The ‘Fact-Checking’ Liberal Media

Sam Husseini flags an unhinged exchange between NPR’s Terry Gross and New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper. 

Terry Gross in 2014. (Tmohabir, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Sam Husseini

In a remarkably unhinged analysis, NPR host Terry Gross and New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper claimed that Russia is a communist country — as they went on about how detached from reality rightwing Republicans are.

After I and others tweeted about this, NPR posted this correction: 

“POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In the audio version of this story, Terry Gross incorrectly states that Russia is a communist country, when she meant to say that Putin was the head of the KGB during the communist era.”

Which almost makes it worse. If you substitute what NPR now claims Gross meant to say, it really doesn’t make any sense. Gross and Draper were riffing off each other in what can most charitably be described as a ridiculous example of groupthink. 

It displays the all-too-frequent smugness of liberals, going on about other people’s failing to fact check, in this case talking about seniors with “a lot of time on their hands” — while getting the most elementary facts wrong. It’s remarkable projection. 

Robert Draper in 2007. (Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The “correction” ignores that Draper similarly remarked that Putin is “the one great promoter of that [communist] ideology.” 

The “correction” is also wrong because Putin wasn’t “head of the KGB during the communist era” — he quit the KGB in 1991 as a lieutenant colonel. He would be appointed head of the successor group, the Federal Security Service, in 1998, years after the fall of communism in Russia, by U.S. tool Boris Yeltsin.

(One of Draper’s most recent books is To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq, which came out last year. If Google books search is to be believed, the book is something of a coverup. It has nothing on Biden’s presiding over the rigged hearings that helped ensure the invasion, which Biden has continuously lied about.)

Here’s the text of the excerpt: 

GROSS: “So, like, a really ironic [chuckle] thing about this fight against communism that the far right is doing now is that a communist country — Russia! — has been retweeting social media from the far right. So they’re, in their own way, almost aligned with Putin. So it’s — don’t you think it’s strange that they’re the ones who are, you know, decrying communist infiltration of our country?”

DRAPER: “Yes. Yeah. No, it’s certainly paradoxical. It’s also paradoxical that this, you know, very rock-ribbed conservative Republican Party in the state of Arizona is so prone to Russia disinformation. And I had that said to me over and over by a number of long-time Republican operatives who said, you know, I think that Arizona is in the top seven, eight or nine when it comes to the number of — the percentage of its population that is senior — that’s senior citizen. They have a lot of retirees that live in Arizona. So people have a lot of time on their hands, and so a lot of them sit on the internet. They’re on Facebook, and they’re reading a lot of things. And amongst conservatives who have come to reject the so-called mainstream media, they’re very, very prone to information that confirms their biases. And they don’t exactly fact-check this information.

“So much of it has, in fact, come from — or at least been amplified by Russia-based social media, according to these Republicans that I’ve spoken to. And, you know, it’s also very enemy of my enemy. I mean, I think that Trump has been accused – had so many associations with Russia, he and his campaign operation, and thus was accused of somehow, you know, being intertwined in a very unseemly way with Russia. That the left has, in the eyes of conservatives, has launched that argument means that maybe there’s something not so bad about Russia. It means that Russia is being smeared the way that Trump is being smeared. So it’s all quite convoluted. And to have the word communist used as the ultimate putdown, when essentially the one great promoter of that ideology, Vladimir Putin, is very much shaping their minds or at least, you know, putting out disinformation that can shape their minds — yeah, it’s all a very, very paradoxical situation, to be sure.”

Here’s a link to the NPR page which has a full text and audio of the interview. 

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist based near D.C. He is on Twitter: @samhusseini

This article is from Substack.

62 comments for “The ‘Fact-Checking’ Liberal Media

  1. Clark Surrey
    August 27, 2022 at 13:34

    Calling NPR as “Liberal” only goes to show how mis-used that word is in these times.

