- April 19, 2023, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. formally announced his 2024 Democratic presidential campaign. Early polls show he’s got nearly 20% of the Democratic vote
- Democratic Party officials are doing everything they can to avoid public debates, and their media allies are not giving Kennedy the opportunity to share his views either
- May 17, 2023, Krystal Ball, cohost of the online show “Breaking Point,” interviewed Kennedy. According to Ball, Kennedy’s “vaccine skepticism” and “antivaccine advocacy” is a “red line” that disqualifies him from holding the highest office
- She repeatedly interrupted Kennedy with Big Pharma talking points — putting her own ignorance on public display — and didn’t allow him to answer her questions. Kennedy asked her to show him where he got things wrong many times, and she deflected with broad generalities
- Several journalists and political commentators, including Jimmy Dore, Viva Frei, Kim Iversen and Glenn Greenwald have critiqued Ball’s attempted smear. In the end, the only one who looked bad was Ball herself
April 19, 2023, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. formally announced his 2024 Democratic presidential campaign.1 Early polls show he’s got nearly 20% of the Democratic vote. Unfortunately, Democrat Party officials are doing everything they can to avoid public debates, and their media allies seem hellbent on not giving Kennedy the opportunity to share his views either.
May 17, 2023, Krystal Ball, cohost of the online show “Breaking Point,” interviewed Kennedy,2,3 or perhaps more accurately, debated him herself. Ball told Kennedy she disagrees with his views on vaccines, and claimed Democratic voters by and large share her opposition. According to Ball, Kennedy’s “vaccine skepticism” and “antivaccine advocacy” is a “red line” that disqualifies him from holding the highest office.
Antiscientific Shilling for Big Pharma
In the video playlist above, comedian Jimmy Dore of “The Jimmy Dore Show” dissects Ball’s hatchet job of an interview, pointing out Ball’s “poor journalism, rudeness and irresponsible, antiscientific shilling for corporate interests.”
She repeatedly interrupted Kennedy with Big Pharma talking points — putting her own ignorance on public display — and didn’t allow him to answer her questions. Kennedy asked her to show him where he got things wrong many times, and she deflected with broad generalities.
When Kennedy pointed out that countries with the lowest COVID jab rates had far lower COVID cases and mortality, Ball insisted that there were “many other factors” that played into that, such as the high rate of obesity in America, and the fact that we don’t spend as much time outside in the sun as people in Africa.
Never mind the fact that obesity and sun exposure recommendations were never part of the COVID response. Not only did U.S. health authorities not offer any guidance on reducing obesity, but they closed parks and beaches and told everyone to spend as little time outdoors as possible.
The only solution they provided was the “vaccine.” If it worked, we ought to have far better outcomes than countries like Africa that didn’t follow our COVID response guidelines, like staying indoors and getting jabbed multiple times. But we didn’t.
Basically, Ball is admitting — seemingly without realizing it — that factors such as obesity and sun exposure were more important than the jab, because places with lower obesity rates and greater sun exposure fared better even with low jab rates.
Shocker: Ball ‘Hasn’t Seen’ Key Data
Perhaps most shocking of all, when Kennedy points out that we now have data4,5,6 showing that the effectiveness of the COVID shots rapidly wanes and becomes negative after six or seven months, so that you’re then MORE likely to get COVID, she says she “hasn’t seen that!”
How could she possibly have missed it? That by itself tells you she doesn’t know anything beyond what the Big Pharma PR departments have told her.
One consolation here is that the original “Breaking Points” video7 on YouTube only has 288,768 views as of this writing, whereas Dore’s critique of her smear job, posted the following day, has over 524,000 YouTube views.8 “Breaking Points” also lost about 4,000 subscribers in the days following this seriously botched interview.
Interestingly, many of “Breaking Points”’ own subscribers were also sorely critical of her performance. In fact, one day after the video aired, 79% of viewers had given it a thumbs-down. So, perhaps her pro-vaccine, pro-pharma stance isn’t as popular as she thinks.
Conflict of Interest at Play?
Dore also points out that Ball has an interesting conflict of interest that makes this attempted smear job look all the worse. It turns out she’s very close to another Democratic candidate running for president, Marianne Williamson. In fact, Williamson officiated Ball’s wedding.
Did Ball focus on the vaccine issue rather than allowing Kennedy to present a broader view of his platform in the hopes that voters will be attracted to Williamson instead? Would Ball challenge — and dismiss — Williamson in the same way, even though Williamson has very similar concerns about Big Pharma and vaccines as Kennedy does?
What’s more, as noted by Kim Iversen in the video below, Ball supported lockdowns during the pandemic and never informed her viewers that she was making money from long-distance education.
