Robert Scheer SI Podcast

Why is The New York Times Burning Peace Activist Jodie Evans at the Stake?

The New York Times have targeted Code Pink’s Jodie Evans in a smear piece claiming she and her husband are agents of China.
Jodie Evans, Co-Founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, 2009. CODEPINK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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The New York Times has revealed what the future could potentially look like in an impending war with China. Through conjecture and innuendo-filled reporting, America’s “paper of record” went out of its way to attack one of the country’s most fierce peace movement fighters — Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans.

Evans joins host Robert Scheer on this episode of Scheer Intelligence to discuss what Scheer called “one of the most vicious articles I’ve ever read in a mainstream publication.” While The Times attempted to tie Evans and her husband to the Chinese government, Evans points out the bigger picture in what the piece represents: the vilification of anything or anyone having to do with China.

She points out how her familiarity with the country allowed her to bring it up in conversation but in the last few years, any sort of discussion, debate or otherwise normal discourse has turned sour. This is all part of an effort, Evans said, to manufacture consent for a war with China. This has not only affected her but thousands of Chinese American people as well.

“Americans are being dumbed down by this propaganda. And it has an intention. It is a part of this war. [A]nybody that gets in our way, we’re going to destroy them and we are going to continue this drive to go to war on China, to demonize China,” Evans said.

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Robert Scheer


Joshua Scheer


Diego Ramos


This transcript was produced by an automated transcription service. Please refer to the audio interview to ensure accuracy. 

Robert Scheer Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, and where I always say the intelligence goes to my guests. In this case it’s Jodie Evans, who I have known for, I don’t know, half a century or something like that. But there’s a particular reason why I wanted to talk to Jodie, now. Jodie is known best, really, as one of the co-founders, along with Medea Benjamin, of Code Pink, which has been an activist organization pushing for peace and the many demonstrations at Democratic and Republican conventions. I think the first time I met you, Jodie, you were working for Jerry at Brown, and I think you ran his campaign when he ran for president. 

Jodie Evans In 1974, when I think you all moved up to Sacramento when we all did. 

Scheer Yeah and I also went on the campaign writing about him and so forth. And so it’s interesting because we’re here and the specific reason is you and your husband or you through your husband, have been subject to, I would say, one of the most vicious articles I’ve ever read in a mainstream publication done by I believe four reporters or what have you. I have the article here, I could refer to it. And I don’t know whether this is a sign of a new McCarthyism or just the demise of tradition… But the headline is “A Global Web of Chinese Propaganda Leads to a US Tech Mogul,” that’s your husband. And then through him to you and to Code Pink and so forth. And you are accused since The Times unraveled a financial network that stretches from Chicago to Shanghai and uses American nonprofits to push Chinese talking points world wide. Now, I’ve known you for a long time. In fact, just before we were going to do this podcast, I got a call from a longtime Democratic state chairman, John Burton. His brother Phil Burton, was another, they were both congressmen from California responsible for a lot of important legislation and so forth. And John Burton knows everything about everyone.

And so I said, oh, I’m going to be talking to Jodie Evans. He said, “Oh, God, give her my regards.” And [he said] “what are you talking about?” And I said, Well, she got into some controversy because of her husband. He says, Oh yeah, which one? And so, first of all, I guess The New York Times doesn’t have such great power because John Burton didn’t know that you had been criticized and he seemed to think it was absurd that any husband or anybody for that matter could get you to do anything you should be held accountable for, you know, or get credit for who you are. But I do think that would be a common understanding among particularly people here in California who’ve seen you at work, knowing you and so forth. So I’ve seen you in different incarnations and so forth. And that was my first reaction to this story, what did Jodie do? Why is Code Pink being attacked? What is this? You know, and yes, she has this husband, he seems like an interesting guy. I’ve met him a couple of times. He well, he did strike me as to the left of Jodie, but it never occurred to me that anybody would say, you get your politics from the man you are married to. I thought that was really a kind of odd thing. So what’s this all about? 

