While the busy TBOR Action team continues to be hard at work on efforts across our Republic, President John Pudner was invited to join Rick Roberts of WBAP, deep in the heart of Texas, as a featured guest to not only discuss the current situation with the Israel-Hamas War, which now rages on to its 27th day, but more specifically, to analyze how recent reporting from mainstream outlets has showcased deep divides and distrust in our country.
Pudner highlights this through recent reports that President Biden, during a meeting with Wall Street executives inside the White House, blasted The New York Times coverage of an explosion near a Gaza Strip hospital, reporting information from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry stating Israel was to blame. Israel would deny the claims and present evidence that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible, prompting a lengthy retraction from the publication.
This comes as recent polling by Axios shows that only 32% of Americans have a great or fair amount of confidence in media reporting, the lowest number recorded since the poll's inception and further showcasing the now all too well-known and, unfortunately, accepted fact - Americans continue to lose faith in the institutions we once held in high regard.
To learn more about TBOR Action's efforts on topics including election integrity, please click here.
The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:
republic, Hamas, Israel, liberal, headlines, false, faith in institutions.
TBOR Action President John Pudner and Rick Roberts.
Rick Roberts 00:00
We'll start the program off today with a man who is the president of an organization called Take Back Our Republic Action, and after reading what y'all do, I am impressed and I can't wait to pick your brain. John Pudner, welcome to the program.
John Pudner 00:19
Thank you, glad to be on!
Rick Roberts 00:20
Alright, so first of all, the mission over at Take Back Our Republic Action, in the fourth paragraph down, it says, "If you, too, are troubled by the loss of American's faith in our republic, we asked you to become involved." Basically, what is Take Back Our Republic Action all about?
John Pudner 00:39
After years of running elections, 10 years ago, we thought we need a group on the right to talk about the rules of elections and how they're funded. A lot of groups on the left doing that, but we were the first one to say we're gonna get beaten on the rules if we don't get them straight.
Rick Roberts 00:53
Right. It's crazy because people have lost faith in the system, which is very dangerous, of course, and they've lost faith in the mainstream media as well, which is the point of our conversation today. Joe Biden, the President of these United-ish States of ours, apparently, got pretty upset over the New York Times coverage of the Gaza hospital explosion.
John Pudner 01:25
Sure was, and you're right. There is quite a split among Democrats. The older ones certainly would have viewed themselves as pro-Israel, that was never a question, but just to see the divide has been something, and headlines like the New York Times blaming the Israelis for hundreds of deaths that they had nothing to do with, and just watching the reaction for younger progressives, it was something.
Rick Roberts 01:48
It blows my mind. First of all, you can't trust, and this is the problem, you can't trust anything you get from the mainstream media. My credo these days, which I know it's unrealistic, but I don't trust anything if I wasn't standing there witnessing the event with my own two eyes. I mean, it's gotten that bad.
John Pudner 02:10
It has, and for years, those of us who are older journalists, and I kind of started as a journalist. It was always political, but you'd work through these ethics where you're trying to get both sides of the story, there was always a report, we'd always complain there was a liberal spin to it, but you weren't getting the basic facts. I mean, now, it's just different facts being reported.
Rick Roberts 02:10
Another word for different facts is lies because they make stuff up...That's the worst part of it is they will make stuff up out of whole cloth, and they'll put it out there, and then if they're called on it, then the next week, they may, on page whatever of their website, "Hey, we were...we were wrong...so....don't read this", and then they just move on.
John Pudner 02:53
That's right. It's been a continuum. It didn't happen all at once. It's funny, we were just hitting this issue with ActBlue and the way they just move hundreds of millions of dollars around, untraceable, into all these liberal causes, but interestingly, one of the pieces I cited exposing how they were doing this was, just 15 years ago, in the Washington Post, there was actually a well-investigated story that nailed ActBlue, found a lady who had supposedly given almost $200,000, but had not. This was a Washington Post news story. A little after that, they did an investigative report on how most Native Americans wanted to keep the name Redskins, for example, and that was a good study. So, it wasn't all at once. Even 15 years ago, you were seeing some honest reporting. Now, the editorial page would nail us, but that's just all gone now. You'd never see that today.
