Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
Things have gotten so biased in the American media that Free Enterprise Project Deputy Director Scott Shepard wrote that people today need to look at reporting in the same way people did in the old Soviet Union:
Any sensible person understands that one must treat the former American press, including the ABC propaganda outlet, the way Soviet citizens used to read Pravda: try to figure out what’s true by noticing what the stories do not mention or are clearly trying to obscure.
In particular, “ABC News has completely abandoned even the illusion of providing objective news,” Scott points out in a Townhall Finance commentary.
This, he suggests, poses a problem for its parent company – Disney – because publicly-traded companies “have legal obligations to be genuinely truthful in their statements of purported fact to the public about matters relevant to their businesses when that public includes current or potential shareholders – which is to say, always.”
As an example of this peril, Scott explains that ABC may have misreported the mechanics of Disney ad buys on social media. The left is trying to pressure Facebook right now to get in line with other social media companies in policing speech. A boycott is underway to bring the company to heel. Disney is purportedly in on the boycott.
But is it really? Maybe this is just a cover, Scott asserts, for a downturn in the company’s performance. Perhaps ABC is spinning a story that helps Disney lie to its investors. He writes that the boycott “in reality [could be] a cut in advertising in response to diminished revenues because of the shutdown.” To back up his case, Scott explains:
Twitter’s advertising has also fallen dramatically over the same period, despite Jack Dorsey being totally down with politically biased speech restrictions, and despite no faux boycott having been declared there.
And there’s also trouble at A&E, co-owned by Disney, where viewership has been cut in half after the network cancelled the “Live PD” program in the wake of George Floyd’s police-involved death.
While all this could just be coincidence, Scott nonetheless writes that it “raises a question for shareholders who are tired of the abandonment of truth and objectivity by their corporations’ ‘news’ divisions.” At some point, there is a legitimate concern that “they breach actionable legal duties.”
To read all of Scott’s Townhall commentary – “When Will ABC’s False Reporting Require Daddy Disney’s Discipline?” – click here.
As America has become safer, more prosperous and more equal, agitators on the left seem to be actively trying to reverse the progress.
“The left wants this to happen,” asserted iconic game show host Chuck Woolery on his “Blunt Force Truth” podcast with guest David Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Invited to discuss the National Center’s new “ScoopTV” web series, David discussed with Woolery and podcast co-host Mark Young a wide range of issues revolving around the current chaos threatening to tear America apart.
Woolery was referring to an incident in St. Louis in which armed homeowners confronted a mob that had broken into their gated community with obvious mayhem on their minds. That couple is now facing charges filed by the local prosecutor, while angry and violent activists there and elsewhere across America appear to go unchecked.
“It’s only going to get worse with the fact that we haven’t been supporting the police,” David warned, adding:
The ironic part of this is that, all along, they’ve been telling us: “you know, you don’t need to get yourself a handgun or a shotgun or anything else for defense. That’s why we have the police.”
Well, in a lot of places, we don’t have the police now, do we?… They’re just not showing up.
Bringing up efforts to defund police departments, David noted that the left is destabilizing communities by depriving them of adequate police protection. This lack of safety can have crippling effects on businesses, which then have an impact on the residents in those crime-plagued communities in ways that reach beyond safety issues. Speaking about the need for police, David said:
It’s certainly important, and especially for minority communities.
You ask any minority business owner. What they need is safety. That’s what they need, and that’s provided by the police department. And if you don’t have that, you can’t have minority businesses. You can’t have businesses in black communities.
This is critically important. The police are critically important to the advancement of black and Hispanic communities. But that’s not what [the left] wants.
In Portland, resistance by liberal local officials to federal assistance appears to be more posturing – “hoping for the visual” – than anything else. David said these fringe public officials are two-faced, and are grandstanding to score political points with their radical constituencies:
I think that they actually want the government to come in. They want to be standing up against the federal government. The mayor. The governor. It’s all about the political situation.
