Home Politics RFK Jr. Has Assembled His Anti-Vax Conspiracy Squad

RFK Jr. Has Assembled His Anti-Vax Conspiracy Squad

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RFK Jr. Has Assembled His Anti-Vax Conspiracy Squad

BEN: The RFK Jr. campaign, as you wrote, was very aware that there was some kind of attraction to online spaces. One of those ways you do that is with these well-produced, slick little videos that look good on social media. So I wasn’t surprised.

But I was surprised that the announcement event took so long. I was surprised that not a little attention was paid to the attention span of an internet audience. I would definitely expect stuff that is highly produced, that is somewhat media savvy, and also completely focused on burnishing RFK’s individual reputation. Because ultimately, in a long-term candidacy like this, which may or may not be a genuine run for the White House, candidates are trying to burnish their reputations in the world they come from, and even grow their market or their audience. and become better known to a consumer base they may not yet know. Marianne Williamson, for example, had enormous success with this.

MK: Another reason I can imagine why it took so long is because they knew how many eyes would be on this, and it was probably one of their last big announcements and attempts to convince people to vote for him.

BEN: The last big announcement. It’s actually the last big chance to raise money. And they need money for that get on the ballot. You try to appeal to everyone and you try to make the most of what is probably your last moment.

The chat room

Occam’s razor doesn’t really exist on the Internet. Or with conspiracy theorists. That couldn’t have been clearer after a freighter tragically crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge this week, resulting in the suspected deaths of six people. Instead of assuming that the collision was due to a systems glitch on the freighter, conspiracy theorists on the Internet have blamed everyone from Nickelodeon to the CIA to DEI initiatives, as reported by my colleague David Gilbert.

We still don’t know much about how and why the collision happened on Tuesday morning, but if you were to guess, it’s unlikely that wakefulness is the main culprit.

But hey, maybe you know better than me. Leave a comment or email me at mail@wired.com and let me know.

💬 Leave a comment below this article.


  • ‘Trump 2024 to the Moon’: MAGA Fans Go All-In on Truth Social Stock: Trump Media and Technology Group, the company that controls Trump’s Truth Social, debuted as a publicly traded company on Monday and is already a meme stock, my colleague William Turton reports. The former president could make more than $4 billion from his investment in the company — and that could help him cover his growing legal bills.
  • How Kate Middleton Conspiracy Theories Consumed the Internet: Bad PR, gamified social media platforms, bot networks and the sensation of ‘victimless’ skepticism led to the explosion of conspiracies surrounding Kate Middleton’s disappearance. David Gilbert (with a little help from me!) covered it for us this week.
  • Meta kills a crucial tool for transparency at the worst possible time: pours one out for CrowdTangle. Meta is closing it in the run-up to the elections, writes Vittoria Elliott. The long-loved tool helped researchers and journalists track disinformation online and will be sorely missed.

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What else we read

🔗 Was the 2020 election stolen? Job interviews at RNC are taking an unusual turn: Following Trump’s coup at the Republican National Committee this month, new candidates to the committee are being questioned during job interviews about whether they think the 2020 election was stolen (The Washington Post)

🔗 The Truth vs. Alex Jones Is an angry look at how well misinformation pays off: Earlier this week, HBO released a new documentary exploring the Sandy Hook defamation case against Alex Jones and the spread of conspiracy theories. (Vanity fair)

Downloading it

Everyone seemed to enjoy the TikTok I linked in the previous newsletter, so here’s another one. This one’s a little weirder, but I’ve somehow trained my For You page to deliver me every post anyone has ever made with a song imploring President Biden to lower the price of blue cheese. Perhaps a striking look at our economic prospects! It’s been stuck in my head for weeks.

Also! We are two weeks away from the launch of the Political laboratory podcast. Please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss it if it falls.

Anyway, thanks again for subscribing. You can contact me by email, Instagram, Xand Signal (@makenakelly.32).

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