The late Wesley Pruden, when editor of the conservative Washington Times, once observed that, “At NPR all the guys sound like girls and all the girls sound like guys.”
He was right on the money, I thought, but, curiously, that’s about the harshest thing I think I’ve ever heard said about National Public Radio from a right-wing commentator, or by any commentator, for that matter. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and the rest of them regularly rip into CNN, MSNBC, the three major TV networks, and The Washington Post and The New York Times, but I don’t recall ever hearing any of them say anything at all about this very influential organization that is partially funded by taxpayer dollars.
You have to wonder how they could overlook NPR, because, with newspaper subscriptions falling like a rock and cable viewers deserting CNN and MSNBC in droves and hardly anyone watching the three major networks’ nightly news programs these days, NPR is the very establishment left-wing dinosaur that continues to thrive. This is from Wikipedia:
National Public Radio** (NPR, stylized as npr) is an American privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization based in Washington, D.C. NPR differs from other non-profit membership media organizations, such as AP, in that it was established by an act of Congress and most of its member stations are owned by government entities (often public universities). It serves as a national syndicator to a network of over 1,000 public radio stations in the United States.
NPR produces and distributes news and cultural programming. Individual public radio stations are not required to broadcast all NPR programs; most broadcast a mix of NPR programs, content from American Public Media, Public Radio International, Public Radio Exchange and WNYC Studios, and locally produced programs. The organization’s flagship shows are two drive-time news broadcasts, Morning Editionand the afternoon All Things Considered; both are carried by most NPR member stations, and are among the most popular radio programs in the country. As of March 2018, the drive time programs attract an audience of 14.9 million and 14.7 million respectively.
You really can’t get away from it wherever you travel in the country, and if that happens to be some out-of-the-way place and you want to hear news and public affairs on your car radio, you can always find an affiliated public station among the low numbers or, as it were, the left end of your radio dial. And as we see from Wikipedia, it’s also Johnny-on-the-spot for commuters all over the country, sort of like those North Korean one-government-station radios, but in this case, tailor made for Americans pre-programmed by their public school or university educations.
I might not have heard Tucker Carlson on his Fox News program mention NPR, either, but I can’t help thinking that he is making a veiled reference to them every weeknight when he signs off with the declaration that his show is, “The sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink.” As a regular listener to NPR on the weekend over the breakfast table when there’s not much else worth listening to and to NPR generally when I’m traveling to one of my regular vacation spots, I can say that I really can’t think of a better description of the regular fare on NPR. Furthermore, I don’t think that any of the other news organs in the country fit that description quite so snugly. The folks at The Times and The Post might be pompous residents of mendacious echo chambers, but I don’t think anyone can hold a candle to the likes of NPR’s Scott Simon of Weekend Edition and the folks at the various public radio stations when it comes to smugness. I have noticed that when those stations are not giving you NPR fare, they are piping across world news from the BBC, the globalist folks who practically wrote the book on pompous smugness. How superior is a person likely to feel to the yahoos around him when he gets his news delivered in the super refined tones of the British Broadcasting Company?
There is another good reason to believe that Carlson is making a veiled reference to NPR with his sign-off slogan besides the fact that it fits so well. His father, you see, was once the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, so he probably is quite well-acquainted with those people.
Ruddy at the Ready
It was against this NPR backdrop that a friend sent me a recent Brietbart article entitled, “Newsmax CEO Ruddy: Trump WH Not Prepared for Impeachment Battle against ‘Smartest Person’ in DC Pelosi.” The article consists entirely of what Christopher Ruddy told the folks at NPR’s very pretentiously named All Things Considered, and the title does a pretty good job of summing it up.
If we were to flash back a bit more than two decades, the notion that Chris Ruddy and NPR would be cozying up to one another and that he would be giving them music to their ears would have been absurd. The role he was playing at that time, ostensibly funded by the putative conservative moneybags Richard Mellon Scaife, was at the very point of the spear of what Hillary Clinton called the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” the one that was out to get them (although his name has been cleansed from the Wikipedia page for it). To me, initially, he was the only quasi-mainstream press investigator into the pretty obvious murder of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr., which the authorities and the press across the political spectrum are still calling a suicide. He even ended up publishing a pretty decent book on the subject, The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation in 1997. You can read the review I did at the time, along with a new introduction written in 2015 on my web site. You can also read the original review on Amazon, where to date it has received 49 “helpfuls” from readers. That would make it far and away the top review, and it used to be touted as such, but Amazon has since decided to hide it deeply away.
The review only hints at the essential Ruddy phoniness that is laid out explicitly in “Double Agent Ruddy Reaches for Media Pinnacle.” You can be sure that the folks at NPR know Ruddy’s background full well, whether their self-satisfied listeners do or not, but as far as they are concerned, for public consumption, the once ugly-conspiracy-theorist-caterpillar-Ruddy has now turned into the media mogul and President Trump confidante lovely-butterfly-Ruddy, and so that’s how they are playing it. Interestingly, that’s how the folks at Breitbart seem to be playing it, as well, taking the new, “improved” Ruddy completely at face value.
