Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and advocacy group Children’s Health Defense (CHD) announced a landmark suit against an “industry partnership” of legacy media outlets that they say “collectively censor online news.”
Filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas-Amarillo Division, the suit names the Trusted News Initiative as a defendant. The organization includes established outlets such as the BBC, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press.
Plaintiffs are suing on an anti-trust basis, alleging “the TNI is a classic group boycott: ‘a concerted attempt by a group of competitors’ to ‘disadvantage [other] competitors’ by ‘cut[ting] off access’ to a ‘facility or market necessary to enable the boycotted firm[s] to compete.'”
“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,” the suit further states.
Among the plaintiffs are numerous individuals who claim to have been deplatformed for espousing positions contrary to those the bloc endorsed in relation to COVID-19.
“The TNI did not only prevent Internet users from making these claims; it shut down online news publishers who simply reported that such claims were being made by potentially credible sources, such as scientists and physicians,” they further claim.
Plaintiffs are seeking treble damages, a court order declaring the outlets’ efforts unlawful, and a prohibition on their continued action in such manner.