    For example, Liberal used to mean anti-war. Liberal used to be a lot closer to Socialism than today’s Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Capitalists of America. Liberal used to stand for a lot of things that are considered beyond the pale in these right-wing times.

    NPR is at best far-right, very pro-corporate (to get money from corporate partners), and very pro-war. They put a kinda-sorta lefty veneer over very far-right opinions. To call NPR ‘liberal’ is about as absurd as calling Bernie Sanders a ‘socialist’. Both would firmly object to any of the positions normally associated with the label. Can you imagine NPR opposing a war, or Bernie Sanders nationalizing a bank?

  2. RR
    August 26, 2022 at 23:57

    Lenin, writing of Russia in 1918, stated: ‘reality says that State capitalism would be a step forward for us; if we were able to bring about State capitalism in a short time it would be a victory for us’ (The Chief Task of Our Time).

    Others sought to distance themselves from the state capitalism emerging there: ‘.. Russian workers remain wage slaves, and very poor ones, working, not from free will, but under compulsion of economic need, and kept in their subordinate position by a State coercion which is more pronounced than in the countries where the workers have not recently shown their capacity to rebel with effect…Many Communists outside Russia object to the searchlight of fact being turned upon Soviet Russia by their fellow Communists. They desire to have it appear that everything is perfect there. They imagine it to be bad propaganda to admit frankly the failures and shortcomings in the land of revolution and to criticise the methods and expedients resorted to by those who have secured the power. Their objections are short sighted, for after all, what we desire to vindicate and to achieve is Communism itself and not the policy or position of any party. If we pretend that the present regime in Russia is Communism, is actually the sort of life towards which we are striving, those who observe its shortcomings will naturally tell us that our ideal is a very faulty one’ (SYLVIA PANKHURST, Workers’ Dreadnought, 31 May 1924).

    Capitalist hallmarks, such as class society, commodity production, profit motive, exploitation of wage labour, markets, etc., exist in Russia as they do worldwide.

  3. Kurt
    August 26, 2022 at 15:43

    What Terry Gross and her ilk at NPR, and all the American exceptionalist lackeys she interviews, as well as, millions of American’s, don’t understand is that Communism died with Lenin in 1924. What followed was called Stalinism. Communism was a socialist system of economics. Stalinism was a political system of authoritarian autocracy. In this inverted corptocracy we live in, we not only have the pseudo left having their brains eaten alive by their parasitical thoughts of big, bad Russia, we also have on the other end Professors like the fool Grover Furr legitimizing Stalin and falsifying history. We truly live in the Disunited States of Obfuscation.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 21:59

      Thank you! Most people in the U.S. do not know about what real socialism/communism was and the crimes against the Revolution that were committed by Stalin after Lenin’s death. Stalin turned his viciousness against Leon Trotsky and all genuine revoutionaries and ultimately had them all murdered, including Trotsky. Stalin’s descendants, Gorbachev, et al., handed over the Soviet Union without a struggle in 1991. Americans are never taught the history of the Russian Revolution. They are only taught “Capitalism good; communism bad” with no context whatsoever. They also never are taught that the USSR won World War II. Without the USSR, which country lost 29 million people in that war, the allies might have lost.

  4. Blanca Rose
    August 26, 2022 at 14:06

    America at this point is a Two Party Fascist State.

    Yes, America is proving that Fascism can be a Two-Party affair. Before, this seemed odd, due to the ‘does-not-play-well-with-others’ nature of most Fascists. But, now America has successfully incorporated the “Blame-The-Other-Party” feature from America’s earlier “Two Party Highly Limited Democracy” into the new Two Party Fascism system.

    Previously, fascist regimes had been unstable. Witness the Thousand Year Reich which lasted only approximately 1.5% of the life the Oligarchs had planned for it. The modern American fascists hope that the Blame-The-Other-Party feature will improve stability and allow its purely fascist policies to continue as they have with the Wall Street Fascists providing what is really Trump’s 2nd Term after the voters got sick of the Cult of Personality party.