Rick Roberts 03:44
And that's the problem, especially with the Israel-Hamas War, is that the latest headlines I've seen are that Israel has admitted hitting a refugee camp just to be able to kill the Hamas leader. I don't know if they admitted it, I don't know if it was, in fact, a refugee camp, I don't know if they killed the Hamas leader. It's tough when, especially being in this business, I'd ike to think I can sniff out a bogus story when I see one, but it's just become so tough.
John Pudner 04:23
They say the Israelis blew up this thing, which they didn't, it was apparently an errant missile from a jihadist group, so why do you believe in the next storey in a week or two? I mean, maybe they did, maybe they don't, I don't know what happened there, I don't know that there's evidence one way or the other, but how do you believe it following up on on a story that was completely false so recently?
Rick Roberts 04:47
And it's that way not only with the press, but also with government entities themselves. Whether you like Trump or not, one thing is certain is that, during his time in office, he let the deep state, if you will, pull back the curtain on themselves, letting us know exactly who they were and how they lied repeatedly time and time again. They really shot themselves in the foot during that time period, because now, I don't believe anything from the FDA, CDC, CIA, FBI, I mean, you name your government entity, and they are all a bit suspect to me when it comes to the truth.
John Pudner 05:32
It's a tragedy because you do need institutions in the country of some kind, and, obviously, there are hard-working FBI agents that are crucial to getting things out, and you hate to have the rotten apples. As far as on the communications front, one of the most brilliant things President Trump did was...remember, the left really came up with the term fake news, and Trump thought, "Hey, that's a good term, and I'm gonna call you fake news", completely turning it on them, and saying, "Hey, look, and I'm sure there's some, but you have very few objective sources out there you can go to that are just calling a spade a spade.
Rick Roberts 06:12
And then we had the the rise of "fact-checking websites" or "fact checkers". Have you looked into them and is there a common thread running through any of the fact-checking organizations?
John Pudner 06:30
Oh, they're terrible, and so what you have, of course, is you do have now conservatives then started to set up some too to have balance, but the idea that these were going to be the judge and jury on something that was true or not true...I mean, some of the analysis, when you read through, was absurd. You'd read the analysis, and say, "Well, I have the opposite impression of the false you put at the top of your headline here", but people don't read that down, they want to have a footnote so anyone can see someone said something and it was deemed false by a fact-checker. That's mostly in the discussion.
Rick Roberts 07:04
And I think the most dangerous part of this period of time in our history is the youth of America out there. It's because these young skulls are reading headlines, they're believing them, and they're being taught by an education system that's biased toward the left, as well.
John Pudner 07:27
And they've gotten at them of so young, where the presumption has to be that America's bad, you grew up in this terrible country, and the default is the country's terrible unless they're doing something to change. Once you do that, why believe anything's good about Israel? It just extends to your worldview, so when the Liberals got into education early, and they had a game plan, and it's taken decades to really come to fruition, but I think that's why the older Democrats are now shocked at the younger ones on Israel and Hamas.
Rick Roberts 08:02
It's really crazy. I also noticed in in your list of accomplishments, which is pretty impressive, you were hired by Steve Bannon to launch Breitbart Sports.
John Pudner 08:17
It's great you picked up on that because it ties into this conversation, because I didn't know why Bannon was hiring me to do a sports section, because Breitbart didn't have sports. He would read some numbers stuff and all, but I remember asking him - we went to the same high school in Virginia - I asked him, as I was about to start Breitbart Sports, I said, "Steve, why do you want a Breitbart Sports? I mean, it's about culture, and news and all", and then he said, "Pudner, I want you to wake up every morning making sure America knows that ESPN is nothing but a liberal tool of Disney", and I said, "Well, it's a great mission statement!"
Rick Roberts 08:55
John Pudner, President of Take Back Our Republic Action, and the website again is takebackaction.org. People can go there and get involved.
John Pudner 09:06
We do a lot in Texas. I will say, when I go to Texas, sometimes they think I mean take back the Republic of Texas from the country. I am actually talking about the country as a whole, just to clarify!
Rick Roberts 09:18
Alright, buddy, thanks for your time this afternoon. We'll talk soon.