Media Downplay Their Conflicts of Interest

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media might just be owned and operated by the Obama Administration—lock, stock, and barrel. They are married at the hip, quite literally, and often have relatives within the Administration.

The Washington Post names names in a recent piece entitled, “Media, administration deal with conflicts.” Conflicts of interest, that is.

But the Post takes an unusual approach to the conflicts. It says the media are unconcerned and can police their own behavior. Does this sound familiar? Eric Holder, anyone?

“So what to make of all the family ties between the news media and the Obama administration?” writes Paul Farhi for The Washington Post. “According to the news media, nothing much at all,” he writes (emphasis added). “News organizations say they’ve worked out the conflicts—real or potential—involving their journalists. But that hasn’t stopped a few eyebrows from being raised.”

Consider the words of Richard Grenell, a political consultant who in an appearance on Fox News noted that top networks ABC, CBS and CNN have intimate family ties to the Administration. “CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NSC on foreign policy issues directly related to Benghazi,” said Grenell.

CNN’s deputy bureau chief, Virginia Mosely, is married to Tom Nides, who was appointed by Obama to work under Hillary as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. This means that the Benghazi scandal causes some familial angst. What better (or worse, depending on your perspective) reason to go soft on reporting than because your own family is involved?

“Conservatives have suggested that these relationships may play a role in how the media cover Obama, specifically in their supposedly timid approach to reporting on the White House’s handling of the terrorist attacks last year on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya,” writes Farhi.

Clearly, ABC, CBS, and CNN cannot be trusted to tell the whole story on Benghazi. But the bias doesn’t end there.

It is commonly known that David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager, has joined Bloomberg News as a commentator, and former senior advisor to the president David Axelrod was hired by MSNBC. (The President went so far as to joke at the latest White House Correspondents’ Association dinner that “… David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.”)

What is less well known is that 14 or more journalists have joined the Obama Administration and taken key posts there. “Those inside the administration hit 14 this month when the Post’s Stephen Barr joined the Labor Department,” reported the Washington Examiner last February. “That’s a record, say some revolving door watchers, and could even be much higher: The [Washington] Post reports that “dozens” of former journalists have joined the administration, although Washington Secrets couldn’t verify that tally.” After all, there’s “… a whopping 19 journalists and media executives, including five from The Washington Post and three each from ABC and CNN, who’ve gone into the administration or center-left groups supporting the president.”

So the media have relatives in the Administration, accept political hacks from the Administration as commentators, and have former colleagues who work there. The interrelations are so complex that reporters have to recuse themselves behind the scenes and even reassign employees because the conflicts are too great.

What possible reason, then, would the media have to cover for the Administration’s missteps? It looks like there are lots of reasons.

The Washington Post article outlines several more journalists with marital or familial conflicts. For example, “NPR’s White House correspondent, Ari Shapiro, is married to a lawyer, Michael Gottlieb, who joined the White House counsel’s office in April.” And, “The Post’s Justice Department reporter, Sari Horwitz, is married to William B. Schultz, the general counsel of the Department of Human Services; the reporter of this article sometimes writes about CBS News and is related to an employee there.” In addition, “Biden’s current communications director, Shailagh Murray (a former Post congressional reporter), is married to Neil King, one of the Wall Street Journal’s top political reporters.”

It’s no wonder, then, that The New York Times and ABC News reported the recent IRS targeting scandal as a Republican attempt to gain political traction in Washington and throughout the nation, rather than as a Nixonesque grab for power.

But we are supposed to trust the media to recuse themselves from stories in which they have a conflict of interest. “Some outlets demand that their journalists recuse themselves from assignments that might tread too close to a family member’s area of responsibility,” reports Farhi. “ABC, for example, says that Sherwood doesn’t get involved with any stories dealing with arms control, his sister’s specialty,” he writes. “NPR said Shapiro avoids any story in which a member of the White House counsel’s office participates, such as a recent background briefing on Benghazi.”

“And CNN said [Virginia] Moseley, who formerly was with ABC News, recuses herself from working on any story about the Benghazi investigation, even though her husband left the State Department in February.” Note that two of the examples involve the Benghazi scandal.

While journalists may recuse themselves from stories that they may influence, that doesn’t mean their existence as an employee—or, especially, as a leader—doesn’t put soft pressure on a news organization to cover the story from a different angle. Sometimes all it takes is a behind-the-scenes comment to influence a story. And generally the biases are known in advance. Accepted truths are just that: the diffuse influence of friends, colleagues, and family members on a person’s perspective.

