04/21/17

“Queer Communism” Finds its Voice

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Since MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is still preoccupied with the supposed influence of Russia on President Donald Trump and the American political process, we suggest that the publication of a new book called Communism for Kids by MIT Press is worthy of her attention. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution, this book offers a glimpse into an uprising that was global in scope and which has not only destroyed the moral fiber of Russia, but has also done enormous damage to America.

The author of Communism for Kids, Bini Adamczak, writes that “the Russian revolution instilled new hope, particularly in women and people who did not identify themselves within the hetero-normative paradigm.” The “destruction of the family,” she writes, was the goal. “With the revolution, the right to legal abortion, both sexes’ right to divorce, the decriminalization of adultery, and the annulment of the sodomy law (which had previously prohibited homosexuality) were implemented and enforced,” she explains.

“In Moscow, one could find international communes led by gay communists,” she says. “Drag kings could become legitimate members of the Red Army. Participants of the revolutionary debates decided upon the destruction of the family, demanded the legalization of incest, and advertised the practice [of] polygamy.”

“Queer communism” is the battle cry of these modern Marxists, who label themselves “Queer communists” and identify with the origins of the Russian revolution.

It’s doubtful that Maddow, despite her “obsession” with Russia, will turn to this fascinating topic, since she is one of the liberal media’s open advocates of the homosexual lifestyle. She is a favorite of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), which now calls itself the Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

On Thursday, in New York City, CNN’s Don Lemon will host a “star-studded event” for the NLGJA designed to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the organization’s programs. “More than 350 journalists, news executives, dignitaries and allies attend this event each year in what has become one of New York City’s must-attend media events,” the advertisement for NLGJA says.

The corporate media sponsors include Comcast/NBC Universal, Fox News, ABC News, CNN, CBS News and the New York Post.

Despite the virtual integration of the corporate media and the gay rights movement here in the U.S., Communism for Kids author Bini Adamczak writes that more advances have to be made in the field of “queer politics,” using the strategies of Marxist revolution. Eventually, she says, “modern reproduction technologies” could be used to “completely abolish the sexes.”

Transgender liberation is the next major frontier. She notes that “In her autobiographically inspired novel Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg grants readers a powerful insight into the connectedness of queer politics.” Feinberg, a Marxist member of the Workers World Party, was identified as “an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist.” Her last words before she died were, “Remember me as a revolutionary communist. Hasten the revolution!”

Another prominent advocate of “transgender liberation” is Bradley/Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army analyst sentenced to prison for espionage for his/her collaboration in the release by WikiLeaks of thousands of top secret intelligence reports. Former President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, which was originally 35 years in prison for espionage, and he/she will now be released on May 17, after only seven years in prison. Manning was an open homosexual in the Army before deciding to become a woman.

“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” declared President Trump’s new CIA director, Mike Pompeo. “It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information. And it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.”

Yet Pompeo has not indicated whether the lax rules that are in place at the CIA and other intelligence agencies, permitting mentally disordered and confused transgender individuals to gain employment and get top secret security clearances, will be changed.

“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is—a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said. “In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of U.S. victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.”

In his article for AIM, “CIA Funding and Recruiting LGBT,” Alex Nitzberg wrote about how the CIA maintains its own employee organization called “ANGLE,” which stands for the “Agency Network for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Officers and Allies.” Last December 16, the CIA itself announced that ANGLE had received an award for “promoting LGBT issues.”

Obama’s CIA Director John O. Brennan was quoted as saying, “It is difficult to overstate how heartening this progress has been to me. Indeed, one of the highlights of my tenure has been seeing the LGBT community blossom under the leadership of ANGLE and its cadre of devoted allies—a group to which I proudly belong.”

Brennan was also an ally of Muslim and pro-communist CIA employees. He personally voted communist before joining the agency in 1980.

The CIA has released a documentary “ANGLE of Ascent,” highlighting “the key role CIA leaders have played in building inclusive environments” and focusing on “the cultural shift that occurred within the Agency since the signing of Executive Order 12968, which gave LGBT officers the right to obtain a security clearance and serve openly in the Federal Government.”

“The CIA exists to gather and assess intelligence in order to protect America’s national security,” wrote Nitzberg. “Americans must decide whether they believe the CIA’s involvement in recruiting from and funding LGBT events serves to advance those objectives.”

But Americans are not given the opportunity to pass judgement because they are kept in the dark by elements of the news media in bed with the homosexual and transgender movements. As part of this collusion, Pompeo will be encouraged to continue Brennan’s pro-LGBT policies at the CIA. He will be threatened with the charge of “homophobia” if he decides to return the CIA to its mission of protecting America’s secrets.

  • The growing list of special guests at Thursday’s NLGJA event includes:

Dari Alexander, WNYW; Jason Bellini, The Wall Street Journal; Gio Benitez, ABC News; Dan Bowens, WNYW; Frank Bruni, The New York Times; Kenneth Craig, CBS News; John Bannon Dias, News 12; Willie Geist, MSNBC; Kendis Gibson, ABC News; Sunny Hostin, The View; Preston Konrad, celebrity stylist; Steve Lacy, WNYW; Brett Larson, FOX News Headlines 24/7; Kyle Marimon, Fresco News; Jared Max, FOX News Headlines 24/7; John Meyer, Fresco News; Michael Musto, OUT.com; Court Passant, CBS Corporation; Lydia Polgreen, The Huffington Post; Caroline Que, The New York Times; Gus Rosendale, WNBC; Carolyn Ryan, The New York Times; Michelangelo Signorile, SiriusXM; Baruch Shemtov, WNYW; Lauren Simonetti, FOX Business Network; Steve Sosna, NBC4; Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal; Joe Toohey, WNYW; Kris Van Cleave, CBS News; and Jana Winter, investigative reporter.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

04/19/17

Liberal Christians Join Anti-Trump Resistance

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

As my colleague Roger Aronoff reports, the media are livid that President Donald Trump is dismantling former President Barack Obama’s “climate change” legacy of deindustrialization and federal government control of energy resources. Meanwhile, factions of the U.S. Catholic Church and some Protestants are brainwashing church members into accepting the non-Christian idea that religious faith involves a belief in an Earth Spirit.

