Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?

Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to “court the compatible left.”  He knew that drawing liberals and leftists into the CIA’s orbit was the key to efficient propaganda.  Right-wing and left-wing collaborators were needed to create a powerful propaganda apparatus that would be capable of hypnotizing audiences into believing the myth of American exceptionalism and its divine right to rule the world.  The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites.

Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters, and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity between the CIA and the famous literary journal, The Paris Review.  By the mid-1970s, as a result of the Church Committee hearings, it seemed as if the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, confessed their sins, and resolved to go and sin no more.  Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world.  It seemed, which is the purpose of a “limited hangout,” as if all would be hunky-dory now with the bad boys purged from the American “free” press.  Seemed to the most naïve, that is, by which I mean the vast numbers of people who wanted to re-stick their heads in the sand and believe, as Ronald Reagan’s team of truthtellers would announce, that it was “Morning in America” again with the free press reigning and the neo-conservatives, many of whom had been “converted” from their leftist views, running things in Washington.

So again it is morning in America this September 6, 2019, and the headline from National Public Radio announces the glad tidings that NPR has named a new CEO.  His name is John Lansing, and the headline says he is a “veteran media executive.”  We are meant to be reassured.  It goes on to say that Mr. Lansing, 62, is currently the chief executive of the government agency, The U.S. Agency for Global Media, that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others.  We are furthermore reassured by NPR that Lansing “made his mark in his current job with stirring defenses of journalism, free from government interference.” The announcement goes on to say:

Lansing has earned an advanced degree in political agility. At the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Lansing championed a free press even as leaders of many nations move against it.

‘Governments around the world are increasingly cracking down on the free flow of information; silencing dialogue and dissent; and distorting reality,’ Lansing said in a speech he delivered in May to the Media for Democracy Forum. ‘The result, I believe, is a war on truth.’

He continued: ‘Citizens in countries from Russia to China, from Iran to North Korea, have been victimized for decades. But now we’re seeing authoritarian regimes expanding around the globe, with media repression in places like Turkey and Venezuela, Cambodia and Vietnam.’

So we are reassured that the new head of NPR, the chief of all U.S. propaganda, is a champion of a free press.

Perhaps NPR will soon enlighten the American public by interviewing its new head honcho and asking him if he thinks Julian Assange and Chelsey Manning, by exposing America’s war crimes, and Edward Snowden, by exposing the U.S. government’s vast electronic surveillance programs of its own citizens, deserve to be jailed and exiled  for doing the job the American mainstream “free press” failed to do. What NPR failed to do.

Perhaps they will ask him if he objects to the way his own government “interfered” in the lives of these three courageous people who revealed truths that every citizen of a free country is entitled to.

Perhaps they will ask him if the U.S. government’s persecution of these truth-tellers is what he means by there being “a war on truth.”  Perhaps they will ask him if he thinks the Obama and Trump administrations have been “distorting reality” and waging a war on truth.

Perhaps not. Of course not.

Don’t laugh, for the joke will be on you if you listen to NPR and its sly appeal to “liberal” sensibilities.  If you are wondering why we have had the Russia-gate hoax and who was responsible (see/hear Russia expert Prof. Stephen Cohen here) and are now involved in a new Cold War and a highly dangerous nuclear confrontation with Russia, read Lansing’s July 10, 2019 testimony before the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: “United Sates Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation and Malign Influence.” 

Here is an excerpt:

USAGM provides consistently accurate and compelling journalism that reflects the values of our society: freedom, openness, democracy, and hope. Our guiding principles—enshrined in law—are to provide a reliable, authoritative, and independent source of news that adheres to the strictest standards of journalism….

Russian Disinformation.  And make no mistake, we are living through a global explosion of disinformation, state propaganda, and lies generated by multiple authoritarian regimes around the world. The weaponization of information we are seeing today is real. The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching malign influence campaigns across national boundaries and language barriers. The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century.

Then research the history of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, etc.  You will be reassured that Lansing’s July testimony was his job interview to head National Propaganda Radio.

Then sit back, relax, and tune into NPR’s Morning Edition.  It will be comforting to know that it is “Morning in America” once again.

 

16 thoughts on “Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?”

  1. You’ve just got to love NPR – where you can get your daily dose of completely fabricated CIA regime-change deep state propaganda accompanied by tasteful jazz or classical music interludes – so that you can feel somehow superior to those unwashed masses over at Fox News who are getting their daily dose of completely fabricated CIA regime-change deep state propaganda delivered with short skirts and thinly disguised racism. Isn’t it just great that we have such wide ranging “choices” here in America – in terms of “how” we ingest our daily dose of propaganda?

    Thanks Ed, another great post!

