June 05, 2023

CHD Files New Action Against Legacy Media Organizations For Antitrust and Free Speech Violations

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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Monroe, LA — On May 31, attorneys for Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed a new action in an antitrust case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division, against major media outlets the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Washington Post, Reuters and The Associated Press for collectively colluding with Big Tech to censor publishers of online health and political news.

The complaint alleges that as members of the Trusted News Initiative (TNI), Defendants colluded with one another and with social media platforms to target and censor rival online news publishers, violating the Sherman antitrust laws and the First Amendment.

Jed Rubenfeld, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, commented:

When social media companies collude with government to censor critics of government policy, that violates the First Amendment. When they collude with major mainstream news organizations to censor rival online news publishers, that violates antitrust law.

“As the Supreme Court said in an antitrust case almost 80 years ago, ‘the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public. …Freedom to publish is guaranteed by the Constitution, but freedom to combine to keep others from publishing is not.’”

The lawsuit reveals that by March 2020, some of the world’s largest news organizations joined forces with social media giants to form the TNI, described by a BBC executive as an “international partnership initiative convened by the BBC, which links media organisations and social-media platforms.” By their own admissions, the TNI is a classic group boycott: “The real rivalry now,” another BBC executive boasted, “is not between for example the BBC and CNN globally, it’s actually between all trusted news providers and a tidal wave of unchecked [reporting] that’s being piped out mainly through digital platforms… . So actually we’ve got a lot more to hold us together than we have to work in competition with one another.”

Plaintiffs in the case include CHD, Creative Destruction Media, Trial Site News, Ty and Charlene Bollinger (founders of The Truth About Cancer and The Truth About Vaccines), independent journalist Ben Swann, Erin Elizabeth Finn (publisher of Health Nut News), Jim Hoft (founder of The Gateway Pundit), Dr. Joseph Mercola, Jeff Crouere (host of “Ringside Politics,” the Louisiana-based radio and television show) and Ben Tapper, a chiropractor. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD chairman on leave, is acting as volunteer legal counsel for CHD.

The case comes before U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty, who is currently presiding over three other pivotal free speech cases involving censorship, including CHD’s lawsuit Kennedy et al. v. Biden et al. — a class action complaint against President Biden and other top administration officials and federal agencies — along with Missouri v. Biden and Hines et al. v. Stamos et al.

Kim Mack Rosenberg, acting general counsel for CHD, pointed out the significance of this latest case:

“Instead of the ‘truth police’ they purport to be, TNI members, in fact, censor legitimate and accurate reporting in order to protect their own financial interests. Further, the TNI members deprive the public of critically important information. As alleged in the complaint, actions by TNI members violate federal antitrust law.

“People are losing faith in the legacy media and legacy media — rather than reflecting on their shortcomings and making changes — instead, through TNI, doubled down to protect their own economic interests.”


Children’s Health Defense® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to end childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable and establish safeguards to prevent future harm. We fight corruption, mass surveillance and censorship that put profits before people as well as advocate for worldwide rights to health freedom and bodily autonomy.

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