Ploughshares and the Iran Deal Echo Chamber

Guess who's not part of the White House's Iran deal "echo chamber"? Yep, Qassem Suleimani. The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force thinks Iran and America aren't poised for realignment, but rather are at war. And Iran, he says, is thrashing the great Satan. "Iran relied on logic during its confrontation with the U.S. and benefited from its enemies' mistakes," Suleimani said in aspeech yesterday. "Iranian support [of the Assad regime] forced America to back down from its goals in Syria."

What an ingrate! The White House frees up tens of billions of dollars so the Iranians can continue helping Assad wage his murderous campaign of sectarian cleansing in Syria, and Tehran's Mr. Fix-Itturns around and rubs it in the administration's face. The only alternative to the nuclear deal, said the White House and its various friends in the media, academy, and think-tank community, is war. Wrong, says Suleimani, there's only war. It looks like the IRGC's external operations unit is not getting thePloughshares talking points.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that the Ploughshares Fund gave financial support to media outlets, including National Public Radio, as part of its efforts to support the White House's nuclear deal with Iran. According to Ploughshares' 2015 annual report, the organization gave NPR $100,000 to help it report on the nuclear deal and related issues in 2015. Reports elsewhere indicate that the foundation has given NPR $700,000 over the last decade.

Both NPR and Ploughshares argue that the grant didn't affect reporting the agreement. "We have a rigorous editorial firewall process in place to ensure our coverage is independent and is not influenced by funders or special interests," the partially publicly supported media outlet claimed. Funding, Ploughshares' spokeswoman Jennifer Abrahamson told the AP, "does not influence the editorial content of their coverage in any way, nor would we want it to."

This is ridiculous. If Ploughshares didn't want to influence the editorial content in line with its mission—to "build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world's nuclear stockpiles"—it would rightly have to answer to its own financial backers for wasting their money. It's clear from other internal Ploughshares documents, in fact, that the fund closely tracks whether it's getting its money's worth from directly funding the media.

 Read more at The Weekly Standard

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