A so-called “Little White Book” was handed out in a number of American Catholic churches on April 16, supposedly to offer reflections based on the Resurrection narrative of the Gospel of Mark. Instead, the book included a number of Marxist sermonettes, such as that the “seven social sins” include “polluting the environment; contributing to widening the divide between rich and poor; excessive wealth; and creating poverty.”

Inside the booklet, Catholics were also told to celebrate “Earth Day” on April 22, practice the “Small is Beautiful” philosophy, and take their cues from Native Americans who “believe in the Great Spirit.”

The “Little White Book,” a publication of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, is one in a series of booklets, with three million currently in circulation.

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw created the original “Little Black Book” on the Lenten season, followed by the “Little White Book.” The series is the brainchild of notorious liberal and “gay-friendly” Bishop Kenneth E. Untener.

Exact figures were not available on how many “Little White Books” were distributed in Catholic churches on April 16. But it appears that the church is moving toward the idea of an “Environmental Sabbath,” long popularized by the United Nations. A brochure about the project encouraged children to hold hands around a tree and meditate.

The “Little White Book” highlights the importance of the environmental encyclical “Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home,” released by the Vatican under the name of Pope Francis and demanding that “technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels—especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas—needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”

The “Little White Book” also promotes the work of Fr. Thomas Berry, a New Age figure described as “a major figure in the environmental movement.”

Berry called himself a “geologian,” rather than theologian, and was president of the American Teilhard Association, named after the mystical Jesuit philosopher Teilhard de Chardin. Berry’s books included Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community, and he is buried at Green Mountain Monastery in Greensboro, Vermont.

Another group, the Catholic Climate Covenant, has denounced President Trump’s “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” It claims 16 national Catholic partners:

  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Migration and Refugee Services
  • Catholic Charities USA
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
  • Conference of Major Superiors of Men
  • Carmelite NGO
  • Catholic Rural Life
  • Franciscan Action Network
  • Global Catholic Climate Movement
  • Holy Name Province, OFM
  • National Council of Catholic Women
  • Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

But Catholics are not alone in being targeted for action in favor of “climate justice.”

A group called Young Evangelicals for Climate Action has accused President Trump of issuing an executive order that reflects concern for the interests of “energy elites over vulnerable people.” The group even advocates a “climate prayer” for those “being impacted by climate disruption,” whatever that means.

At a background briefing on Trump’s executive order, a senior official explained that “This policy is in keeping with President Trump’s desire to make the United States energy independent.  He believes that we can serve the twin goals of protecting the environment and providing clean air and clean water, getting the EPA back to its core mission, while at the same time, again, moving forward on energy production in the United States. The United States is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We have plenty deposits of coal. We want to look at nuclear, renewables, all of it.  And again, we can do both to serve the environment and increase energy at the same time.”

The Heartland Institute cautions that environmentalists and global warming alarmists will use the upcoming Earth Day to further their agenda by promoting “unsubstantiated claims about looming climate disasters—which the mainstream media promotes as absolute truth without researching and examining the mounds of data that prove otherwise.”

In honor of Earth Day, the group is offering some of its environment and energy publications in a special “Earth Day Bundle” at 22 percent off list price.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

04/18/17

British Role Confirmed in Trump Spying Scandal

Accuracy in Media

A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director.

The British Guardian posted a report on April 13 claiming that its sources now admit that the British spy agency GCHQ was digitally wiretapping Trump associates, going back to late 2015. This was presumably when the December 2015 Moscow meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lt. General Michael Flynn took place.

This runs contrary to the blanket nature of the denial insinuated in GCHQ’s carefully-crafted statement of March 17 claiming it was all “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous” that they conducted surveillance of “thenpresident-elect” Donald Trump (emphasis added). The surveillance went back a year before he became “president-elect.”

President Trump’s claim of being “wire tapped” has been vindicated. Indeed, the surveillance is far more extensive than even he suspected at the time.

Based on the new disclosures, we can safely conclude that the world’s most advanced and extensive system of computerized espionage was indeed used against him and people he worked with, for political purposes, with the knowledge and approval of top Obama officials such as CIA Director John Brennan (one major name implicated by the Guardian).

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who said GCHQ was involved in wiretapping Trump, has also vindicated. Fox News owes Napolitano an apology for yanking him off the air for a week for making that “controversial” and now-verified assertion.

Trump Was Right

President Trump stressed the pervasive “extent” of this Obama political “wiretapping” to Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business in an Oval Office interview on April 11 (aired April 12).  “Me and so many other people” surveilled, Trump said. He explained again that he had picked up the “wire tapped” terminology straight from the headline of The New York Times (of January 20) as he has explained before (on March 15; see AIM report).

Now we’re learning that GCHQ did wiretap Trump for a year before the election. “Trump” is, of course, shorthand for Trump associates and possibly Trump himself directly, depending on context. But GCHQ is trying to put a positive spin on what it admits would be illegal spying on U.S. citizens if done by U.S. agencies.

The Guardian’s sources claim a heroic role for the British GCHQ as a courageous “whistleblower” in warning U.S. agencies to “Watch out” about Trump and Russia—but carefully avoiding mention of the U.S.’s NSA, which must be protected at all costs as part of the NSA-GCHQ spy-on-each-other’s-citizens “wiretap shell game.” (See AIM Special Report of March 18).

These sources virtually admit the mutual “wiretap shell game” by inadvertently mentioning the Trump-Russia data was originally passed on to the U.S. by GCHQ as part of a “routine exchange” of intelligence. The use of this term, “exchange,” suggests what we had previously reported—the shell-game “exchange” between the NSA and GCHQ where they can spy on each other’s citizens and deny it all.

