Accuracy in Media

Raising new concerns about another controversial Obama Administration official, testimony has surfaced from Mark Lloyd, the new Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in which he praises Paul Robeson, the communist actor and singer who was an apologist for Soviet dictator and mass murderer Joseph Stalin.

Lloyd, who worked as a broadcast journalist at NBC and CNN, has come under fire from Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck and Seton Motley of the Media Research Center for being openly critical of private media companies in the U.S. and Venezuela, where Lloyd believes that Marxist ruler Hugo Chavez is trying to implement a popular democracy.

At the FCC, Lloyd is in a position to try to influence and control media content by making statements and issuing directives on media “diversity” and fairness.

But 2005 testimony that Lloyd provided to a congressional forum headed by far-left Democratic Rep. John Conyers raises even more questions about his totalitarian mind-set and background.

Declaring that media bias “led to the persecution of Paul Robeson and the promotion of Joe McCarthy,” Lloyd tried to convey the impression that Robeson had been unfairly targeted by anti-communist congressional investigations, perhaps by Senator McCarthy himself, and that the media had been part of the process. The Lloyd testimony is available on video or in somewhat separate form as a prepared statement.

While Robeson deserved praise for his artistic talents, there is no excuse at this late date for ignorance about Robeson’s real record not only as a secret member of the Communist Party USA but as an apologist for communist tyranny. Lloyd’s comments suggest that he would have preferred that the media not make an issue of Robeson’s involvement in an international movement that has cost the lives of more than 100 million people. 

At a 2008 “media reform” conference sponsored by the George Soros-funded Free Press organization, Lloyd declared that the Marxist revolution in Venezuela under Chavez was “incredible” and “dramatic” but that the “property owners and the folks who were then controlling the media in Venezuela rebelled” against the would-be dictator and supported a coup against him. However, Lloyd said that Chavez wised up and “then started to take the media seriously…” 

The implication of these remarks is that Chavez dealt with his opponents in the media by trying to control or silence them, and that Lloyd supports that strategy when dealing with opponents of revolutionary Marxism here in the U.S.

Accuracy in Media, which published the book, The Death of Talk Radio?, has been warning for years that the liberal/left has a plan to silence conservative media voices.  Lloyd appears to be the point man in this scheme.  

The process has accelerated in Venezuela. Indeed, the National Press Club of the U.S. noted in an August 6 statement that it is “distressed by the Venezuelan government’s recent actions to intimidate and bully the country’s media. The government of Venezuela has taken a series of steps since July 31 that threaten to destroy press freedom. On July 31, the government revoked licenses for more than 30 private radio stations and a Venezuelan minister has said more than 200 other stations are under investigation. Venezuela’s attorney general recently proposed a ‘Special Law Against Media Crimes’ that would punish journalists who present a ‘false perception’ or ’cause a panic.’ Venezuela’s journalist association says the law will ‘criminalize journalism.'”

National Press Club President Donna Leinwand said that “These actions are designed to sow fear among journalists whose reporting challenges or criticizes the government. If the government persists, it will erode free expression. We call on the government of Venezuela to allow media organizations to operate unfettered.”

It is apparent that Chavez is using the government to force private companies out of the media business and restrict and investigate the remaining independent journalists. This is a process that apparently meets with the approval of “progressives” such as Mark Lloyd in the U.S.

Could this be their plan in the U.S. as well?

Beck, who has programs on television and radio, thinks so. He declared on Fox News that Lloyd will be “implementing the rules that will put people like me out of business.”

Lloyd’s comments on Robeson, an apologist for communist dictatorship, are just as worrisome as his defense of the emerging dictatorship in Venezuela.

Contrary to what Lloyd claimed, Robeson’s political problems actually began in 1948, two years before McCarthy emerged as a scourge of communists, when the revelation of State Department official Alger Hiss being a Soviet agent, as well as the communist coup in Czechoslovakia and the Berlin blockade, had “shattered many illusions about Stalin’s intentions,” as we pointed out in a 1976 AIM Report. Yet, Robeson continued to support Stalin and even accepted his “Peace Prize” in 1952. One year later Robeson delivered a tribute to Stalin entitled, “To You Beloved Comrade,” in which he said, “Glory to Stalin.”