    Thus, the hope of today’s fascist oligarchs is that the Blame The Other Party feature will let this new fascist American Century reach more of its planned lifetime and meet its depopulation goals.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:02

      The United States is a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are dedicated imperialists. The differences are surface: the Republicans (the party of Lincoln!) are now Christofascists and the Democrats are phoney liberals. Both parties serve the ruling class. Both parties serve Wall Street. Both parties worship the military. And there you have it.

  5. August 26, 2022 at 11:26

    Thanks for this outstanding corrective. I’ve shared it on Facebook (argh, I know, but that’s where so many of my friends still are), appended with the following comment:

    Misinformation at its finest — ageist, bigoted, suffering from confirmation-bias and a McCarthyist streak…

    But more than anything else, “commie” obsessed NPR’s Terry Gross and NYT Magazine’s Robert Draper are simply wrong. They are wrong when they claim that 21st-century Russia is a “communist” country (do they think they’re living in the 1980s? The ’50s??). Although Russia has single-payer healthcare, like any modern European nation, they aren’t even a socialist country, but a distinctly capitalist one.

    Gross and Draper are similarly wrong when they describe Vladimir Putin as a promoter (let alone “the one great promoter”) of communist ideology. Perhaps they’re thinking of American professor of economics, Richard D. Wolff, who is a brilliant fellow.

    In reality, Mr. Putin is the elected leader of a *capitalist* country dominated by oligarchs, just as Joe Biden is the elected leader of a capitalist country dominated by oligarchs… only Putin doesn’t have Biden’s rapacious appetite for genocide or his abysmal approval ratings.

    When this appalling bit of NPR propaganda was fact-checked by an actual journalist, NPR issued a “correction” that was wrong in all kinds of new ways, offering the fresh claim that Putin was the head of the “communist era KGB.” Uh, no. Putin was *never* the head of the KGB, nor was he in the leadership of the KGB when it existed.

    In reality, nearly a decade after communism’s collapse, Putin was appointed head of the post-Soviet FSB — by Boris Yeltsin, the corrupt, alcoholic dictator installed by Washington, DC, in a rigged election our leaders openly boasted about stealing!

    As Washington’s puppet, Yeltsin proceeded to deploy Russian tanks to attack his nation’s parliament, as Russia’s elected representatives had refused to pass the Washington-authored legislation that would allow the West to loot Russia seven ways from Sunday (Naomi Klein’s indispensable “The Shock Doctrine” describes this grotesque chapter of U.S. colonialism and brute piracy in great detail).

    Clearly, as members of the establishment, NPR has no fear of being de-platformed, de-monetized, or censored, no matter how much mis- and disinformation they peddle. But one has to gasp at the colossal ignorance and arrogance of these entitled, illiberal, warmongering elites.

    Fact-check says: Gross, Draper, and NPR have their heads 100% jammed up the ghost of Joseph McCarthy’s ass.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:04

      Terry Gross is an idiot, that much is obvious. National Pentagon Radio is what I call it. With morons like that supposedly protecting “liberalism”, we need socialist revolution sooner, not later.

    • renate
      August 27, 2022 at 10:09

      In total agreement. How embarrassing to correct a mistake with another, the world knows that Putin was in charge of the Berlin KGB office. But Americans don’t know President H.W. Bush was the Director of the CIA and Pompeo, Trump’s SoS.
      Lazy journalists, why bother to check facts as long as the narrative is right?

    • Daniel
      August 28, 2022 at 10:47

      Excellent comments. Facts and history matter not to today’s “enlightened liberals.” For, despite their education, they are neither enlightened nor liberal.

