We Tried to Run an Ad for ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’ in The New York Times. Here’s What Happened Next.
By Tony Lyons
Skyhorse Publishing tried to place a full-page ad in The New York Times for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s bestselling book, ”The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” — and here’s what happened.
At first the ad salesman was thrilled we wanted to place the ad — until he understood what the book was about.
When he saw the actual ad, he informed us he would have to run it by “Standards Management.”
“Standards,” which I’d never heard of during my 27 years in the publishing field, got back to him with the following:
“We don’t need to look into the accuracy of the book, but the ad itself needs to be non-defamatory and accurate. Can you ask for substantiation on the claims made in the ad, specifically, the ‘many, many untruths emanating from Fauci and minions’ over ‘decades.’ Also the claim about boycotts, censorship and media blackout.”
The Times was questioning a quote within the ad, from the world’s most famous virologist, Nobel laureate, Dr. Luc Montagnier:
“Tragically for humanity, there are many, many untruths emanating from Fauci and his minions. RFK Jr. exposes the decades of lies.”
Here’s how I defended ”The Real Anthony Fauci” and the blurb about Fauci’s “untruths”:
“A simple Google search for ‘Fauci lied’ produces more than 2 million responses. While that in and of itself doesn’t prove anything, it does show it is possible to have that sincere opinion.
“There are literally thousands of articles citing accusations that Fauci has lied, is lying, repeatedly lies, including statements from prominent congressmen and senators, major newspapers, TV news hosts, etc.
“The New York Times itself ran an opinion piece titled ‘Covid Misinformation Comes from the Top, Too.’ The article cites Rand Paul’s accusation that Dr. Fauci ‘lied to Congress.’ Specifically, Paul accused Dr. Fauci of lying to Congress about gain-of-function research during a July 20, 2021 congressional hearing.
“The article goes on to say that ‘the larger truth — obscured until recently by fervent efforts (including by Fauci) to dismiss the lab-leak theory … is that the U.S. government’s scientific establishment did support gain-of-function research.’
“Fauci stated repeatedly that it had not. And his minions, according to the article, those who benefited from the funding, engaged in ‘deceptive tactics and outright mendacity.’
“The article continues:
‘Fauci lied — there’s no other word for it — about what he saw as the threshold figure for reaching herd immunity based on … ‘his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.’
“The article laments these ‘noble lies in the service of whatever they think the public needs to hear.”’
“In another New York Times article, ‘How Much Herd Immunity Is Enough?,’ the Times reiterated the quote about Dr. Fauci lying to the American public and then coming clean at least partly because of his ‘gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.’
“That statement constitutes an admission that he was untruthful to the American people in the past because they were NOT ready to hear what he really thought.
“Another Times opinion piece was titled, ‘Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired.’ And that idea, that Dr. Fauci lied repeatedly about masks, is the subject of literally thousands of other articles.
“According to emails obtained by BuzzFeed, February 2020 emails show that Fauci told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary that masks were only for the sick … at the same time that he was telling the public a different story.
“Specifically, in private email communications, Fauci told Sylvia Burwell:
‘Masks are really for infected people to protect them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection. The typical mask you buy in a drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.’
“At the same time, Fauci went on television and told the general public they needed masks to stay protected.”
“A Newsweek article was titled, ‘Fauci Was ‘Untruthful’ to Congress about Wuhan Lab Research.’
“Vanity Fair published an article titled, ‘In Major Shift, NIH Admits Funding Risky Virus Research in Wuhan.’ The article states that when Paul claimed Fauci was lying he ‘might have been on to something.’ In any case, the article makes abundantly clear that Dr. Fauci’s statements were ‘untruthful,’ if not outright lies.
“Private emails obtained by BuzzFeed show that a Professor Kristian Andersen wrote a private email to Dr. Fauci on Feb. 1, 2020 saying that Sars-CoV-2 had ‘unusual features’ that ‘potentially look engineered.’