British Wiretapping

Past British Prime Ministers have been implicated in various scandals involving wiretaps.  Some have involved the “Echelon” global surveillance system set up by the NSA with its counterparts in the other “Five Eyes” nations—UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Any one of these countries is able to circumvent domestic laws against spying on their own citizens by asking another Echelon member country to do it for them. This is precisely the “wiretap shell game” used by the Obama administration to have British GCHQ spy on Trump, as outlined by Judge Napolitano and his sources.

To avoid unraveling the longstanding Five Eyes spying “wiretap shell game,” the GCHQ had to pretend they “routinely” came across this Trump-Russia wiretap data “by chance,” unprompted by requests from U.S. agencies (such as the NSA or CIA) or by Obama officials, working outside normal NSA chain of command on Signals Intelligence or SIGINT (as Judge Napolitano reported on March 14).

So the heroic British GCHQ comes to the rescue with conveniently “accidental” (our word) captures of wiretap communications between Trump people and sinister-sounding “Russian intelligence agents,” with the wiretaps sent here to help out the U.S. agencies. We are supposed to believe the U.S. agencies and the Obama White House just passively received this bombshell wiretap data from GCHQ, no questions asked, for over a year from late 2015 to early 2017. (The Guardian has no end date for the surveillance, such as the November 8 election, and indicates continued surveillance into the Trump transition, with the FBI “throwing more resources” into the investigation then.)

Did Obama officials ever say, “Wait! Stop sending us this material, it may be illegal!” It does not appear so. Hence, the questions that have to be asked by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are:

  • Were there requests for more wiretap data on Trump and his team?
  • Were there requests for more complete transcripts, or even voice recordings?

This “alerting” of the U.S. on Trump-Russia communications was needed, according to the Guardian and its U.S. and U.K. intelligence sources, because the U.S. agencies were “asleep” or “untrained,” or were legally prohibited from “examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants.” But to the GCHQ, America is a “foreign” nation and evidently they think they are free to spy on Americans “without warrants.”

Obama’s CIA and the Anti-Trump Task Force

Previous reporting has said that an interagency task force of six U.S. intelligence agencies was set up to investigate the alleged Trump-connected names supposedly discovered in “incidental collection” of digital wiretap surveillance of Russian communications. The six agencies are said to consist of the CIA, NSA, FBI, the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Treasury Department financial crimes unit.

Until now, no one has known who in the Obama administration set up the task force, who directs it, what its operating directives state, what its activities have entailed, and who it is really accountable to.

But the Guardian is now reporting that it was CIA Director John Brennan who initiated, in about August 2016, what clearly seems to be an illegal domestic investigation of the Trump political campaign, which would be prohibited by the CIA charter.

Reportedly “Brennan used [British] GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major interagency investigation.” The infamous fake “Trump dossier” is apparently dragged in too.

Brennan then proceeded to give highly classified “urgent” briefings to individual members of the Congressional “Gang of Eight.” Beginning on about August 25, with then-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on that date, CIA chief Brennan claimed that the Russian email hackings of the Democratic National Committee were designed to help Trump win the election, according to The New York Times. These partisan briefings represent the politicization of the CIA under Obama, and are of dubious legality.

In September 2016, this anti-Trump intelligence task force changed the previous “incidental” collection to outright direct targeting of Trump people so that their communications with Russia were “actively monitored,” not merely retrieved retroactively in digital archives with names having to be laboriously “unmasked.” (See also New York Times January 19/20, February 14.)

Unmasking is unnecessary if one starts with the specific names of Trump personnel first, and then flags them for future surveillance, going forward in time. In that case, the “actively monitored” and flagged Trump names automatically trigger alerts in the NSA-GCHQ computers whenever the names turn up. These wiretap reports would then have been submitted to Obama officials at the level of national security adviser Susan Rice and CIA director Brennan, and perhaps to Obama himself.

Interestingly, the Guardian’s sources carefully try to avoid implicating or involving the NSA in GCHQ’s allegedly unprompted reporting on intercepted wiretap data on Trump associates. It’s the “shell game” again with the NSA and GCHQ covering for each other.

British GCHQ Director Implicated

Instead, the Guardian’s anonymous intelligence sources say that then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan passed on a top secret “director level” report on Trump-Russia in “summer 2016” to CIA Director John Brennan, rather than to the NSA. However, if GCHQ was using NSA’s digital wiretap facilities to “routinely” spy on Trump people, then the NSA would be implicated by the very arrangement used.

As we predicted at AIM, the unexpected sudden resignation of GCHQ director Hannigan, announced on January 23, makes him the potential villain and scapegoat. Hannigan stayed on his job until his replacement took office on April 7.

In an unprecedented BBC interview on April 5, Hannigan fired a parting shot at the Judge Napolitano and White House reports of his GCHQ’s spying on Trump. Hannigan snidely dismissed the reports, saying, “We get crazy conspiracy theories thrown at us every day. We ignore most of them. On this occasion it was so crazy that we felt we should say so and we have said it’s a ridiculous suggestion.”

The Guardian’s report refutes Hannigan, barely a week after he left office, possibly with official connivance or approval. But why is Hannigan getting being thrown under the bus so soon? Is it fear of the impending findings of U.S. Congressional and official investigations exposing GCHQ?

Such reports in the British press on highly sensitive intelligence matters surely must have been quietly cleared by the British government as a first fallback position on GCHQ spying on Trump. Otherwise the Guardian would be in deep trouble under the UK’s Official Secrets Act and its D-Notice procedure to suppress or censor news stories on secret intelligence matters.

Finally, the British also seem to be trying to spread the blame around to a laundry list of other countries allegedly passing on intelligence about Trump-Russia contacts—Germany, Estonia, Poland, Australia, the Dutch and the French DGSE.

Still, no “smoking gun” has ever been found in any of this wiretap material, for it would already have been leaked like Lt. Gen. Flynn’s fairly benign conversations with the Russian ambassador that got him fired.