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  5. Ed, here’s something you didn’t hear on NPR: an engineering study released earlier this week reports that WTC 7 did not collapse because of fire, contradicting the official NIST report (“Fire Did Not Cause 3rd Tower’s Collapse on 9/11, New Study Finds,” https://www.ae911truth.org/wtc7). The study was conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and draws the obvious conclusion that it was a controlled demolition. Neither NPR or any other major news outlet has reported this study. We are mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed shit.

    1. Yet the full study will, I believe, be published in an academic journal and thus invite peer review by others in the engineering “community,” at least in Europe and other parts of the non-American world. That should be a substantial step forward. Do you remember an early scene in the classic movie, “The Hustler?” Fast Eddie is playing Minnesota Fats for the first time. Eddie loses the lag, has to break, only slightly disturbs the rack, and then smirks at Fats, “Didn’t leave you much.” Fats’ answer (before he runs the table) applies not only to the post-break pool table in the movie but also to the eventual, inevitable breakthrough of post-9/11 evidence: “You left enough.”

      1. Fast Eddie

        It was getting dark on the street as the young man emerged from his high school on New York’s Upper East Side after basketball practice. He had lost track of time as he dreamed his basketball dreams and headed to the subway for the long ride home. It was December, 1961. A man, dressed in a cashmere overcoat and carrying a silver bowl, was walking his dog on the street. The boy asked him for the time. The man told him, adding with a grin that his watch always ran fast. The boy recognized the grin from what seemed like a dream. He pet the man’s dog, and the man asked him about the imposing school next to them. He asked the boy his name and the boy said “Eddie.” While the dog did its business in the street, they chatted for a few minutes. The man wished him luck with his basketball and said his name was Paul.

        As the boy hustled toward the subway, Paul Newman shouted after him, “See you, Fast Eddie.”

        The next week the boy went to see Paul Newman playing Fast Eddie Felson in “The Hustler.” He always remembered Eddie’s words:

        Fast Eddie: How should I play that one, Bert? Play it safe? That’s the way you always told me to play it: safe… play the percentage. Well, here we go: fast and loose. One ball, corner pocket. Yeah, percentage players die broke, too, don’t they, Bert?

        1. Thanks, Ed, for a great personal story that interfaces with a great movie. I don’t remember the exact lines, but the gist of what Fast Eddie says toward the end when he plays Fats for the second time, about what it took for Eddie to acquire “class,” has always stayed with me.

  6. Is NPR’s choice of Lansing but another indication that the neoliberal elites believe they have won, that they’ve managed to crush all meaningful opposition and can finally come out front with the thinly veiled imperial agenda they’ve been pursuing since WWII? Or is the choice of Lansing something else entirely–another desperate gasp of a dying world order that has lost, across the political spectrum, any semblance of trust, credibility, and competence? My sense is that it’s the latter, and that the neoliberal elites know, deep in what passes for their hearts, that the game is almost over, that they will be pushed off the cliff in a manner yet unforeseen or will run off the cliff by following their own trajectory. So is it not time for the left to eschew dystopian defeatism and despair and embrace utopian hope and courage? Why not read Bellamy, for example, hidden from us for more than a century but still free to encounter on the net? Start with “Looking Backward,” then move into “Equality,” then join in the necessary 21st Century revision of the most detailed and comprehensive portrait ever painted of a stunningly beautiful, radically egalitarian, sustainably viable society. Or if Bellamy doesn’t work for you, then seek and find your own path from this hell on earth to the coming kingdom of heaven. When enough of us have made this journey, each in our own way, a new day will dawn for humanity and for all living things. And the crazier that sounds to you–and it often sounds crazy to me–all the more must we will ourselves to believe it, to act on it, to stake everything upon it. How else do we want to live? How else do we want to die?

  7. Very good! Kudos.

    I’m afraid I twigged to NPR being what it is years ago – but the credit for that goes to studying in junior high – yes – basic rhetoric and nazi propaganda methods, and then reading Klemperer’s “I Will Bear Witness”. Sill, they’re useful as can be, if one takes a bit of time…when they use emotion they have an agenda, ask yourself what that might be. When they claim “facts”, doubt and postulate inverted thesis – and so on. It’s a hobby. Better’n golf.

  8. Oh NPR. Smarmy, “feel good” liberal identity politics stuff mostly, when they’re not demonizing Venezuela or, yeah Russia. Beating the drums about the supposed increase in “authoritarian regimes” around the world without ever once looking at the one we’ve got right here. Far as I can tell, Venezuela’s opposition media is less restricted than our MSM as far as criticizing the govt goes. But I’m not an expert like Lansing so what do I know.

  9. Right on Ed! I used to think NPR was one of the few sane voices to trust and was vaguely on the humanistic left. Thankfully I grew out of that notion.
    Seems like they exist to make one feel good about the imperial ways of the US.

    peace, Walt

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