Woolery called it “looney.” David agreed.
Divisive notions of “white privilege” and “systemic racism” have also been thrown around with the recent unrest. David explained that the idea of racial privilege comes from a hateful mindset:
I can’t imagine a more racist thing to say than someone has white privilege.
Because you’re taking a look and – unlike what the Reverend Martin Luther King said, we should be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin – this is judging us [by the color of our skin].
Referring to a now-withdrawn chart developed by the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Institution that claimed to explain “whiteness,” David admitted to Woolery and Young that “I don’t have more than half” of the aspects the chart’s authors tried to ascribe to white privilege.
Yet he did say that there is one aspect of the so-called black experience that he – even though he is white – also experienced within his family: “the talk” about how to handle encounters with the police:
There were conversations that my mom had with me about what you do when you have an interaction with police, when they pull you over: You be very respectful. You don’t make any sudden moves.
These are the same things a lot of white parents, if they’re not telling their kids, they ought to. Because one of the most dangerous parts for a police officer is pulling over somebody and not knowing who is in that car. And that is irrespective of the color of your skin.
Woolery asked David how black Americans can move up the socioeconomic ladder amidst all of the chaos happening right now.
“The irony is,” David replied, “that we were… getting there” when troubles erupted. He continued:
If you look before COVID-19, the unemployment rate among the black population was at an all-time low… Young black men, who tend to have a more difficult time getting work, also all-time low unemployment rates.
A great deal of wealth generation being created. A lot of blacks moving out of cities, by the way, into suburban areas. We were on that track.
COVID, riots and the perpetuation of the idea of white privilege are taking a disparate mental and fiscal toll on the black community – possibly by design:
I think there is a political motivation for wanting to keep the black population exactly where it is…. They’re not as successful as other population groups.
While the left peddles the government as the answer, David told Chuck and Mark that the solution is exactly the opposite:
The key to success is being able to be independent and provide for yourself and not have to go to the government.
To listen to the entire interview – “The Truth About Privilege” – on Podcast One’s “Blunt Force Truth,” click here.
To emphasize that black lives matter, people are supposed to say the names of those who have been lost. Bernell “Ras” Trammell did. But he can’t anymore – because he has joined the ranks of those lost. He was assassinated – perhaps because of his political beliefs.
And yet no one in the Black Lives Matter movement seems to want to say his name. Is it because it’s speculated that Trammell was murdered because of his outspoken support for President Donald Trump?
In an interview on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said the silence about Trammell’s murder is “just another example of how they jump to conclusions first and investigate later” on the left.
“The conclusion is that Mr. Trammell’s life doesn’t matter,” Horace suggested. “The conclusion is there isn’t ever any instance of any violence… brought upon because of their political views.”
So Trammell has become a statistic rather than a possible indicator of the lengths that leftist intolerance can go.
For decades, Trammell ran the political and religious eXpressions Journal from an office north of downtown Milwaukee. He was well-known for his support of Rastafarianism, Black Lives Matter and some liberal local politicians. But Trammell stood apart because he was also a strong proponent of President Trump. He sometimes stood outside his office on the sidewalk with a sign supporting the president. This kind of activism in that kind of neighborhood sometimes caused disruptions that, by their own accounts, social workers had trouble handling.
Trammell was sitting outside his office on July 23 when a man rode up on a bicycle and shot him dead. Then the man rode away. In this time of hypersensitivity to violence perpetrated against black Americans, this cold-blooded killing is being virtually ignored.
Why didn’t this black life matter enough to the media? Horace wanted to know:
We’ve got the vaunted 1619 Project – where we’re so interested and motivated by this idea that the race of America was its starting point… Why is there silence from the New York Times?
Horace also castigated left-wing political activists – including the Black Lives Matter movement – for “exploit[ing] people for political power and its own ambitions. Why aren’t they being called out? Why haven’t the media just raised some basic question?”