Despite the sensational news from The Washington Post that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to wiretap ex-Trump adviser Carter Page, which may even still be in effect, his “Russian contacts” also seem to be completely ordinary and routine. Page is so confident of his innocence that he has been going on various television news programs to talk openly about his work on Russia, supplying Russian contacts with some of his New York University classroom materials.

To be sure, a certain large percentage of these kinds of business meetings with Russians will turn out to be with undercover Russian intelligence officers—unbeknownst to the Western business and academic people meeting them. The media portray them as suspicious. But this kind of Russian spy game has always been going on since the Cold War and is nothing new.

The FISA warrant, rather than proving any malfeasance by Carter Page—again no “smoking gun”—only adds to the evidence that what President Trump said from the start was true: that Trump and his associates were under electronic surveillance.

Unasked Questions

What do the wiretaps on Trump actually say? The media don’t want to know if the NSA-GCHQ wiretaps actually exonerate President Trump.

One of the advantages of the adversarial system in the courts is that advocates on the opposing side ideally get a fair chance—unlike the one-sided media with journalists who, at the rate of more than 90 percent, contributed to the Hillary Clinton campaign (see this Columbia Journalism Review study of election records).

Questions not asked of Rice or other sources by the media include whether she or other Obama officials “flagged” the unmasked Trump team names for future NSA (or British GCHQ) automatic unmasking and delivery of transcripts and summary reports.

Did the Obama people regularize the “unmasking” so that routinely a new retroactive search was automatically ordered with automatic unmaskings? That would be another way to turn “incidental collection” into an effectively ongoing wiretap order. Did President Obama or Rice or others request actual sound recordings of Trump and others to review?

Did the Obama team “unmask” other presidential candidates and associates besides Trump, such as Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who visited Moscow in December 2015 and dined with Putin? Fox is reporting that Congressional investigators are now looking into whether other presidential candidates and Members of Congress were surveilled too. In 2014, CIA director Brennan was caught red-handed lying to the Senate about the CIA’s criminal hacking of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer system.

We are told that many, if not most, of these wiretaps and unmaskings of Trump people were not even wiretaps about Russia or “incidental collection” on legitimate foreign intelligence subjects, though they may have begun that way.

The evidence now indicates that the information was procured for partisan political purposes—to spy on the Trump opposition to Hillary Clinton using the full weight of the U.S. government’s NSA spying apparatus (or NSA facilities used by British GCHQ).

Pompeo Must Clean Out the CIA

Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo is in a position to get to the bottom of this scandal. Yet, on April 13, 2017, in his first public speech as director, he seemed to indicate that the evidence being developed in connection with the CIA’s role in the illegal surveillance of President Trump was going to be ignored or brushed aside. It was a forceful, even strident, defense of the Agency.

“I inherited an Agency that has a real appreciation for the law and for the Constitution,” he claimed. “Despite fictional depictions meant to sell books or box-office tickets, we are not an untethered or rogue agency. So yes, while we have some truly awesome capabilities at our disposal, our officers do not operate in areas or against targets that are rightfully and legally off-limits to us.”

The evidence suggests the opposite. The CIA under Obama’s CIA Director Brennan was involved in illegal surveillance, using those “truly awesome capabilities,” against political targets that should have been off-limits.

One of those targets was the President who appointed Pompeo as CIA director.

Related AIM Special Reports:

Just Who Was the Russian Agent After All?

on April 11, 2017

Watergate-style Wiretapping Confirmed

on April 4, 2017

A Watergate-style Threat to the Democratic Process

on March 18, 2017

How CNN Recycled Last Year’s Fake News

on February 20, 2017

04/14/17

Fox Commentator in Bed with Kim Jong-un

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The Epoch Times newspaper is currently running an editorial series called “The Dead End of Communism” that includes a detailed discussion of the diabolical, even Satanic, roots of Karl Marx, the father of communism. Looking at his writings in detail, the authors document how his goal was “to enact a sort of vengeance against heaven.” Contrary to his “progressive” profile, Marx hated humanity and life on earth. His appeal was that he promised a heaven on earth. But it turned out to be hell for those living under it.

Communism has killed more than 100 million people, and millions more are at risk of death. The people of South Korea and other countries are currently in the crosshairs of Communist North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The communist ruler, Kim Jong-un, has even threatened America with a nuclear attack.

The North Korean nuclear weapons program was assisted by President Bill Clinton’s administration, in the name of stopping it, and the Obama administration did little to contain it. It’s likely that former President Barack Obama informed President Donald Trump about this growing problem, and that this helps explain why Trump has been so concerned, even preoccupied, with the North Korean nuclear threat since he took office.

Of course, the North Korean regime could not survive without the assistance of its communist neighbor, China. So communism is not itself dead. It is very much alive and a real threat. Trump understands this, but continues to be assaulted by the media and their Democratic Party allies about his so-called Russian connection, for which there is no evidence.

A serious examination of the real Russia problem can be found in The Epoch Times series marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. President Trump recognized that Russia has not changed significantly from the old Soviet days when he authorized a U.S. military strike on Russian client state Syria in response to its alleged chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.  Russia’s relationship with Syria and Iran represents the “Red Jihad” that has existed since the days of Lenin, when the founder of the Soviet state urged the “oppressed” Muslims to join in a global campaign against the West.

Meanwhile, communism is very much alive and doing well in Latin America. The communist rulers of Venezuela are in the news for totally mismanaging their once-healthy economy and persecuting their own citizens. And Washington Times investigative journalist Martin Arostegui writes about how Colombia’s FARC communist guerrillas are still in the business of dealing drugs and spreading terrorism.

It was supposed to be a “peace process,” but the serious flaws in the agreement made between the terrorists and the government will have to be fixed if Colombia is going to survive as a free and independent country. “Three months into the agreement’s implementation, the guerrillas have surrendered what critics say is a token number of weapons while the production of coca has skyrocketed from 63,000 hectares in 2013 to 188,000 last year,” writes Arostegui. “Analysts attribute the rise to concessions that the FARC has obtained through the peace process.”

