Dozens of media outlets rushed to fact-check Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. after he told them that Biden was worse for democracy than Trump. RFK Jr. is running as an independent in the presidential race, and his statements got him in hot water with several news outlets. Let’s see what came out of this debacle.

RFK Jr. Makes His Argument

RFK Jr. said that he considered Biden a threat to democracy because he had done something that no other elected president or running presidential candidate had ever done.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to RFK, no president or presidential candidate has pushed federal agencies to censor the political speech of their opponents in the entire history of the US.

Media Outlets Strike Back

After RFK Jr. made his comments on Monday, media outlets, including the Washington Post and CNN, issued a firestorm of clapbacks.

Source: IGN

Even prominent political pundits like the co-hosts of The View said that RFK Jr. didn’t know what he was talking about and brought out reports to attempt to prove him wrong.

Questioning the Election Isn’t Wrong

RFK Jr. said that the greatest threat to democracy wasn’t questioning whether election results were “fixed” or not, as Trump did at the end of his previous term in office.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

RFK Jr. highlighted that it was much more dangerous for a candidate to force social media outlets to offer a backdoor to user data for the state security apparatus to exploit.

Trump’s Behavior Does Show Signs of Being Dangerous

RFK Jr. was quick to condemn Trump’s behavior regarding the riot in the Capitol. However, he contended that Biden’s behavior was worse while the “plot to overthrow” the government was bad.

Source: Flickr/Joe Catron

Kennedy made the remarks on Erin Burnett’s show on CNN, and almost immediately as he vacated the area, CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale was brought on to “prove” him wrong.

RFK Jr. Says There’s a Personal Vendetta

One of the points RFK raised regarding Biden’s dangerous behavior is that the Secret Service denied him a personal guard. He stated that Biden was weaponizing the Secret Service.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dale pointed out that the President didn’t have much say in who the Secret Service was assigned to, and the accusation that he was weaponizing the service was ludicrous.

Kennedy Is a Minor Contender

To further emphasize the point, Dale highlighted that normally, there are mechanisms in place to ensure that major candidates of political parties running for elections get a Secret Service detail.

Source: Flickr/ Eric Weaver

Kennedy is an Independent who belongs to neither major party. Even though he’s been polling at 15% or higher over the last month, this does little to recommend him for a security detail.

Biden Not Directly Involved

Dale also touched on RFK Jr.’s point about censorship and noted that there has been tension about governmental guidelines on what social media sites can claim as free speech.

Source: Flickr/Marcus Porter

However, there is no evidence that President Biden had a direct hand in any of these decisions or directly forced social media sites to shut down dissenting views.

A Clear Issue of Double Standards

It’s interesting to note that media outlets defended Biden when RFK Jr. accused him of certain things, highlighting that he personally had no input on those decisions.

Source: Flickr/Emma Heald

Yet when similar situations arose during the Trump administration, these same news outlets were more than willing to state that Trump made decisions despite not being personally involved.

Washington Post Accuses RFK Jr. of Misinformation

Washington Post writer Philip Bump was critical of RFK Jr.’s reckless and uninformed actions in spreading misinformation. He said that everything RFK Jr. said was false or misleading.

Source: Flickr/gwire

Bump highlighted that the White House emailed Twitter/X to remove one of RFK Jr.’s posts, but the social media platform refused, leaving the post up. Bump presented this as evidence against RFK Jr.’s position.

“The View” Calls RFK Jr. A Liar

The View co-hosts were vitriolic in their takedown of RFK Jr., stating that private social media companies are ultimately responsible for what remains on their platforms.

Source: Flickr/Anthony Mckenzie

Meanwhile, stating Biden is as bad as Trump, who once tried to overthrow the elected government, as RFK Jr. said, was ridiculous in the extreme. Co-host Joy Behar called RFK Jr. a liar.

RFK Jr. Doubles Down

In an interview with Fox and Friends, RFK Jr. reiterated his position that Biden was a threat to democracy. He said that if a political candidate can censor opponents, then he can perform any atrocity.

Source: Flickr/emiliokuffer

RFK Jr. noted that Trump’s attempt to overthrow the government was indeed a threat to democracy, but he underlined that it wasn’t the most dangerous threat to date.

RFK Jr. Comes From a Long Line of Politicians

The Kennedys are among the most well-respected political families in the US, with one president and countless presidential hopefuls coming from their line.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

RFK Jr. is different because a major political party does not support him. Many people also say that his views are inflammatory and don’t reflect the conventional wisdom about what’s currently happening.

RFK Jr.’s Supporters Cross Political Lines

Looking at the people who support RFK Jr. shows some remarkable differences. Despite a heavily polarized political climate, RFK Jr.’s supporters cross party lines.

Source: Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Additionally, his supporters agree on a few points, the most important of which is that neither Trump nor Biden are good people to put into power. Media hit pieces like the one mentioned above simply make it harder for him to get that message across.

A Snowball’s Chance in Hell

As with most Independent and third-party options, RFK Jr. has little chance of becoming the next President of the United States. The machinery and funding of the major parties and support from popular media outlets make it hard to get traction or even suppose something that isn’t the recommended norm.

Source: Flickr/ Kunal Mukherjee

RFK Jr. might have good ideas, or he might have terrible ones. No one will know since the media doesn’t seem to take him seriously. His supporters would point out that everyone’s entitled to a fair hearing. Media houses that rely on attention from supporters of one or the other political party would say otherwise.