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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign is leaning into comedy, pop culture, and lifestyle podcasts

Kennedy has been praised by a number of podcast hosts

In an attempt to reach a variety of voters and gain support for his presidential run, independent presidential candidate and anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has appeared on numerous comedy, pop culture, and lifestyle podcasts. Several of these podcasts’ hosts have praised Kennedy and his campaign.

  • It appears that Kennedy is attempting to grab the attention of young voters who listen to podcasts, which he has explained as part of his campaign strategy:

    • Young voters, and men in particular, are giving Kennedy a “a very serious look.” An opinion piece on MSNBC’s website describes Kennedy’s popularity as “concentrated in the podcasts and blogs that make up the “manosphere” — a medium he has committed to dominate.” The opinion authors also point out that “Kennedy's brand of masculinity sits at the nexus of virtue and delusion. His salutary focus on exercise and self-improvement can slide seamlessly into the anti-science denialism of anti-vaxxers, and from there it’s a short trip into other, equally noxious sensibilities. Since hitting the campaign trail, he has downplayed these more virulent ideas, but they remain integral to his worldview, and visible despite a more respectable veneer: Solidarity with steelworkers quickly skips into conspiracism about globalists planning for the Great Reset.” [MSNBC, 2/18/24]

    • Kennedy has said he believes the 2024 election is going to be “decided … by podcasts.” During an interview, Kennedy said, “This year is going to be the political campaign that will be decided on by podcasts, and particularly because I think the podcasts have the capacity this election for reaching people, and allowing, you know, sort of dissident and insurgent candidates like myself to end-run the corporate media monolith.” [The Daily Wire, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, 6/5/23]

  • Video file

    Citation From the June 5, 2023, edition of Daily Wire's The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast

  • Several comedy, pop culture, lifestyle, and non-political podcast hosts have praised Kennedy and his campaign:

    • During an interview with football quarterback Aaron Rodgers, podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan said he loves Kennedy. Rogan said: “I love him. … He’s an amazing guy. I really love him.” Rogan has praised Kennedy on various other occasions and hosted him in June 2023. [YouTube, The Joe Rogan Experience, 2/11/24]

    • After interviewing Kennedy on his podcast, comedian Bill Maher said, “I hope this does well for your campaign. I really think you in the mix is a great thing because certainly somebody has to keep them honest. … The one thing I think I can count on you is you’re not a guy who is going to shake the Etch A Sketch.” [YouTube, Club Random with Bill Maher, 6/25/23]

    • Comedian Adam Carolla hosted and praised Kennedy and on his podcast. During the interview, Carolla described Kennedy as “warm,” “friendly,” and “affable.” [YouTube, The Adam Carolla Show, 2/19/24]

    • During his podcast, comedian Theo Von told Kennedy, “You’ve always just been a nice guy. You’ve always been someone I could rely on. … I’m proud of you.” [YouTube, This Past Weekend with Theo Von, 9/25/23]

    • Valuetainment host Patrick Bet-David praised Kennedy in a clip uploaded to his PBD Podcast YouTube channel. Bet-David said: “This is not a guy that’s having somebody telling him what to tell the world. … He’s such a true believer and fearless that he’s telling you what he believes in and he doesn’t give a shit if you like it or not.” [YouTube, PBD Podcast, 7/21/23]

    • Comedian Bobby Lee hosted and praised Kennedy and his wife Cheryl Hines in September 2023 on his podcast. Lee said he was “a huge fan” of Kennedy at the start of their interview. [YouTube, TigerBelly, 9/14/23]

    • Rapper Killer Mike praised Kennedy while he was being interviewed on The Shelley Wynter Show. The rapper said, “I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gained further respect for you. I’ll keep listening. … I think more Americans should be listening to you.” [YouTube, The Shelley Wynter Show, 1/18/24]

    • Podcaster Dr. Drew Pinsky described Kennedy as “so smart,” with “so many interesting ideas,” while appearing on another podcast. Kennedy appeared on Pinsky’s podcast in May 2023. [YouTube, The Rubin Report, 2/4/24]

    • Comedian Pierre Edwards praised Kennedy during their interview on his podcast in January 2024. Edwards told Kennedy, “You’re a rebel rouser. You know that, right? You’re a little rebel rouser. You’re starting some shit, and I love it.” [YouTube, Pierre’s Panic Room, 1/14/24]

    • Comedian Dave Smith hosted and praised Kennedy during a May 2023 interview. Smith said: “I hope Joe Biden makes the mistake of debating you. … I’d love to talk more because I found this all interesting.” [YouTube, Part of the Problem, 5/20/23]

    • Journalist DJ Vlad, who regularly sits down with musicians, interviewed and praised Kennedy during a November 2023 interview. “What you’ve done over the course of your life has been phenomenal. … They don’t talk about all the good work that you did,” Vlad said. [Variety, 4/11/22; YouTube, VladTV, 11/23/23]