The Communist Party USA was a Soviet-funded pawn of Moscow and supplied agents for intelligence activities against the U.S. Government and society.

Robeson was one of those black Americans who was manipulated and exploited by the communists in order to undermine the United States during the Cold War.

Robeson took the Fifth Amendment when testifying before congressional committees beginning in 1948. The CPUSA had advised its members to take the Fifth because witnesses had emerged who could support charges of perjury against those who testified falsely. Manning Johnson, a former top CPUSA official, had identified Robeson as a member of the party.

The CPUSA later admitted Robeson’s CPUSA membership by issuing a pamphlet about Robeson titled, “American Communist,” in which CPUSA chairman Gus Hall said that Robeson had been “a proud member of the Communist Party” and that communism “defined, guided and motivated his whole life…”

Rather than being a victim of the press, AIM demonstrated in an AIM Report article, “The Media Falsify Robeson’s Record,” that the major media glossed over his communist record when he died in 1976.

The interest by FCC official Mark Lloyd in Robeson is significant. Robeson was an associate of Frank Marshall Davis, another black Communist Party USA member who served as Barack Obama’s mentor when he was a child in Hawaii. Davis had called Robeson “the great one.”

During a trip to Hawaii, where Robeson was supposed to meet with labor leader Harry Bridges, another secret member of the CPUSA, an FBI internal security memorandum warned “of the possibility that the subject [Robeson] may be engaged in intelligence activities” and that his contacts with the CPUSA or “allied organizations” should be monitored.

Davis had been on the FBI’s security index, meaning that he was a potential threat to U.S. national security, and was himself reported to have engaged in espionage-type activities.

Lloyd’s use of Robeson in the context of alleged media bias demonstrates not only a failure to appreciate the facts of the case but a desire to see the media used in service to Marxist causes, in order to conceal the activities of communist agents.

Lloyd’s May 24, 2005, testimony came before Conyers, the “people’s congressman,” as a member of a left-wing panel entitled “Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press.” The members of the panel and their affiliations at the time were:

  • Al Franken, the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.
  • David Brock, founder of Media Matters.
  • Randi Rhodes, the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio.
  • Joe Madison, The Black Eagle Radio Show.
  • Justin Webb, Senior Washington Correspondent of BBC News.
  • Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
  • Steve Rendall, media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).
  • John Aravosis, America Blog.
  • Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

It is noteworthy that Lloyd has followed the same path to an Obama Administration job as communist Van Jones, now the “Green Jobs Czar” at the White House Office of Environmental Quality. Jones, too, had worked at the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress. 

Another bio for Lloyd says that “He has also served as a consultant to the Clinton White House, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Institute and the Smithsonian Institution.” The Open Society Institute is funded by billionaire George Soros.

Significantly, Lloyd’s official FCC bio notes that he was the General Counsel of the Benton Foundation. This is the group, as we noted in an AIM Report “The Plan for Government-Funded Socialist Media,” that “is spearheading efforts to get the federal ‘stimulus’ money into the hands of ‘progressive” groups and state and local governments.” 

It is apparent that Lloyd believes that new taxpayer-funded “public media” should replace private media companies that he believes have violated the public trust and which stand in the way of the Obama revolution.

“Our communication system supports a vibrant commercial media but ignores the needs of a government of the people,” he said. “The bias inherent in such a system promotes the agenda of corporations not citizens.”

He went on, “If we really want news we can trust, we must create a structure that makes it possible and we must pay for it. One way to do this is to require commercial media to pay full fare for their access to public resources and use that money to fully support public service media in the U.S.”

The appointment of Lloyd, who had also served as the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/ Education Fund, was announced on July 29 by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Like the Van Jones position, Lloyd was not subject to Senate confirmation.

However, Senator Charles Grassley sent an August 14 letter to Genachowski, questioning the appointment and Lloyd’s views.

Glenn Beck says that Lloyd, like Jones, is another example of how Obama is transforming America. He says Americans have to act to save their nation from a communist future.

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


Comments are turned off for this article.