Evans Oh, that’s a good question, Bob. That’s a really good question. What is this all about? Because it can’t be about a rich man who sells his company and uses and gives his money to organizations around the world that share his values. I mean, isn’t that what Soros does? Isn’t that what, you know, most rich people who sell their companies, if they’re, you know, good enough to share the wealth, spread it amongst those people who have their values. So that can’t be the story. Right? Also, you know, Roy’s in China working on agricultural issues. 

Scheer Give us his name because I know him as Roy, but Neville Roy… 

Evans Neville Roy Singham is his name even at birth, yes. 

Scheer And he had a software company, I think, in Chicago or something. 

Evans ThoughtWorks that he sold after we were married.

Scheer And sold it for a lot of money. Yeah, just stop right there. Is the question then what he does with his money… Because there’s an implication in this article that somehow people like you and others on the left are now being funded by Chinese communists or the government, right, through Roy. And it’s kind of a weird, poorly constructed article because…

Evans There’s nothing behind it, because there were actually 11 reporters and it took about 11 weeks. And when we got the questions, they were definitely written like by the CIA or the State Department. They weren’t journalists’ questions. They were accusatory comments that misrepresented us from the start. So it was clearly, you know, driven by some kind of we’re going to be propaganda against Code Pink in the work they do against some of the other organizations and the work they do. All of us, I mean, like Vijay Prashad. Somebody is going to tell Vijay Prashad what to think? Or me? Anyone who knows me knows, you know, no one, including my husband, are going to… 

Scheer But let’s get to that first point, because the innuendo here and there’s a contradiction in this story running right through it,is it this rich guy, you know, I mean, like an Elon Musk, not that rich, but still, we have a lot of rich people. Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post. Pharmaceutical billionaire, owns The L.A. Times, sort of the norm. Now, your husband sold his business for a lot of money, Right? And it’s presumably a business that he made, right? 

Evans Correct. 

Scheer Yeah, okay. And so I couldn’t get from the article, and have I’ve re-read it now a bunch of times. There’s no specific allegation in there that this is Chinese money. 

Evans No, it’s not. 

Scheer He shares an office in Shanghai with someone else, some other group, right? That he’s… 

Evans So it’s all innuendo, it’s all… 

Scheer So let’s be clear about that. When they called you and did this story, did they ask whether this is in fact a foreign government’s money? 

Evans Yeah, we, both my husband and I responded to them. I believe our sentences are in the article also that no, neither of us takes money from any foreign government or represents any foreign government. We both sent statements to the New York Times to that effect. I mean, so let’s just, you know, unpack this because what’s important is that this is, in a way, a new McCarthyism. It isn’t the McCarthyism of 1947 where the minds of people in power were locked in. And it was also, I think, a global anti-communist lock that was driving what that embarrassing moment in history was. But just like what we do at Code Pink, this is who Code Pink is. We see what’s happening in the Bush administration, the color coded alerts, orange, red and yellow. Frightening the American people into agreeing to a war in Iraq. So we call Code Pink. We’re ahead of the curve. We’re speaking out before anyone really sees that these are lies and it’s driving war on an innocent country. Well, I got back from China like three and a half years ago and saw all this hate on China and said, what happened?

Because I’ve been going to China and telling people how great it was and what I saw. And people were like, Oh, that’s so cool, that’s so cool. And all of a sudden, oh my God, you can’t love China. And I’m just like, Wait, what just happened? And so as I started to dig in, I saw the same propaganda going across all the mainstream media that repeated itself, that sounded like State Department talking points. They were all coming from the State Department, the NED, you know, all state funded organizations. And I went, Oh, here we are. we’re pre-Iraq war all over again. Here is the pattern that took us to war on Vietnam, on Afghanistan, on Iraq, on, you know. So here we are. It’s the same playbook the State Department and the military use every time. Let’s manufacture hate against the country so we can get the people of the United States to fund the weapons and the war. It was very clear to me. I didn’t need anyone to say anything to me. Actually, my husband was way behind me because he’s not in the U.S. I’m noticing and saying, Oh my God, there’s going to be a war in China. And how crazy is that? That would mean they actually think they can win a nuclear war. It took me two years into this campaign.

