With as much time as i dedicate to alternative media i find it a bit surprising that i hadn't realized how incredibly popular National Public Radio (NPR) is. A number of friends who listen regularly often rave about how fairly and accurately NPR and its affiliates portray both sides of the issue at hand. They seem to place what i would consider to be an unusual amount of trust in NPR, its journalistic ethics and unbiased reporting of the news. A 2005 Harris poll affirms a general public trust in NPR, which was voted the most trusted news source in the U.S..
NPR's flagships are two drive time news broadcasts, Morning Edition and the afternoon All Things Considered; both are carried by most NPR member stations, and are two of the most popular radio programs in the country.
My friends insisted that i listen to NPR and so i gave it a whirl. In less than an hour of listening to their news broadcast, i concluded that National Public Radio is little different from any other government or corporate owned mainstream news company in its biases.
The simple fact that NPR broadcasts on the FM band raises the first red flag of many to follow. Because of my earlier extensive research regarding mainstream media, i know full well that unbiased, relevant topics of the day are not going to be dealt with in any objective and granular manner on FM radio anymore than they would be on mainstream television. To understand why this is, one must understand who owns the mainstream media, who sits on their boards, and the relationships those board members have with other corporations.
Almost all of mainstream media -- television, radio, publishing companies, music and film -- are owned by an ever dwindling number of extremely wealthy and powerful multinational corporations, the number of which has fallen from around 50 to just 5 in the last 20 years or so and the mergers continue. A few hours of research on the readers part will quickly shed light on why, for instance, a particular mainstream media company with defense contractors sitting on its board has little incentive to inform the public about devastating human and environmental consequences which depleted uranium has caused and continues to cause in the middle east, as well as other locations around the world that the U.S. and its allies choose to inflict "democracy" upon.
Not biting the hand that feeds you
As they say, "follow the money", and researching the NPR money trail leads to some interesting places.
From an article at socialscience.com titled Campaign to make NPR accountable for representing Lockheed-Martin over the people i found the following:
NPR: "We never forget who we're working for"
Millions of dollars from Lockheed-Martin, Wal-Mart, big oil
On October 26, 2002, over 100,000 people came to the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. to protest U.S. foreign policy, mainly the coming attack on Iraq. Organizers and those on the ground said there were over 200,000 people. UPI, Washington Post, and L.A. Times all estimated that over 100,000 rallied. Meanwhile, on National Public Radio, Nancy Marshall was on the scene, and reported, "I'd say there were fewer than ten thousand."
She also reported that protesters agreed with Bush that "we need to do something in Iraq." Thousands of protest signs (see below) with slogans along the lines of "Regime Change in U.S." and "Stop U.S. terror," clearly showed that the majority of protesters think "we need to do something" in the United States, not Iraq. Its also hard to imagine that she actually found a protester who said they would support U.S. to "ratchet up sanctions."
Following is a transcript of the audio file:
This is NPR, National Public Radio. Support for WAMU is provided by Lockheed Martin. Bringing criminals to justice is more important than ever. Advanced systems developed by Lockheed Martin help Federal agents get the job done faster. Lockheed Martin: we never forget who we're working for.
This made me wonder about the kind of reporting NPR has done on Lockheed Martin in the past, so i headed back to their website. As you can see for yourself, NPR appears to have almost nothing negative to say about one of the largest defense contractors on the planet which, considering Lockheed helps fund NPR and/or its affiliates, is not at all surprising.
On May 24, 2011, NPR published an article titled Worthy Cause, Controversial Funding Source where it admitted that NPR accepted 1.8 million in funding from the Open Society Foundations which is funded by George Soros (real name Schwartz):
But the organization made a judgment last fall that taps into that credibility account. The decision was to take $1.8 million from the Open Society Foundations. It's funded by left-leaning billionaire financier-philanthropist George Soros, who made his fortune in hedge funds and currency speculation.
More on George Soros in episode 113 of the Corbett Report, Meet George Soros and in this video on YouTube.
From a New York Times article titled Wal-Mart Tries to Shine Its Image by Supporting Public Broadcasting, we read:
Neither Wal-Mart nor NPR would reveal what it pays as an NPR sponsor. The contract began Feb. 16 and extends until January. Total corporate financing is expected to reach $30 million this year, Ms. Lawhorn said. As part of its NPR arrangement, Wal-Mart is described several ways when it is mentioned as an underwriter on the air. The descriptions include the following: "Wal-Mart. Providing jobs and opportunities for millions of Americans of all ages and all walks of life." Another says the company is "bringing communities job opportunities, goods and services and support for neighborhood programs."
NPR has received letters and e-mail messages from listeners since the Wal-Mart underwriting information began to be broadcast. One listener wrote: "What a disappointment! Maybe next it will be Halliburton ." [...]
Wal-Mart is one of the reasons why so many have lost their jobs. Ever find anything in Wal-Mart that is made in the U.S.? It takes only one person to buy a product, but often hundreds to make it and those jobs are primarily in China.
From an article titled The Spirit of Tom Paine by Stephen Lendman we read:
The situation is no better at National Public Radio (NPR) that long ago abandoned the public trust it was sworn to uphold when it was founded in 1970 as in independent, private, non-profit member organization of public radio stations in the country. It's as tainted and corrupted as its television counterpart and now also gets a substantial proportion of its funding from corporate donors demanding influence, like the kind a $225 million behest can buy. That's the amount gotten from the estate of the late Joan Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's Corporation that never needs to worry about an unfriendly report on NPR's airwaves no matter how egregious its behavior, and there's plenty of it to reveal that stays suppressed in all the major media including on NPR, the "peoples' radio."
Despite its mandate to be unbiased and serve the public interest, NPR steers clear of that in its one-sided kind of "journalism." It's careful to shy away from all controversial topics that may be sensitive to corporate interests that include those providing it funding support or might wish to like Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto and Walmart that already do. It's also "respectful" of whichever party is in power with Republican administrations getting special deference as they were from 1994 until the Democrats took control of the Congress in the November, 2006 mid-term elections. Even George Bush's most extreme transgressions can't get NPR's ire up enough to report accurately on them.
That's made even clearer when it's known what kind of man it has in charge - current president and CEO Kevin Klose. Like the CPB during the Tomlinson tenure, so too is NPR run by a man who used to be the director of all major worldwide US government propaganda dissemination broadcast media including VOA, Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Worldnet Television and the anti-Castro Radio/TV Marti. And like Tomlinson, it made him an ideal choice for a comparable job at NPR, the "peoples' radio," that like the "peoples' television" and its flagship Lehrer News Hour, never met a US-instigated war it didn't love, support and report endless supportive propaganda about while suppressing all news unfriendly to the US empire and its business interests.
So far as its known, however, Mr. Klose hasn't been accused of the kinds of activities attributed to his former CPB counterpart, staying free from the taint that forced Mr. Tomlinson to resign. That aside, it's had no positive impact on NPR's programming that's just as committed as PBS to serving the interests of wealth and power feeding it while ignoring the public trust despite the considerable funding it gets from that source from frequent on-air fund-raising efforts it has no right or justification asking for.
The list goes on
The sponsor lists, as provided by NPR, are full of high-profile, multi-national corporations and other influential entities. Following is a small sample from their 2008 Annual Reports and Donor Lists:
- General Motors Corporation
- Northwestern Mutual Foundation
- Progressive Casualty Insurance Company
- Prudential Financial
- State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
$500,000 - $999,999
- Constellation Energy Group
- Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation
- Vanguard Group
$250,000 - $499,999
- Alliance for Climate Protection
- CITGO Petroleum Corporation
- Fox Searchlight Pictures
- Overture Films
- Universal Pictures
- Warner Home Video
100,000 - $249,999
- 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
- FX Networks
- Hyatt Corporation
- Intel Corporation
- Johnson Controls
- Lindamood-Bell Learning Systems
- Paramount Home Entertainment
- Paramount Pictures
- Philips Healthcare
- U.S. Bank
In the same document in the FY08 INSTITUTIONAL & CORPORATE FOUNDATIONS & PUBLIC SECTOR GRANTS section, we find (edited list, does not include all sponsors):
$500,000 - $1 million
- American Jewish World Service
- The Annenberg Foundation
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting*
$250,000 - $499,999
- Carnegie Corporation of New York*
- Department of Education
- Skoll Foundation
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation*
$100,000 - $249,000
- Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
- The Ford Foundation
- NASDAQ Educational Foundation
- Public Telecommunications
- Facilities Program - U.S. Department of Commerce
The (*) indicates a multi-year grant.