Ruddy is clearly a Deep State operator. My best guess about Newsmax, as you can see from my “Double Agent” article, is that it is a Mossad operation that Ruddy fronts for, but when it comes to our Deep State, it’s really hard to tell where the Mossad starts and the CIA ends, and keeping people like Christopher Steele in mind, we might as well throw Britain’s MI-6 into that mix. Like NPR and the rest of the MSM, they are all very much against what I would call “Trumpism.”
At this point we need a definitional digression. “Trumpism” should not be confused with the real Donald Trump and his beliefs, whatever they might be. Before he began running for president, no one ever thought of Trump as a champion of conservative principles like freedom of gun ownership and opposition to abortion and illegal immigration. Perhaps his trade nationalism is the only Trumpism that one might identify with the pre-politician Trump. These are all important elements of Trumpism, though, which I define for the purposes of this article as those political positions that primarily set him apart from the dominant opinion-molders in the country and the powers that be, if I might be a bit redundant. That doesn’t mean that he really believes in them or that he is really serious about acting upon them, but they explain a great deal of his support, and his opposition. I would not include rampant militarism or subservience to Israel as part of the “Trumpism” definition, because he seems to share those positions with the dominant opinion molders. However, I would not rule out the possibility that in spite of such Trump actions as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Syria’s Golan Heights, he is suspected of not being sufficiently subservient to Israel. That is because he has not been willing to risk war with Russia to prevent them from frustrating Israeli ambitions in Syria, nor has he taken us to war with Iran, as a large swathe of the ruling elite obviously favors.
A very important element of Trumpism, I believe, is his relative independence from the dominant opinion molders. Whatever his political position of the moment might be, this independence makes him a threat to the ruling oligarchy, which has had its way since the JFK assassination, if not before. Just look at who the Republicans put up against Barack Obama, John McCain and Mitt Romney and the man they won with for two terms before that, George W. Bush. Before Trump entered the picture, it looked like we were going to be faced with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush in 2016, which is to say, very much more of the same.
Now let us return to the Breitbart article. The Ruddy quote that they use is from All Things Considered of Thursday, September 26. The context is important. The opening segment is devoted entirely to the impeachment issue. Testimony has begun that morning before the House Intelligence Committee about the subject of the “whistleblower’s” complaint that in a telephone conversation with the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodomyr Zelensky, Trump “pressured him,” as the NPR moderator put it, to “dig up dirt” on potential presidential rival, Joe Biden (as if any digging were required). The short Ruddy interview provides the capper for the opening segment, entirely devoted to that phone call and the impeachment issue. Ruddy duly tells the NPR audience what they want to hear, that what Trump now faces is very serious business, indeed, and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment move is a near stroke of genius.
Adam Schiff, NPR Star
But the bulk of the segment is given over to a typically very warm and friendly interview to the man that Pelosi has anointed to lead the impeachment inquiry, none other than the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, Democrat of California. The NPR moderator treats Schiff as the oracle, the very epitome of wisdom and virtue in the matter before us.
The larger context of the treatment of Schiff is important here. It is precisely the same in this case as that which Schiff received from NPR throughout the entire concocted Russiagate affair. NPR was every bit as bad as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in relying upon Schiff’s promises that devasting revelations of Trump’s collusion with the Russians were always just around the corner. In spite of the fact that none of those revelations ever materialized, without any apparent sense of embarrassment or trepidation, NPR continues to treat Schiff as its reliable go-to guy. And you would never gather it from NPR, but he got off to a horrendous start, even for him. Here is how he paraphrased that July 25 telephone conversation from Trump’s end in his introductory statement:
We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from YOU though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good.
I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it.
And I’m gonna put you in touch with Rudy, you’re gonna love him, trust me. You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And by the way don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I’ve asked.
This is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate.
And the oh-so-sophisticated, highly intelligent and educated folks at NPR still continue to treat this man as though he were as serious as the tone he puts on. Unfortunately for Rep. Schiff, just the day before Trump had released the transcript of this now-crucial telephone conversation with President Zelensky. When called on his summary of Trump’s message to Zelensky, Schiff conceded that it was not actually a characterization of what Trump said, but rather a “parody.” But like the man himself, it’s completely lacking in humor. More precisely, what the statement is is a gross mischaracterization of what Trump said. The IT company Crowdstrike, which the FBI relied upon to tell them what was in the DNC computer that was either hacked or from which leaks occurred during the 2016 campaign has a Ukraine connection, and Trump asked Zelensky to do him the favor of looking into it. Later Trump noted that Vice President Biden had boasted of getting the prosecutor fired who was looking into the affairs of a Ukrainian company that had hired Biden’s son, Hunter—an absolutely true statement—and he would like for Zelensky to look into that matter as well.