China’s not our enemy to find out that Robert Kagan has actually convinced the people in Washington that they can win a nuclear war and that’s why they are taking on Russia and China simultaneously. There is a war on China. It’s sanctions, it’s cut back, there is a constant heat on China that we see in these last three and a half, four years. And what I point out is that that war already has casualties. And they’re Asian Americans, that those casualties are already happening. And I used to talk about this a few years ago, but just recently a report has come out, a study that did a study for the last 12 months that three in four Chinese-Americans report hate and violence. Three in four Chinese-Americans. So I also talk to a lot of young Chinese-Americans that are just being made conscious by this hate, like how I love my country, America, but I’m Chinese culturally and they’re having horrific moments of self-identity. And, you know, I just talked to one the other day, a young woman who talks about how frightened she is even to leave her home and that, you know, what’s even worse is that she’s proud of what’s been happening in China. She’s proud that China could take everyone out of poverty. She’s proud about some of the things that are happening that relate to what China’s been able to do on climate change. And she says she can’t talk about it. 

Scheer I understand what you’re saying. There’s something more insidious and indeed stupid involved in this is The New York Times. You know, we’re supposed to respect the old New York Times and so forth. And there’s something really dangerous that The New York Times of old I don’t think would have condoned. And what is being suggested here is that any different view of China, pro-critical or what have you, is inherently at the service of another power and not to be respected. And the odd thing is, you know, after all, Henry Kissinger was just over there, over a century old, reaffirming what he and Richard Nixon believed, right, oh gosh, how many years ago is it now that 50 years ago or whatever. And this was the old China. This was not China after capitalism. This was not China that has embraced private companies and international trade and everything, you know, Mao’s China. In fact, your husband is accused of being a Maoist. Well, Richard Nixon met with Mao, Henry Kissinger met with Mao, Mao Zedong, the old communist, the revolutionary, permanent revolution, everything. And one of the crimes of the Chinese right now, the old Mao didn’t end up getting along with the Russian communists, didn’t really, you know, had his own issues with kind of communists everywhere. And the fact is, one of the things we’re angry about with China right now is they’re getting along with this anti-communist in Russia, Vladimir Putin. He’s the guy who defeated the Communist Party in Russia after Gorbachev.

He was allied with Yeltsin. He’s the guy that the Americans supported. You know, this is a better way to go. Don’t give Gorbachev a shot. And so we’re in a world where the anti-communism of McCarthy is so absurd. You just had the BRICS meeting where India and China, which are supposed to be enemies, South Africa, Brazil, right, Russia have now opened up the BRIC membership to Saudi Arabia. Right. To, you know, a number of other countries, I think eight others, United Arab Emirates and so forth. And so somehow anti-communism has asserted itself. And I want to ask you specifically, but before too much goes on, about your own thinking about China. I don’t want you to speak for your husband’s, but I want to be clear. The article is really, I think, slanderous on its face, because you can have bad views or wrong views or whatever the real innuendo here is you’re working for a foreign government. You should be registered as such, and therefore you’re breaking the law and you probably should be thrown in the slammer. That’s vicious stuff. And that’s what we’re really talking about making you a non-person, destroying you. And then you have to prove no, I’m this kid from Nevada. My father was in the military. I’m a wonderful human being. I wouldn’t do that. My husband’s really nice guy. Anyway, he doesn’t control me. But that’s garbage.