The CPB: Corporation for
Public Government Broadcasting
Created and funded by congress, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) formed National Public Radio in 1970. According to Wikipedia:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a private non-profit corporation created by an act of the United States Congress and largely funded by the United States Federal Government to promote public broadcasting. Historically, 15% to 20% of the aggregate revenues of all public broadcasting stations have been funded from federal sources, principally through CPB.
CPB was created on November 7, 1967 when U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The new organization initially collaborated with the pre-existing National Educational Television network. In 1969 CPB started its own network, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). PBS became independent several years later. In 1970, CPB formed National Public Radio (NPR), a network of public radio stations.
CPB provides some funding for PBS and NPR, but much more of its funding goes to public television and radio stations that are members of PBS or NPR, as well as to other broadcasters that are independent of those organizations. In more recent years, CPB has started funding some Internet-based projects.
NPR says (page removed by NPR, link points to a cached copy):
A very small percentage -- between one percent to two percent of NPR's annual budget -- comes from competitive grants sought by NPR from federally funded organizations, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Technically that may be true, but i think it could be considered misleading; although NPR corporate may only receive 1-2% funding from CPB, its affiliates appear to receive a substantial amount. I wonder how much latitude NPR or its affiliates have to be critical of the U.S. government who, ultimately, funds both?
A bit later from the same page:
On average, public radio stations (including NPR Member stations) receive the largest percentage of their annual operating revenue (31%) from listener support. For FY07, the most recent data available, the average station's revenues came from the following sources:
- 31% from listeners in the form of pledges, memberships, and other donations
- 20% from businesses via corporate underwriting
- 11% from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which is federally funded*
- 10% from licensee support
- 9% from foundations and major gifts
- 5% from local and state governments, and
- 14% from all other sources.
*A note on CPB funding: There are 434 stations in 47 states and territories (including Guam and Puerto Rico) that specifically serve rural and minority communities; the latter includes numerous African-American, Native American, Latino, and multicultural licensees. In many cases, they are the sole local broadcasting service available. These stations receive significantly higher funding from CPB - in some cases, as much as two-thirds of their budgets - since many of their listeners simply don't have the financial resources to provide support.
NPR says, "On average, public radio stations (including NPR Member stations) receive the largest percentage of their annual operating revenue (31%) from listener support.". If you look at that statement another way, it says that the largest (69%) of their funding does not come from listener support, 36% of which is from business and government, alone outweighing the 31% from listeners.
From the NPR website regarding donations (page removed by NPR, link points to a cached copy):
Approximately half of NPR's annual operating revenue is contributed from the private sector, primarily from corporations and foundations. NPR receives no direct support from the federal government [...]
The last sentence may be technically correct, but why does NPR make this statement at all? I don't think it's unreasonable to interpret this as NPR making an effort to deceive listeners about the government funding it receives indirectly. Whether the money passes through another party -- the CPB in this case -- is irrelevant.
Board of Directors
The board of directors for the CPB are appointed by the president and, as of 2009, include the following people:
- Ernest J. Wilson III (chair), Democrat, nominated to first term by President Clinton in 2000. Renominated to second term November 2004 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate November 2004. Term expires 2010.
- Beth Courtney (vice chair), independent, nominated April 2003 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate December 2003. Term expires 2010.
- Chris Boskin, Republican, nominated June 2006 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate September 2006. Term expires 2012.
- Patricia Cahill, Democrat, nominated July 2009 by President Obama, confirmed by U.S. Senate August 2009. Term expires 2014.
- Gay Hart Gaines, Republican, nominated December 2003 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate November 2004. Term expires 2010.
- Lori Gilbert, Democrat, nominated May 2008 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate October 2008. term expires 2012.
- Former Senator David H. Pryor, Democrat, nominated to first term by President George W. Bush in 2006. Renominated to second term May 2008 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate October 2008. Term expires 2014.
- Bruce Ramer, Republican, nominated May 2008 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate October 2008. Terms expires 2012.
- Elizabeth Sembler, Republican, nominated May 2008 by President George W. Bush, confirmed by U.S. Senate October 2008. Term expires 2014.
People holding positions with NPR also hold positions in the the following organizations:
- America Abroad Media
- American Action Network
- Aspen Institute
- Brookings Institution
- Clark & Weinstock
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Emerging Markets Management, LLC
- FirstEnergy Corp.
- Harvard Business School
- ITT Educational Services
- Lenox Corporation
- National Endowment for Democracy
- Republican Party
- SEED Foundation
- US House of Representatives
- Washington National Opera
One hand washes the other
People affiliated with NPR have made substantial contributions to a number of political parties and organizations including the Brookings Institution, a major Washington think-tank financed in part by the Department of Defense, Pfizer, Microsoft, the Ford foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Nathaniel Rothschild, a laundry list of insurance companies, the governments of Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Qatar and other nations, GE, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, Citibank, Bank of America and other banks, the US Agency for International Development, Walmart and ALCOA just to name a few (there are apparently at least 40 donors in all). Members of the Brookings Institution have donated to political parties including George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, John McCain, the Democratic National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
In 1983 NPR had some trouble which led to a Congressional investigation (i haven't investigated what the hub-bub was all about). Wikipedia tells us the following:
NPR suffered an almost fatal setback in 1983 when efforts to expand services created a deficit of nearly US$7 million. After a Congressional investigation and the resignation of NPR's president, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting agreed to lend the network money to stave off bankruptcy.
At this point i think it is abundantly clear that the U.S. government is in a very advantageous position to influence NPR.
In a Wikipedia section titled 'Criticism', we find the following:
Allegations of conservative bias
In a December 2005 column run by NPR ombudsman and former Vice President Jeffrey Dvorkin, allegations that NPR relies heavily on conservative think-tanks were denied. In his column, Dvorkin listed the number of times NPR had cited experts from conservative and liberal think tanks in the previous year as evidence. However, according to MediaMatters, a progressive media group, the numbers he reported indicate an overwhelmingly conservative bias. His own tally showed that 63% of NPR experts from think tanks came from right-leaning organizations while only 37% came from left-leaning organizations.
In 2003, some critics accused NPR of being supportive of the invasion of Iraq.
Allegations of liberal bias
A study conducted by researchers at UCLA and the University of Missouri found that while NPR is "often cited by conservatives as an egregious example of a liberal news outlet", "[b]y our estimate, NPR hardly differs from the average mainstream news outlet. Its score is approximately equal to those of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report and its score is slightly more conservative than The Washington Post's." It did find NPR to be more liberal than the average U.S. voter of the time of the study and more conservative than the average U.S. Democrat of the time. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a progressive media watchdog group, also disputes the claim of a liberal bias.
Allegations of bias against Israel
NPR has been criticized for perceived bias in its coverage of Israel.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a pro-Israel American media monitoring organization based in Boston, has been particularly critical of NPR. CAMERA director Andrea Levin has stated, "We consider NPR to be the most seriously biased mainstream media outlet," a statement that The Boston Globe describes as having "clearly gotten under her target's skin." NPR's then-Ombudsman, Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, said in a 2002 interview that CAMERA used selective citations and subjective definitions of what it considers pro-Palestinian bias in formulating its findings, and that he felt CAMERA's campaign was "a kind of McCarthyism, frankly, that bashes us and causes people to question our commitment to doing this story fairly. And it exacerbates the legitimate anxieties of many in the Jewish community about the survival of Israel."
