accepted as fact, even without compelling evidence.
Similarly, Kennedy is disparaged by left-wing media sites for conversing with right-wing Americans—as if he’s fake for striving to overcome polarization. Yet it’s another double standard, for the Biden administration itself is a marriage of left-wing interventionist hawks and right-wing neoconservatives! If politicians on the left and the right will bond together to serve war, corruption, kleptocracy, censorship, diminished liberties, and environmental degradation, why can’t the rest of us bond together, from the left and the right, to support a vision of peace, honesty, democracy, freedom, and environmental integrity?
Double standards are also provided by US representative and ousted Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who describes Kennedy in highly impolite terms and accuses him of “inflammatory and racist discrimination against Asians.” Why? Because of his informal mention of a scientific study that stated that Chinese were among the populations found to be less vulnerable to COVID-19. He was not disparaging. He was not accusatory. Yet Wasserman Schultz viewed such talk as Sinophobic rather than scientific, and she condemned Kennedy for thereby encouraging violence against Asians.
Even if we temporarily ignore the gaping illogic in her accusations, consider Biden’s National Security Strategy (NSS) 2022, much of which is aimed at competing against China and its “darker vision.” Biden proclaims that “the prosperity of Americans is linked to the Indo-Pacific” and that the next decade “will demand more of the United States in the Indo-Pacific than has been asked of us since the Second World War” (p. 38). US action in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia will pale in comparison!
Does Wasserman Schultz express outrage that Biden’s NSS 2022 lays the competitive groundwork for cold or hot war with China in the name of winning “a race to the top,” promoting US investments in the Indo-Pacific, competing over a “sphere of influence,” and pushing China out of its own backyard? Is she at all concerned that such hostile competition, as well as the “bad guy” portrayal Biden creates of China—a portrayal colored with vague, unsubstantiated allusions to China’s allegedly sinister nature and goals, will likely brew prejudice and violence against Asian Americans? How dare she accuse Kennedy of Sinophobia! Sinophobia is written all over Biden’s NSS 2022.
The final propagandistic device used in this campaign to smear Kennedy as the “bad guy” is one which helps the “good guy” appear deceptively good. Any remote chance of successfully staging this good vs. evil drama requires concealment of the greed, corruption, lies, stupidity, and aggression of Kennedy’s opponents. In foreign policy, for example, evaluations of Victoria Nuland’s involvement in the 2014 Ukraine coup, Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Ukraine’s Burisma, Biden officials’ reported role in the Nord Stream pipeline explosions, and weapon corporations’ influence on foreign policy are locked out of discussion so as not to taint the “good guy” image.
The propagandistic devices used against Kennedy can be summarized as 10 red flags of falsehood:
1. Staging the good vs. evil drama.
2. Omitting significant proportions of content about Kennedy.
3. Scrambling and misinterpreting Kennedy’s words.
4. Not inviting Kennedy to defend his views.
5. Dismissing Kennedy’s claims instead of conversing with him.
6. Ridiculing Kennedy’s ideas instead of impartially evaluating them.
7. Concocting false theories about Kennedy’s goals.
8. Isolating Kennedy as a lone wolf.
9. Employing double standards.
10. Concealing the vices of Kennedy’s opponents.
Note that this formula for character assassination has been applied elsewhere with equally manipulative, undemocratic goals. To see every one of these 10 devices in action again, we need look no further than the US character assassination program against Russia’s President Putin, the leader with whom Kennedy, as US president, intends to engage in dialogue to increase understanding and take gradual steps of de-escalation.
For the machine, such a dialogue would be a nightmare come true. Developing understanding, revealing the US machine’s reckless lies about Putin, and nurturing US cooperation with Putin would destroy the good vs. evil broomstick upon which the machine rides. And so it dishonestly labels Kennedy as “isolationist” for seeking constructive dialogue rather than destructive war.
The machine’s mission is to promote the one-sided truths and one-sided empathy that keep the good vs. evil narrative alive. Like the Wicked Witch who melts and dissolves, screaming, from contact with a bucket of clean water, what the US machine fears above all else are 360 degrees of empathy and truth.
Those who participate in the machine may do so consciously or unconsciously—for reasons ranging from deliberate deceit to unconscious prejudice to groupthink. Yet, regardless of the motive, the collaborative use of these 10 propagandistic devices across the bulk of US media outlets to manipulate American voters is a subversion of democracy and a violation of the very purpose of our nation.
Kennedy made a promise in Philadelphia: “My promise to you as President is that on every issue, I will listen to stakeholders from every side and beyond any side.” Better for us all to strive to care for the other side of any conflict and to always be open to hearing positive perspectives about those who are deemed the “bad guy,” lest we get pulled into the machine.