But it would seem that black conservatives and – in this case – black Trump supporters don’t really matter because they fall outside of the leftist agenda and narrative. Thus there’s an uncomfortable situation created in which the left just tries to forget them altogether. Horace explained:
This is a pattern we have seen since the 1800s, the 1900s and now in the 2000s – heading deep into the 21st century. Where is the understanding that free people, regardless of color, have the right to express themselves, to think what they want to think?
And where is the outrage that someone can be killed over this…?
Milwaukee police have photos of a suspect in Trammell’s murder, but are still without substantial leads.
Over three dozen conservative leaders – including National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof, Esq. – have sent a letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding that he explain why conservatives appear to be routinely censored by the company’s Google search engine.
Nothing that Pichai is scheduled to testify before Congress on July 29, the signers issue a stunning challenge in their letter:
Google deliberately censors conservatives. We dare you to deny that under oath.
Noting that the testimony is to be before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, the letter further proclaims:
It’s time for the federal government to consider antitrust solutions for companies like Google and the rest of the Big Tech industry that have grown too powerful and too irresponsible.
On July 21, it was discovered that many popular conservative websites were inaccessible from the Google search engine. The company blamed the problem on a “technical glitch,” which a former Google employee suggested could reveal an anti-conservative blacklist.
Signers to the letter say this incident is just the latest in a pattern of abuses that approach a level of censorship:
It’s the same old game. Censor conservatives, wait for someone else to call you out on it, then blame the algorithms or another technical problem for the censorship. Somehow you never manage to discover your own glitch. It’s always your victims who do.
And Google’s “approach to this scandal” shows “an utter lack of transparency” that is now “second nature to you and your organization.” The letter goes on to ask Pichai four relevant questions:
And it puts forward one rhetorical question:
How many more times will Google censor conservatives, and then lie about it before Congress has to take action against your company?
Besides Justin and Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell – who spearheaded the letter – other signers include conservative media executives including Will Chamberlain of Human Events, Craig Strazzeri of PragerU, Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com, Floyd Brown of The Western Journal, R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. of The American Spectator and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily as well as other conservative leaders.
Big Tech’s current exemption from scrutiny as a publisher of content, its obvious abuse of this benefit bestowed on it by the Communications Decency Act and a recent Trump Administration executive order challenging the exemption are addressed in the latest edition of National Center President David Ridenour’s “ScoopTV.”
To read the coalition’s letter to Alphabet’s Pichai in its entirety, click here.
A new rule proposed by the Trump Administration would require that “[f]inancial managers must maximize pension beneficiaries’ returns; they may not imperil those returns by investing on any other basis.”
Most people probably thought that this was already the professional duty of their investment advisors and pension fund managers. But there’s been a lot of market activity lately based less on profit and more on politicized environment, social and governance (ESG) goals. The new U.S. Department of Labor rule is important because it is aimed at “prevent[ing] financially risky advocacy for a social justice agenda on someone else’s dime.”
Project 21 and the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project have submitted separate public comments to the Federal Register supporting the proposed rule. Nedd’s commentary is largely taken from Project 21’s comment.
The Labor Department’s proposed rule applies to the work of private pension funds – something that Council calls a “best bet for black retirement security.” Unfortunately, “too many black Americans are financially unprepared to retire,” he says. For one thing, blacks have been called “bad savers” – some of this coming from “economic conditions, distrust of institutions and an overall lack of planning.”
That is why this rule is of vital importance, especially to black Americans:
[A]ny impediment to their ability to build retirement security that is identified and yet still allowed to continue unabated is a disservice to black lives.
That’s why the Trump Administration’s proposed rule clarifying the “investment duties” of certain pension plan managers matters. It addresses a clear and present financial danger in which too many fund managers are making investment decisions for the purpose of broader social justice goals rather than giving beneficiaries the best possible return on their investment.
