The US’ government-funded National Public Radio (NPR) resumed its crusade against Russian-funded media outlets Wednesday, airing a four minute report on RT and Sputnik News and continuing the bleating mantra that activists that appear on Russian media don’t have an agenda of their own but instead seek to fulfill that of the Kremlin.
Award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist Ted Rall joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear to talk about the latest hit piece, entitled, “Conservatives and Liberals Both Take to RT.”
NPR’s report attempted to highlight the bipartisan vulnerability to becoming Russian dupes by describing both conservative PAC CEO Ned Ryun’s appearances on RT and continuing its line of attack on Anoa Changa, an African American progressive in Atlanta, Georgia, it began on April 18 with a report titled “Atlanta Activist Uses Russian-Backed Media to Spread Message.”
Changa immediately responded to with one of her own:”I Was Smeared By Public Radio for Being a Black Activist Trying to Get My Message Out.”
Following the second attack in the form of an NPR segment, Changa pointed out on Twitter Wednesday that it failed to address the “many issues” raised two months prior.
Ryun, for his part, fell under the ire of NPR for telling RT that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into US President Donald Trump’s alleged Russian collusion is “illegitimate” and a “farce.” Of course, this view is held by many pundits appearing on mainstream American news shows like Fox, too.
“Apparently, if you say exactly the same thing in other news outlets, or in my case, in my cartoons or in my syndicated columns, as you say on Sputnik or RT, then it becomes — because RT and Sputnik are financed by the Russian government — those become Russian propaganda, in the same way that if I say those things one the BBC, which is a British-financed government operation, it becomes English propaganda,” Rall told Loud & Clear hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. And should one utter it on NPR “it becomes US government-financed propaganda,” Rall pointed out.
“It’s absurd and actually kind of hilarious,” Rall noted, emphasizing that “the problem is that NPR is taken very seriously by a lot of listeners.”
NPR gave credence to the allegation that RT and Sputnik News are “propaganda” outlets by citing “a report from the CIA, NSA and FBI,” Rall said. That report was from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which oversees 16 US intelligence agencies.
As ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern has pointed out while appearing on Sputnik Radio, these assessments are supposed to include a section for dissenting views, but the ODNI report did not, raising questions about the veracity of the report’s conclusions.
The 25-page report from January 6, 2017, was ostensibly an investigation into “Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” but devoted half of its pages to criticism of RT’s TV shows that had long been off the air prior to the election. RT journalists’ coverage of issues such as fracking, Occupy Wall Street, and surveillance in America were portrayed not as hard-hitting, adversarial journalism toward the most powerful, but instead as “state-run propaganda.”
“Who cares what the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI have to say. I mean these are institutions with a long history of illegality and lying,” Rall said. “In fact, lying is part of their job description. It’s what they do. So who knows anything that they say? Why would any news organization, much less an allegedly serious one like NPR, cite these institutions?”
“I hate to quote a Trumpism, but this is fake news,” Rall added.