A 2004 FAIR study concluded that "NPR's guestlist shows the radio service relies on the same elite and influential sources that dominate mainstream commercial news, and falls short of reflecting the diversity of the American public."
Noam Chomsky has criticized NPR as being biased toward ideological power and the status quo. He alleges that the parameters of debate on a given topic are very consciously curtailed. He says that since the network maintains studios in ideological centers of opinion such as Washington, the network feels the necessity to carefully consider what kinds of dissenting opinion are acceptable. Thus, political pragmatism, perhaps induced by fear of offending public officials who control some of the NPR's funding (via CPB), often determines what views are suitable for broadcast, meaning that opinions critical of the structures of national-interest-based foreign policy, capitalism, and government bureaucracies (entailed by so-called "radical" or "activist" politics) usually do not make it to air.
In 2009 NPR edited Nathan Lee's review of Outrage, a documentary on closeted gay politicians who actively work against lesbian, gay, transgender and queer rights. NPR removed the names of the politicians from the review, claiming that it needed to protect the privacy of public figures. "NPR has a long-held policy of trying to respect the privacy of public figures and of not airing or publishing rumors, allegations and reports about their private lives unless there is a compelling reason to do so," said Dick Meyer, NPR's executive director of Digital. However, NPR did not perform such alteration in an editorial by Linda Holmes criticizing media outlets for not acknowledging the sexuality of American Idol frontrunner Adam Lambert, whom she believed to be homosexual. NPR also did not perform such alteration in November 2008, and after the coming out of comedian Wanda Sykes, NPR speculated on-air whether Queen Latifah would also, even though the celebrity has issued no public statements about her sexuality.
As far as criticism from the pro-Israeli organization CAMERA, i give no credence to that allegation whatsoever and find the opposite to be true.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
In 2002 Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), published an 'Action Alert' titled For NPR, Violence Is Calm if It's Violence Against Palestinians. Following is an excerpt:
Morning Edition anchor Bob Edwards on January 3 stated that U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni was coming to the region during "a time of comparative quiet." In another report the same day, correspondent Linda Gradstein referred to "the relative calm of the past few weeks." Other NPR reports have mentioned the "recent calm" (1/5/02) or the "fragile period of quiet" (1/7/02).
What NPR means by this was spelled out most explicitly by Linda Gradstein in a January 4 report on the envoy's mission. "You know, there's been actually three weeks of relative quiet," she said. "Only one Israeli has been killed in those three weeks, as opposed to 44 Israelis who were killed when Zinni was here last time in November and early December."
What Gradstein didn't mention-- and what someone who relied on NPR for their Middle Eastern news would have little idea of -- was that this has been in no way a period of calm for Palestinians. In fact, in the three-week period that Gradstein referred to, at least 26 Palestinians were killed by occupation forces-- more than one a day.
Media critic Ali Abunimah documented the killings in a letter of protest to NPR (1/8/02), starting with 13-year-old Rami Khamis Al-Zorob, shot in the head on December 13 while playing near his home in Rafah, Gaza. Most of the deaths cited by Abunimah were of unarmed civilians; six were minors, ranging in age from 12 to 17.
But none of these deaths received much attention from NPR, leaving the impression that calm for Israelis was calm for Palestinians as well. One of the few times that the Palestinian toll was even vaguely referred to was in this December 24 exchange between All Things Considered anchor Robert Siegel and correspondent Peter Kenyon:
SIEGEL: "There was a resumption of violence today, I gather, a shooting of a Jewish settler."
This kind of biased non-journalism is typical throughout mainstream media and what i have come to expect from outlets such as Fox, NBC, ABC, CNN, etc.. For 60+ years Zionists have been slaughtering Arabs and stealing their land while U.S. taxpayers help fund the genocide. Now they have the U.S. doing it for them.
In Dec., 2001, FAIR wrote another piece titled The Illusion of Balance: NPR's coverage of Mideast deaths doesn't match reality. Following is an excerpt:
During the six-month period studied, NPR reported the deaths of 62 Israelis and 51 Palestinians. While on the surface that may not appear to be hugely lopsided, during the same time period 77 Israelis and 148 Palestinians were killed in the conflict. That means there was an 81 percent likelihood that an Israeli death would be reported on NPR, but only a 34 percent likelihood that a Palestinian death would be.
Of the 30 Palestinian civilians under the age of 18 that were killed, six were reported on NPR--only 20 percent. By contrast, the network reported on 17 of the 19 Israeli minors who were killed, or 89 percent. While 61 percent of the young people killed in the region during the period studied were Palestinian, only 26 percent of those reported by NPR were. Apparently being a minor makes your death more newsworthy to NPR if you are Israeli, but less newsworthy if you are Palestinian.
If these statistics are accurate they are pretty telling and aligned with what the rest of mainstream media reports regarding the genocide taking place.
In Jun., 2004, FAIR published a study of NPR titled How Public is Public Radio: A study of NPR's guest list. Following are some excerpts:
NPR, which now reaches 22 million listeners weekly on 750 affiliated stations, does frequently provide more than the nine-second-soundbite culture of mainstream news broadcasts. But is the public really heard on public radio? And is NPR truly an alternative to its commercial competition? A new FAIR study of NPR 's guestlist shows the radio service relies on the same elite and influential sources that dominate mainstream commercial news, and falls short of reflecting the diversity of the American public.
Elite sources dominated NPR 's guest-list. These sources - including government officials, professional experts and corporate representatives - accounted for 64 percent of all sources.
Current and former government officials constituted the largest group of elite voices, accounting for 28 percent of overall sources, an increase of 2 percentage points over 1993. Current and former military sources (a subset of governmental sources) were 3 percent of total sources.
Professional experts - including those from academia, journalism, think tanks, legal, medical and other professions - were the second largest elite group, accounting for 26 percent of all sources. Corporate representatives accounted for 6 percent of total sources.
Journalists by themselves accounted for 7 percent of all NPR sources. For a public radio service intended to provide an independent alternative to corporate-owned and commercially driven mainstream media, NPR is surprisingly reliant on mainstream journalists. At least 83 percent of journalists appearing on NPR in June 2003 were employed by commercial U.S. media outlets, many at outlets famous for influencing news- room agendas throughout the country (16 from the New York Times alone, and another seven from the Washington Post ). Only five sources came from independent news outlets like the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the National Catholic Reporter .
The remainder of elite sources was distributed among religious leaders (2 percent) and political professionals, including campaign staff and consultants (1 percent).
Following are links to more articles from FAIR:
- NPR News: National Pentagon Radio?
- Time to Unplug the CPB: Replace corrupt board with independent trust
- NPR Underreports Iraq Deaths
- NPR Reporter Urges Israeli Retaliation
- NPR Gives Torture Credibility: Report treats torture-based confessions as news
Some time ago i had read an allegation that NPR had something to do with Dr. Steven Jones being terminated from Brigham Young University. I had a hard time tracking down in-depth sources for that information, but in my quest i found an article by Christopher Bollyn titled 9-11 - Bush Was Behind Silencing of Dr. Steven E. Jones on Thermite which included the following quote:
In early September, the Salt Lake City affiliate of NPR had done an interview with Steven Jones, which was designed to make him look anti-Semitic. Although he said nothing that could be construed in any way to be anti-Semitic, the people who followed Jones in the show accused him of using "code language," which they said clearly showed that he was an anti-Semite.
Within a day or two, Jones was suspended from his teaching duties at BYU and put on suspension pending a peer review of his thesis. The peer review never happened. Jones was given terms of resignation and took them. The much awaited examination of his thesis never occurred.