The fact of the matter is, you’re entitled to have any view on China, and so is your husband, that you want to have. The innuendo of this article, because they don’t have any facts to prove it, is that your husband is actually not using his own money; the implication is he’s getting it from this foreign government. And then anybody who has anything to say about China is probably an enemy or duped in some fund, which of course, would apply to Henry Kissinger right now and would have applied to Richard Nixon, who, by the way, I interviewed after he was president rather extensively and all this and Richard Nixon proudly took credit for having advocated opening to China before he was president. He actually even wrote an article about that as a yes, you can do business with them. And in fact, the main reason the Cold War ended was because we saw that you could do business with even communist governments. In fact the irony right now, I can’t resist pointing this out after we killed millions of people, including 59,000 Americans stopping communism in Vietnam because it was supposed to be an extension of Chinese communism, the fact is now we want Apple to take this manufacturing to Vietnam, certainly no less a communist country than China.

So what we’re in is like an insane Orwellian world. And what is so disappointing about The New York Times, instead of analyzing this is some serious way they got into a red baiting that I dare say would have made McCarthy embarrassed. McCarthy was actually was looking for real communists, he claimed. You know, they believe in the Communist manifesto, and Marx and so forth and that’s not here. It’s just, you know, must be the enemy. And if you read any of their articles, one of your husband’s crimes is, I can’t even remember the name of the group, but there’s a group that publishes articles from China, and somehow spreading that. Well, I have a website. I print some articles out of their magazine. They’re interesting. They tell me what’s going on in China. I read the South China Morning Post every morning and get articles. How else do you learn about a place? Happens to be owned by a private company, Alibaba, but clearly can function there. So I think we’re in a mindlessness now that is so dangerous because it really gets in the way of doing what Nixon did. How do you talk to people with whom you have disagreements? 

Evans Exactly what not only Nixon did, but also what John F Kennedy did. You know, it’s like so, you know, we’re also at a brink of… We’re talking about nuclear weapons here and what is needed for the planet, what is needed for the people is cooperation and diplomacy, not more war, not more weapons and not taking us to where mistakes can be made. So, yes, this is a very serious moment, but I just want to go back to something you started to say, which is like you’re shocked at The New York Times. But Bob, I want to remind you, it is The New York Times that drove the war on Iraq, an illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, violent war that the cost of war and Brown University just came out and said 4.2 million people have died. So they have blood on their hands.

They’re totally unaccountable to what they say and what what they say does. So, you know, there is a bully in the room. They are The New York Times, but there is no accountability with this. So, I mean, just the one little sentence they have in there for me, I was doing a report back from my recent trip in China where I started out the report saying, I know nothing about the Chinese government, I know nothing about the Chinese Communist Party. I am reporting back as an individual on a trip to China about my trip to China. And I’m not going to talk about anything else because I don’t know about anything else. And Medea asked me a question at the end of my report back. What didn’t you like about China? And I talked about the one thing I didn’t like, which was I was kind of starving because you can’t change money easily. And they put that in the article like it was about China. 

Scheer To show somehow your concerns are only petty and convenience. And of course, one of the things I got in a big news flash today from The New York Times that I still subscribed to was the wonders of the bidet in your bathroom. And they do their investigative story in their consumer thing about why everyone needs a bad day and what’s the best bidet and so forth. So, you know, if you made some light remark about traveling, then that would dismiss you. But they can, you know, be into this full time. But for people who listen to this, don’t remember and unfortunately, we have we have… 

Evans Done. 

Scheer It’s okay. But really, when you mentioned the Iraq War, you know, and you know, there’s this whole thing. Old media was to be trusted, new media and the Internet is terrible. It’s all fake news. Fake news just comes from Donald Trump. It just comes from these people. The fact of the matter is and you point your finger at it, The New York Times, and I don’t know if their story had substance, by the way, I think that would still be irrelevant. If there are points in the story that are real, they should be addressed and we’ll get back to that. But the irony here is that The New York Times has never in any serious way taken responsibility for being probably the certainly the major non-governmental source of pushing us into war based on total lies. And, you know, and the Judy Miller stuff and everything else of people who don’t know that The New York Times pushed that story about weapons of mass destruction very aggressively. But what is disturbing here, and you mentioned that you can’t do anything about climate change, for example, without cooperation. China has to cooperate with… China happens to be, by the way, the major producer of solar panels and everything else, probably 80%. China is actually the major producer of electric cars. Okay.