This is specifically important to blacks since:
This is also important because “these pension plans may be the only guaranteed income available for their retirement outside of Social Security – of which full benefits are currently projected to run out there within the next 17 years.”
“But pensions can only help if they have proper stewardship,” Council concludes. “That’s the aim of the new Trump Administration rule.”
To read all of Council’s commentary – “Trump Pension Rule Will Benefit Black Americans” – at the Issues & Insights website, click here.
Is there anything to the leftist narrative that the White House is trying to start a race war?
Considering the efforts of this administration to try to lower the unemployment rate for all – and having been particularly effective in the black community up until the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic – an objective analysis would suggest not.
Yet Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, on a recent edition of the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” noted that the left is still trying to motivate people with horrific racial rhetoric because it is “all they have to offer” in making the case for their radical redesign of America.
Discussing the prolonged race-dominated rioting in American cities that has led to the vandalism of statues of people uninvolved in (or even against) slavery and racism, in addition to societal shifts occurring far from concerns about police conduct, guest host Lisa Boothe said she’s “starting to get the sense that this isn’t about the Confederacy or racism.”
With this in mind, and noting how liberal fringe politicians get pushback no matter how much they concede, Boothe asked Horace: “So why does the left try to appease the mob when they clearly cannot be appeased?”
Horace gave a shocking but very straightforward answer:
The left is the mob. That’s exactly the problem.
You see, this is not about the tragic death of George Floyd. This is about the cancel culture having an opportunity and taking the advantage.
Black Americans have not said – universally – that their big problem that they face every day is that they see an occasional Confederate statue or that there’s a military base named after a former Confederate general or leader.
What really matters in America – black, white or brown – are the kinds of things that the cancel culture could care less about.
Here’s the truth. After statues are taken down in the dark of night – without using the legislative process, without persuasion and discussion – people who are looking for jobs are still going to be looking for jobs. People who have struggles with poor education in their community are still going to have those.
The amazing, amazing thing about how the cancel culture is getting away with pushing its radical agenda and, in light of all of the scrutiny that America is saying that it wants to pay attention to, that these issues have moved front and center.
This is just a good example of them never letting an opportunity to do the radical thing go by.
Boothe played a clip from U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, who claimed that “Trump wants to instigate a race war.”
While fellow guest Steve Cortez, a talk radio host in Chicago, warned that this is a way to escalate tensions and justify a serious upgrade in leftist-inspired violence, Horace pointed out that the left cannot win on the merits of its policies. So it is using the specter of a “race war” to try to maintain political credibility. But this is tired rhetoric:
I just want to understand: Was Bull Connor trying to achieve a race war? What about Governor Orval Faubus? When the President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, was forced to send in a federal force to ensure that the rights of Americans were protected, is this what I’m hearing Bobby Rush say? Is this what I’m hearing the modern progressives say?
What is amazing to me is that the racial segregationists of the 18th century, the 19th century, the 20th century and even now – the 21st century… today’s modern liberal movement – all they have to offer is race itself.
A recent move by the U.S. Department of Labor is “something extraordinary.”
In a commentary for Breitbart News, National Center Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq. explains how “a proposed rulemaking striking at the heart of the big lie surrounding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing” is poised to help protect average investors from having their savings used for risky political action.
“Largely undefined, and heretofore largely unregulated,” he noted, “ESG investing is favored among left-wing activists seeking social and political change through corporate action.” And it’s being done with other peoples’ money without their knowledge.
This is incredibly important, Justin points out, and it makes Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia “one of the few remaining honest brokers in public life” because “[a]s the left’s cancel culture mob marches forward, their political ambitions might also end up canceling the retirement dreams of many Americans.”
“Labor is doing its part,” Justin assures readers, “to stem the tide.”
Describing this monumental change, Justin writes:
The proposed rule reminds private pension fund managers, who fall under the strictures of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), that they must act with a singular fiduciary focus – returns on investment for pensioners and beneficiaries.
