Sinister left-wing foundation funded NPR, other media outlets to cover Iran nuke deal
In the wake of Ben Rhodes chortling to the New York Times over how easy it was to fool the American media to get favorable coverage of the Iran nuclear deal comes news that the media “echo chamber” (as Rhodes called it) was funded by a hard-left foundation. Bradley Klapper reports for the Associated Press’s Big Story:
A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group's annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets.
Keep in mind that NPR receives direct federal funding (a “small portion” of its revenues) as well as indirect government funding via member stations that receive taxpayers’ money and buy programming from NPR.
For its part, NPR adamantly claims that the money did not affect its coverage:
"As with all support received, we have a rigorous editorial firewall process in place to ensure our coverage is independent and is not influenced by funders or special interests."
Perhaps true in the sense that NPR has such strong biases that it needed no nudging. However, only in a fantasy world does receipt of money fail to influence in any way an organization that must raise money to survive.
Ploughshares' links to media are "tremendously troubling," said Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, an Iran-deal critic.
Pompeo told the AP he repeatedly asked NPR to be interviewed last year as a counterweight to a Democratic supporter of the agreement, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who he said regularly appeared on the station. But NPR refused to put Pompeo on the air, he said. The station said it had no record of Pompeo's requests, and listed several prominent Republicans who were featured speaking about the deal or economic sanctions on Iran.
Another who appeared on NPR is Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares' president. He spoke about the negotiations on air at least twice last year. The station identified Ploughshares as an NPR funder one of those times; the other time, it didn't.
Ploughshares boasts of helping to secure the deal. While success was "driven by the fearless leadership of the Obama administration and supporters in Congress," board chairwoman Mary Lloyd Estrin wrote in the annual report, "less known is the absolutely critical role that civil society played in tipping the scales towards this extraordinary policy victory."
Ploughshares has a sinister background, having been founded in order to support the nuclear moratorium movement in the early Reagan years. We now know, thanks to documents released after the fall of the USSR, that this movement was an arm of Soviet foreign policy, which wanted to weaken America’s ability to project power. Ultimately, the failure of the moratorium movement is what caused the communist dictatorships of Russia and Eastern Europe to fall. Discover the Networks has not forgotten this shameful history of acting as pawns of a communist dictatorship:
From its inception, the Ploughshares Fund's purpose was to support the nuclear-freeze movement, a Soviet-sponsored initiative that sought to further solidify the nuclear and military superiority which the USSR had gained during the post-Vietnam War era. Moreover, Ploughshares adamantly opposed NATO’s decision to place medium-range missiles in Europe, a decision that was made in response to an aggressive Soviet military buildup and to the USSR's then-recent deployment of SS-20 Missiles in Eastern Europe.
Also during the Cold War, Ploughshares claimed that U.S. militarism—particularly that of the Reagan administration—was far likelier to spark a nuclear holocaust than anything the Soviet Union might do. Identifying U.S. belligerence and aggression as the chief source of tensions between America and the USSR, Ploughshares pressured the United States but not the Soviets to initiate disarmament measures. To advance this agenda, Ploughshares pooled donations from a number of wealthy contributors and charitable foundations (including the Rockefeller and Stern Foundations) to bankroll and almost singlehandedly create a left-wing “peace” movement that denounced American defense policies and featured the progressive icon Edward Kennedy as one of its spokesmen.
Early in its history, Ploughshares awarded a grant to fund the efforts of scientists (who were affiliated with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Soviet Academy of Scientists) seeking to prove that it would be possible for the U.S. and the Soviet Union to both comply with the terms of a nuclear test ban treaty—and that therefore neither side should be reluctant to sign such a pact.
NPR is far from the only media outlet to receive Ploughshares funding, via the AP:
The Arms Control Association got $282,500; the Brookings Institution, $225,000; and the Atlantic Council, $182,500. They received money for Iran-related analysis, briefings and media outreach, and non-Iran nuclear work.
Other groups, less directly defined by their independent nuclear expertise, also secured grants.
J-Street, the liberal Jewish political action group, received $576,500 to advocate for the deal. More than $281,000 went to the National Iranian American Council.
The National Iranian American Council has long received Ploughshares money and has many ties to the mullahs’ regime. From Discover the Networks:
- NIAC was established in 2002 to act as a counter-balance to the Jewish lobby AIPAC.
- One of NIAC's co-founders was Trita Parsi, who today serves as the organization's president. According to The Legal Project, Parsi's “deep and incontrovertible ties to high-level agents of the Iranian regime” have been proven beyond any doubt. Moreover, a court ordered Parsi to pay almost $200,000 to an investigative reporter whom he had sued for having made precisely that allegation. (For details of that case, click here.)
- NIAC's other co-founder was Siamak Namazi, a member of the Iranian regime’s inner circle and a major figure in that country's oil industry.
- NIAC has a strong relationship with the Barack Obama administration, as indicated by Andrew C. McCarthy's report in National Review: "[NIAC's] top official, Trita Parsi, visits the White House, consults with Valerie Jarrett, briefs Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton, lectures the CIA, and so on."
- NIAC's advisory board features University of Michigan professor Juan Cole.
- Utilizing the services of public-relations specialist David Fenton and his firm, Fenton Communications, NIAC seeks to convince the American public that U.S. sanctions punishing Iran for its suspected nuclear ambitions would be “counterproductive,” and that the use of military action against Tehran would be a grave mistake.
In November 2011, Ploughshares gave NIAC $125,000 “to shape the debate among policymakers and in the media on credible, non-military approaches to resolving the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program.”
Now, why would NPR be receiving money from a group that also funds a pawn of the mullahs’ regime?