This is not excuse anybody’s human rights violations, individual freedom violations and so forth. But the fact of the matter is, and this is what Nixon understood when he went to China, you do need the cooperation, including Saudi Arabia, including Russia, including all of these different countries. Whatever their differences, you need their cooperation if you’re going to stop destroying the planet at this rate. You know, and that certainly means that a country of the huge population like China it has to be part of that effort. And instead, we’re now in this situation. We’re getting people and this goes to the essential work of Code Pink, which this article really aimed at destroying your organization. And you’re one of the few peace movement organizations left. And the fact of the matter is we’re in the business now of trying to get all these countries of Western Europe and everywhere to have more armaments, devote even more to the military budget. And, you know, we’ve taken our mind completely off, except when there was a terrible hurricane or a disaster, you know, of the issue of how to make this a saner world and have some essential unity.

So I don’t see this new I would urge people to read it, Google it, read it for yourself. You know, just so we’re clear, it’s a global web of Chinese propaganda leads to a U.S. tech mogul. Now, on that headline, I teach in a university, and sometimes I have journalism students. Wouldn’t you say that headline would say that the Chinese propaganda machine, the government leads to her husband. Right. There’s the picture see, Jodie. And oh, I lost the picture again. Anyway, I can’t read it, but I have it on my iPad. But, you know, leads to him. But the fact of the matter is, there’s no evidence in this article that your husband is disbursing Chinese government funds. So what are the facts about this? When these reporters asked you? 

Evans It’s all innuendo and propaganda meant to hurt and meant to hurt others. I just have to say it’s meant to hurt those that are standing for peace. I mean, look, this goes to like one of the crux of the piece of the article and the propaganda we talk about it. Code Pink defends the right of leakers in China to live free and fruitful lives. I mean, the Chinese government violation of their human rights is an enormous concern to us and we join in the call for justice for them. But at the same time, we’re calling out the US government for using them as a tool to drive war on China. 

Scheer But in the article there was something like how to… 

Evans …address their human rights. But human rights are the first casualty. The first casualty of war is the truth, and the second are human rights. And so our work is peace activists is not to let others be used as tools for war. And that’s what this is. The campaign has always been about the propaganda and hate that is being derived, driven against China, that it affects people, it affects human beings. And you know, what I would say is when I was in China and I asked people what they thought about this US war that’s being driven on China. Do you know what everyone’s concern was for? The United States. I even had a Frenchman say to me, I’m sorry, I know you for the U.S. but my concern is for the U.S. and the people. It’s like they’re not, as they might find, the Chinese-Americans or the Asian Americans or just the Asians, I just had a conversation with a woman from Japan, the people in Okinawa, the people in Guam, the people in Malaysia. This is where it goes wrong. It’s like you get to attack and be violent with no concern for who you’re hurting. And I don’t care about me. I’m a peace activist. I get hate all day long. But this is what’s happening in this campaign that is driving hate. And therefore, war on China is it affects a lot of people on the way. And there’s no one being held accountable for that violence.

Scheer Okay. I just want to cut to the chase, because what you’re doing is sort of playing into that shoot the messenger hands. It really is immaterial what you think about China. I mean, one can debate you, can challenge you. I’ve had arguments with your husband. I don’t know him well. I’ve met him a few times, you know, and I disagree with him and I tell him to his face and so forth. I don’t recall a moment where I disagreed with you. Generally, you’ve been a very strong human rights and not that your husband isn’t, but you know that you’ve been a strong human rights activist. And, you know, for instance, the issues that concern me about China are pretty far ranging. But first and foremost, from my own perspective, is the right of workers in a Foxconn plant assembling an iPhone, to be in a union and to have rights and to have rights to vacation, the rights to speak out and so forth, and challenge the conditions and so forth and a press that could support that and a public process that could debate that. There are a lot of, you know, real questions, you know, and I’ve never known you to pull back on it, but even if you did, the real question in this New York Times article is that the work that you are doing and you are connected with one of the companies that disburses funds. So that’s how they get you hooked in. The clear push of this article is to leave a reader convinced that your husband and you through your husband are paid employees of the Chinese government, are using Chinese government funds are under the direction of a foreign government. So this is not about whether Jodie Evans is right or wrong about foreign policy or domestic or anything else. You know, you have the right to be wrong and I don’t think you are.