But Farhi certainly leaves readers with the idea that we are safe from media bias. After all, ABC’s Shipman “stopped covering politics in late 2008 after her husband, Carney, left Time magazine to become press secretary for Vice President-elect Joe Biden.” Carney, of course, later became White House spokesman for President Obama. And late last month, after he had been caught either lying, or passing on wrong information about who at the White House knew about the IRS targeting of conservative groups and when they knew it, he was rewarded with a 900-word, two-page Style section puff-piece in The Washington Post about his musical proclivities and favorite band. If he were a conservative, this would have been said to have humanized him.

“She’s [Shipman] now the senior national correspondent for ‘Good Morning, America’” and covers soft topics such as “diet and fitness,” says Farhi.

Farhi quotes Jeffrey Schneider, ABC News’ chief spokesman, as saying, “There is zero evidence, zero, that [Ben Sherwood’s relationship] has had any impact on our coverage.” Evidence is an interesting word in this context. How about common sense and human nature? Though not quantifiable evidence, they certainly lead us to draw conclusions. Conclusions that our liberal media clearly don’t want us to draw.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].


The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 06/14/13

The Watcher’s Council

Dedicated to the 70 American Patriots in the House Taking a Stand

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.

CICERO, Pro Publio Sestio

History is philosophy teaching by examples.

THUCYDIDES, The History of the Peloponnesian War

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s The Anniversary Of A Miracle – Israel’s Victory In The Six Day War, is my attempt to combat a certain strain of revisionism quite popular nowadays in some circles and write about a time not so long ago when a free people fought alone, outnumbered and without allies against tyranny and won an amazing victory. Here’s a slice:

Today is the anniversary of a modern miracle, the Israeli victory of the Six Day War, מלחמת ששת הימים, or Milhemet Sheshet Ha Yamim in Hebrew. It saw an outnumbered Israel beat back an attempt at destruction and genocide, reunite Jerusalem, and bring the strategic Golan and the historic Jewish homelands of Judea and Samaria back under Israeli sovereignty. It’s worth recounting 46 years later, when Israel’s mortal enemies once again gather to attempt to destroy her.

Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser had formed a military alliance with Syria, the United Arab Republic (UAR) and with the aid of the Soviet Union, both countries had built up a substantial military force, vastly outnumbering Israel in tanks, planes and manpower.

After the 1956 war,the Israelis had agreed to withdraw from Sinai based on President Eisenhower’s guarantees that provided for a UN peacekeeping force to be stationed there to prevent feydayeen terrorist raids on Israel, the main cause (at least from the Israeli standpoint) of the ’56 war.

Another part of the ceasefire agreement that ended the 1956 war concerned the Straits of Tiran, a waterway connecting the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea and Israel’s sole Red Sea outlet for the port of Eilat.

According to the ceasefire ratified by the UN, the Straits of Tiran were to be considered an international waterway with full access to Israeli shipping.

On May 17th, 1967, after a huge amount of rhetoric about annihilating every Jew in Israel, Nasser demanded an immediate withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping troops from the Sinai. Secretary General U Thant immediately complied in less than 24 hours without informing the Israelis until Egyptian forces had already reentered the Sinai.

Nasser subsequently deployed a huge force of troops,tanks and artillery in the Sinai. The Egyptians massed over 100,000 troops in the Sinai, including all of its seven divisions (four infantry, two armored and one mechanized), four independent infantry brigades and four independent armored brigades. At least one third of them were veterans of Egypt’s intervention into the Yemen Civil War, and the Egyptian forces included 950 tanks, 1,100 APCs and more than 1,000 artillery pieces, many of them of the latest Soviet models.

On May 23rd, Nasser announced a blockade of the Straights of Tiran, saying in a speech to his troops in Sinai:

… Yesterday the armed forces [of Egypt] occupied Sharm el-Sheikh. What does this mean? It is an affirmation of our rights, of our sovereignty over the Gulf of Aqaba, which constitutes Egyptian territorial waters. Under no circumstances can we permit the Israeli flag to pass through the Gulf of Aqaba. The Jews threaten war. We say that they are welcome to war, we are ready for war, our armed forces, our people, all of us are ready for war, but under no circumstances shall we abandon our rights. These are our waters …

At the same time, the Syrians began massing 75,000 troops, artillery and armor on the Golan Height to the north of Israel, where they held the high ground and were dug in.

Jordan, to Israel’s east signed a mutual defense pact with the UAR on May 30th and moved 55,000 troops and 300 tanks to the border.

