NPR and the Liberal Media Are Now CIA Mouthpieces

NPR and the Liberal Media Are Now CIA Mouthpieces
American Values 2024 | May 8, 2024

By David Talbot, columnist, The Kennedy Beacon

Katherine Maher, the new president and CEO of National Public Radio, has a resumé that is suspiciously close to that of a CIA asset.

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While earning a degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University in 2005, Maher studied in Cairo and Damascus. She has served in various financial institutions, NGOs, and political front groups that promote Western power in the Middle East and North Africa, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, World Bank and an advisory board for President Obama’s State Department.

Maher has visited hot zones in the U.S. war to dominate the Islamic world, including post-Gaddafi Libya and the war-torn border area of Syria and Turkey. After climbing the ranks at Wikimedia – the foundation that controls Wikipedia, the “free and open” encyclopedia that became a communications tool of the CIA according to its co-founder Larry Sanger – Maher was named the organization’s CEO in 2019, a position she held until April 2021.

In other words, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

Once upon a time, it was Democratic Party leaders and left-wing journalists who exposed U.S. intelligence influence in the media. Spooks and a free press do not mix, they said loud and clear. But after Maher was named head of NPR in March, the liberal media was largely quiet about her, or even defensive. Progressive journalists have been muffled by Maher’s anti-Trump, pro-Biden messages on social media.

It’s been left to Christopher F. Rufo, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, and other right-wing pundits and podcasters, to expose Maher’s shady background. Uri Berliner, the former NPR editor who denounced the organization for its politically correct, liberal bias, exchanged blows with her in the conservative press, saying Maher was “the opposite” of the “unifying” leader that NPR needs.

(One of the few critics of Maher on the left has been Max Blumenthal’s outspoken but marginal Grayzone.)

Conservative activists were even more scathing about Maher. One posted on X that her resumé was “as blobby… as it gets.” (The “blob” was the term coined by former President Obama advisor Ben Rhodes to describe the Washington national security establishment.)

Slim Amamou, a former ally of hers in Tunisian political circles, was even more blunt. When Maher was visiting his country, Amamou recalled, she was always trying to penetrate the world of dissidents. “Katherine Maher is probably a CIA agent,” he posted on X, to which she replied indignantly, “I’m not any sort of agent. Don’t defame me.”

As conservative activists pointed out, this was a “non-denial denial.” Maher might not be an official CIA agent. But is she an intelligence asset? Is she a CIA fellow traveler?

In the wake of the conservative media uproar around Maher, House Republicans notified her they were investigating political bias at NPR and summoned her to testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

“As a taxpayer funded, public radio organization, NPR should focus on fair and objective news reporting that both considers and reflects the views of the larger U.S. population and not just a niche audience,” their letter to Maher read.

Robert Kennedy Jr. thinks all this political sound and fury around Maher’s reign at NPR is missing the point.

“All the controversy about Katherine Maher’s ‘woke’ posts misses a serious issue,” Kennedy said on X recently, “ — her involvement in CIA-sponsored color revolutions abroad.”

(The “color revolutions” in Eastern Europe and Northern Africa supported by the U.S. were aimed at regime changes seen as friendly to the West.)

The weird and worrisome fact is that the “liberal media” is so infiltrated by national security types and dominated by their “might-is-right” mentality, that none of these news institutions – not The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, or, yes, NPR – can be trusted to tell us the truth. They all spout the same dreary line on this country’s forever wars and constant interventionism.

Sometimes these avatars of the free press give us useful and accurate information, and sometimes they distort the truth or outright lie. You have to learn to read between the lines. You have to discern the hidden agendas of their corporate executives and publishers and editors and producers and reporters.

The mainstream press sold us the Gulf of Tonkin fabrication that led to the Vietnam War. The Times dutifully repeated the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld lie that Saddam was sitting on a scary stockpile of nuclear and chemical weapons – the WMD lie that led to the disastrous war with Iraq and the new Crusades in the Middle East.

And, yes, the Wikipedia entry on President Kennedy’s assassination insists JFK was killed by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald, the official lie that is still clung to like a tattered mast over 60 years later. The same Wikipedia that Maher touted at an August 2021 TED talk, calling the digital encyclopedia a vehicle for “the minimum viable truth,” whatever the hell that is.

Maher has a slick habit of using words that both reveal and confuse. She sounds well-programmed.

We live in a topsy-turvy world. Trusted sources of information are controlled by people with strategic and often self-serving goals. I once relied on left-wing publications – in fact I once worked for them. But I discovered that no one has a monopoly on the truth. These days I read the Intercept on the left and Epoch Times on the right, and lots in between.

Like they say, the truth is out there.

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