  6. Ian Stevenson
    August 26, 2022 at 06:37

    I read Draper’s” to Start a War “and cross checked some of it with statements by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff, and others including the British Chilcott Inquiry. I always try to, at least, sample. the sources quoted. He uses a lot. Draper tries to show that Cheney and Rumsfeld manipulated intelligence to persuade the not very bright President about WMD. That seems to check. That is the cover up.

    I have noticed how the American Right often speak approvingly of Putin ( Trump called him a strategic genius in February this year ). My assumption is that they like authoritarian and anti-liberal regimes, feeling some kinship. Perhaps how they would like to run the US if it wasn’t for this pesky democracy thing.

    • Tim N
      August 26, 2022 at 07:31

      So, it was okay that Draper said the dumb and shockingly uninformed things he said with Gross?

      • Ian Stevenson
        August 26, 2022 at 18:03

        Draper’s book put the blame for the Iraqi invasion on the people around Bush. That checks with other sources. I haven’t seen anything about Husseini point about Biden. But although he came to support the war, the decision was made by a small circle and Draper assembles the evidence to show that. What he says here is a different issue. His point that some of the American Right seem pro-Putin is correct and not what one might expect.

    • David Otness
      August 26, 2022 at 12:34

      “Pesky democracy.” Ease up on the Kool-Aid, bro. If you’re living in the West, you ain’t occupying space in a democracy. It just means you still hold onto the delusion of your vote having any meaning at all in a techno-surveillance-military plutocracy. News flash: It doesn’t.
      As the curtain of cognitively dissonant denial descends as you read my words, please nonetheless, try to understand that in the Russian Federation a vote does have meaning, as few inside or outside Russia bother to deny that the country has fair elections and ballot counting. That is observable in Mr Putin’s approval ratings in office and his usual margins of victory in those fair elections.
      One of the largest points of contention in the most recent elections was that of many Russians who felt he was not aggressive enough regarding coming to the aid of the ethnic Russian civilians in Donbass, especially as they endured 8 years of artillery bombardment into their homes, schools, hospitals and marketplaces. All for being unwilling to recognize a U.S. & UK-fomented and financed unconstitutional violent and bloody coup. Again: the work of the techno-surveillance-military plutocracy that governs the West. The same outfit reading my written words here. And yours too.

    • Jams O'Donnell
      August 27, 2022 at 04:16

      Russia, as well as no longer being a communist country, also has a fully functioning system of democracy, although this is not recognised by the western presstitutionary. Putin is a head of state who has to work with or oppose various factions and interests within and outside government, as is the case in most countries. China, which IS a communist country, also has a system of democracy, although, again, not one recognised by the ‘west’. (See, for example, – hxxp:// )

    • renate
      August 27, 2022 at 10:18

      There is a report when Tony Blair visited W. Bush in Texas both knew that the intelligence was manipulated by both the CIA and MI6. Bush knew he may not have been actively involved but he knew.

  7. Realist
    August 26, 2022 at 06:00

    Kudos for being a stickler for facts, Mr. Husseini, but frankly, Americans seem not to care, especially when the topic is Vladimir Putin. It’s Zelensky they are told is the modern day equivalent to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln rolled into one, and that’s all they need to hear. They are even groomed with a fervently believed response when you counterpose actual facts to the propaganda they have internalized: you are either a Russian troll or have been hopelessly victimized by Russian disinformation. In the official American view, there is no good whatsoever in anything or anybody Russian. The entire nation of 140 million and its entire history of 1000 years must be cancelled. Ukraine and its fascist system, Nazi leaders and genocidal actions must be supported. The fools believe these things so avidly that they actually donate money to Zelensky and his thugs. They walk around like clowns in colors that more appropriately festoon the athleticware of South Florida sports teams to prove their solidarity with all that is right and holy. Never mind that there are sources of actual truth available to anyone, such as Consortium News.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:06

      Zelensky is already extremely wealthy. That’s how he gets photo shoots at Vogue with his wife.

