Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information; therefore, fact-checking and further investigation is recommended on a per-article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate The Defender a strong conspiracy and quackery-level advocacy group that frequently promotes unsupported claims. We also rate them low for factual reporting due to the promotion of propaganda and several failed fact checks.
Bias Rating: RIGHT CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE
Factual Reporting: LOW
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY
The Defender is a news portal located on the Children’s Health Defense website. Founded in 2016 as the World Mercury Project, which was renamed Children’s Health Defense, is an anti-vaccine nonprofit pseudoscience organization. It was founded and is chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr, an American environmental attorney, author, and opponent of vaccination. Kennedy is the son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy. He is the president of the board of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit environmental group that he helped found in 1999.
Funded by / Ownership
The Children’s Health Defense is a 501c3 nonprofit advocacy organization. Revenue is derived through donations and membership fees.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Children’s Health Defense primarily publishes news and information skeptical of vaccines and their safety. The website also features a research section that typically does not align with scientific consensus regarding vaccines and other scientific matters. For example, they routinely publish information claiming the dangers of accumulated Mercury and Thimersol, such as this Generation Zero: Thomas Verstraeten’s First Analyses of the Link Between Vaccine Mercury Exposure and the Risk of Diagnosis of Selected Neuro-Developmental Disorders. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Reputable scientific studies have shown that mercury in vaccines given to young children is not a cause of autism.”
The Defender covers news related to Covid-19, Big Pharma, Big Energy, Big Food, Big Tech, and Big Chemical. The website often promotes unproven or false claims like this: The More COVID Shots You Get, the More Likely You’ll Get COVID. Here’s Why. This report is rated as No Evidence by IFCN fact-checker The Dispatch.
Besides promoting anti-vaccination propaganda, the Children’s Health Defense/The Defender has also promoted the debunked conspiracy that fluoride lowers the IQ in children. At this time, there is not enough evidence to make that claim. Other conspiracies and/or pseudoscience promoted on this website include the dangers of 5G. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the group accused the United States government of supporting research on a vaccine as part of a plan to increase revenues for the pharmaceutical industry. Further, as seen below, they routinely promote false and misleading claims regarding Covid-19 and vaccines.
Failed Fact Checks
- Williamson Misleads on Children’s Health, Vaccines – False
- “Vaccine Injuries Ratio: One for Every 39 Vaccines Administered” – Unsupported
- “the autoimmune diseases and menstrual cycle problems and fertility problems […] and all of the other things that we’ve now seen are associated with the [HPV] vaccine” – Unsupported
- “[It] is nearly impossible to categorize post-vaccine deaths as vaccine-related” – Unsupported
- Vaccinated children are more likely to have adverse health outcomes like developmental delays, asthma, and ear infections compared to unvaccinated children. – Unsupported
- “vaccinated children appear to be significantly less healthy than the unvaccinated” – Unsupported
- “Thousands of COVID Vaccine Injuries and 13 U.S. Deaths Reported in December Alone”; “In December, 3,916 COVID vaccine-related adverse events, including 13 deaths, were reported to VAERS” – Unsupported
- U.S. Government Secretly Paid Major Media Outlets to Promote COVID Vaccines, Suppress Negative Coverage – False
- Inhaled Microplastics Found in Lung Tissue—Are Face Masks Contributing to the Problem? – False
Overall, we rate The Defender a strong conspiracy and quackery-level advocacy group that frequently promotes unsupported claims. We also rate them low for factual reporting due to the promotion of propaganda and several failed fact checks. (D. Van Zandt 11/06/2022)
Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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