Mormon friends of mine told me that President Bush had visited the elders of the church shortly before Jones was framed by the NPR affiliate at the University of Utah. One of the subjects of the meeting, I was told, was how to silence Professor Jones.
Today, on the passing of the head of the Mormon church, a photo of the meeting between President Bush and the church elders is on-line.
In another article titled Greg Palast's Attack on 9-11 Truth, Christopher Bollyn writes the following:
Three weeks later, Professor Jones was the victim of a trap set for him on the NPR radio affiliate at the University of Utah:
On September 5, Doug Fabrizio, executive producer of RadioWest on the University of Utah's public radio station invited Jones to come on his one-hour program to discuss his 9/11 research.
After interviewing Jones for a brief 20 minutes, Fabrizio said goodbye to Jones and turned the remainder of the hour over to a discussion of conspiracy theories with two Jewish professors, a Robert Goldberg from the University of Utah and Gary Fine from Northwestern.
A comment on a Brad Blog article titled Sibel Edmonds and Bill Weaver call the 9/11 Commission 'A Play on Nothing in Three Acts' seems to confirm that NPR did interview Dr. Jones:
Larry Bergan said on 9/6/2006 @ 3:57 am PT
This is the first article involving the cover-up of the 9-11 commission or any story involving suspicions around the "official" story of 9-11 that I remember seeing on the internet site "commondreams.org"!
They also interviewed Professor Steven Jones on our local NPR station here by the most professional local interviewer around.
Could this be what we've been waiting for?
The shocking scientific discoveries and peer-reviewed papers by Dr. Steven E. Jones regarding the 11, Sep., 2001 attacks in New York (i don't recall if he studied the Pentagon attack) should be headline news across the U.S., even today and, in fact, several mainstream outlets did interview Dr. Jones. However if you search the NPR website for the phrase "steven jones" or "steven e jones", no results are returned for the Steven Jones referenced here which i find very odd indeed. This is interesting because a friend of mine told around the summer of 2008 that he had heard Dr. Jones being talked about on NPR. My friend, who is rather main-stream in many ways, was of the opinion that, without ever reading any of his peer-reviewed papers, Jones was a nut job. Apparently NPR did a number on Jones as well.
Anne Garrels is an NPR foreign correspondent. From Wikipedia we learn the following about her:
Anne Garrels (born July 2, 1951) is a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio in the United States. She was one of the few Western journalists who remained in Baghdad and reported live during the 2003 Iraq War. Shortly after her return from Iraq, she published Naked in Baghdad (ISBN 0-374-52903-5), a memoir of her time covering the events surrounding the invasion. She has since returned to Iraq several times for NPR. She was an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines during the November 2004 attack on Fallujah, and, on November 10, 2004, was the reporter who first reported information, soon refuted, that the Marines had found a "store of sarin nerve gas" during the attack . Garrels' experience in Fallujah is partially described in Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman's book From Bagdad, With Love, which chronicles a Marine unit's adoption of a stray Iraqi puppy (ISBN 1-59228-980-0). She also covered the January 2005 national elections for an interim government, as well as constitutional referendum and the December 2005 elections for the first full term Iraqi government. As sectarian violence swept much of central Iraq Garrels continued to report from Baghdad, Najaf and Basra.
Garrels graduated from Harvard University's Radcliffe College in 1972. Before joining NPR in 1988, Garrels was the NBC News correspondent at the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, Garrels worked at ABC News in a variety of positions over the course of ten years. She served three years as Moscow bureau chief and correspondent until she was expelled in 1982. She was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 1998. She is a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Garrels is married to J. Vinton Lawrence, one of two CIA paramilitary officers from their famed Special Activities Division stationed in Laos in the early 1960s, working with the Hmong tribesman and the CIA-owned airline Air America.   Garrels and Lawrence live in Connecticut.  Lawrence's letters to Garrels during her time in Baghdad, Iraq, during the 2003 U.S. invasion of that country, are included in her book, Naked in Baghdad (ISBN 0-374-52903-5).
On October 26, 2007 NPR aired a story by Garrels that was mainly based on information extracted via torture. Garrels herself described the victims as "blood-soaked" and "sobbing", but used the information anyway, despite the fact that information obtained this way is notoriously unreliable. NPR received many comments about this and on November 1 aired a followup in which Garrels tried to justify her actions. Her justifications apparently did nothing to quiet the anger of the listening audience because the NPR Ombudsman sent out an additional email to listeners. This email quoted many listeners' complaints and said that listeners "want Garrels to come home". However, the email ended by saying she would be going back to Iraq.
Garrels conducted an interview with Tahir Younis, an Iraqi driver and translator in 2006 regarding the war. The article is titled Life, Death and Trust in Iraq and is published on the NPR website. Following is an interesting exchange between the two:
GARRELS: When we were working together during the war, did you trust me?
Mr. TAHIR YOUNIS (Translator and Driver): Anne, it was difficult because, in general, yes. But I get some instruction to collect some information about you. You are an American intelligence
GARRELS: That's what they told you?
Mr. YOUNIS: Yeah. From CIA. To monitoring you and to watching you.
I cannot find any other references to this transcript that provides any more detail. Younis' statement, "You are an American intelligence" is key to understand the exchange. Was it edited? Did the sentence end there? The exchange is interesting but the context is unclear; is Younis stating that Garrels is CIA, or that the CIA requested he surveil her? If the latter is the case then i think it might be interesting to ask why the CIA would ask an Iraqi driver to monitor the wife of a former CIA officer.
It is my personal opinion is that Garrels is likely working for the CIA in some capacity based on the following:
- Her husband is a former CIA officer
- The CIA's close-knit relationship with the media is no secret
- As a journalist and foreign correspondent working for NPR i would think the CIA would be quite interested in using her to influence public opinion to support their agenda, especially among the middle class and baby-boomers, the core NPR audience. I think her discredited story regarding the sarin gas, general sympathy for the occupation, military embedded role and reliance on testimony from torture victims all point in this direction.
- Although not conclusive, the statement by Tahir Younis could easily be interpreted as possible evidence of a CIA association.
John A. Herrmann Jr.
From a 2003 post by "billbuckhead" in the Democratic Underground forum topic titled Operation Mockingbird? Check NPR's President-CEO and Chairman of the Board i found this interesting information:
Thu Oct-16-03 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Operation Mockingbird?Check NPR"s President-CEO and Chairman of the Board
President and CEO
Kevin Klose is President and Chief Executive Officer for NPR (National Public Radio), America's premier non-profit news and cultural radio programming service, with more than 730 stations and a weekly audience of nearly 22 million listeners nationwide.
A former editor, and national and foreign correspondent with The Washington Post, Klose is an award-winning author and international broadcasting executive. Prior to joining NPR in December 1998, Klose served successively as Director of U.S. International Broadcasting, overseeing the U.S. Government's global radio and television news services (1997-98); and President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), broadcasting to Central Europe and the former Soviet Union (1994-97). Klose first joined RFE/RL in 1992 as Director of Radio Liberty, broadcasting to the former Soviet Union in its national languages.
John A. Herrmann, Jr.
Managing Director, Global Investment Bank at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co
John A. Herrmann, Jr. is a managing director of the Global Investment Bank sector of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. He advises corporations and financial sponsors throughout the world on merger and acquisition strategies and execution.
Before coming to J.P. Morgan Chase, Herrmann was a co-founder and served for years as senior managing director in the merger and acquisition department of Lehman Brothers.
Herrmann is currently a member of the NPR board of directors and the president of the NPR Foundation. Also, he is a member of the Yale University Council and former chairman of its Committee on Development, a member of the board of trustees of the Jewish Board of Family & Children's Services, and trustee of the Steep Rock Association.
Herrmann received his B.A. from Yale in 1957 and an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1961.