  8. Anna
    August 26, 2022 at 05:30

    To me, the saddest of all this, is that (in my opinion) Putin is the greatest leader of all time. Yet, nobody knows anything about him. We only see the manifestations of doubling the GDP in short order, pulling a devastated country out of third world destitution, year after year Russia is now the only country not running a deficit. Foreign aggression is parried with smart chess move after smart chess move – the sanctions hurt only the West, endangered the PetroDollar and boosted the value of the Ruble – which was a joke not long before.
    But nobody in the West is curious about this man, or wants to learn from him.

    • DMCP
      August 26, 2022 at 09:10

      Good comment!

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        August 26, 2022 at 22:07

        Agreed. Putin is more intelligent than those who call him names.

    • David Otness
      August 26, 2022 at 12:38

      “We will know we have succeeded when the American public believes every lie we have told them.” ~ William Casey-ex OSS and CIA Director under Ronald Reagan.
      There you have the true mission statement of Allen Dulles’ evil creation.

    • renate
      August 27, 2022 at 10:27

      Anna, you have more company than you think, informed people agree with you. But they have no place in MSM.
      Putin will go down in history as one of the great leaders. Biden is a huge failure, his failure trumps W. Bush’s Iraq/ME disaster.

  9. Rob
    August 26, 2022 at 00:53

    NPR = National Propaganda Radio

  10. Jeff Harrison
    August 26, 2022 at 00:38

    And my daughters don’t understand why I reject the MSM (and NPR has been MSM since early on in Shrub’s reign). Hello NPR! Communism is an economic system not a political system. You can’t use it for a substitute for dictatorship which doesn’t, for example, include elections. Your lack of self awareness prevents you from recognizing that the US supports any number of dictators (when, for example, was the last time a Saudi Sheik stood for election?) and Russia has any number of political parties. And don’t give me the rigged elections crap. You want rigged elections? Come to the US see the gerrymandered districts that allows the party with only 40% of the vote to have a commanding majority in the legislature. Or the voter suppression chicanery that prevents people who are legal electors under US law from actually voting.

    Otherwise this is just brainless Russophobia to distract from the USs many crimes.

    • David G Horsman
      August 26, 2022 at 02:48

      I think the US democracy lost all hope of redemption and correction when Al Gore invented the internet. Lol. He never said that of course.

      Many of us remember those dimpled chads, the deep corruption present in Florida and the failure of the courts to rectify the situation.

      The use of the criminal justice system to provide slave labor and disqualify even more voters is telling. That isn’t democracy in any sense of the word.

      It’s fascism.

      • torture this
        August 26, 2022 at 08:59

        Both you guys are right and let me add the fact that people that could really stir shit up (Jimmy Dore for example) are too smart to risk their lives and those of their love ones by running against the 2-party 1-racket political machine that is the D’s & R’s. His lack of knowledge and acquaintances in Washington might make him fairly ineffective but that would beat the Hell out of the cabal that is running the country, now. Our “security” apparatus will never allow a decent citizen to run a fair campaign and that hurts us all to no end. Our system relies on “men of good will” and we aint got none!

        • Carolyn L Zaremba
          August 26, 2022 at 22:09

          The Socialist Equality Party runs candidates in every Presidential election and also in state elections. They have always done so and I always vote for them.

      • J Anthony
        August 27, 2022 at 04:34

        Agreed. Call it what it is. Some have said the word “fascism” has lost all meaning as the left and right in the U.S. are calling each other fascist all the time. I beg to differ. Call them out.

    • Richard Coleman
      August 26, 2022 at 15:13

      How’s this for democracy: Four states with 3.5 million population send 8 senators to congress. (Two per state) One state with 38 million population sends…….2 senators to congress. So 3.5 million people get 8 senators while 38 million get 2. That’s 3 and a half to 38. 4 senators to l.

      As for parties…. all small-state 8 senators are republican. All one state 2 are democrat.


      38 million people have 2 democrats in congress. 3.5 million have 8 republicans.

