Longtime vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a runaway bestseller on his hands with his blockbuster book skewering Dr. Anthony Fauci, no thanks to what his publisher calls a “total media blackout.”
“The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health” continued its reign Wednesday atop the Amazon and USA Today nonfiction bestseller lists and ranked fifth on The New York Times’ list of top-selling books.
The book is flying off the shelves even though technology platforms refuse to carry its advertising. Mainstream media outlets won’t touch it, much to the frustration of Tony Lyons, president and publisher of Skyhorse Publishing.
“I defy you to find a single case where the No. 1 bestselling book in America over a 16-day period has not been mentioned in one mainstream newspaper in the country,” Mr. Lyons told The Washington Times.
Not even the aura of the Kennedy name has tempted the mainstream media.
“We pitched Bobby Kennedy to all of the mainstream media outlets: television, newspapers, and none of those places have even asked to see a copy of the book,” Mr. Lyons said. “So they don’t care about the content, and they’re not trying to refute any of the claims.”
The snub hasn’t occurred in a vacuum. Mr. Kennedy became persona non grata after he launched his vaccine criticism in 2005. Dr. Fauci is a media favorite, and social media companies have cracked down on content that contests the coronavirus authorities in the name of squelching “misinformation.”
That the book has racked up enormous sales despite the media cold shoulder illustrates the limits of major outlets and tech platforms to control the pandemic narrative and to influence conservative and alternative media in airing dissenting views.
Mr. Kennedy is no Fauci fan. Among the book’s claims are that the White House chief medical adviser oversaw the “disastrous mismanagement” of the 2020 pandemic and has prioritized the pharmaceutical industry over public health.
“This book will show you that Tony Fauci does not do public health; he is a businessman, who has used his office to enrich his pharmaceutical partners and expand the reach of influence that has made him the most powerful — and despotic — doctor in human history,” Mr. Kennedy said in the introduction.
Dr. Fauci has not commented publicly on the accusations, not that reporters have pressed him. There was no mention of the book in interviews of Dr. Fauci on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week.”
The Washington Times has reached out to Dr. Fouci for comment.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kennedy was kicked off Instagram in February for “repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” according to a Facebook statement to The Associated Press. YouTube suspended his account in September.
Even so, the book, distributed by Simon & Schuster and was released Nov. 16, debuted at No. 2 on Amazon.
“The question is, how can the bestselling book in America come out, claim that the No. 1 public [health] official has been corrupt over a long period of time, and that official can get on any TV show that he wants?” asked Mr. Lyons. “And the person claiming corruption suffers a total media blackout.”
“The Real Anthony Fauci” is available on Amazon, but don’t expect to find any advertising on the platform. The online retail platform rejected a promotion, saying that the ad “contains content that is not allowed for advertising,” according to Skyhorse.
The publishing firm said it received the following message from Amazon: “Please remove any content related to political campaigns, elections, or political issues of public debate; that advocates for or against a politician or a political party; or that personally attacks a political figure.”
Twitter also rejected an ad over its “political content,” while Facebook suspended the publisher’s advertising account after Skyhorse tried to promote the book. Skyhorse is appealing the suspension.
YouTube removed a book-signing video, leaving Mr. Kennedy to pitch his book on venues such as Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Today,” “The Corbett Report” and Newsmax’s “Stinchfield,” hosted by Grant Stinchfield.
“[It’s] a very serious book. I’ve read it, and it’s not crazy in the slightest,” Mr. Carlson said in a Nov. 24 segment on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “It’s actually far less crazy than a lot of things I see on NBC News.”
His interview with Mr. Kennedy was slammed by Business Insider, which accused Mr. Carlson of escalating his “anti-science rhetoric concerning the pandemic” by airing the “COVID-19 conspiracy-ridden segment with RFK Jr.”
Mr. Lyons noted that the book has 2,194 citations and includes blurbs from Mr. Carlson as well as Nobel Prize-winning French virologist Luc Montagnier, bestselling authors Tony Robbins and Naomi Wolf, director Oliver Stone, and several doctors and researchers.
Some of the comments support Mr. Kennedy’s right to challenge the status quo rather than endorsing the book’s convictions.
“Bobby Kennedy and I famously disagree about many aspects of the current debates surrounding Covid and vaccines. We also disagree about Dr. Fauci. But I always learn when I read or hear Bobby’s take,” said Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz. “So read this book and challenge its conclusions.”
“The current view is that you can’t question anything. And that sounds like fascism to me,” he said. “You have to be able to question and you have to be able to present data. That’s how you get better science.”
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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