NPR published a hit piece about Mercola.com and other vaccine safety advocates designed to disparage and discredit those who are speaking out against COVID propaganda
The line of questioning sent to Mercola.com for comment was not journalism, but rather aimed at spreading pharmaceutical propaganda
NPR has received $17.5 million in donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which were intended to target coverage of global health and education
Digital dictatorship is escalating, and people are increasingly being conditioned to think it’s not only necessary for “misinformation” to be removed but that it’s the obligation of these essential “information” carriers to do so
May 6, 2021, we received an email from Geoff Brumfiel, a senior editor and correspondent with NPR. According to NPR, “his reporting focuses on the intersection of science and national security,”1 but as soon as I read the subject line of the email — “The business of anti-vaccine propaganda” [sic] — it was clear that the line of questioning that would follow was not journalism but rather a PR piece for the pharmaceutical industry.
Indeed, Brumfiel’s email did not disappoint, nor did his resulting article, “For Some Anti-Vaccine Advocates, Misinformation Is Part of a Business.”2 True to form for NPR, the article presents a slanted view of vaccine safety advocates designed to disparage and discredit those who are speaking out against COVID propaganda.
Conveniently, Brumfiel included only one short segment from our emailed response to his questions, but neglected to mention NPR’s tight connections with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and the hundreds of articles NPR has released that are highly favorable toward the Gates Foundation and the work it funds.3
Brumfiel’s Slanderous Allegations
Brumfiel included only a short segment of our email exchange in his NPR article, which was that I reject his “biased accusation of promoting misinformation."4 This is true, but it helps to read it in context. The entire sentence was actually, “Dr. Mercola rejects your biased accusation of promoting misinformation, please provide your direct evidence to support your slanderous allegations.” Those allegations were made in Brumfiel’s email to us, which read:
“I’m a reporter with National Public Radio who’s working on a story about the business side of the antivaccine industry. The article describes how the current pandemic has provided an opportunity for people such as Dr. Mercola. By promoting misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines, they are able to expand their reach and potentially their customer base.”
Yet, NPR’s smear piece shows what a real misinformation campaign looks like. A true journalist would not ask loaded questions with no relevance to his stated topic and no explanation as to how those questions might fit into his topic the way Brumfiel did. Those questions were:
“1.Can you provide me with any details about the size of Dr. Mercola’s businesses? And have they grown during the pandemic? 2.How does he respond to critics who say that he is using misinformation about vaccines to turn people away from conventional medicine and towards his brands and products? 3.Is he worried about being deplatformed by social media companies? Would that pose a financial challenge to him?”
Since Brumfiel did not include our response in his article, here it is for you to read in its entirety:
“Dr. Mercola owns a small business that employs 135 people in Cape Coral, Fl. The pharmaceutical industry and the propagandists that fund your organization with multi-millions are making tens of billions of dollars through this pandemic — with complete indemnification.5
NPR serves an important role in pushing the pharmaceutical agenda to promote mandatory vaccination with the help of Bill Gates’ funding. You are defending the world’s most powerful and corrupt industry, while attacking a small business that has been fighting against them and claiming concerns about the size and growth of Dr. Mercola’s business.
The pharmaceutical industry is the world’s most powerful industry, and Bill Gates is one of the world’s most powerful people.6,7,8 Standing up for what is right and defending free speech is more important than complying with any mass media campaign attacks or social media’s political agendas. Your line of questioning is not journalism, it’s just part of political bias and pharmaceutical propaganda.”
Gates Foundation Gave $17.5 Million to NPR
Mainstream media is increasingly being bought off by organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and as a result, the bought-and-paid-for press will only publish articles in their favor.
Writing in Columbia Journalism Review, Tim Schwab examined the recipients of nearly 20,000 Gates Foundation grants, finding more than $250 million had been given to major media companies, including BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian and the Center for Investigative Reporting.9
Ironically, “The foundation even helped fund a 2016 report10 from the American Press Institute that was used to develop guidelines11 on how newsrooms can maintain editorial independence from philanthropic funders,” Schwab writes, adding, “Gates’s generosity appears to have helped foster an increasingly friendly media environment for the world’s most visible charity.”
And Gates’ donations come with strings attached. Those given to NPR were intended to target coverage of global health and education:12
“When Gates gives money to newsrooms, it restricts how the money is used — often for topics, like global health and education, on which the foundation works — which can help elevate its agenda in the news media.
For example, in 2015 Gates gave $383,000 to the Poynter Institute, a widely-cited authority on journalism ethics … earmarking the funds ‘to improve the accuracy in worldwide media of claims related to global health and development.’ Poynter senior vice president Kelly McBride said Gates’s money was passed on to media fact-checking sites ...
Since 2000, the Gates Foundation has given NPR $17.5 million through 10 charitable grants — all of them earmarked for coverage of global health and education, specific issues on which Gates works …
Even when NPR publishes critical reporting on Gates, it can feel scripted. In February 2018, NPR ran a story headlined ‘Bill Gates Addresses ‘Tough Questions’ on Poverty and Power.’ The ‘tough questions’ NPR posed in this Q&A were mostly based on a list curated by Gates himself, which he previously answered in a letter posted to his foundation’s website.”