Documents captured by the Israelis from the Jordanians show that contrary to popular belief, the Jordanians always intended to go to war against Israel – it was by no means a last minute decision. The Arab Legion’s Hashemite Brigade had orders to capture the Israeli town of Ramot Burj Bir Mai’in in a night raid, codenamed “Operation Khaled”. This was to be the base of operations for the capture of Lod and Ramle. The “go” codeword to be was “Sa’ek” and end was “Nasser”. The Jordanians also planned for the capture of Motza and Sha’alvim in the strategic Jerusalem Corridor. Motza was the target of Infantry Brigade 27 camped near Ma’ale Adummim: “The reserve brigade will commence a nighttime infiltration onto Motza, will destroy it to the foundation, and won’t leave a remnant or refugee from among its 800 residents.”

Along with these forces, at Jordan’s invitation the Iraqi army sent 100 tanks and an infantry division to join in the fighting along with two squadrons of fighter aircraft.

The Israeli troops even with their available reserves were out numbered by more than two to one, and in tanks and combat aircraft by more than three to one.

Efforts to try and resolve the crisis in the UN came to absolutely nothing as the Soviets and the European nations who found Arab oil far more valuable than Jewish blood combined to torpedo any meaningful settlement as Israel’s economy began to falter and the Arabs continued to mass troops and equipment for an obvious coming attack meant to wipe out every Jew in Israel, a goal the Arabs made no secret of.

The final push towards war came when Israel chief arms supplier, President DeGaulle of France abruptly informed the Israelis on June 1st that he would no longer sell them arms or spare parts for French-made equipment like Israel’s Dassault Mirage and Super Mystère jets or even fill existing orders.

Surrounded and outnumbered, the Israelis now also had to contend with the problem of resupply in a combat situation. They literally had no choice but to throw the dice and gamble on a quick and decisive victory before their equipment broke down for lack of spare parts and components.

So the decision was made to launch Operation Focus ( in Hebrew, Moked), a massive attack on the Egyptian Air Force.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with The All Seeing State submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Steyn at his best as he examines the effect of a permanent, rooted in place bureaucracy on a free society and its institutions. Do read it.

Okay, here are this week’s full results. The Razor, due to a storm and the resulting loss of power, was only able to vote for Council Selections, having been unable to read this week’s non-Council selections. Send some thoughts, prayers and good energy his way.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter…’ cause we’re cool like that!


NSA Leaks Journalist: Marxist-Leninist Conferences an Annual Event

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

By: Cliff Kincaid

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

Shedding new light on the controversy over the NSA terrorist surveillance program, the journalist who has served as the mouthpiece for former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden has addressed several Marxist-Leninist conferences over the last few years.

New Zealand writer and researcher Trevor Loudon reports that Glenn Greenwald spoke to the Socialism 2011 conference and ended the evening of July 3, 2011, as part of a plenary entitled “Revolution and imperialism in the Middle East.” Prior to Glenn Greenwald’s talk to the group, on civil liberties under President Obama, people in attendance chanted “Palestine will be free” and “Wars of occupation will never bring liberation.”

Greenwald is also a featured speaker at the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago this month.

“That Greenwald was willing to address a gathering of some of the most revolutionary, anti-American elements in the country speaks volumes about his personal views,” noted Loudon. “So Glenn Greenwald, the man who leaked America’s vital national security secrets on a massive scale, may not be the objective, impartial journalist he portrays himself to be.”

Indeed, the emerging evidence is that Greenwald, who writes for the British Guardian newspaper, works hand-in-glove with the International Marxist movement against the United States and its allies. This would help explain why China, Russia and other American adversaries and enemies stand to benefit from his disclosures.

As we have reported, Greenwald proudly accepted an award named in honor of Soviet agent and left-wing journalist I.F. Stone. He has encouraged people to donate money to WikiLeaks, the organization started by Julian Assange that disclosed classified information about U.S. counter-terrorism programs. Assange worked for Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) before being granted asylum in the London embassy of the Marxist government of Ecuador.

Greenwald’s source in the NSA controversy, a former NSA contractor named Edward Snowden, is hiding out in Chinese Hong Kong and has been offered asylum in Russia.

Greenwald has attended the socialism conferences since at least 2011, saying, “As someone who speaks at all sorts of political gatherings every year, I can say with certainty that no event assembles more passionate activism, genuine expertise, and provocative insights than the Socialism Conference. This will be my third straight year attending, and what keeps me coming back is how invigorating and inspiring it is to be in the midst of such diverse and impressive activists.”

The Socialist Worker website, associated with this year’s conference, features the headline, “A world to win,” paying homage to Marx and Engels, and The Communist Manifesto.