Like the mess in Syria, Obama’s fingerprints are all over this. As the author notes, “President Obama backed the peace process by trying to delist the FARC as a terrorist group to facilitate an agreement. He earmarked $450 million for fiscal 2017 to underwrite the deal, and his secretary of state, John F. Kerry, publicly met with FARC leaders.”

It looks like “peace” in Colombia is similar to the “100 percent” elimination of chemical weapons in Syria.

As President Trump attempts to rally the nation in the face of the North Korean threat, we can see how communism is also very much alive on the streets of America. Communist groups have organized a tour covering nine U.S. cities, from April 4 through the 16th, to mobilize against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea. THAAD is designed to deter a North Korean nuclear attack. It’s the one thing Obama set in motion to help defend South Korea.

The main sponsor of the anti-THAAD tour is the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), a self-described “revolutionary Marxist party in the United States,” and its front, Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER).

Individual endorsers of this campaign include Marxist academic Noam Chomsky and former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is now a Fox News contributor.

Remember Kucinich? His Fox News bio notes that he “conducted an exclusive interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the allegations of the use of chemical weapons alongside FNC’s Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Greg Palkot.” That was aired on Special Report with Bret Baier back in 2013. After the recent allegations of a chemical attack, Kucinich was back on Fox News saying he didn’t think Assad was behind it.

It’s fascinating that Kucinich is now a leader of the campaign against defending South Korea from a communist attack.

His “message of solidarity to the Korean people in the struggle to oppose the THAAD missile ‘defense’ system” reads like something written by a North Korean propagandist. “THAAD is not a technology for peace,” Kucinich says. “It is for war.”

Kucinich says, “It could be argued that the installation of such a system, whether it works or not, is a provocation (‘first the shield, then the sword’). Added to the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises, it places an additional burden of tension to already strained relations with the North. I would instead urge greater reliance upon the wonderful capacity of the Korean people to engage in diplomacy with the brothers and sisters in the North, to avert conflict.”

It is signed by Kucinich with the biographical information, “Member of the United States Congress, 1997-2013. Democratic Candidate for President 2004 and 2008.”

It certainly looks like a major figure in the Democratic Party is acting like a foreign agent for the North Korean regime. There seems to be more evidence of his work on behalf of Kim Jung-un than there is for Trump being a Russian agent.

Is there any likelihood that his fellow Democrats will raise any alarm by this kind of behavior? Will they call for hearings and investigations?

Perhaps his employer Fox News should look into it.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

04/10/17

Obama’s “Complicated” Lies About Syria

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media have not challenged the claim that chemical weapons were used by Syrian and/or Russian forces. Hence, they have been forced to explain how they were used when Obama officials previously claimed they had been removed from Syria. It’s another new low for a press corps that was eager to regurgitate whatever the Obama administration had claimed as a success in foreign policy.

The New York Times article entitled, “Weren’t Syria’s Chemical Weapons Destroyed? It’s Complicated,” is a fascinating exercise in trying to rationalize why Obama officials lied when they claimed Syria’s chemical arsenal had been eliminated.

It seems that lies are “complicated” to explain.

According to the Scott Shane article, President Barack Obama had declared that “American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated.” Later, Secretary of State John Kerry had declared, “We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”

So they lied. Right? Wrong. It’s a complicated matter.

According to the Times, Kerry and others had tried to refer to the elimination of Syria’s “declared” stocks. This was “a nuance often lost in news reports,” the Times said.

So when Kerry talked about eliminating “100 percent” of the weapons, that isn’t really what he meant.

Shane goes on to report, with a straight face, “Despite the failure to completely eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, Obama administration officials and outside experts considered the program fundamentally a success.”

A failure is a success.

At the time, the Times ran a story by Michael R. Gordon under the headline, “U.S. and Russia Reach Deal to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Arms.” It began: “The United States and Russia reached a sweeping agreement on Saturday that called for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014 and indefinitely stalled the prospect of American airstrikes.”

Those airstrikes had been threatened by Obama.

The Times said the agreement, titled “Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons,” called for the “complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment” during the first half of 2014.

There doesn’t seem to be any “nuance” in that report. The phrase “complete elimination” is self-explanatory.

Here are some other references from the “Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons:”

  • Syria will submit “a comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.”
  • “We set ambitious goals for the removal and destruction of all categories of CW related materials and equipment” (emphasis added).

The Kerry quote, “We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” was uttered on the July 20th, 2014 edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Here is more of Kerry’s statement: “Russia was constructive and helpful and worked at that effort. Russia has been constructive in helping to remove 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons from Syria. In fact, that was an agreement we made months ago. And it never faltered, even during these moments of conflict.”

NBC News, on August 18, 2014, highlighted Kerry’s statement that “the United States has finished eliminating Syrian President Bashar Assad’s declared chemical weapons arsenal aboard the U.S. cargo vessel MV Cape Ray in international waters.”

NBC also noted this Obama statement:

“Today we mark an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by eliminating Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.” In this statement, with the reference to “declared chemical weapons,” we see that Obama was playing fast and loose with the truth, or using “nuance,” as the Times indicated. Kerry had been using it, too.

So where were the media demands for an explanation of the use of the term “declared” and what exactly it was supposed to mean?

When Obama had issued a statement on the U.S.-Russian “Agreement on Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons,” the word “undeclared” was not there. Obama said, “This framework provides the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner, which could end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to the region and the world.”

Over at The Washington Post, where “democracy dies in darkness,” we find a number of stories about the alleged complete elimination of Syrian chemical weapons.

On September 15, 2013, the Post reported, “The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on a plan to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international control, a rare diplomatic victory in a brutal civil war that appears to head off a punitive U.S. military strike on Syria in the near future.” On October 31, 2013, the Post reported that inspectors “confirmed today that the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable.”

Incredibly, the Post has now run a column stating that “A chemical weapons attack in Syria exposes Trump’s Assad problem,” rather than that it exposes Obama’s failure.

