In an article on CNN.com, CNN anchor Jake Tapper said that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s account of a 2005 news piece Tapper did for ABC News about him, as told on a podcast, "mangles the facts and wildly misrepresents what actually happened."
Tapper said that in 2005, after Salon and Rolling Stone jointly published a now thoroughly debunked and retracted Kennedy article linking childhood vaccines to autism, he was approached to do a story about Kennedy's claims for ABC News. Tapper was a reporter for ABC News at the time.
Tapper recalls that he did one remote interview with him via phone, and then delayed the brief piece's airing one day so that he could include interviews with medical experts.
But in Kennedy's "bizarre" retelling on the podcast, Tapper and Kennedy worked "for three weeks doing this incredible documentary," and then the night before the piece was to run, Tapper told him the whole piece was "killed by corporate," paraphrasing Tapper as saying, "All my career, I have never had a piece killed by corporate and I'm so mad."
Tapper says Kennedy's account is false, writing:
RFK Jr. has been misrepresenting the content of this call for years. (I told him we were holding the story for a day.) Now in his retelling, a two-minute piece was an "incredible documentary," a few days of work was three weeks, one remote interview was me working intensely with him, and a piece that got delayed one day so we could interview some actual experts is a piece that got killed.
For the record, the piece aired June 22, 2005.
Tapper emphasizes that the delay was so that he could include rebuttals from experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Institute of Medicine who effectively refuted Kennedy's claims. In Kennedy's fabulist story, a one-day delay in order to practice actual, responsible journalism became a vaguely sinister and conspiratorial corporate decision to kill the entire story.
So, yeah, we did the fact-checking for our piece that RFK Jr. didn't do himself.
And he remains someone you cannot rely upon for facts, truth or accuracy.