Ball Cites Bill Gates-Funded Vax Propaganda
To her credit, Ball did list two vaccine studies in defense of her position below her interview with Kennedy, as well as one study provided by Kennedy’s team, saying people could read them and make up their own mind. Well, Kim Iversen, a former host of “Rising” who now has her own online show, did just that.
In the video above, Iversen reviews the evidence presented by both parties. The first piece of evidence Ball would like you to review is a mathematical modeling study9 of the global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination. According to this mathematical model, the mass injection campaign prevented 14.4 million deaths across 185 countries between December 2020 and December 2021.
Three of the funding sources for this paper were directly from Bill Gates through his foundations, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI and the World Health Organization for whom he is also the primary funder. On top of that, Gates also has significant influence over the National Institutes of Health,10 which is another funder of this paper.
The second paper Ball thought was crucial was a Stanford paper11 published in June 2022 that found getting the COVID jab after having the infection provided additional protection. Here, one of the researchers has received grants from Bristol Myers Squibb, Regeneron and Serimmune, and five are employees of an institution that manufactures the COVID-19 vaccine.
Kennedy provided a Cleveland Clinic paper12,13 published April 19, 2023, which found that vaccine effectiveness varied from a low of 4% to a high of 29% depending on the dominant variant in circulation, and that the risk of contracting COVID increased with time since the last shot and rose with the number of doses received. The funding for this research? None. Hence no conflicts of interest. The Cleveland Clinic simply compiled and analyzed its own employee data.
‘Breaking Point’ Is Establishment Media
While “Breaking Points” is advertised as anti-establishment news, Ball’s interview with Kennedy is but one of the latest examples of why that’s not true. As noted in the Viva Frei video above (Canadian lawyer David Freiheit posts YouTube interviews under the pseudonym Viva Frei), every time “the rubber hits the road,” every time the stakes are high, “Breaking Points” stands with the corporate establishment and parrots the official narrative.
So, the “anti-establishment” façade is just that. A façade. And in her interview with Kennedy, that became really apparent. Not everyone will agree with Viva Frei on this point though.
Independent investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald (see video below), while disagreeing with Ball’s handling of the interview, stresses that he respects her journalism. Yet Greenwald also makes the case that Ball’s “red line” argument is one that is only employed by establishment figures against those who are anti-establishment.
So, he basically makes a similar point as Viva Frei. He just gives Ball the benefit of the doubt and assumes she’s been unwittingly and sort of unconsciously influenced by establishment propaganda, as opposed to being part of it.
What Views Count as Disqualifying?
In his May 18, 2023, System Update episode (above), Greenwald commented:
“I’ve long been interested in, and I’ve often written about, the idea that once a politician adopts a view that is so disagreeable that it renders them completely off limits from consideration for support, they almost get put into this camp of being crazy or a conspiracy theorist, or people just too unhinged to even consider supporting, no matter how much agreement one might have with them.
I first observed this dynamic in the 2012 election … Why was Ron Paul’s pro-life position a ‘red line’ but Obama’s support for the drug war or his view that he had the right to assassinate American citizens using drones — all with no due process … the embodiment of extremism and radicalism — why was that not a ‘red line’? How was that determined? …
Given that the same argument has arisen in the context of RFK Jr’s challenge to Biden, to argue that RFK is off limits but Joe Biden, chief advocate of the war in Iraq, chief architect of the U.S. prison state, an ardent supporter of the drug war, that he, Joe Biden … has not crossed any red lines, I think is really worth exploring.
How are certain politicians declared disqualified, and whose interests are served by this framework, and specifically, who gets called crazy in our political discourse and why? [C]alling them crazy or declaring them too strange, too unhinged and too bizarre is … only wielded by the establishment against critics of the establishment.
In other words, establishment figures have all the space in the world to endorse the most deranged, the most unhinged, the craziest policies but as long as you’re in alignment with establishment orthodoxy, you will never be declared crazy, no matter how crazy those ideas are.
This is a tactic reserved only for those who question prevailing establishment orthodoxy … It’s a very potent and pervasive form of propaganda that requires our constant vigilance.
If we let our guard down at all, we’re all susceptible to being influenced by that … I think analyzing how this tactic is wielded, and how it manifested here, is of the utmost importance.”
Laymen Should Leave the Debating to Experts
Like Dore, Greenwald goes on to review several clips from Ball’s interview with Kennedy, followed by his own take on the exchanges. Here are select parts of Greenwald’s commentary in which I think he makes some valuable points:
“First of all, you can see that Krystal is explicitly acknowledging that she doesn’t have the same level of information and knowledge, she hasn’t devoted anywhere near the amount of time to this question as RFK, Jr. and for that reason, she’s explicitly saying, ‘I don’t want to actually engage with you on the merits.’