The author, Ishaan Tharoor, who writes about foreign affairs for the paper, found fault with Trump officials for highlighting Obama’s failed Syria policy. “It’s seemingly a bizarre line of attack for the Trump administration to choose,” he wrote. But why? What has happened to holding the government accountable?

Obama’s policy was more than a failure. It was a carefully crafted lie, concocted with the collaboration of the Russians, which was designed to deceive the American people into believing that the weapons had been eliminated.

On the left, the media watchdog group, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), has also been performing mental gymnastics in trying to defend the failed agreement. The group does not dispute that the Syrians used chemical weapons and that the alleged sarin attacks on the Syrian city of Idlib “strongly suggest the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] campaign didn’t fulfill its promise of ridding Syria of chemical weapons. But this is only a criticism of the program’s overall efficacy, not its actual existence.”

In other words, the OPCW failed, but it actually succeeded.

FAIR defended the work of the OPCW by saying that the attack could have been worse! Writer Reed Richardson said that “…it is worth pondering what greater atrocities the Syrian people might have suffered with 1,300 metric tons more chemical weapons remaining in the country…”

Of course, according to this logic, we don’t really know how many chemical weapons were left in Syria. The regime could have hundreds, or even thousands of tons of weapons still available.

Whether the Sarin attack was carried out by the regime or its Russians backers is beside the point. The media have accepted the evidence provided to them by their sources. The issue is that acceptance of this evidence blows apart their previous narrative that Obama had saved the people of Syria from future gas attacks.

Another point that has to be made is that Obama trusted the Russians to participate in the disarmament of their client state, and Obama now comes across looking like a complete dupe of the Vladimir Putin regime.

But wasn’t Trump supposed to be the Russian agent?


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

04/7/17

Another Dan Rather Scandal

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Ever since his forced resignation in disgrace, Dan Rather has continued on a downward spiral. His career, such as it is, has been kept alive by appearances on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, where he takes potshots at his former employer and President Donald Trump. It is a sad spectacle.

Rather has now suffered another major embarrassment. The former anchorman of the CBS Evening News has been accused by a website devoted to exposing military corruption of falsely claiming to have been a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The editor-in-chief of the website www.MilitaryCorruption.com, retired U.S. Army Major Glenn MacDonald, says he stumbled across a published photo of Rather in a dress blue Marine Corps uniform in his book Rather Outspoken and decided to investigate the claim. The photo caption, “as a young Marine,” clearly indicates Rather had been a member in good standing of the Marine Corps.

But the truth, MacDonald says, is that Rather left the Marines before completing boot camp and the photo was obtained under questionable circumstances.

It has been known for years that Rather was discharged before he finished basic training. Those facts were established by investigator B.J. Burkett in his book Stolen Valor.

MilitaryCorruption.com took the story one important step further.

“In our exclusive story, we interviewed a senior retired Marine noncommissioned officer who was in around the same time as Rather claimed to have been in the Marines,” MacDonald said. “He told us the photo in question probably was the result of a policy the Corps had then of putting a blue blouse (from dress uniform) and ‘white cover’ (the saucer cap) on each ‘boot’ several weeks into their training to make sure the Marines had head shots of members of each training cycle to use for the Marine yearbook each successful Jarhead received at completion of USMC boot camp.”

That is the photo that Rather somehow obtained to use in his book so he could claim to be a “young Marine.”

“Dan Rather has written several biographical books over the past 40 years, but this was the first time the Texan climbed out on a limb and portrayed himself in print as a onetime member of the Corps,” reported MilitaryCorruption.com “It was a risky move, as Dan knows he didn’t graduate from boot camp.”

MacDonald said the photo used by Rather in his book was Marine Corps property, not his to use for self-promotion. So how did Rather get his hands on his photo, especially when he failed to graduate back in 1954?

We left questions about this with Rather’s new website, www.newsandgutsmedia.com, but have not received a response.

MacDonald tells AIM that the story has to be set straight for the sake of all of those who did serve. “I remembered all the Marines I had known over the years, some of them now dead, who would spin in their graves to know such a self-righteous phony was trying to trick Americans into thinking he was once part of their beloved Corps,” he said.

MilitaryCorruption.com reports that Rather had been verbally referring to himself as having been a Marine, or in the Marines, and “he must have figured at this stage of his career that he could get away with publishing the photo and deliberately deceiving the public.”

Ironically, Rather was forced out of his job at CBS after having been exposed by bloggers for using fake documents to misrepresent the military service of then President George W. Bush.

In the case of the Dan Rather-as-Marine story, notes WorldNetDaily, Rather has published fake news about himself.

Strangely, Rather was played by actor Robert Redford in the movie, “Truth” about the CBS phony documents scandal. Rather still insists he got the story right.

Almost as bizarre as Rather, Redford played reporter Bob Woodward in a movie about the Nixon Watergate scandal and wrote a recent column for The Washington Post, “45 years after Watergate, the truth is again in danger.”

In the column, which blasted President Trump’s treatment of the press, Redford said, “Sound and accurate journalism defends our democracy. It’s one of the most effective weapons we have to restrain the power-hungry.”

The column appeared before Trump’s claim about being wiretapped by the Obama administration was confirmed in revelations about the Watergate-style surveillance of Trump officials implicating former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

04/5/17

What Will Trump Do About Red China?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

Joshua Philipp, an Award-winning National Security reporter for Epoch Times, discusses the threat posed by Communist China and the paper’s series, “The Dead End of Communism.” He talks about what President Trump will likely discuss with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida during the April 6-7 summit. What will Trump say to the Chinese dictator about the North Korean nuclear weapons program?

04/2/17

First They Came for Judge Napolitano

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

An admitted CIA mouthpiece writing for The Washington Post receives classified information and publishes it. He remains in good standing at the paper. Yet the Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News offers his informed opinion that the British helped conduct surveillance on President Trump and is suspended for several days from on-air appearances.

This action by Fox News reflects disrespect for someone who has worked for the channel since 1998. It sends a message that the intelligence community, here and abroad, cannot be investigated.

