The NED's Useful Idiots
Date Written: 2018-06-15
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22660
On Friday, June 8, 2018, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow augmented her nightly Russiagate fetish by extolling the merits of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), telling her huge audience that the NED, created in the 1980s by the Ronald Reagan administration, still does the "non-partisan hard work around the world, of promoting small D democracy and promoting the institutions of civil society that any culture needs in order to have a functioning democracy."
By Wednesday, June 13, at least one progressive writer, Bill Berkowitz, had challenged Maddow's viewpoint on NED as "naive". He wrote: "Whatever else can be said about the NED and its affiliated organizations, it is hard to back up Maddow's naive claim about its work re ‘promoting small D democracy.' Because amid whatever success it may have had, the NED is also notable for supporting anti-democratic organizations, and contributing to the overthrow of democratically elected governments. Along the way, it has provided a glut of disinformation, misinformation, and downright fake news in pursuit of its mission."
Berkowitz correctly noted that NED and its spinoff institutions – the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the International American Institute to Promote Private Enterprise, the International American Institute to Promote Labor Rights, and others – receive hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars every year, and largely use that money for "destabilizing governments".