She keeps trying to switch the question to a political or punditry question of, well, look, right or wrong, there are a lot of Democratic voters out there who share my views, who think you’re wrong on vaccines. How do you intend to persuade them?
But he wants, rightly so, after having been accused of being wrong … to hear what the basis is for her view that he’s wrong, He wants to engage the substantive debate — that’s part of why he’s running.
And he goes on to say, after listening to her try and make the case, that she’s parroting establishment outlets, that she’s parroting what the health establishment and what health policy officials have just repeated over and over, to the point that I think even well-intentioned people like Krystal start absorbing it to be true. And this is what I think is such an important point.
In order to have a public platform where you opine strongly on vital issues, like whether the benefits of vaccines have been oversold, whether their harms and risks have been minimized and concealed, I really think you have an obligation to have that opinion be steeped in some very in-depth knowledge …
And so, if you’re going to come and tell Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to his face that he’s not only wrong when it comes to vaccine skepticism, but is so wrong that it’s crossed over this red line, then I think you have the obligation to be prepared to engage on the merits and to construct an argument …
He spent years working on this. Remember, RFK, Jr. was for 20 years or so a very widely regarded environmental activist working on issues of harmful waste by corporations and toxic dumping. He’s a very serious person. He is not some extremist or marginalized figure who just emerged out of the blue and started … talking about vaccines.
This is a very deeply developed view, which does not mean I agree with it. I don’t have the knowledge to agree with it or not. But what I know is this: health officials in the United States and in the West were proven to be not just wrong, but dishonest, repeatedly, throughout the COVID [pandemic] …
We also know that all kinds of claims about the Pfizer vaccine and other vaccines were false to the point of being just deceitful. There are famous clips of people they send to propagandize the public, Rachel Maddow and others, even Dr. Fauci himself, saying that the vaccine prevents transmission … something that turned out to be a complete lie …
So, whether I’m persuaded or not by what RFK, Jr. has to say about vaccines … I know for sure we benefit from having these questions debated. That’s the reason the DNC wants to pretend RFK, Jr. doesn’t exist.
They’re petrified of him for reminding Americans not only of how much we were deceived on almost every aspect of the COVID pandemic, including the vaccines, but how much damage it has done from all the policies that we enacted based on these false claims …
So, at the very least, I think that if you have a public platform, you have a responsibility to encourage and … foster debate on these most critical questions, especially when it comes from highly informed people who are challenging and dissenting from establishment orthodoxy, especially on debates where they have been proven over and over to lie and to be proven wrong.
So, Krystal Ball has every right to insist that she disagrees with RFK’s skepticism on vaccines, but … it’s a big jump to say I’m going to use the privilege and the responsibility I have with my public platform to opine on issues that I really haven’t done the work necessary to have a reliable opinion on.
I think the only default position there — if you’re going to comment on those issues without the sufficient knowledge — is to encourage skepticism. To say, I want to hear these debates. We need more transparency and [the] right to have these questions raised, rather than telling somebody that they’re not only wrong but so wrong that they’ve crossed a ‘red line.’
Which is completely in alignment with what the DNC is trying to do — to say that both Marianne Williamson and RFK, Jr. don’t even deserve to be heard, they don’t even deserve to be considered primary opponents to Joe Biden.
If you ask a DNC official, they’ll say it’s already done. Biden has no primary challenger; he’s our nominee, without a single vote being cast, without any debate being held, precisely because their strategy is to encourage people to believe that RFK, Jr. is … so wrong that no matter how much else you might like him on other issues … he shouldn’t be someone that you’re willing to get near; he crossed a red line.
This is the establishment tactic that I think Krystal Ball, in this case … [has] propagated … [H]ours of work on a question this complex is nowhere near enough to opine that emphatically, and to tell someone they’re off limits, that they’ve crossed a red line. So … I think it’s … illustrative of how this propaganda tactic functions, often implicitly.”
Sources and References<
- 1 C-Span April 19, 2024
- 2, 7 YouTube Breaking Points May 17, 2023
- 3 Real Clear Politics May 19, 2023
- 4 Pandata.org
- 5, 12 Open Forum Infectious Diseases April 19, 2023; ofad209
- 6, 13 Medrxiv December 19, 2022 DOI: 10.1101/2022.12.17.22283625, Full Text
- 8 YouTube May 18, 2023
- 9 Lancet Infectious Diseases September 2022; 22(9): 1293-1302
- 10 Embo Reports May 2008; 9(5): 409–412
- 11 Lancet Infectious Diseases June 2022; 22(6):791-801
EDITORS NOTE: This MERCOLA column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.