The story broken by Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalekof Truth Dig claims that the on-air resignation of RT_America Anchor Liz Wahl was actually coordinated with a Neo-Con Think-Tank and driven in part by Daily Beast writer James Kirchick. More on him in a minute.
According to the report by TruthDig, much of evidence that Wahl’s resignation was not a spontaneous moment in which she could no longer deal with RT’s “propaganda” can be traced back to Tweets which were sent out about a half hour before Wahl’s final newscast. Though the tweets themselves didn’t come from Wahl, but rather from a neo-conservative think-tank Foreign Policy Initiative, which was started by Bill Kristol.
The first tweet from FPI went out 19 minutes before Wahl’s resignation:
— FPI (@ForeignPolicyI) March 5, 2014
Then, 10 minutes before her resignation:
2 min before:
Finally, at 5:26 pm, the exact moment when Liz Wahl resigned:
RT Anchor RESIGNS ON AIR. She “cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin.”
— FPI (@ForeignPolicyI) March 5, 2014
Clearly, someone at FPI was already aware that Liz Wahl was going to resign her anchor position at RT America live on air.
But the plot thickens. It was just over an hour after Wahl was off air that she conducted an exclusive interview with none other than 31 year-old James Kirchick. The two then tweeted out a picture together which they titled a “Freedom Selfie”.
The Truth Dig story explains Kirchick has written for neo-conservative publications such as Commentary but that isn’t half the story. James Kirchick is known for more than just being a neo-conservative.
In 2007, Kirchick was working for The New Republic magazine when he did an expose on the infamous “Ron Paul Newsletters”. In his hit piece on Congressman Ron Paul, Kirchick divulged to readers that the Texas Congressman had for 20 years written a racist, homophobic newsletter.
I became aware of Kirchick in January of 2012 when viewers asked me to take a look at the Ron Paul newsletter story. I soon found that the claims made by Kirchick were greatly exaggerated. That out of a minimum of 200 newsletters, spanning some 20 years, there were only 9 that included words or phrases that might be considered racist. More importantly, those 9 editions did not include a by-line.
When my story first aired explaining this situation, Kirchick responded on Twitter exclaiming that I was attempting to downplay his revelations regarding the newsletters. That led to a follow up on my part. In this second “Reality Check” which aired one night later, I disclosed information Kirchick had buried in his reporting.
Furthermore, that information had not only been buried by Kirchick, but had been ignored entirely by other media who had covered the newsletter scandal. This information, however is extremely important to the story. Turns out, that among the so called “racist” newsletters, there was ONE by-line.
As I explained in January of 2012 “The author of those articles James Kirchick mentions that none of the racist newsletters have a by-line, except for one. The only problem, back in 2007 (Kirchick) did not mention the name of that writer or which edition he or she wrote.”
Turns out one edition has a by-line with the name James B. Powell. Powell’s name appears on a 1993 Special Edition of the Ron Paul Strategy Guide. It was also written during the exact same time period in which these “racist” newsletters began to pop up. You see, the Ron Paul Newsletter had been printed for 14 years, since 1976, before one single “racist” word popped up in 1990. As I explained in my report, all of the editions with “racist” or “homophobic” language not only began to appear at the same time, but were first published in a span of 4 out of 5 months. To understand the connection to James Powell, watch the follow up “Reality Check” below.
You can watch that report here:
Combine James Kirchick, who already has a record of writing hit pieces on behalf of neo-cons, with Liz Wahl’s resignation and the end result should made anyone with critical thinking skills pause. As for Kirchick’s track record when it comes to standing up against propaganda? That part of the story is almost laughable, as TruthDig points out “Kirchick worked for part of 2011 out of Prague for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a media network funded by Congress (formerly backed by the CIA) that functions like the American answer to RT in Russian-aligned Eastern European countries.”
As for Liz Wahl, if she truly believed that she was being forced to report propaganda, then she has every right to resign her position with RT as she did. On the other hand, to have worked with people like Kirchick in order to capitalize on that resignation, I will leave to the reader to decide the folly or wisdom in that.
Consider making a monthly donation to the Truth In Media Project.
"Like" Ben Swann on Facebook