      So like I said, How’s this for democracy???

      P.S. In a democracy the republicans would be not much larger than a fringe party.

  11. August 25, 2022 at 23:35

    Thanks for this brief critique. It shows, sadly, just how far down NPR has spiraled in its regurgitation of Washington imperial narratives. It’s as if NPR some time ago decided that its best economic strategy was to please the Washington elites and be their mouthpiece. I once loved NPR- back in the pre-Reagan days; now I loathe them as mere mouthpieces for the socially/ identitarian liberal face of the oligarch’s duopoly.

    Sad that self-described “journalists” have become mere stenographers for that power elite.

    • vinnieoh
      August 26, 2022 at 10:51

      I distinctly remember the W. Bush admin. campaign against any and all contrarian views emanating from PBS/NPR. Whatever journalistic independence that existed there was excised. Before then I regularly generously donated to PBS continued survival; after the GOP/Ownership Class successful neutering of PBS I haven’t given a dime. PBS/NPR is now virtually indistinguishable from all other US major media – cheerleaders and commercial promoters of the capitalist/oligarch/neoliberal status quo.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        August 26, 2022 at 22:13

        Public TV and radio went into steep decline beginning in 1980. Commercials began in that decade, disguised as promotions at the beginning and end of programs to pretend they were not commercials. With all public funding cut, that was the only way they could stay on the air. Needless to say, they immediately kowtowed to their sponsors.

    • J Anthony
      August 27, 2022 at 04:37

      Yes ever since their public funding began to dry up and they’ve had to rely on private foundations for $, this is the path they’ve been on…national “public radio” has become more than a bit of a misnomer

  12. C. Parker
    August 25, 2022 at 21:51

    Fresh Air with Terry Gross was one of NPR’s best shows. Gross had a gift for listening to her guest. It demonstrated a true journalistic skill.

    Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine I have seen a controlled narrative happen not just on cable and broadcast news, but NPR. A shame and a loss.

    Following Terry Gross’s interview of Anne Applebaum and the softball format of questions, I lost respect for Gross. I no longer listen to Fresh Air and have pretty much given up on NPR.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:14

      If Gross can make the HUGE error of thinking that Russia is a communist country, she has lost her mind. Seems that Biden is not the only one with cognitive decline issues.

  13. CNfan
    August 25, 2022 at 21:43

    Two oligarchy coverup con artists.

    (And never any mention of Israel’s ongoing mass murders and land thefts.)

  14. Sam Spade
    August 25, 2022 at 21:14

    People still listen to NPR?
    It was literally last century when I decided that they lied too much and were far too untrustworthy for my taste.

    Trust me, life is better if you turn this bleep off. I haven’t felt an urge to listen to this bleep during this entire century.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:15

      Thank you.

  15. Allex Grimsson
    August 25, 2022 at 19:07

    As a dedicated leftward Progressive, I can see, especially lately, increasing instances of the USA Left’s ‘group think’ and intellectual ‘confirmation bias’ on a host issues & opinion platforms.
    I suspect that such unconscious biases are neuro-psychologically hard-wired in virtually all humans– me included, herein.
    But I’ve always expected leftward thinkers, in general. to be more SELF-AWARE of this probable foible of human cognition, and thus more ‘on-guard’ about its frequent epistemological dangers, especially in personal areas of ‘research bias.’…
    Perhaps my expectation, itself, is just another example of the inescapability of such biases, left or right.

    • Tim N
      August 26, 2022 at 08:00

      Terry Gross is not and never was a Leftist. NPR has been towing the establishment line for decades. This isn’t “bias,” it’s just plain ignorance and carelessness. Both Gross and Draper are simply not interested in the truth.