Since the British NSA, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had issued a denial of what Napolitano had said, the feeling of most of the media (and the management of Fox News Channel) was apparently that this was the Gospel and must not be challenged.

The scalp of Judge Napolitano will forever be nailed to the wall of Fox News, setting an example of what happens when the establishment narrative about Russia and Trump is undermined. Napolitano was made into an example of what happens when the intelligence agencies are embarrassed.

We understand that journalists use intelligence officials as anonymous sources and therefore accommodate them. But when a commentator like Napolitano breaks the mold with information that embarrasses the intelligence community, he must be supported, not punished with a suspension. Otherwise, the notion of a free and independent press is a joke.

Meanwhile, an anchor for Fox News, gay activist Shepard Smith, makes a mockery of conservative values on a regular basis and continues to enjoy the blessings of the channel’s owners. This is what happens when a conservative channel takes its conservative base for granted and moves to the left in order to appear more acceptable to the rest of the media. Smith was actually designated to declare on the air that Napolitano’s report was incorrect. No details were offered on what investigations were done, if any, to question the sources behind his claims. One source came forward to validate what the judge had said.

His “return” was instructive and quite uncomfortable. Host Bill Hemmer offered a lame joke that Napolitano “had a few quiet days” and “likely needed them.” Napolitano said he stood by his report that the British played a role in the surveillance, “and the sources stand by it.”

Meanwhile, over at The Washington Post, CIA mouthpiece David Ignatius is still on the payroll of Jeff Bezos, the Amazon billionaire owner of the paper with CIA and NSA connections. Little is said or reported about this curious arrangement.

The Post is an example of the corporate marriage between the media and intelligence establishments. It has become a weapon in the arsenal of the Democratic Party and the Obama officials still ensconced in the intelligence agencies.

As we should all know by now, Ignatius received an illegal leak of classified information about conversations involving Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, and reported them in the paper. Both the leak and the publication of the information constitute potential felonies under the law.

Ignatius continues to write from the viewpoint of those who want to use anonymous sources to destroy the Trump presidency. His latest column is a blast at the courageous head of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), for continuing to probe the issues of illegal leaks and illegal surveillance of the Trump team. Ignatius knows the trail leads to his desk and then to a high-ranking Obama official in the CIA, NSA or FBI.

His obvious conflict of interest is cause for concern among anyone with a remote sense of journalistic ethics.

But the Post, whose owner Jeff Bezos does business with the CIA and NSA, looks the other way.

Incredibly, Ignatius tried to turn the tables on Nunes, saying, “He needs to demonstrate that he’s the chairman of a bipartisan oversight panel trusted with the nation’s secrets, rather than a conduit for information from the Trump White House.”

For the record, nobody knows the identity of the source that provided evidence to Nunes of improper or illegal surveillance of the Trump team. It is completely absurd, however, for Ignatius to posture as someone concerned about the protection of “the nation’s secrets.”

Our column, “Investigate and Prosecute the Press,” remains as valid today as when we published it.

In a promotional advertisement trying to drum up subscriptions, the Post declares, “Democracy needs great journalism. Great journalism needs you.”

Bezos ought to be indicted for false advertising and consumer fraud. He ought to be invited to testify after Nunes is done with Ignatius.

Indeed, Ignatius ought to be hauled in front of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and grilled on his relationship with the anonymous sources who provided him with classified information.

Nunes just might have the guts to do this. But it’s clear that the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (NC), is in over his head, and is letting the ranking minority member, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), virtually run the hearings on the Senate side.

In their “Statement on Inquiry into Russian Intelligence Activities,” Burr and Warner didn’t indicate any effort would be undertaken to discover the source of the illegal leaks and whether surveillance of the Trump team had taken place.

No wonder the Post wants to destroy Nunes. He is standing in the way of the establishment reasserting the primacy of their narrative on the Russians and Trump. They got Napolitano’s scalp; now they want to get that of Nunes.

  • Call 202- 225-4121 and support Rep. Nunes, urging him to hold the media and the intelligence community accountable for illegal leaks of classified information.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

03/30/17

A Fake Bill to Promote Fake News

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

One of the more newsworthy aspects of the Democratic Party’s turnabout on Russia has been the introduction by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of a bill to investigate Russian propaganda outlet RT (Russia Today) as a foreign agent. In fact, broadcaster Jerry Kenney had filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice back in 2011 alleging that RT and Al Jazeera were both violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by not disclosing in their propaganda broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers.

However, former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, which supervises FARA, took no action.

Kenney told us, “Shaheen’s sudden concern about foreign influence operations rings a little hollow to me. Her bill seems more like a political prop to keep alive the fake news story of a Russia-Trump unholy alliance. It is a fake bill to perpetuate fake news.” He added, “As far as I know, the Department of Justice has all the tools it needs to enforce FARA. What it hasn’t had, at least under Obama, was the will to enforce it.”

Accuracy in Media has noted that RT hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz are not Trump supporters or conservatives, but in fact are progressives connected to the Democratic Party. Schultz used to work for MSNBC.

In a brief interview I had with Hartmann, he refused to say how much the Kremlin paid him for his show on RT, “The Big Picture.” He then grabbed my camera.

In a January 19 article, we noted that AIM has published literally dozens of stories over the years about RT’s service to the Moscow regime. We asked, “So why didn’t the Obama Justice Department act on TV producer Jerry Kenney’s complaint that RT should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and be labeled as foreign propaganda? That’s what the law requires.”

The answer is that RT didn’t become a problem for the liberals and the Democrats until they perceived that Moscow’s agents had deserted their cause, and that the Russian angle could be used for partisan political purposes against Republicans.

In that AIM article, I also noted that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed my well-documented 2012 complaint about RT’s open support for libertarian Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. We cited evidence that RT was funded by the Kremlin and prohibited under law from intervening in U.S. elections. The FEC dismissed the complaint, saying RT was a legitimate press entity and a U.S. corporation with First Amendment rights.

Where was the outrage over that ruling?