And by the way, I should point out you were married to another very wealthy person, Max Pavlovsky, who has got a lot of his money from the beginning of the Internet computer world. And Max ended up on Nixon’s enemies list, even though he was a serious capitalist, serial capitalist. So I really want to separate that. I’ll vouch for Jodie Evans. You’re a great person. You’ve done great work in your life and so forth. But and as John Burton was saying with that little joke, which husband is she supposed to listen to? And he wasn’t a husband of yours, but you worked for Jerry Brown. And even when you’re working for him, I remember you being quite critical when Jerry didn’t speak out on this way or that way. So, sure, anybody who knows you knows you’re an independent force and you don’t have to be talking to me and say, Hey, I’m not a Chinese agent. The fact of the matter is, it’s The New York Times, it has to be grilled. You know, why did they run this huge article at a time when people should know we need more debate about China. You don’t want to just march, although they can’t make this trip and they’re threatening our national security there.

And meanwhile, China is making all these agreements everywhere in Africa, you know, throughout Asia and everywhere, getting along with a lot of people. We have to understand them. And so what this article did, it’s really a repudiation of the pretense, the conceit of mainstream journalism. It’s just I mean, shocking is absolutely shocking. So I don’t want to fall into the trap of now being the inquisitor who challenges Jodie Evans any more that I get to have, you know, Nancy Pelosi come here and why did you have to bring up Taiwan and go visit Taiwan. Because after all that was settled by Nixon and Kissinger, why are we now trying to get China and Taiwan along with fact, China is Taiwan’s major trading partner and the basis of their whole prosperity are sales there and so forth. So there’s a lot of nuttiness, and I don’t want to fall into that trap. I want to be very clear, you know, is the work that you do with Code Pink is that finance from the Chinese government? 

Evans No, of course not. I don’t know anybody in the Chinese government. 

Scheer Well, but I mean, it’s a serious question, because if it isn’t. 

Evans It’s a ridiculous question. 

Scheer It is. And I know it’s hard to sue because your public people. 

Evans We have 30,000 donors that care about peace. And by the way, peace is the least funded thing from foundations. It doesn’t even register. So no one funds peace. And even to, like, be concerned that my husband would give me, but by the way, you know, even before we were married, that, you know, somebody that loves you would support your work. Of course, my husband supports my work and he’s supported Code Pink since I think, 2014 when he first met us.

Scheer We don’t I don’t want to fall into that trap, Jodie, because I’m not, you know, you know, it’s politics. Bill Gates has politics. And the real issue here is not your past, your politics, or your husband’s. The real issue here of that New York Times story. And I want to be very clear about this because I think, full disclosure, I found it to be the most one of the most reprehensible things I’ve seen done in mainstream media, because they were just piling on of innuendo and and and suggesting somebody is a foreign agent operating at the service of a foreign power. First of all, was a denial of the politics of China. You know, as if you could hurl this word, the guy’s a Maoist. Well, wait a minute. We’ve had Chinese leader after Chinese leader moved as far as they can from Mao. You know, you see, you guys are now is he’s likely to be a dissident, you know, and you have been around some Chinese dissidents, Right. You’ve been active on human rights questions and so forth. So the trivialization of China and what the issues are, by bringing up something that Henry Kissinger not only now knows was absurd, but knew what is absurd when he met with Mao. I have to remind people, because we have no sense of history, but it was Richard Nixon, not Jodie Evans’ husband.