    • torture this
      August 26, 2022 at 09:13

      I’ve said many times since 2016 that before that, I believed Democrats wanted the right things but that they didn’t have the financial backing and the ruthlessness to win their fights. When we saw the now dishonored Sanders cheated by the party with the approval of all the “left” media resulting in his ultimate support of HRC, I became more disgusted with the party than I’d ever been with the Republicans. I’m not that much smarter than that many people but I wonder at their inability to comprehend what a lousy piece of work the Democrat Party has become. My hats off to the Nader voters that were way ahead and said the same about me. Covid brought me back to the MSM and damned if it didn’t confirm everything I knew about the liars that work there. Even Amy Goodman went straight from DAPL to Russiagate. Go figure!

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:16

      If you think the likes of the pseudo-left and the likes of Gross are “left” in any way, you are way behind the curve and need to study socialism to discover what “left” means.

  16. Razzle Bathbone
    August 25, 2022 at 18:37

    NPR & Gross have been spinning garbage for decades. Off the rails nonsense and overtly biased dribble are their mainstay. They went to the right decades back and although they throw around the PC verbiage, the content is swill.

  17. August 25, 2022 at 18:23

    Russia is commie, but according to George Will, Putin is a super-fascist.

    The head spins

  18. Cara
    August 25, 2022 at 18:06

    LMAO! NPR is utterly ridiculous. Who takes these people seriously? Thanks for the laughs!

  19. Newton Finn
    August 25, 2022 at 18:03

    These days, anyone, be it an individual, group, or country, is considered communist or Marxist if they embrace an ultimate social value other than profit, power, or efficiency. THAT is how deeply neoliberalism has seeped into our collective mind and heart. I have long maintained that the mortal enemy of neoliberalism, what it fears the most, is not socialism but idealism.

    • Tim N
      August 26, 2022 at 08:05

      The funny thing is, Putin despises communism. The Russian State is capitalist. Do those numbskulls Draper and Gross really not know these things? It’s inexcusable to be in the tank that deep.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      August 26, 2022 at 22:18

      It hasn’t seeped into MY consciousness. I am a Marxist for real and support the Socialist Equality Party. Don’t throw that “our” garbage around. And idealism is not Marxist. Lenin and Trotsky inveighed against it many times.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    August 25, 2022 at 17:45

    “…That the left has, in the eyes of conservatives, has launched that argument means that maybe there’s something not so bad about Russia. …”

    Russia’s a decent country. It’s not so bad providing universal healthcare coverage for every single Russian citizen, not so bad offering very lengthy full-paid maternity leave to every Russian citizen, not so bad not having tens of millions of Russians drowning in student loan debt, not so bad offering subsidized housing to tens of millions of Russian citizens, and not so bad having a bit of high-speed passenger rail available for the Russian public to use.

    And oh yeah, it’s a powerful nation-state that happens to be finally standing up to the biggest bloodiest empire the world has ever seen.

    • Rob Roy
      August 26, 2022 at 00:56

      Thanks, Drew, nice to hear from you again. Words of wisdom.

    • Piotr Berman
      August 26, 2022 at 09:49

      That is indeed convoluted. To many Republicans, universal healthcare is a vile Communist concept, yet they blithely support Israel, blissfully unaware that there is universal healthcare over there (and legal abortion, I guess), and some even have kind thoughts about Russia that has the same defects, and even invests in public transit. Indeed, just because Trump was baselessly vilified for his vaporous connections with Putin/Russia, they think that Russia may be “not so bad”.

      Democrats seem more logical. They abhor universal healthcare if it comes without huge overhead for private insurance and a myriad of other ways to raise the cost, a Communist concept, so Russia is both an enemy and Communist. On the other hand, it puzzles me a bit why they have chosen to vilify Trump baselessly, rather than for actual faults of which they are many. Perhaps, some wizards among them concluded that baseless vilification works better — by observing GOP.

      This intellectual/political landscape leaves people like Gross and Draper confused. What is OK to say? It should be something baseless, but improvising baseless stuff is tricky, it leads to lapses and contradictions and derision from the likes of Husseini.