The link the poster gives is an index page containing the names of people at NPR. The name Herrmann is curiously absent from that page but a short bio is still available on the NPR website, though it has been edited. The page does not mention him as being a board member though the breadcrumb navigation at the top of his page reads 'About NPR >People at NPR'. He is listed as a trustee in NPR's 2008 Annual Reports and Donor Lists . He is also listed as a board member at Wikipedia:
Public Members of the Board
- Carol A. Cartwright; President, Kent State University
- John A. Herrmann, Jr.; Vice Chairman, Lincoln International
- Howard H. Stevenson; Chair of the Board, NPR; Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University
- Lyle Logan; Senior Vice President, Personal Financial Services
- Eduardo A. Hauser; Chief Executive Officer, DailyMe, Inc. Daily Me
Klose is another controversial character who was president and CEO of NPR. From Wikipedia:
Kevin Klose (b. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 1, 1940) is a journalist, author, broadcast executive, and academic administrator, currently serving as the dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was, until September 2008, the president of National Public Radio (NPR), the United States' largest nonprofit radio outlet for news and cultural programming. He served in this position beginning in December 1998, and also served as the organization's chief executive officer from 1998 to 1999. He was also a member of NPR's corporate Board of Directors, and a Trustee of the NPR Foundation.
Klose grew up in Red Hook, New York. His parents, Woody and Virginia Taylor Klose, were radio producers and writers during the 1930s and 1940s.
Prior to his tenure at National Public Radio, Klose was for 25 years an editor and reporter at The Washington Post. From 1994 to 1997, he served as president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Some criticized the choice of Kevin Klose to be the head of NPR because he "used to be the director of all major worldwide US government propaganda dissemination broadcast media including VOA, Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Worldnet Television and the anti-Castro Radio/TV Marti." 
Klose is a graduate of Harvard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in 1962. He has authored five books. He serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy.
He lives in Washington, D.C.
A 1999 article from the Sonic.net titled NPR'S PROPAGANDA CZAR/CEO also talks about Kevin Klose:
In a move roughly akin to the ACLU hiring a CIA director for its president, National Public Radio named the czar of American broadcast agitprop as its CEO. Kevin Klose has been director of the US International Broadcasting Bureau, which runs or coordinates all major American broadcast propaganda, including the Voice of America and Radio Marti. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia operate under the oversight of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the same body that supervises IBB. Kevin Klose was president of Radio FreeEurope/Radio Liberty from 1992 to 1997. Prior to that, he worked for many years for the Washington Post.
The choice raises new questions about the independence from government influence of the public radio network, which is already tied by purse-strings to Washington and has shown considerable deference to the White House in its coverage of the Clinton scandals.
This is not the first time American media and propaganda have been seamlessly joined. In 1976, the president of the CIA-connected Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty was former CBS president Sig Mickelson. Ironically, one of the few journalists who raised questions about the relationship of the media and the CIA--to the detriment of his career at CBS--was Daniel Schorr, now at NPR. Carl Bernstein, in a contemporary article in "Rolling Stone, "estimated that 400 American journalists had been tied to the CIA at one point or another, including such well-known media figures as the Alsop brothers, C.L. Sulzberger of the"New York Times," and Philip Graham of the "Washington Post." Later the "New York Times" reported that the CIA had owned or subsidized more than 50 newspapers, news services, radio stations, and periodicals, mostly overseas.
And, says "NameBase Newsline," at least 22 American news organizations employed CIA assets, and "nearly a dozen American publishing houses printed some of the more than 1,000 books that had been produced or subsidized by the CIA. When asked in a 1976 interview whether the CIA had ever told its media agents what to write, William Colby replied, 'Oh, sure, all the time.'"
With the bad press, American intelligence began becoming more subtle. As one CIA asset, Gloria Steinem, said, "The CIA's big mistake was not supplanting itself with private funds fast enough." One of the results of an increasing sophistication was the creation in 1973 of a Board for International Broadcasting to obscure any CIA control of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
But all this is history and largely forgotten even in media circles. Thus, it is not surprising that there have been signs the Washington inner party is feeling its oats again. In 1996, the Council on Foreign Relations suggested that the CIA be allowed once more to use journalists and clergy as cover for its operations. As "NameBase Newsline" points out, "For 70 years, [the CFR has] rarely recommended anything that has not become policy."
In such an environment, for NPR to hire the head of national broadcast agitpunkt seems more than a little risky to the public.
It is well known that the CIA provided funding for Radio Free Europe up until at least 1972. From Wikipedia:
Relationship with the CIA
RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency until 1972. Since then, it has been funded by regular, open Congressional appropriations through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and has received no funds from the CIA. The CIA's relationship with the radios began to break down in 1967, when Ramparts magazine published an expose claiming that the CIA was channeling funds to civilian organizations. Further investigation into the CIA's funding activities revealed its connection to both RFE and RL, sparking significant media outrage. Investigations into the legal basis of the relationship jeopardized the existence of both radios, which could not survive without the CIA's funding.
That the CIA had begun influencing the U.S. media as far back as the 1950s was admitted in 1975 by the CIA to the 'Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities', commonly known as the Church Committee. News companies alleged to have had ties to the CIA include the New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the Miami Herald and many others.
I think much of the information contained here presents serious allegations and conflicts of interest at various levels of NPR from journalistic to management thereby calling into question its operating principles and ethics. Furthermore, there does not seem to be an overwhelming public presence in National "Public" Radio with regard to funding. In my opinion it simply is not possible to accept massive amounts of funds from government and private interests and remain neutral. I think the evidence gathered here speaks volumes and, in fact, only confirms what i already knew to be true, which is that main stream media, in all of its forms, cannot and should not be trusted.
Resources for further study
- Project Censored: Corporate Media Ownership
- Who Rules America
- They Rule
- Refusing to Take Sides, NPR Takes Sides With Torture Deniers
- NPR controversies | Wikipedia
- NPR Deletes Comments, Says Commenters Are Too Old And Male | The Daily Caller
- AP: Soros-Backed Group that SOLD Iran Nuclear Deal DIRECTLY PAID journalists and media outlets - Gave NPR $700,000
- How Public Is NPR's Funding?
- No Liberal Bias at NPR -- Just Ask NPR
- Alex Jones' Prison Planet Lies for Israel
- United States Senate/Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities - Wikisource
- Operation Mockingbird - Wikipedia
- CIA Operation Mockingbird - How the CIA Controls the Media
- Church Committee Hearings Domestic Surveillance - 1975 - YouTube
- NPR Conflates Mass Shootings With School Shootings to Wildly Overstate the Problem - The Truth About Guns
Recent changes to this document
- replace broken links
- minor edit
63 thoughts on “NPR: National Public Radio Or National Propaganda Radio?”
Do a search on ‘duffy national propaganda radio’ to get a clear example of the disinformation being distributed by NPR.
hi Phil – i’m posting the link to your article here as it’s well worth reading…
National Propaganda Radio (NPR) – https://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/duffy-p5.html
Phil, I read with great interest your article on NPR and have a question. Currently, I have two federal lawsuits for copyright infringement against two different NPR stations that are operated by State Universities. (Southern Illinois and Murray State, in Kentucky). Both of these stations are claiming they are owned by the Universities and have spent a ton of money fighting me, claiming they have Sovereign immunity because a state owned university is an “instrument of the state government”, and are trying to extend this convention to their radio stations.
While it appears, in practice, after reading much on this, and your article, especially, that NPR is in these cases National Government Radio, I cannot find one document that shows either station is or is not a government agency. Nor can I find any lawsuits like mine. The infringement has to do with the websites of these NPR/college stations, which, according to the FCC website, the websites absolutely do not fall under the FCC’s underwriting restrictions, but that doesn’t tell me that the websites may not fall under the sovereign immunity of the Universities. I could really use some help, or they’re both going to get these cases dismissed. Could you point me in any direction that could help?