While this may seem incredibly commonsense to even the most novice investor, it is unfortunately not quite understood or practiced in modern, politicized circles of institutional investors:
Ignoring financial risks, liberals push ESG goals because they’ve weaponized the tools for getting corporate America on their side in the culture wars. As such, they aren’t taking Labor’s proposal sitting down.
Justin picks apart in detail the left’s all-out attack on the proposed rule, noting that ESG advocates “admit their efforts are not only geared towards social change, but also for political gains.”
In reiterating how critical this proposed protection is, Justin remarks:
What Labor is doing is reminding pension managers that there is a place for politics and a place for sound investment decisions. When ESG investments put politics over profit, they are inappropriate.
Both FEP and the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network have submitted comments supporting the proposed Labor Department rule. The public comment period on Labor’s proposed rulemaking closes on July 30.
Click here to read Justin’s entire commentary at the Breitbart News website.
Something that’s not reported by the mainstream media is that black Americans – the alleged targets of violent, racist attacks by police officers – actually want to see more cops on the beat in their communities.
Contrary to what the left and a compliant media seem to want people to think, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper explains that “black Americans are as interested in law and order as the rest of the country, if not more so.”
In a Daily Signal commentary, Horace backs up his assertion using the results of a recent Rasmussen poll:
A staggering 67% of blacks say that the growing criticism of America’s police will lead to a shortage of police officers and reduce public safety in the community where they live. That’s a 3 percentage points higher fear level than the response of Americans overall.
The fact is that black communities suffer far more from under-policing violent crime than from over-policing.
Not only that, but Horace notes that “[w]hile black men are only 6.2% of the population, they make up more than 11% of all law enforcement officers nationwide.”
Horace argues that black Americans actually reject the rhetoric of elitist liberals who insist that police are largely bigoted and that “systemic racism” is the source of so many problems. Instead, he writes, very real safety concerns and the lack of an adequate police presence are hurting black communities and resulting in stronger black support for the police:
When the left strangles law enforcement, inner-city residents—black and white—are hit with a double whammy. They face high crime and limited economic opportunity. Salary and employment cuts at the police department also disproportionately negatively hit blacks as well.
Past judicial rulings have shockingly found that there is no constitutional right to police protection. That means, Horace warns, “if the police don’t show up, you’re on your own.” It also means “[l]ess funding for the police makes this situation worse, not better.”
This problem is compounded in cities such as Chicago, where the Trump Administration has offered to help fight the epidemic of criminal violence and has been rebuffed by liberal elected leaders. And it’s because of this that black Americans are becoming more interested in exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
When politicians fail black communities and seek to defund the police, as they are doing today, gun rights are “the first (and sometimes only) line of defense for black families against the epidemic of violence in their own neighborhoods committed overwhelming by people who look like them,” remarks Horace.
To read all of Horace’s commentary – “How Trump’s Law and Order Agenda is Making Black America Safer Again” – at the Daily Signal website, click here.
The Daily Signal is the news website of The Heritage Foundation.
Arguing that there needs to be a “more comprehensive view” of how to help struggling black Americans, Project 21 member Derryck Green said that “reject[ing] Black Lives Matter as a movement is not rejecting the idea that black lives matter.”
In a discussion with Will Witt on the PragerU website, Derryck said the police violence issue motivating recent riots and protests needs to be “properly addressed.” But he added:
I think there are a lot more pressing issues that should probably be prioritized above the issue of police brutality.
Black Lives Matter activists, he said, are too “narrowly focused” on the police. “Let’s look at the picture as a whole and see some of these issues we can directly address,” he added, listing some of the following as priorities:
Many of Derryck’s suggestions are found among the recommendations in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.”
But when it comes to pushing for these priorities to give black Americans a better deal, Derryck wasn’t optimistic about the motivations and tenacity of younger “woke” activists.