“Five months later, Andersen received $1.88 million in government funding for virus research. According to Gateway Pundit, Andersen’s paper helped protect Fauci, the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is directed by Fauci, from ‘potential probes.’
“The Washington Post published an article called, ‘The Repeated Claim That Fauci Lied to Congress about ‘Gain-of-Function’ Research,’ which stated:
‘At a Senate hearing in May, Dr. Fauci said, ‘The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’ That was under oath … [The] NIH deputy director in writing directly contradicted it.’
“The article concludes there is disagreement in the scientific community over whether Fauci’s comments constitute lies. They certainly constitute ‘untruths.’
“In the final analysis, it’s perfectly reasonable to run a blurb from Luc Montagnier, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who sincerely believed what multiple U.S. senators and congress members have publicly stated, what newspaper articles have argued about and what Dr. Fauci seems to have admitted on multiple occasions — that Fauci has been untruthful in many of his pronouncements to the American people.
“If the Standards people are concerned about defamation or libel, in order to be defamatory, a statement about a public figure must be proven both to be false and to be published with ‘actual malice.’
“Actual malice means that the publisher either knew that the statement was false, or acted with reckless disregard for whether it was true or false.
“It is clearly not libelous to publish a blurb from a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, closely familiar with Dr. Fauci and his work, who points out ‘untruths’ that public officials, magazines, websites and newspapers — including the New York Times itself — have also pointed out.”
Here’s how we responded to the question about boycotts, censorship and the media blackout of ’The Real Anthony Fauci’:
“Many bookstores have refused to carry ’The Real Anthony Fauci’ even though it is the bestselling book in America. That refusal constitutes a boycott. To boycott is defined as: ‘refuse to buy or handle (goods) as a punishment or protest’ or ‘refuse to cooperate with or participate in (a policy or event).’
“One such bookstore is City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. When asked if they carry ’The Real Anthony Fauci,’ they said immediately, without having to look it up, ‘No, we don’t carry that book’ and said they wouldn’t even special order it for clients.
“Booksmith, also in San Francisco, said similarly that ’The Real Anthony Fauci’ wasn’t available and couldn’t even be special ordered from their store. They recommended buying it elsewhere.
“Weller Books, in Salt Lake City, wouldn’t accept an order. And Shakespeare & Co. in New York refused an order as well.
“All independent bookstores work with wholesalers which can get them any book in America that’s in print within two to four days, through an extremely efficient series of warehouses.
“Barnes & Noble, after several requests, refused to carry the book in more than token quantities in its physical stores, even though it reportedly sold extremely well online. At their store on 82nd and Broadway, they had all of the other bestsellers stacked up in big quantities, but when asked, the clerk advised that she couldn’t find a single copy of ’The Real Anthony Fauci’ in the store.
“After the book appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, the publisher’s distributor solicited Barnes & Noble for reorders. B&N refused to reorder a reasonable quantity of the book, though they continued to fill online orders.
“It appears that they never had, or plan to have, more than a few copies per store of what was and still is the bestselling non-fiction book in America over its first three weeks in print.
“Like the independent stores mentioned above, Barnes & Noble is treating this book differently than any other bestseller. At the very least, that’s a reasonable analysis of the facts.
“The Oxford dictionary defines censorship as ‘the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books … that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable or a threat to security.’
“Fauci was quoted by Politico as saying, ‘It’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous,’ he said. Presumably, Fauci’s opinion is the reason YouTube took down a televised book signing and discussion of the book.
“Twitter also refused to allow the publisher to advertise the book. Neither company gave any indication that anyone had read the book or had specific issues with it. Both actions constituted censorship.
“No major newspaper in America has written a single article or even mentioned this bestselling book — that constitutes a media blackout. A media blackout is defined as ‘the censorship of news related to a certain topic, particularly in mass media, for any reason.’
“The Tampa Free Press wrote an article on Dec. 3, 2021 titled, ‘Kennedy Book Publisher Sounds Off About ‘Media Blackout’ Of The Tell-All Book About Fauci’s Corruption.’
