Accuracy in Media

When the number two man at the U.N., Mark Malloch Brown, complained about Fox News being one of the “loudest detractors” of the world body, he was referring mostly to Eric Shawn, the Fox News correspondent who covers the U.N. and just published his book, The U.N. Exposed. In fact, Shawn is a moderate fellow who has called for reform, not abolition, of the U.N. Even U.N. boss Kofi Annan claims he supports U.N. “reform.” But Malloch Brown may also have been referring to the Fox News Dayside program running an interview on May 31 with Sally McNamara of the American Legislative Exchange Council. She discussed a global IRS and U.N. international taxation schemes-topics that the U.N. and the major media are careful not to talk about. The U.N. knows that the American people, whose nation was born in a tax revolt, might not take kindly to the idea of U.N. bureaucrats taxing them.

The McNamara column, available at, said that “In spite of some pretty torrid scandals in recent years, the United Nations (U.N.) is far from finished. In fact, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the U.N., is leading the gambit for perhaps its biggest power-grab yet-independent tax-raising powers or globo-taxation.

In fact, the U.N. is deeply committed to establishing this ‘sovereign’ power for itself-independent of the scrutiny and direction of its large aid donors (namely the United States).”

Putting McNamara on the air to talk about this scheme was very bad news for the U.N., which depends on a stable of compliant reporters in the U.N. Correspondents Association to keep such matters out of the public debate.

Malloch Brown’s controversial remarks were that, “?on a very wide number of areas, from Lebanon and Afghanistan to Syria, Iran and the Palestinian issue, the U.S. is constructively engaged with the UN. But that is not well known or understood, in part because much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. That is what I mean by ‘stealth’ diplomacy: the UN’s role is in effect a secret in Middle America even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world.”

Malloch Brown was saying that Limbaugh and Fox News were so powerful that they have dominated the public debate in the “heartland” of America and have kept the good news about the world body from seeping out. That is, of course, complete nonsense. Fox News reaches a couple million people and Limbaugh reaches several million more. But the major national newspapers in the U.S. and the broadcasting networks reach millions more than that.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. understood that Malloch Brown was really commenting not so much on the influence of Limbaugh and Fox News but on the intelligence of the American people, who rely on Fox News and conservative talk-radio for information that is not generally available through the so-called mainstream media.

That is why Frist issued a statement blasting Malloch Brown. Frist declared, “I was deeply disappointed to hear of Mr. Malloch Brown’s remarks today. His statements about the United States Government and the American people were unfairly critical and completely inaccurate. For a senior official at the United Nation to criticize the United States and cast aspersions on the intelligence of the American people is unacceptable. I call on Mr. Malloch Brown and Secretary-General Kofi Annan to publicly repudiate these condescending remarks.”

Needless to say, Annan didn’t disavow his deputy’s remarks, even after U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton denounced them. Fox reporter Eric Shawn, to his credit, was back on the air after these remarks were made, noting the curious sponsors of the event where Malloch Brown had spoken. That’s a big story, too.

More on that in our next commentary.

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