With so much activism focused on cancel culture, angry signs and preachy social media posts, Derryck said online activists are putting forth minimal effort:
It’s easy to put a black square on social media. But let’s force them to demonstrate that black lives actually matter by reducing government to allow blacks to thrive and develop and flourish…
Social media is a substitute for real activism. It’s really easy to post a black square. That means absolutely nothing.
Praising the gains achieved by the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s, and how those activists knowingly marched into trouble, Derryck was highly critical of today’s activists:
Thank God! If we were to depend on this generation for civil rights, we’d still be segregated. Because social media is a poor stand-in for actual activism.
White activists are trying to “separate themselves from the sin and stigma of racism” and are succumbing to a notion that they are afflicted by “white privilege,” said Derryck, calling their platform of affirmative action and Black Lives Matter a “ready-made vehicle that white people can glom onto and support to disprove their racism in advance.”
He told Witt, for example, that affirmative action hurts blacks because it suggests that they can’t succeed without government coercion. He said that this taints real achievement with skepticism. And kneeling is also considered patronizing. Derryck said:
You can kneel with your fellow black people if you’re going to engage in prayer, but… get out of this idea of this racial deference – like you’re going down to their level.
Because white groveling doesn’t solve the problem.
Asked if things in America are getting better or worse, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper told former Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka on his “America First” podcast that it’s “not an easy question to answer.”
While President Donald Trump has been correct about the intentions of radicals and the threats they pose, the ways in which they are dragging American culture to the political fringe of the left is a clear and present danger to the republic.
It’s not clear right now if these radicals can be stopped.
A particular problem is that the leftist mob wants to erase history. While doing so may make some fragile individuals feel better today, it threatens tomorrow by completely ignoring the value of learning from history – both our mistakes and successes.
“One of the ways we learn about our past and our future plans is to understand who we are as a people and what our history has been,” Horace explained. “When we erase that, you run the risk that you’re going to have to start over again.”
Directly addressing the idea that certain statues – such as those of Confederate military leaders – may be misdirected praise, Horace still opposed the mob’s demand that they be toppled. If it is absolutely necessary and popular to do so, Horace pointed out, there is a “lawful legitimate process” to do so instead of relying on ropes and spray paint.
Speaking to the issue of Civil War memorials and monuments, Horace noted that history shows how reconciliation was an important part of post-war reconstruction. He recounted how the United States defeated England, Germany and Japan in bloody, divisive wars, yet now counts those countries as allies after compassionate reconciliation processes.
This is what similarly happened with the reformed, post-war United States after “the war where more Americans lost their lives” than any other:
This idea that, after a civil war that cost us so much, the way that we should respond to that is to make sure we stomp on, that we step on and that we crush from now until eternity all vestiges of that idea, that concept and that existence [of the losing side] – that’s contrary to any notion of how reconciliation works after a war.
Despite the spirit of reconciliation that led to the creation of Confederate monuments and memorials – not a desire to make them “billboards for racism” – there is now a movement afoot to prolong violence throughout America until they are all gone.
“I’ve been waiting six weeks for that answer,” Gorka said. Pointing out his own career as a national security expert, he nonetheless said that this idea of reconciliation and its enduring importance “didn’t come t0 me.”
“But it came to this man,” Gorka said about Horace.
And now it doesn’t even seem that the removal of any and all Civil War remembrances will be the end of the left’s campaign for the erasure of American history. It’s not like this threat to statues wasn’t foreseen by President Trump, as Horace noted:
There is no limiting principle on what these radicals want to do when it comes to erasure.
They said it was about the Confederates… But the president warned us more than two years ago that they would just as likely be coming after George Washington, just as likely to be coming after Abraham Lincoln. And of course, what did the mainstream media say? Oh, you’re just trying to protect Confederates!
Well, it turns out the president was right. And there is no sign of any limit on what they want to erase. And that’s not good news.
This segment of Horace’s interview can be seen below. To see the other half of Horace’s interview with Sebastian Gorka, click here.