On Sept. 17, Toronto-based The Globe and Mail newspaper published an extraordinary and very lengthy article vilifying Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and calling him “a top voice of misinformation on social media.” The headline for the piece summarizes its range: “How a Kennedy became a ‘superspreader’ of hoaxes on COVID-19, vaccines, 5G and more”.
For more than a decade, Kennedy Jr. has raised issues about vaccine safety through the organization he founded, Children’s Health Defense.
At the end of what can only be called a smear piece, the print edition of The Globe and Mail stated, “This article was originally published by Tortoise, a different kind of newsroom committed to a slower, wiser news. To try Tortoise, Globe readers can get a 30-day free trial and a special half price offer…”
Strangely, the article made no mention of Children’s Health Defense, or of Kennedy’s Jr.’s August 29 speech in Berlin, where he addressed a huge rally. He told them that the COVID-19 pandemic is a “crisis of convenience for the elites” who are “destroying the middle class,” “using the quarantine to bring 5G into our communities” for “surveillance and data-mining”, and shifting us all “to digital currencies” and a cashless society that will benefit “the billionaires.”
Similarly, the Tortoise article didn’t mention that on August 17, Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and three fact-checking companies, charging them with censoring truthful public health information.
So what (or who) is Tortoise Media?
Tortoise Media was launched in April 2019 by three people: James Harding, former editor at Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper, and subsequently head of BBC News until resigning in October 2017; Matthew Barzun, former US ambassador to the UK; and Katie Vanneck-Smith, former president of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones.
Initial financial backing for London-based Tortoise was provided by banker Bernie Mensah, Global Head of Emerging Markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, tech investor Saul Klein, and two anonymous backers.
The Tortoise Media website now lists Harding as Editor; Vanneck-Smith as Publisher; Matthew Barzun as Chairman; and Ceci Kurzman (former founder of Nexus Management) as Independent Director. The website also currently lists 27 major funding partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Edelman, Facebook, Google, and the Rockefeller Foundation.  This article will focus on the Gates Foundation, and Edelman – considered one of the largest public-relations firms in the world, with some 67 offices worldwide.Billionaires’ Media: The Smearing of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.