It was Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger who met with Mao at a time when we were killing or fighting communists in Vietnam and continued to do that. They met with them and said, Hey, we can do business, we can live in the world. They should hold their seat in the U.N. They should be welcomed to nation. And if you want to change that policy, be honest about it. What the New York Times did with this story is they don’t want to change that policy. They’re not telling Apple, you can’t be in China. They’re not saying, you know, American companies shouldn’t be in China. They would think that was retrograde. They’re saying that someone active and I would say not just active. I think you’ve been one of the major individuals in this country keeping the sensibility of the peace movement going. There are very few people doing that. So they’re picked on somebody I consider to be doing really important work, which there’s very little, you know, official support.

And they use this as an occasion to destroy you. That’s what they did. This is not, let’s not cut to the chase. We’re friendly. We talk about it and everything. But here, all people in the name of journalism and the tradition of journalism and begging everybody, you know, to support this kind of journalism. And they did something that would have been embarrassing, really embarrassing to Joe McCarthy in his eyes. That’s what I find startling. Now, what what am I missing here? Because, you know, somebody might listen to this and then I want people to go read the article. What did they come up with? Anything? 

Evans But Bob, it’s clearly part of the game that I’ve been working against for the last three and a half years. They want the U.S. citizenry to hate China, to create China as an enemy and to give more of their tax dollars to more weapons so that the U.S. can go to war on China. I mean, they’re already at war in many ways, the hybrid wars of sanctions. But the propaganda is no different than the propaganda that drove us to war on Iraq. It’s lies that keep getting repeated and repeated and repeated that don’t allow people to think critically, that don’t give them full information that informs them. It distorts thinking. This bifurcated thinking is not good for any American mind. Americans are being dumbed down by this propaganda. And it has an intention. It is a part of this war.

It is like, let’s just keep anybody that gets in our way. We’re going to destroy them and we are going to continue this drive to go to war in China to demonize China. And it’s a country of 1.4 billion people. We’re a country of 330 million or something like that. And it’s, you know, instead of complex thinking like you’re having, you know, the complexity of horrible things and things that are trying to save the planet, the complexity of taking care of its own people, and, you know, the United States taking its treasure and using it for war and weapons. I mean, there’s lots of complexity in this where people should literally be thinking because a lot of thought necessary in this moment of time, in this moment in history. But this shuts down thinking, it shuts down the conversation, it shuts down the debate. So what was its intention? 

Scheer We’re going to have to wrap this up. But I want to say, because people are listening to this, they’re going to say, wait a minute. No, The New York Times, they’re not really the military industrial complex. And they’ve raised questions from time to time, so forth. And, you know, and even myself here, I’m saying, well, wait a minute, what The New York Times at times has said sensible things about going to war. Yes. I mean, they did support first of all, they supported the war in Vietnam for a long time. And then their own reporters expose it sometimes courageously and risk their jobs. But, you know, a lot of people listening to this, you know, on NPR stations, we’re sort of given you know, I still subscribe to The New York Times, I still quote it and so forth, you know, And so reading this article, I was really startled. Why would any establishment paper in this country want to have war with China? I mean, first of all, Tim Cook and others have told us this is crazy. I mean, you know, Elon Musk he’s making Tesla’s in China. You know, you can’t get the batteries without China. This whole thing is we went through the pandemic, kept alive by China. And so now, mind you and I, you know, I know in the past you’ve been very critical of Chinese violations of human rights and so forth. But I don’t want to fall into that trap.

