MSNBC host and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took aim at rival news network Fox over the weekend, when the network again reached out to conspiracy theorist and vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for comment.
During a segment of their Sunday show Inside with Jen PsakiJoe Biden’s former top adviser clearly hypothesized that the GOP, and Fox in particular, were hoping to raise Mr. Kennedy’s national profile in the desperate hope of hurting Mr. Biden’s re-election chances as Mr. Kennedy runs as a Democrat against the incumbent Democratic president.
Her comments came after Mr. Kennedy became a darling of alternative media looking to capitalize on the “what the mainstream media won’t tell you” narrative that has become the focus of his campaign.
She theorized: “[M]Maybe it’s not about RFK Jr. at all, it’s about Joe Biden. As the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That may make more strategic sense, but it would be incredibly cynical for Republicans to single out a conspiracy theorist who is spreading false and inaccurate lies, some of which could even harm the public and public health, just to cause trouble for their political opponent.
“I think it would be a big step even for the right to accept a conspiracy-loving candidate just as a means to further their own political ends. They’ve never sunk that low,” Ms. Psaki joked with a little sarcasm. She later explained: “[N]No matter how bizarre and dangerous his plots may be, it doesn’t matter. One explanation is ignorance, the other cynicism. Both are quite an embarrassing sight for the right-wing machinery trying to support this man’s campaign.”
The longtime presidential candidate has recently come under fire for his comments suggesting that certain viruses, including Covid-19, could be attacked by nefarious sources and that certain populations or ethnic groups were more affected than others. Those remarks led to allegations of anti-Semitism, as he claimed the virus may have been “ethnically targeted” to affect blacks and Caucasians more than people of Ashkenazi Jewish and Chinese descent.
Like most conspiracy advocates, Mr. Kennedy has insisted that he did not spread misinformation because he did not specifically state that the allegation was true, merely raising it as a possibility. Critics argue that this allows Mr. Kennedy to send a signal to the conspiracy theorists and their supporters while maintaining some distance between himself and the claims themselves.
And Mr. Kennedy has attacked any type of authority figure who can analyze his medical conspiracies and provide accurate scientific data so Americans can make their own decisions. The Democratic nominee has publicly vowed to withdraw funds from the authorities that approve medical treatments for hospitals and pharmacies across the country, while vowing to use federal government power in unprecedented ways to wreak his whims on the nation’s medical journals.
Fox News, in particular, is no stranger to spreading conspiracy theories. The broadcaster agreed a historic $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems earlier this year after documents released in the company’s libel case revealed the extent to which Fox personalities took up the 2020 election nonsense on TV, despite privately admitting they didn’t believe the Trump campaign’s allegations of voter fraud.