If we’re looking for humor in Schiff’s “parody,” it might be his suggestion that it would be necessary to make up dirt on Biden. Joe was the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, and son Hunter was paid as much as $50,000 a month in some months to sit on the board of a Ukrainian energy company known as Burisma Holdings, in spite of his complete lack of experience in the field. This looks like dirt on its face to me, with no digging required.
Revealed “Truth” from NPR
Now let’s look briefly at an NPR article written two days later than the news program on which Ruddy and Schiff were interviewed entitled “8 Takeaways From The Trump-Ukraine Scandal.” Like Schiff, they get off to a very bad start. In this case the problem is with their very title. An objective news reporting organization could hardly read that transcript and call what they see there a “scandal.” More properly, the word should have been “matter” or “affair.” It’s particularly egregious on NPR’s part, because they never use the term in connection with the Biden Ukraine dealings. And check out how the article begins:
Well, that escalated quickly.
At the beginning of this week, it wasn’t at all clear that the country was heading toward another impeachment investigation, 21 years after Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Democratic President Bill Clinton.
But by the end of this week, that’s exactly what was happening. Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump after the release of an official transcript of a call between Trump and the president of Ukraine — and a whistleblower complaint that detailed allegations of a pressure campaign from Trump and his allies toward Ukraine to help investigate Joe Biden.
Here are eight things that have become clear in this murky story and where politically this all might be heading:
1. The president of the United States solicited help from a foreign country to investigate a potential 2020 political rival, while withholding military aid to that country.
If that sounds like a jaw-dropping bombshell, that’s because it is. “I would like you to do us a favor though …,” President Trump told President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to the official White House account of the call between Trump and Zelenskiy in July. That ask came after Zelenskiythanked Trump for U.S. military support and said he’d like to buy more.
The favor? Investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that Russia wasn’t really behind the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee, and “the other thing,” Trump said, “there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son.” Trump urged Zelenskiy to work with Attorney General Bill Barr and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on an investigation into the Biden family. (emphasis added)
Notice the implication in point #1 that there was a connection between the withholding of the military aid and the solicitation of help in looking into Joe Biden’s potentially corrupt action, but, unlike the previous withholding of aid by Biden himself until the prosecutor looking into the corruption of Burisma Holdings was fired, there’s not any hint of any connection between the two things in the transcript of the telephone conversation.
Maybe even worse is NPR’s flat-out assertion that the notion that Russia didn’t hack the DNC computer in 2016 is a “debunked conspiracy theory.” Such a statement is so completely unsupported by any publicly known facts that it comes pretty close to being simply a flat-out lie. And it would be a very crucial lie, because NPR would have us believe that there is nothing there to investigate. (See “A Leak or a Hack? A Forum on the VIPS Memo,” The Nation, September 1, 2017.)
When it comes to how that DNC information that strongly suggested that Hillary’s campaign chairman was involved in pedophilia made its way to Wikipedia, it looks to me like the word “scandal” in big red capital letters might well be appropriate. It’s potentially such a big one that it’s really very unlikely that even Trump’s people will ever touch it. I laid it out in my May 25, 2017, article entitled “Seth Rich Equals Vince Foster?” with the subtitle, “A PizzaGateConnection?”
Now there’s something that the journalist, Chris Ruddy, had he ever been what he pretended to be, would have really wanted to look into. Instead, he’ll be getting the Mightier Pen Award next month from the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a neocon warmongering outfit at an expensive invitation-only gathering at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. And he will always be at the ready to be interviewed by National Public Radio, where he curiously seems to be as welcome politically as he would naturally be socially.
As a final note, see how the CSP summarizes Ruddy’s career:
About the Award Recipient
Christopher Ruddy, a noted journalist and entrepreneur, is CEO and president of Newsmax Media Inc., one of the nation’s leading news media companies.
In 1998, Ruddy founded Newsmax, a multimedia publishing company that publishes online and offline content in the fields of news, politics, health and finance. Newsmax.com ranks consistently as one of the country’s most trafficked news Web sites.
As a journalist, Ruddy previously worked at the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
A Newsweek cover story named him as one of America’s top 20 most influential news media personalities. He also studied as a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.
Ruddy sits on the Board of Directors of the Financial Publishers Association, the industry organization representing investment publications that reach 25 million Americans monthly.
He holds a B.A. summa cum laude in history from St. John’s University in New York and a master’s in Public Policy from the London School of Economics.
Notice that there’s not a peep about his initial claim to fame, his work on the Vince Foster case, nor is there any mention of his having studied for a time at Hebrew University in Israel.
If you think that I might have been unfair to NPR’s Scott Simon, have a listen to as much as you can take of the first Weekend Edition after the publication of this article. Notice that neither Simon nor any of his guests make any mention of the actual apparent corruption of Joe Biden and his son and the connection of Ukraine to the Russiagate conspiracy against Trump. It is a performance that Adam Schiff, himself, might envy. If you had any doubt that NPR was part of the Deep State operation against Trump’s presidency, this should end it.