NPR'S PROPAGANDA CZAR/CEO
In a move roughly akin to the ACLU hiring a CIA director for its president,
National Public Radio named the czar of American broadcast agitprop as its
CEO. Kevin Klose has been director of the US International Broadcasting
Bureau, which runs or coordinates all major American broadcast propaganda,
including the Voice of America and Radio Marti. Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty and Radio Free Asia operate under the oversight of the Broadcasting
Board of Governors, the same body that supervises IBB. Kevin Klose was president
of Radio FreeEurope/Radio Liberty from 1992 to 1997. Prior to that, he worked
for many years for the Washington Post.
The choice raises new questions about the independence from government influence
of the public radio network, which is already tied by purse-strings to Washington
and has shown considerable deference to the White House in its coverage
of the Clinton scandals.
This is not the first time American media and propaganda have been seamlessly
joined. In 1976, the president of the CIA-connected Radio Free Europe and
Radio Liberty was former CBS president Sig Mickelson. Ironically, one of
the few journalists who raised questions about the relationship of the media
and the CIA--to the detriment of his career at CBS--was Daniel Schorr, now
at NPR. Carl Bernstein, in a contemporary article in "Rolling Stone,
"estimated that 400 American journalists had been tied to the CIA at
one point or another, including such well-known media figures as the Alsop
brothers, C.L. Sulzberger of the"New York Times," and Philip Graham
of the "Washington Post." Later the "New York Times"
reported that the CIA had owned or subsidized more than 50 newspapers, news
services, radio stations, and periodicals, mostly overseas.
And, says "NameBase Newsline," at least 22 American news organizations
employed CIA assets, and "nearly a dozen American publishing houses
printed some of the more than 1,000 books that had been produced or subsidized
by the CIA. When asked in a 1976 interview whether the CIA had ever told
its media agents what to write, William Colby replied, 'Oh, sure, all the
With the bad press, American intelligence began becoming more subtle. As
one CIA asset, Gloria Steinem, said, "The CIA's big mistake was not
supplanting itself with private funds fast enough." One of the results
of an increasing sophistication was the creation in 1973 of a Board for
International Broadcasting to obscure any CIA control of Radio Free Europe
and Radio Liberty.
But all this is history and largely forgotten even in media circles. Thus,
it is not surprising that there have been signs the Washington inner party
is feeling its oats again. In 1996, the Council on Foreign Relations suggested
that the CIA be allowed once more to use journalists and clergy as cover
for its operations. As "NameBase Newsline" points out, "For
70 years, [the CFR has] rarely recommended anything that has not become
In such an environment, for NPR to hire the head of national broadcast agitpunkt
seems more than a little risky to the public.
--NAMEBASE NEWSLINE, http://www.pir.org/newsline.17