  21. Michael Emmons
    August 25, 2022 at 16:49

    I wrote to the management of NPR after the Draper interview was broadcast. I pointed out the obvious – Draper and Gross are both either shockingly ignorant or else they were lying. I asked them if they would even consider hiring these types of persons to provide information to their listeners. So far, no reply.

  22. August 25, 2022 at 16:44

    This is chit chat between well to do Neoliberals and is meant for an audience of well off Democrats. It really doesn’t have to make sense, it just needs to sooth the Blue Team voters and lull them into a sense of righteousness that the Blue Team is better than the Red Team. It is so amusing that the topic was how out of touch with reality the Red Team players are and how they need serious fact-checking. I used to listen to NPR all day long back in the 1980s and into the 90s, and it was pretty good. By the time the Bush Jr. administration got Supreme Courted into the White House, NPR had pretty much become National Propaganda Radio.

    • Tim N
      August 26, 2022 at 08:06

      Yep, that’s about right.

  23. A. Stavropoulos
    August 25, 2022 at 16:11

    The correction is false as well. Vladimir Putin was head of the FSB (Russia’s equivalent to Mi-5) under Boris Yeltsin from 1998-9, not the KGB under Communism. This should get NPR a “liar pants on fire” factcheck. Goes to show they’re not even pretending to be factual anymore in the MSM, just lie after lie to support the disastrous Ukraine War.

  24. Lois Gagnon
    August 25, 2022 at 16:11

    The age of Trump has rendered the liberal mind incapable of rational thought. In my attempts at political conversation with the liberals in my immediate circle of family and friends, they will make stuff up constantly and then defend their fantasies with every fiber of their being. I’m not sure if social cohesion within their tribe is driving it or they just snapped the day the Donald beat Hillary and they will simply never be the same. After all the disappointments of being told that THIS TIME Trump is going down and nothing happening, they still cling to the hope that NEXT TIME will be the charm.

    That these two so called journalists don’t know that Russia and Putin are not communist, what can you expect from an industry where there is no accountability for anyone who makes stuff up as long as it favors US aggression in the world? Nobody cares. Just root for the home team and you can say whatever you want. It’s those who try their best to ferret out and report the truth who are castigated and smeared by the liberal insider’s club. Truly nuts.

    • Daniel
      August 26, 2022 at 12:35

      Excellent comments. “…they just snapped the day the Donald beat Hillary…” I believe that’s it, yes. And they have been scrambling for an explanation for that defeat ever since. Of course, if one searches for an explanation for why one’s party is perceived as incompetent, repellent, and corrupt, all manner of fantasy are allowed to service the denial needed to avoid that reality. And boy howdy are these people avoiding reality. We’re supposed to believe that these people mean to “save our democracy”? They’re actually destroying it with their rage, hubris, and madness.

      Sadly, these highly educated, delusional idiots are also today feeding equally delusional “civil war” and “domestic terrorism” narratives. And if we don’t grab the reigns of power from them soon (how? I don’t know,) they will drag the rest of us down with them. They are making otherwise sane and rational people feel insane, a perfect example of which is outlined in this article.

  25. Jack Stephen Hepburn Flanigan
    August 25, 2022 at 14:26

    Can someone briefly explain, in plain language, what Draper is supposed to be saying. I don’t understand.


    • JoAnn
      August 25, 2022 at 15:47

      My sentiments exactly. I read the entire interview
      (Thanks, Sam for the link) and I still don’t get Draper’s
      point. And, I live in AZ!

      • Piotr Berman
        August 26, 2022 at 09:56

        Draper was saying that the old deadwood in Arizona is deplorable, but the use of this word is banned, or any other succinct way of dismissing them.

    • RootBier
      August 25, 2022 at 21:20

      I think he’s saying that anyone who disagrees with him is a victim of Russian propaganda, which is pretty much what all Neocon/liberals are saying nowadays.

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