The conferences are officially sponsored by the Center for Economic Research and Social Change (publisher of International Socialist Review and Haymarket Books), and co-sponsored by The International Socialist Organization (publisher of Socialist Worker).

The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is one of America’s main Trotskyist/ Marxist-Leninist parties. It says, “We stand in the Marxist tradition, founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and continued by V.I. Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky.”

It is not clear if Greenwald is an actual member of the group or simply gives them aid and comfort. But a video of Greenwald’s 2011 remarks, posted by the International Socialist Organization, shows him speaking in front of a big conference banner proclaiming socialism. In the talk, he defends WikiLeaks and Julian Assange against charges they illegally released classified information from Bradley Manning, the Army analyst on trial for espionage and aiding the enemy. He also denounced the Tea Party for opposing Obamacare.

According to one account from the 2011 conference, Egyptian activist and organizer Bessan Kassab “spoke about US imperialism in Egypt” and “concluded by saying that the Egyptian revolutionaries are committed to a real revolutionary future in Egypt, to fighting imperialism, Zionism and are in support of armed resistance.”

Greenwald will be speaking to the ISO’s annual conference this year, at the end of this month, in Chicago. Greenwald, along with Jeremy Scahill, will conduct an “urgent discussion about the attack on civil liberties, U.S. imperialism, and how we can fight back.”

This year’s sessions include:

Trotsky on the united front
Lenin on self-determination
Frederick Engels, the family, and social reproduction
The relevance of the Communist Manifesto today
Harry Braverman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital
Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution

Under the category of “Struggle in the Middle East,” we find the following sessions:

U.S. imperialism in the Middle East after the Arab Spring
The new movement against Israeli apartheid
The struggle for Palestine
Israel, Zionism, and imperialism
What happened to the Egyptian Revolution?

Greenwald is a hero to the Marxists for challenging the NSA and “the surveillance state.” One account says, “During a speech at the Socialism 2012 conference, Greenwald called the creeping surveillance state—with the expansive NSA hoarding complex at its center—an impediment to any efforts to meaningfully challenge the political status quo.”

It appears to be the case that Greenwald—and apparently his “source,” Edward Snowden—see the NSA, the spy agency created in 1948, as standing in the way of the worldwide victory of “anti-imperialist” forces.

On Wednesday, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, said the terrorist surveillance programs helped thwart dozens of terrorist attacks on the United States and its allies.

The evidence of Greenwald’s involvement with the international Marxist movement puts his attacks on the NSA’s terrorist surveillance programs in a new light.

But will those who jumped on the Snowden bandwagon reevaluate their support for him now that the involvement of Marxist groups and hostile forces in Snowden’s cause has become impossible to ignore?


“The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress”

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Greetings from New Zealand!


I’m writing you to ask you to order my new book. With thousands of books hitting the market every month, why should you consider mine?

“The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” is like no book ever to appear in the United States. It deals with a problem few are willing to even acknowledge, let alone discuss:

“The problem is this. For more than 50 years, U.S. radicals, often allied to hostile foreign powers, have been systematically infiltrating sympathizers and “useful idiots” into the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

There are now large voting blocs in both Houses, who, whether they are conscious of it or not, are effectively an enemy “Fifth Column” in the heart of the U.S. Government.

Until these people are exposed and removed from office, America has no hope of a lasting recovery or maintaining its world leadership role. Until this problem is confronted and dealt with, the very survival of the West is gravely endangered.


Some of what you will find in the “The Enemies Within:”

Communism’s big secret – Seldom if ever discussed before. How do a handful of tiny Marxist sects negatively influence your government and the lives of every American, every single day?

Communists??? in Modern America??? – Who are these people? “Enemies Within” looks at all the influential communist and socialist groups, with well documented exposes of their reach and influence.

Enemies within? – Who are the main radicals in the U.S. House and Senate? “Enemies Within” profiles 14 serving Senators and more than 50 Congress members. With many damning photographs and irrefutable documentation, taken mainly from radical publications, the book exposes a side of many of America’s leading politicians that most voters have no conception of.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of 5 years of research, conducted in libraries and obscure left wing archives from Los Angeles to Madison, New York to Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

I want to you to be one of the first to own a copy.

The book will be released officially August 20, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

However, if you are a U.S. resident, you can receive one of the very first copies hot off the press by pre-ordering through the button below.

Yours in Liberty,

Trevor Loudon
New Zealand


ChiComs May Detain NSA Leaker Snowden, Pump Him for Information

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Chinese authorities are being urged to detain NSA leaker Edward Snowden and pump him for information by a newspaper closely connected to the Communist Party of China.

