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Monday, January 30, 2023
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RFK Jr. Sues Media ‘Cartel’ for Colluding to Crush Competition

TNI’s purpose is to 'stamp out' and 'choke off' online news competition...

(Ken Silva, Headline USAFormer President John F. Kennedy’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and a group of independent journalists and health experts have filed a lawsuit against major media corporations for colluding to censor accurate information and crush competition.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Texas federal court, takes aim at the so-called “Trusted News Initiative”, an agreement between several major media outlets and tech firms to purportedly tackle misinformation. TNI members include Google/YouTube, Twitter, Reuters, Meta and the Washington Post.

In fact, TNI’s purpose is to “stamp out” and “choke off” online news competition, according to internal TNI memos obtained by Kennedy, who described the scheme as a “cartel.”

“By their own admission, members of the [TNI] have agreed to work together, and have in fact worked together, to exclude from the world’s dominant Internet platforms rival news publishers who engage in reporting that challenges and competes with TNI members’ reporting on certain issues relating to COVID-19 and U.S. politics,” the lawsuit said.

“While the ‘Trusted News Initiative’ publicly purports to be a self-appointed ‘truth police’ extirpating online ‘misinformation,’ in fact it has suppressed wholly accurate and legitimate reporting in furtherance of the economic self-interest of its members.”

According to the lawsuit, TNI carried out its censorship efforts by adopting a “fast alert” system in which members would alert one another to items of supposedly “unreliable” information that had appeared online. Tech firms working with TNI would act on those alerts by censoring, shadow banning and de-platforming purveyors of so-called misinformation, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit listed more than 20 topics that TNI deemed to be misinformation, including claims that COVID-19 was manmade, claims that COVID is no more dangerous to some populations than the seasonal flu, and claims that a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was found at a computer repair store in or around October 2020 or that the contents reportedly found on that laptop, including potentially compromising emails, videos, and photographs, were authentic.

The defendants listed in the lawsuit are the Washington Post, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Associated Press and Reuters. Big Tech companies were excluded from the lawsuit because plaintiffs would have had to sue them in California, explained Mary Holland, president of Children’s Health Defense—one of the plaintiffs in the case.

“Northern California is Silicon Valley. It’s their turf,” Holland said in a written statement. “And so, we decided, in order to be able to file in a jurisdiction that we believe will be more neutral on these issues … we elected to file in Texas just against the legacy media.”

But Big Tech could still be held liable, Holland said, “because the conspiracy between legacy media and Big Tech will incorporate all of them, if there is a conspiracy [found], they’re all liable, not just those who were named as defendants.”

Along with Kennedy and Children’s Health Defense, plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Creative Destruction Media, Trial Site News, Ty and Charlene Bollinger (founders of The Truth About Cancer and The Truth About Vaccines), independent journalist Ben Swann, Erin Elizabeth Finn (publisher of Health Nut News), Jim Hoft (founder of The Gateway Pundit), Dr. Joseph Mercola and chiropractor Ben Tapper.

All of the plaintiffs allege they were censored, banned, de-platformed, shadow banned or otherwise penalized by the tech firms partnering with the TNI, because the views and content they published were deemed “misinformation” or “disinformation.”

Defendants have not yet responded to the lawsuit.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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