“According to that article, ‘a search of the terms ‘Kennedy’ and ‘Fauci’ on the websites of the New York Times, The Washington Post, as well as the news arms of ABC, CBS, and NBC reveals that none have tackled Kennedy’s allegations of Fauci’s corruption head-on.’
“The book has sold more than 200,000 copies in all formats in its first three weeks. It is clearly a grassroots phenomenon. That is a big story and virtually unheard of in book publishing. The fact that the book wasn’t reviewed by any major media outlets only cements this fact.
“Hopefully, this statement addresses all of your concerns and we can now move ahead with the ad.
All the best,
Standards Management responded the next day:
“The ad is approved if they remove the below quote which goes against our standards. We cannot accept ads that contain ad hominem attacks.”
Here is the blurb they asked us to remove:
“Tragically for humanity, there are many, many untruths emanating from Fauci and his minions. RFK Jr. exposes the decades of lies.” — Luc Montagnier, Nobel laureate
We then asked why they considered it an ad hominem attack to tell the hard truth about a public figure, a truth for which we had provided solid documentation.
We received the following response:
“I have no decision-making power on Standards Management. … I do know that 12/19 is going to press tomorrow, so we are way past the deadline …”
Given only two options — remove the blurb or not run the ad — we decided to run the ad.
On the left is the original ad we wanted to run for ”The Real Anthony Fauci.” On the right is the ad that actually ran:
A few weeks after the original ad ran, we decided to place a second ad in the New York Times, this time using blurbs from doctors and scientists.
When we sent a proposed ad with the new blurbs, the ad salesman again said he would have to run it by Standards Management.
This time it took Standards some time to respond. They were obviously wrestling with it internally, since they had already made the determination that, while the book itself might contain misinformation, the ad clearly didn’t.
And their stated policy is, or at least was, that they don’t rule on the contents of a book when deciding whether or not to run an ad. Standards Management, they had assured us, looks only at the ad itself.
In the end, that policy had clearly been changed specifically for ”The Real Anthony Fauci.” The advertising rep emailed us this note:
“I just heard back from Standards Management and was told that we can’t accept the ad due to misinformation.”
They refused to indicate which part of the advertisement constituted misinformation, but they made it clear their decision was based on the original ad, the one they had already run.
When pressed on which part of the ad was misinformation, they responded with the following:
“The Times retains the right to decline an advertisement offered to us. This ad goes against our guidelines as we cannot accept an ad that is misleading, false, or deceptive.”
It appears senior management at The New York Times had simply decided that, regardless of their policies, they didn’t want to run even the same ad again for a book that accused the most powerful public official in the country not only of lying to the American people but also of committing the most reprehensible form of corruption possible — the kind that costs people their lives.
“The Real Anthony Fauci” has now sold more than 1,000,000 copies in all formats, but there’s no telling how many it would have sold if it hadn’t been subjected to the most thorough censorship of any book in recent American history; if Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hadn’t been attacked by virtually every major newspaper in America, including The New York Times; if bookstores and libraries hadn’t boycotted it; if The New York Times hadn’t sabotaged it by refusing to run ads, neglecting to review it and using its so-called “proprietary algorithm” to lower the book’s rank on the New York Times bestseller list.
Clearly, The New York Times wants as few people as possible to read ”The Real Anthony Fauci” and it is willing to breach its own standards and editorial ethics in a desperate attempt to achieve that result.
Clearly, The New York Times is no longer a news organization. It’s an advocacy group that uses its powerful bestseller list, its preeminent position as the paper of record and its advertising platform to promote a specific and myopic agenda.
The New York Times’ treatment of ”The Real Anthony Fauci” cemented its role as an engine of censorship, corruption and misinformation.
*Special Note: Even this TV appearance discussing censorship was censored and is available only through BitChute.
Tony Lyons, president and publisher at Skyhorse publishing, and an attorney, was publisher at The Lyons Press between 1997 and 2004. He founded Skyhorse Publishing in 2006 and has been involved with every aspect of the book publishing process.