The stated purpose of the Shaheen bill, the Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act (S.625), is “to preserve the integrity of American elections by providing the Attorney General with investigative tools” to crack down on foreign agents who unlawfully influence our political process.

“We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process,” said Shaheen. “The American public has a right to know if this is the case.”

The American public who have been reading AIM already know. Plus, RT once aired its own video showing Vladimir Putin reviewing its broadcast operations in Moscow.

It’s no secret that RT is Moscow-financed and run.

Kenney commented, “Now that the Democrats have lost the White House, Shaheen is shocked to see that foreign influence operations are going on here. Where has she been for the last few years as Obama’s DOJ refused to investigate Vladimir Putin’s Russia Today, Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Communist China’s CCTV (China Central Television)?”

Kenney notes that these foreign propaganda operations are packaged as “news” and have been airing on 30 taxpayer-supported public educational TV stations via the MHz Network Worldview, a network offering “international news and entertainment” in English. “To my knowledge, these ‘news’ channels still have not registered or published disclosures as required by FARA, even though there is ample evidence in the public domain that they are actually foreign government propaganda operations,” he says.

If Shaheen is so concerned about foreign influence, he went on to say, “why didn’t she do something to stop the FCC’s recent rule change that fast tracks 100 percent foreign ownership of America’s radio and TV broadcasters? In all fairness to Senator Shaheen, the Republicans didn’t oppose it, either.”

Kenney said that if the politicians in Washington are really serious about foreign influence operations in the U.S., they could veto the new FCC rule by using the Congressional Review Act.

The Shaheen bill has only three co-sponsors, with one, Senator Todd Young of Indiana, a Republican. Young’s involvement as a Republican fellow-traveler makes it a piece of “bipartisan legislation.”

If Shaheen is serious about exposing RT’s ties to Russia, perhaps she could ask fellow progressive Thom Hartmann to provide testimony about RT, including the facts and figures about his Moscow funding that he won’t talk about publicly.

It would be easy enough for him to show up at a Senate hearing. His “Big Picture” program is filmed live and broadcast from the RT America studios in Washington, D.C.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

03/30/17

When Ted Koppel Was a Serious Thinker

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

As someone who goes back decades with Accuracy in Media, I remember the days when Ted Koppel, then with ABC News and host of “Nightline,” would cover serious matters and treat his conservative critics with respect. So Koppel’s attack on Sean Hannity of Fox News was a shocker. Something has happened to journalism, and the problem is not with Hannity, it’s with Koppel.

Koppel, now with CBS, attacked Hannity as being “bad for America” because of his opinionated Fox News channel program. But there was a time when Koppel was open to criticism. AIM founder Reed Irvine had many friendly confrontations with Koppel over various issues. When Reed died, Koppel said, “Reed Irvine was, at times, a harsh critic of the television news industry and me in particular, but throughout the many years that I knew him, he was never anything but courtly and personally gracious. Just as I would insist that all other enterprises in our society benefit from the presence of a critical and fearless press, so too the press benefits from being held to high and occasionally harsh standards. Reed Irvine fulfilled that function to the greater good of all.”

All of a sudden, however, Koppel has decided to go on the attack against conservatives. He is not alone. You can frequently find the rants of the disgraced former anchorman of the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather, on obscure left-wing websites like Reader Supported News. In one of his latest posts, Rather says of President Trump, “… the Russian shadow continues to darken.” This is funny, considering that one of AIM’s investigations of Rather concluded that he had become a vehicle for Russian Communist propaganda when he used the CBS Evening News to broadcast the charge that AIDS had been manufactured by the Pentagon. This was before his career ended in disgrace after being caught using fake documents to smear President George W. Bush.

Now a “special contributor” to the CBS “Sunday Morning” program, Koppel’s confrontation with Hannity was described by CBS as being about the “polarization of politics and the media in the Age of Trump.” The show’s website said that Koppel “charged Fox News host Sean Hannity with contributing to the increased antipathy toward opposing viewpoints that is prevalent in America.” Hannity’s “crime” is offering conservative news and opinion.

Conservative news and commentary are facts of life that should be studied and understood, not ridiculed as beyond the pale. Conservative blogs began the process of unraveling Rather’s smear of Bush, leading to the destruction of the CBS newsman’s career. Hannity offers news and opinion that fill a void and meet the demands of his audience.

As a long-time news analyst, I find it refreshing that at least some professors are taking the rise of conservative journalism seriously and treating it as a subject to be studied. In a “Call for Book Chapters on Conservative News,” professors Anthony M. Nadler and A.J. Bauer are calling on academics and others to contribute essays on the growth and influence of conservative news and opinion outlets.

“Conservative news has become a tremendously powerful platform in the United States, wielding a vast influence on the terms of political discourse,” they note.

Nadler is an Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Ursinus College and is the author of Making the News Popular: Mobilizing U.S. News Audiences (2016, University of Illinois Press). Bauer is a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow and Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University.

It may be the case that liberal academia is looking for an antidote to the success of conservative news and information. But the success of shows like Sean Hannity’s are something to be studied, not mocked as “bad for America.”

“Crucially,” notes Bauer, “reported trust in major news media in the U.S. differs greatly along partisan lines.” This reflects the fact that conservative Americans have rejected the liberal media, and have looked for and found alternatives.

In his preliminary draft for the full project proposal, Bauer writes, “While it is obvious that conservative news cultures have been powerful and among the forces shaping the circulation and norms of political discourse, critical media studies has largely let the story of conservative news slip past its view.”

In other words, the liberals in the media and academia did not see this coming. They didn’t understand the powerful forces of conservative media as a reaction to the liberal media monopoly that is now in the process of disintegrating.

Ted Koppel is in a position to understand and study this phenomenon. Instead, Koppel highlights a “polarized America.” He had a chance to understand the phenomenon of conservative news and opinion, but decided instead to attack it.

It’s “bad for America” when liberals in the media abandon the debate and try to smear their opponents. We didn’t expect this from Koppel.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.