In the realm of illustrious American families, few names resonate as deeply as the Kennedys. The epitome of political legacy, this iconic family has captured the imagination and admiration of the nation for generations. The Kennedy Family Compound in Hyannis Port, a serene sanctuary nestled on Cape Cod, has been the backdrop for countless tales of unity and resilience.
Recently, however, this tranquil retreat became the center of attention for an unexpected and contentious incident involving a journalist and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the sometimes controversial environmental attorney and activist campaigning to be the Democratic candidate for the 2024 United States presidential election. After interviewing Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a journalist went as far as to label the 69-year-old a “bully.”
For those less familiar with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s political stances, some have been controversial, to say the least. He has repeatedly spread misinformation about the COVID vaccine, calling it “the deadliest vaccine ever made.” He also believes that the mainstream media hasn’t treated him fairly and cannot be trusted, going as far as to say outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post have been “compromised” by the CIA.
The interview seemed tense from the beginning. Vanity Fair journalist Joe Hagan had to wait 45 minutes at the Kennedy’s Hyannis Port compound as the presidential hopeful ran late for the interview. Instead of having the interview at the illustrious compound as planned, Hagan had to instead chat with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as they made their way to a fundraiser via ferry to Nantucket. As soon as the two started chatting, RFK Jr. voiced his frustrations with how his vaccine stances are “all censored.”
“Even Trump was not treated like this,” he explained to Hagan of his portrayal mainstream media. “Tucker [Carlson] said it’s the worst treatment that he’s ever seen in his life, of any public figure.”
“And that’s why I initially said I wasn’t interested in talking to you,” he then told Hagan, “because I know that it would be very unusual for me to get fair treatment from a mainstream journal,” before lecturing the professional journalist on how to do his job.
Then things got really tense. Hagan asked RFK Jr. about calling Anthony Fauci “corrupt” in his 2021 book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health, at which point RFK Jr. accused the journalist of “lying to me.”
“Because you didn’t read the book,” he explained, going off Hagan’s self-described “shocked” and confused look. “Because I don’t do that. I don’t look into [Fauci’s] head the whole book. What I do in that book, I document what happened. Not a single factual error has been found in that book. It’s 2,200 footnotes. Show me something I got wrong.”
Following the interview, the reporter said RFK Jr. sent him a slew of articles on sites with names like “Slay News” alleging vaccine-related deaths and other harmful misinformation. “I feel bullied by Kennedy, harangued and insulted into becoming a fact-checker for his many speculative and debunked theories. But my job is to keep asking him questions and so I do,” Hagan noted of the final 20-minute stretch of the ferry ride.
“Did I like Robert F. Kennedy Jr.? No, I did not,” Hagan concluded. “He is a humorless bully living in a paranoid fantasy in which reporters like me are cast as corrupt dupes whose only redemption is to follow Robert F. Kennedy Jr. into this miasma of overheated conspiracies. It’s a script that’s beneath Netflix, let alone the Kennedy legacy.”
As former allies and even family members distance themselves from RFK Jr., it’s hard to see how his presidential campaign will recover following this intense interview.
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