Very interesting, thorough article. How to get info on salaries of top NPR administrators and hosts? I am appaled at the deluge of advertising on NPR. What happened?
Great research. I feel the conclusion is a bit off. Simply, the United States intentionally underfunds its public media. It has evolved into a hybrid system here that depends mostly of the largess of listeners, and the interest of commercial entities in aligning their brands with the values of those listeners, all within rather arbitrary limitations imposed by the FCC in exchange for meager federal funding via the buffer of the CPB. The Fed funds propaganda vehicles like Voice of America directly. Public media is specifically not propaganda. It is an imperfect non-profit media space (whose bandwidth is increasingly being gobbled up by cash flush religious broadcasters who, by a strange quirk of US law, are able to present themselves as non-profits without being held to the standards and disclosures that secular non-profit media entities are).
If public media was fully funded via the CPB it might not be subject to corporate influence. However, it might be more influenced by prevailing political tides and special economic interests.
No media, in any form, can be fully trusted. There is no neutral media. Although nearly ever news org strives to be objective, it’s perspective on what that means varies.
It is important to be aware of the forces shaping the way issues are covered and presented as news, whether from a presumably corporate, public or independent entity. I believe you have underscored some of the issues surrounding US public media.
That’s one serious cop-out hypothesis.
Simply put, you are using expert testimony against his argument as an attempt to neutralize his assertation that there is an unreasonable level of propaganda in NPR. Tell me how in your statement you prove you are more right than he is, or how it is even relevant for that matter? (Facts please) … How about we (as in you) argue for progress and not argument’s sake.
10-4. I tackled the director of WGCU, Rick Johnson, years ago about propagandist broadcasting. He was disrespectful, didn’t answer direct questions, failed to report when alerted to serious local topics, and on and on. Here on the SWFL coast, censorship is alive and well. We have to wait for the snowbirds to show up to find out what’s going on in the rest of the country.
Thank you for writing this article.
As far as NPR interviewing Steven Jones, many, I don’t know how many, NPR stations are just local stations that buy the NPR package of news, fresh air, this american life, etc, so the majority of programming is not NPR. That is the case with our local NPR carrier, KHSU. There are lots of other interviews, some with local hosts, others brought in from other small media projects like “Consider the Alternatives” and “New Dimensions.” I’ve noticed lots of people calling KHSU “the NPR station” and your friend probably did that when she heard Jones.
hi Lisa – thanks for the comment
i’m somewhat aware how NPR works as far as programming and the independence of its affiliates, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that its affiliates are free to broadcast whatever they wish, or that there is no collusion between the affiliates and corporate, especially on extremely sensitive issues such as those brought forth by S. Jones – i think the following quote from Christopher Bollyn is revealing…
Basically, you are saying that it’s okay for NPR to sell potatoes as passion fruit just as long as there’s a local station that buys it to resell to individual consumers under the same label?
I think most people who like NPR started listening when it was actually good, back to before the “W” administration. I find NPR nauseating. Recently they reported a terrible nightclub fire in Budapest, Hungary.
Turns out it was in Bucharest (Romania), but you know, when you have to spend 50% of your research time coming up with snappy phrase for a lead-in to the story, time gets tight and geographic (along with all other types of) accuracy becomes tedious and boring! I get the impression that NPR is “reporting” more based on the “vibe” of an issue than doing actual research. NPR news is utterly slanted and the rest of its programming is fluff. Granted some is entertaining, but there is next to nothing of substance on NPR –what remains is the wake
of the Geo. W. Bush administration. I’d rather be painting picture of my feet in a tub rather than listen to
the drivel they’re peddling.
Media watchdog groups report that during the lead-up to the Iraq war and three years into the war, NPR was more
pro-war in its broadcasting than Fox News. While this might be hard to believe, it is true. In fairness, all the
media outlets surveyed showed a 95% or above slant in support of the war in all programming. NPR was 97% and Fox News was 96%.
At the outset, you say, “The simple fact that NPR broadcasts on the FM band raises the first red flag…” How does the technology influence content? Many NPR affiliates are AM. So your perspective is suspect at the outset. Much of what I read of what you write is true, but the term “propaganda” can apply to all media. In the USA all terrestrial broadcasting is licensed by the US Government. A logical extension of much of your information would lead us to the conclusion all USA stations are “propaganda” outlets. Of course, and I am sure you agree, there is no directorate of FCC or CPB censorship. You, of course, understand the tie between advertising (underwriting as it is called in USA “public radio”, and self or overt censorship. That sort of censorship was something Pacifica Radio was set up to avoid, yet you ignore it.
Diverse support offers a degree of isolation. In the case of media totally supported by advertising, we should have greater concern. In this regard, we need to keep a close eye on Facebook. As broadcasting things go, I like to compare NPR to other so called “public” broadcasters, such as SABC, CCTV and China National Radio.
it doesn’t, but the corporations that provide and use mainstream broadcast technologies do
i have learned enough to know that the truth is, at best, elusive in mainstream media – look at the lead-up to Iraq war as one example of many – a lead-up which NPR played a part in
all mainstream media – publishing, radio, entertainment, news – is owned by a approximately 6 corporations and those 6 corporations decide what the public will be told and how they are to think regarding politics – that’s why i said that the simple fact that NPR broadcasts on the FM band is more then enough any inquisitive person to know that you’re not going to get anything near an objective view on NPR, or any other mainstream radio station (including AM), TV station, newspaper or magazine
that is exactly my point and that point is easily backed by oceans of evidence in the public domain for any curious person to discover
the CPB was created and funded by the government – whether there is a directorate for censorship or not makes no difference – do you trust the U.S. government to tell you the truth after all the lies it has told us? why do think the government created the CPB?
lets not forget the name; National “Public” Radio – where is the “public” in that diversity you mention? as demonstrated, NPR receives the vast majority of its funding from the government and private corporations, including defense contractors – how much latitude (or interest) do you think NPR has in reporting that is critical of those entities?
again, NPR played an important role in promoting the government WMD/nuclear arms bullshit that led up to the Iraq war – they didn’t tell the truth, they pandered to their advertising clients and the government and swayed public opinion to fit an agenda that was set in motion by the government and private corporations who spend millions lobbying the government
while the article is partially based on my educated opinions, the bulk of it is hard, cold facts which you can easily verify yourself – how can you posit that somehow NPR is a creditable source for news when, in fact, it was essentially created by the government, has ties to the CIA and is funded largely by private corporations (rather than the public)?
You did not explain how the link to the broadcast band makes a difference. While I am at it, lets list a few AM “public” [Non-Commercial Educational (NCE)] NPR affiliate radio stations: KPMO, KMJC, KCFC, WILL, WOI, WNYC, KUOW to name a few. How is this of any importance? Are the AM stations somehow magically better?
Most of the stations wound up on FM because all the AM slots were taken. Thus these stations got the leftovers. A few, such as WOI started well before FM, as university owned stations. Most of those start ups in the 1920’s were later forced off the air by a government, at that time, far more interested in helping RCA than education. As for government exerting control over what is broadcast? Absolutely not. You are wrong. Instead there is powerful self censorship, which exists in every media in every country. I have been involved in more than one CPB qualified station. CPB NEVER told us what not to broadcast. They do not censor content, and should they or the FCC try, the first amendment of the US constitution is powerful protection. On the other hand, as I said, self censorship is very powerful.
You say, “all mainstream media – publishing, radio, entertainment, news – is owned by a approximately 6 corporations and those 6 corporations decide what the public will be told and how they are to think regarding politics.” but you are wrong, as I do not accept your implied limitation to the United States. I referred you to China Central TV as reference. I also referred you to SABC, which is South Africa. You had no comment. Check https://en.rsf.org/. By the way, take a look at this: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/china-radio/ Ha ha. America finally has a little taste of other viewpoints and it upsets them… OK.. a bit off topic.
