YouTube has censored Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. yet again, this time by removing his recent interview with former New York Post reporter Al Guart.
Sharing the news via Twitter on June 27, Kennedy characterized YouTube’s actions as an attempt to influence the 2024 presidential election.
“People made a big deal about Russia supposedly manipulating internet information to influence a Presidential election,” he noted in a post. “Shouldn’t we be worried when giant tech corporations do the same?”
According to Guart, the video was removed for supposed violations of YouTube’s community standards—an explanation he found to be inadequate.
“RFK Jr. and I covered many topics of public interest and there was no threat or harm contained in the hour long discussion,” he wrote in a tweet.
Guart added that his conversation with Kennedy had addressed the topic of social media censorship and how the Democrat would combat the issue if he became president—potentially by removing platforms’ legal protections as publishers.
“Was that a topic YouTube didn’t want out in the public square?” he wondered.
YouTube did not return an inquiry from The Epoch Times.
As an outspoken skeptic of vaccine safety, Kennedy is no stranger to de-platforming.
He experienced the same treatment from YouTube earlier this month, when the platform pulled his conversation with Canadian podcaster Jordan Peterson for alleged violations of the company’s “vaccine misinformation” policy.
Kennedy is also currently banned from TikTok, and only recently had his Instagram account reinstated after drawing attention to his suspension from that platform via Twitter. As such, Big Tech censorship was a major topic of his wide-ranging interview with Guart, which has since been posted on Rumble.
.@YouTube just pulled another of my videos, with former NY Post political reporter @al_guart. People made a big deal about Russia supposedly manipulating internet information to influence a Presidential election. Shouldn’t we be worried when giant tech corporations do the same?
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) June 27, 2023
“One of the problems of dealing with the Big Tech companies is they have become the public square,” Kennedy said. “And it’s very limited how you can now communicate with other people—with large groups of people—except through those mechanisms.
“They’re controlling our communications with each other, and they’re controlling our worldview, and they’re controlling narratives, which means they can craft the political narratives. And that’s very, very dangerous.”
Other forms of communication, he noted, once had legal safeguards in place to prevent such a monopoly under the Fairness Doctrine.
First introduced by the Federal Communications Council (FCC) in 1949, the Fairness Doctrine required broadcast networks to cover and devote equal airtime to conflicting views on issues of public interest. This included granting equal time to candidates for public office and those personally attacked on air. In 1959, a portion of the policy became law when Congress amended the Communications Act to include the equal airtime rule.
For years, the doctrine faced opposition from those who felt it violated First Amendment rights. In 1987, under the Reagan administration, it was formally repealed by the FCC, save for the provisions regarding editorial coverage and responses from those personally attacked. Those provisions remained in effect until 2000.
Although controversial, those safeguards, Kennedy said, served to prevent “exactly what’s happening today.”
The Fairness Doctrine’s repeal, he said, “allowed this consolidation of all the big communications companies. So now, I think you have four companies that control … virtually all the radio and all the television stations in our country, all the newspapers, and most of the large internet content providers.”
Tech Giants or CIA Assets?
With the introduction of digital and social media, Kennedy noted that even the traditional communications monopolies had been supplanted by Big Tech companies, some of which have contracted with intelligence agencies.
“The CIA has a hedge fund called In-Q-Tel—or an investment fund—which funded a lot of the Silicon Valley companies. Customarily, they fund you and then they help you find government contracts for your technology. In the process of that, most of those people are required to sign state secrecy agreements, which give them huge penalties … if you even tell anybody that you signed that agreement.”
Such arrangements, he added, are “not a good thing for our country, if these guys are now essentially assets of the CIA.”
As for how he would correct that situation, Kennedy said he would meet with tech companies to find a fix.
“If they can’t come up with their own plan for doing it, the backstop would be to make them common carriers. If they’re a common carrier, then they’re legally not allowed to do any kind of censorship.”
He also added that threatening companies’ Section 230 protections could be another means of forcing them to the negotiating table.
But where such threats have failed to produce solutions in the past, Kennedy was confident when he said, “I’m going to make something happen.”
Since declaring his candidacy for president in April, Kennedy has not only been iced out by Big Tech platforms but also his own party.
Although he is now one of three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, the Democratic National Committee has chosen not to schedule primary debates. Instead, the party has opted to back the reelection of President Joe Biden.
Yet while fellow challenger Marianne Williamson has received little support in the polls, Kennedy has consistently polled at upward of 15 percent, and in some cases, more than 20.
The president continues to dominate the field, but with questions still swirling about his mental and physical health, it remains unclear whether that support would hold steady if he were forced to hold his own in a debate.
Biden may also face the more pressing problem of his family’s business dealings. Last week, previously unseen WhatsApp messages released by the House Ways and Means Committee raised new questions about whether he has been honest about not participating in his family members’ business dealings.
In one 2017 exchange, Hunter Biden, the president’s son, demanded payment from Henry Zhao, also known as Zhao Xuejun, the president and CEO of Beijing-based investment firm Harvest Capital Management.
“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” the younger Biden wrote.
“Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand,” he added. “And now means tonight. And Z if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the Chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”
The president has denied that he was in the room with his son for that exchange. He has also denied involvement in any of his family members’ business dealings.
From The Epoch Times