NPR. It's like Pravda with better office furniture.
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.
n The New York Times Magazine article, Rhodes explained how the administration worked with nongovernmental organizations, proliferation experts and even friendly reporters to build support for the seven-nation accord that curtailed Iran's nuclear activity and softened international financial penalties on Tehran.
"We created an echo chamber," said Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, adding that "outside groups like Ploughshares" helped carry out the administration's message effectively.
Ploughshares has funded NPR's coverage of national security since 2005, the radio network said. Ploughshares reports show at least $700,000 in funding over that time. All grant descriptions since 2010 specifically mention Iran.
Don't worry. NPR has a great explanation.
NPR told the Times the money came with no strings attached, insisting that an editorial firewall prevented the fund from influencing the coverage of the White House deal
"It's a valued partnership, without any conditions from Ploughshares on our specific reporting, beyond the broad issues of national and nuclear security, nuclear policy, and nonproliferation," NPR said in an emailed statement. "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."
Yes, a firewall. A wall of fire.
Except here's the thing, this firewall is purely imaginary.
If someone who strongly supports Position X gives you money. And you just happen to support Position X. But you also know that if you oppose Position X, the money goes away. This is the NPR scenario. And so the firewall is meaningless.
Ploughshares was giving NPR money to promote a particular point of view. If NPR had switched its point of view, there would be no more money. And so the illusion of independence is just that.
Just this week, the GOP-controlled House Oversight Committee tried to summon Rhodes to a hearing entitled "White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal," but he refused.
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.
Of course not.
If nothing else, Ben Rhodes' self-promotion stunt helped expose the nakedness of the prostitute organizations that pushed his disastrous Iran nuke sellout.
Ploughshares has set its sights on other media organizations, too.
In a "Cultural Strategy Report" on its website, the group outlined a broader objective of "ensuring regular and accurate coverage of nuclear issues in reputable and strategic media outlets" such as The Guardian, Salon, the Huffington Post or Pro Publica.
Previous efforts failed to generate enough coverage, it noted. These included "funding of reporters at The Nation and Mother Jones and a partnership with The Center for Public Integrity to create a national security desk."
Propaganda. This is what it looks like. It's Pravda with better office furniture.