Although I agree with you in large part, and I agree with your view of the overall picture, I cannot accept your absolutism about links between the financial and management parts of the NCE radio enterprise exerting the degree of control you allege. The US “public” radio system is better insulated from politics than most systems in other countries. Stations like KPFA never have existed elsewhere. KPFA and the rest of Pacifica is evaporating, but over its life it rattled a great many cages a number of times over a lot of years, and until recently when it messed up its audit, it was a CPB grantee.
One last shot. Read about a central figure involved in starting NPR. He has expressed dissatisfaction not unlike yours. Somewhat better informed, though. Bill Siemering. Cheers.
Suffice it to say that there is absolutely NO reporting on NPR that differs even slightly from the main line of a democratic-neocon elite agenda. The corporate elite wants to control Middle East? Sure enough, all you hear from NPR is how bad Assad is. They would never report that US has been interesting with Syria for the past 6 years that the “rebels” are armed with US made weapons and that US breaks at least two statues of international law by even being there – (1) support of forceful overthrow of democratically elected government and (2) military operations on the territory of a sovereign state without prior approval of the official state government. But the moment Russia (whose presence was approved by the Syrian official government) throws the wrench into the plans of American elite, NPR wouldn’t hush up making bogus claims against Russian operations that actually reduced the influence of ISIS and reasonably stabilized the country.
The corporate elite is upset by Russia not letting yanks plunder Eurasia while using locals as a cheap workforce – sure enough, NPR matter of factedly reports on subjects of “Russian hacking” (unconfirmed), Putin’s quest of reinstating USSR (a total lie), Russian “annexation of Crimea” (somehow, in the kind of NPR bombing of Kosovo was perfectly fine, but 95% of population of Crimean peninsula casting their vote was an annexation) and Russian military in Ukraine (never spotted, but plenty of NATO instructors).
Trump threatens the free ride of corporate elites on their quest of world domination a-la ZBig’s “grand chessboard”? Sure enough NPR would feed the naive public just about anything and interview the representatives of that elite till the listeners go blue on their faces and completely zombified with the line that Trump is the source of all evil in America. This is a circumstantial evidence but overwhelmingly plentiful with no example of even a trace of different behavior. Therefore, the case that the author of this article makes is very strong and, to say the least, plausible. Your comments, on the other hand, make a reader wonder if you are one of the paid Charlies planted to trash the subject for a fee
it would be a mistake to differentiate between the republican and democratic parties – both teams play the same game – let’s not forget that republicans (both Bush’s, Cheney, etc.) that helped lever the U.S. into multiple needless wars
while Trump was seen by many as a wild-card with the potential to shake-up the establishment, i think we are already beginning to see that this isn’t the case – “safe zones” in Syria, threatening Iran, Russia and China, continued military build-up, kissing Israels ass, etc.
nothing in politics happens by accident
” ‘As for government exerting control over what is broadcast? Absolutely not.’
really? it is obvious that your interest is in protecting your opinion rather than seeking the truth, but i’ll make the case anyway … in addition to the government ties pointed out in my article, which you ignore, you might want to read about Operation Mockingbird for starters”
Uh… I know about that one. I also know, and you probably don’t, that the US Government planted video news releases into the news shows of TV stations showing the statue of Sadam being torn down. I happened to see it. But the government offered it to cash strapped stations. Taking such items without attribution is now considered illegal. And there have been fines. But USA stations were not told by government to run them.
Influence, yet. Control no. Good case in point? Watergate, Spiro Agnew. Remember, and his direct threat to yank TV licenses? That was serious. But he lost.
No. I did not read all of your long piece. I said so at the outset. Why read all the facts you relate when I already know most of them and to a large extent agree with your general proposition. I do think nuance is called for, nuance I do not see in your piece.
Of course I know of, “…a politically charged story killed at the editorial level…” but in your example from FAIR, there was no allegation of government dictating to the station what it can and cannot broadcast. The close example I just gave you in regard to Spiro Agnew and the Washington Post. What I saw there was a company willing to risk everything to find the truth. Few would and no others did back at that time.
Question for you. How many radio stations have you sought permission to construct? You like AM. AM stations are going dark. Leaving the air forever. I read that a few days ago the plug was pulled on KAAY Little Rock. At night it was heard from Mexico to Canada. Are you trying to gather the money to buy one? Why not? Did you let the LPFM application window pass by without raising a finger? If so, why?
what i know about that footage is that it was a staged event – i’m not interested in the technical details as to how the footage was aired – the fact is, it was aired, and that’s enough to demonstrate government influence
quite obviously, the government tends to get what it wants – whether it’s by overt control, or subtle influence is a matter of semantics
what i don’t understand is your circular argument regarding corruption of mainstream media – on one hand, you agree with at least some major points which clearly demonstrate corruption, while on the other you seem to be defending so-called “public” radio – public radio which is subject to government licensing and, in the case of NPR, one of the most popular and trusted networks in the U.S.
again, NPR has clearly demonstrated its pro government bias in the lead-up to the Iraq war – a country which had no WMD’s and had nothing to do with 9/11 and which the leader thereof (Saddam) was going to drop the dollar in favor of the euro for oil trades
NPR has never properly covered the Iraq war, nor the Afghanistan war which supplies approximately 80% of Europe’s heroin, nor any other war that i am aware of, not the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, nor anything else that is a central piece of U.S. foreign policy – NPR is a government mouthpiece by and large and to argue that it’s affiliates are somehow magically disconnected from NPR corporate doesn’t cut the mustard
limited truth – and i stress ‘limited’ – is going to be found only on small, local stations that have a small audience, which means that, yes, some NPR affiliates may get away with broadcasting information which is highly critical of U.S. foreign policy, but they are still under the umbrella of NPR
arguing that NPR, which was essentially created by the government and funded mostly by corporations and government (not the public), isn’t controlled (or ‘influenced’, if you prefer) by the government is tantamount to arguing that the earth is flat – you can come here and write comment after comment, but it doesn’t change the facts
must one pick up a soldering iron to understand how the government and corporations influence/control mainstream media?
never said nor implied that – i rarely listen to any mainstream outlet anymore, be it radio, TV, papers, etc.
Your list of donors tells us next to nothing, without knowing the philosophies of each. NPR and PRI spend huge chunks of their time feting climate propagandists, obviously at the behest of some major climate change fanatics with lots of big bucks–but w ho are they? Michael Mann is still treated like a demigod despite being an outcast among climatologists. Hansen can’t get an audience with POTUS but can get on at public radio at will. It’s far more complicated than you imagine, and far worse. I long for the W days. –AGF
NPR does a good job with in depth reporting on news stories ie. They will go beyond just reporting soundbites. One my gripes is they almost never ask a tough question to politicians in sit down interviews (probably because congress is always threatening to cut off their funding). Yes and to make up for shrinking government funding it does seem like they’re airing commercials from corporate sponsers. It’s just too bad. Having said that I say mainstream news media – all major networks seems more like propaganda.
There are some interesting programs on public radio like This American Life and spinoff Serial are #1 podcasts. I also like the news quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Late at night most stations carry BBC World News, a bit dry tho informative.
Finally my favorites are the music programs like American Routes that explores all kinds of music jazz, folk, country, blues etc made in the USA! And Beale Street a program that highlights the Memphis sound. Music like this is a national treasure that I hope will be continued to be aired on public radio. It will almost never be played on your local (or not so local Bob and Tom) morning ZOO shows, or typical radio across the dial.