I don’t have to defend your patriotism. Your life has been shown your patriotism. So that and you shouldn’t you know, this is all garbage. When’s the last time I beat my wife or something, this garbage argument? But I want to make it clear an establishment view. And even Trump has said this from time to time. We have to get along with these other countries. I assume that’s what Biden meant when he did the fist bump in Saudi Arabia with the man who’s accused of killing an American reporter, dismembering his body. We still have to negotiate. We still have to talk. We still have to figure things out. And why you want to poison the atmosphere by this kind of red baiting so that any time you put up an article that suggests something different by China, your patriotism is going to be challenged. And I do want to say I don’t see it as some grand commitment of The New York Times to madness. I see it as this descent into madness, sometimes to sell newspapers, sometimes to avenge what Putin did to the Democratic Party or, you know, careers and so forth. But when I read that story and I thought about why would The New York Times do this? It’s not the first time. And there is something about China and the rise of China and racism. There is something about suspicion of the Orient and the Chinese, after all. You couldn’t be in this country until the Second World War and a Chinese word and be able to marry a non Chinese or by a white person. So where racism continued until ’43 and hostility towards China even when they were our ally. But I want to close by by saying, for people who think we’ve been a little bit hard, first of all, read the article, read the article, and you tell me whether that can be justified as journalism. Okay. It’s available. But I remember when I was working at the L.A. Times, The New York Times went into a crusade against a physicist at Los Alamos where the nuclear weapons had been developed, Wen Ho Lee.

And this guy wasn’t even from mainland China. He was from Taiwan. And The New York Times went into a crusade saying this guy is a spy. You know, for some foreign government, the implication being China and nuclear secrets are being stolen and they’re being used in China. And this is before the great warm period of China where, you know, we knew he was an ally and so forth. This guy spent. Nine months in solitary. I would just remind people and he was actually released. I happened to be in the courtroom in Albuquerque when he was released. And then I, you know, was invited by him because he was grateful, some of the argument to a party at his house when and then they were all scientists from Los Alamos. His colleagues all knew this was nuts from the beginning. And the judge who released him dismissing all these horror accounts except one little one of mismanagement of a file or something. And the judge apologized to them. He said, I want to apologize because of what the government has done to you. What your representatives were on every level of government. Reagan appointed conservative judge, and he said, I was told there were these big secrets, that you are released and so forth. I’ve read the documents. I’ve seen everything. There’s nothing there. This was a guy who had lights on him 24 hours, seven days a week for nine months. Even when he went to the bathroom, you know, accusing him of that, there was no there there. So I would I do want to suggest and there was a sort of innuendo in this New York Times story that, again, once that mysterious East, the inscrutable, the Chinese, they are manipulative, they are devilish, you know, and so forth. And boom, at the end of the day, this young woman from not so young anymore. But I remember you when you’re much younger from Nevada, a military brat and moved around the country. You were right, an officer father.

And somehow it all boils down to it’s Jodie Evans fault. You know, it’s Code Pink’s. I think finally, I’ll just editorialize, I think the Democratic Party has has some accountability for, you know, the war machine. There’s an illusion somehow. But, you know, Vietnam was a Democratic war. And I think the Democratic Party has got an issue here because of what happened to Hillary, Trump and, you know, Russiagate and all that stuff where, I don’t know, I just get the feeling as a lot of people are incapable of thinking rationally about, first of all, Russia not to defend what they do or everything, but just to do what Nixon and Kissinger did. I never thought I would be at this point in my life, you know, evoking the spirit of Nixon and Kissinger. But if you don’t think rationally about the people that you are defining as an enemy and you don’t try to think about what’s really involved and how can you really get along, you’re in a whole lot of trouble. And so I would take this story as an example of really that we don’t have adults watching this store. By adults we thought The New York Times was was there.

I’ll leave it on that note. Thanks for doing this, Jodie. I want to thank Laura Kondourajian and Christopher Ho at KCRW, hopefully the show continues. This is like one of those third rail things you go here and you know t could be the end but we’ve been doing it for a long time. Anyway, from posting the show, I want to thank Joshua Scheer, the executive producer who lined up this interview. I want to thank Diego Ramos for writing the intro that precedes these things. Max Jones, who does the video. And I want to thank the J.K.W. Foundation and the memory of Jean Stein, an independent writer, someone you knew well, who had the courage to actually travel this world as a journalist, a writer, as a thinker, as a personality, and come back and tell us, you know, it ain’t the way you think it is. Whether you think that about Cuba, is one place she did it, but she had done it even earlier when she went to Paris and Faulkner and everybody else. So. Okay, that’s it for this show. See you next week with another edition of Scheer Intelligence. 

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