Whether they do or not, the ChiComs are already getting propaganda mileage out of Snowden.


From the Global Times:

Edward Snowden, the man who blew the whistle on the American National Security Agency’s PRISM project, has claimed that the US has been hacking servers in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong for years. The Chinese diplomatic department should explicitly demand a reasonable explanation from the US government.

Snowden has turned out to be a hot potato, posing a challenge for Beijing. Whether the Chinese government agrees to extradite Snowden back to the US will directly impact their bilateral relationship, which has seen a good start after the Xi-Obama meeting.

But a positive relationship should not prevent Beijing from being dynamic and fact-oriented when dealing with specific conflicts. Snowden’s revelation about US cyber attacks on Hong Kong and mainland networks is closely related to Chinese national interests. The Chinese government should acquire more solid information from Snowden if he has it, and use it as evidence to negotiate with the US.

Such acts will not harm the Sino-American relationship, as one can assume that the US would do the same to China. This proves the flexibility of their bilateral relationship.

Snowden is a political offender against the US, but what he is doing benefits the world. His actions test, rather than disturb, the bilateral ties.

Public opinion will turn against China’s central government and the Hong Kong SAR government if they choose to send him back.

Snowden’s exposure has upgraded our understanding of cyberspace, especially cyber attacks from the US, which is probably a much sharper weapon than its traditional military force. This weapon has demonstrated the US’ hypocrisy and arrogance. Besides Snowden’s disclosure, it is still unknown what else the US, a country which once condemned China for cyber attacks, has done to China.

The US is accumulating all the advanced powers of the Internet to forge a state-level “fist” in order to launch cyber attacks on other countries. The unparalleled power of this “fist” is beyond our imagination, which should be an alarm bell for us to catch up with the development of the Internet. Our focus should be fixed on grasping the core technology of the Internet industry in the future.

Despite the foolishness (or worse) of what Snowden has done, I’ll actually feel sorry for him if the ChiComs do get their hooks into him.


“9/11″ Was “Very Minimal in Scope”, Calls for the “Weakening of America” – NSA Leaks Journalist Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

While addressing the International Socialist Organization‘s Socialism 2011 conference in Chicago, NSA leaks journalist Glenn Greenwald finished ofr his lecture with this statement:

Al-Qaeda hoped a single attack on U.S. soil, very minimal in scope compared to the level of deaths that the United States has been bringing to the world for decades–from Vietnam to illegal wars in Central America–would trigger bankruptcy-inducing policies. Ironically, the only thing that can truly strengthen America’s national security is a weakening of America.

So effectively Greenwald was blaming the United States for “9/11” and calling for a “weakening” of America to keep her safe.

In the same speech, Greenwald described senior Al-Qaeda leader Anwar Alwaki as “someone who the U.S. government hates because he speaks effectively to the Muslim world about the violence that the United States commits regionally and the responsibility of Muslims to stand up to that violence.”

Glenn Greenwald is clearly not an unbiased journalist. This man takes sides, the big question is – whose side?

Greenwald chose to republish that speech in the Chicago based journal In These Times, to which he had contributed before.

In These Times was originally the creation of the far left Institute for Policy Studies, a well known collaborator with the former Soviet KGB and with Cuban intelligence.

In These Times founding sponsors include Democratic Socialists of America; Marxists Julian Bond, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Harrington, Paul Schrade; “former” communists Hugh DeLacy (once a close friend of former Obama Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta) and Stephen Fritchman; Pentagon papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and accused Soviet spy Harry Magdoff.

Contributing editors included Fred Weir, former Moscow reporter for the Canadian Tribune – newspaper of the Communist Party of Canada and Slovene Marxist-Leninist academic Slavoj Zizek.

The In These Times Board of Editors around that time also included two very familiar faces, former Weather Underground terrorist leaders and well known friends of Barack ObamaBill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

Some have criticized me for trying to shoot the messenger on this issue. That regardless of Greenwald’s affiliations, the real issue is illegal information gathering or abuses by the NSA – things that have yet to be proven.

German political subversion expert Torsten Mann sums it up well:

The highest art of psychological warfare is to disinform the public not by spreading lies but by spreading a very onesided and sophisticated selection of truths. Currently we are caused to believe that the US was a police state and nobody tells us that the real police states and the real threat to our freedom are Russia and China and their intelligence services. The Russian intelligence services are doing exactly the same surveillance and probably on a much bigger scale, but unfortunately there is no brave journalist disclosing KGB Leaks.

Glenn Greenwald, are your ears burning?