Walmart is NOT the reason people have lost jobs. People lost jobs because of socialist government enforcing high corporate taxes so all the factories went overseas. To blame Walmart is really an ignorant leftist arguement. And I mean REALLY ignorant. You need to educate yourself on when and how Walmart got started. Variety stores were all competing with each other and there were some big chain stores ( kmart, target, sears) coming into the cities to capture the market as variety stores were losing favor. Walton ran a variety store in a country town and decided to branch out into bigger stores but only in country towns. He did not put anybody out of business, they were already going out of business. The variety store model was outdated. Just like horse and buggy days. And just like rope manufacturing. Times change! So Walton brought these stores in country towns and indeed DID make many jobs available to the people. Even today, where I live, there are very few job possibilities and most people work at Walmart. If Walmart wasn’t here do you thinkt there would really be that many mom and pop stores to fill the void and hire the hundreds of people Walmart hires? Ha ha, not a chance, and people would just travel to the nearest
city to buy their stuff anyway. Fact is, we do have a fair number of “mom amd pop” stores still thriving because they found their niche by offering what Walmart does not offer.
But I do agree, NPR does have a lot of propganda, just not in this case.
GMAFB!!! Walmart gets MORE socialist welfare than any company on the planet!!! They keep their massive employee numbers below 40, no benefits, lousy pay, forcing them to get had outs from good ole US government while CEO’s and elite in WM make massive profits. Socialism works just fine, as long as it is baling out banks, corporations, and lowering taxes or allowing loopholes.
And yes, NPR is a self proclaimed public service entity that rather serves the matrix of economics above all else…
While I mainly agree with your argument that blaming a single corporation for “stealing” jobs is irrational, there’s still a lot to be said about a single corporation making the market place uninhabitable for small local shops. Not only corps like Walmart, Home Depot, Target. Starbucks, McDonalds, etc, killed the variety and diversity provided by small scale local businesses that kept the prices reasonable due to the small scale competition among themselves, they also defaced the landscape. You can be transformed from a shopping center in Maryland to a shopping center in New Mexico and all you’ll notice is the difference in ambient temperature. No wonder so many people worldwide would rather spend vacation in European towns, each with its unique features, small streets and simbiosis of small shops than in American 2-story high Boringsville that is stretched coast to coast. No wonder that people who’ve been to US and have more on their mind than just accumulation of personal capital resist globalization.
Amen Al. Stop big government and socialism now.
Fascinating article and comments. These are issues often discussed between my sisters (gypsy scholars, the unsung wronged of American PhDs) and myself (just a writer), especially one sister, who had to go to Europe for a university job, which she just mysteriously lost, despite her distinguished career and Ph.D in International Communications, and continued publications, etc. The local one lost her adjunct job at Columbus State after being told that she could work there if she was a Democrat, but not a liberal, and she, too, was “restructured” out of her job following her request for them to pay her emergency room bill after she was injured breaking up a fight over an illegal firearm (never investigated) and, being adjunct, had no medical coverage. With her 160 I.Q., she ended up being “retrained” to work as a home health aide – minimum age – and now she’s lost that job, too, due to her osteonecrosis, etc. These are just two of the middle-aged women I know who have been wronged, a group whose suicide rate has skyrocketed since 2008, but rarely does this get discussed – I think once on PBS. I don’t know why the Supreme Court bothered to nullify ageism completely – it was never litigated to begin with.
ANYWAY I recently told the sister in Switzerland that I have become so alarmed by the coverage on NPR that I feel like I am listening to FOX news. (Trump-Trump-Trump) This started locally, with WOSU, but I attributed that in part to the fact that every single one of the trustees at OSU is Republican. Even so, I think it is wrong that a radio call-in show called “AllSides” now openly demands, on repeated coverage of state politics, that only Republicans may call in. There is little or no coverage about Democratic politics in Ohio at all, except those Democrats a lot of us believe are actually Republicans. In Corruptus, we do not investigate wrongdoing – we silence those who object.
Last winter, it was mentioned that a group had started a ballot initiative in Ohio and California giving us the right to vote on demanding that prescription drug prices in Ohio (and CA) should not exceed those negotiated by the VA. Occasionally, a little story like this slips through (young reporter, no doubt). But then there was silence. It was mentioned that the Ohio Legislature (so ultra right-wing that even Republicans are sometimes appalled) took the initiative over to “study” it. Finally, I wrote to WOSU to ask whatever happened to that initiative. A couple days later, there was a brief announcement of some sort, which seemed to apply, stating that a court had ruled against putting it on the ballot. Period. Then, last week, another story slipped through (young reporter again), vaguely hinting it might be on the ballot after all. Then again, on all the local political stations, nothing but the usual “Everyone Hates Hillary” rants. There is little or no coverage of Democrats at all, except for the ones in the machine, which like machines across the country (DC, Chicago) now have mayors and developers working hand-in-glove.
Last week, I listened to Ari Shapiro question an executive at a drug company who stated that the pharmaceuticals would not be looking so energetically for new antibiotics, because it was so much more lucrative to produce cancer drugs. I had just heard my 88 year old father, the day before (a very distinguished journalist for a long time himself) telling me his entire pension last month went to pay for his prescriptions. I waited and waited for Ari to present the other side, possibly because his entire career, my dad always stressed to us that he obeyed the Fairness Doctrine, and considered it bedrock to professional journalism. One would hope that at least in PUBLIC radio/t.v., some semblance of the Fairness Doctrine would apply. But there was nothing. I was already upset when I heard that the same treatment Americans are required to pay $80,000 for, the Hepatitis C treatment (“just because you don’t have any symptoms, doesn’t mean you don’t have the disease”), costs $800 in Egypt. And I had heard that my mother had allowed herself to be convinced to get a Shingles vaccine, though it was $500 and not covered by Medicare or other insurance. And meanwhile, my RN daughter cannot go to a doctor, though now she must pay hundreds each month for her “insurance” because she has to reach a $5000 deductible – and if she were sick enough to reach that, she wouldn’t probably be able to work. But she told me that one of the doctors she works for told her his insurance rates went from $500 a month to $3000, for just himself and his wife – $36,000 a year – and he has a $5000 deductible, too. Stephen Brill should be given his own show on NPR, and Gretchen Morgensen. Instead, I have heard them refer to him as a “muckraker.”
Like so many people in Corruptus (Columbus), I listen to the BBC as much as possible. It is probably the only reason I still listen to NPR locally, because they carry it, from midnight to six a.m., and for an hour in the morning. I know that the conservative in England have been trying to gag it, too, but with its long history and international support and recognition, perhaps they won’t be as successful.
At the very least, I would like to see NPR return to the Fairness Doctrine. According to my sister, who was not surprised when I told her I learned that an outfit in Texas bought WOSU a few years ago, even when a private group buys a public radio or television outlet, it is required to follow the original mandate.
Sadly, from your article, I am beginning to wonder if there was ever any mandate at all. At least we have people like you, who keep trying. Be careful.
Please… “This is NPR, National Public Radio. Support for WAMU is provided by Lockheed Martin. Bringing criminals to justice is more important than ever. Advanced systems developed by Lockheed Martin help Federal agents get the job done faster. Lockheed Martin: we never forget who we’re working for.” That is a local station, not NPR. The structure is that a local station buys programs from various sources, such as PRX, BBC, CBC, and NPR. The reality is that each local non commercial educational (NCE) licensed station in the USA is exactly that. A local station. Many are thumping bible stations. Those that join NPR as members, choose to do so. There is no requirement at all. So, yes. NPR has some untidy internal influences. But please understand NPR is just NPR. Other program sources are chosen by most stations that also use NPR. Also know, that some stations operate as NCE but are in the commercial band, and could choose to dump CPB and the NCE FCC advertising rules and run used car advertising and pop rock. So, back to your WAMU “evidence”. I take that as a sign you have not done enough research.
WAMU is Washington, D.C.’s only full time NPR news station.
Was about to reply with what you just said regarding WAMU and saw your reply. Thank you sir. Makes me wonder if Jeremy Lansman gets commission from NPR for disturbing the comment section of any site that exposes NPR for what it is. ;)
Great article! It’s become more and more apparent how biased NPR is! I just couldn’t figure out their financial motive until now. Thank you for your insight!!