The following is a transcript from the Pro America Report.
Welcome, welcome, welcome. Ed Martin here on the Pro America Report. Great to be together, and it is a President’s Weekend. I hope people have fun, find a way to celebrate – I’m a bit partial myself to celebrating the birthdays of key presidents, in particular, by the way, George Washington’s birthday. In fact, at the end of the program today, if you listen all the way through, you will hear my final segment will be about in praise of George Washington.
But we’ll celebrate Lincoln, too. In a few moments, we’ll talk with John Cribb, the author of Old Abe, a book I like very, very much, historical novel. John Cribb is an author, a lawyer, a good, all-around good guy. And the book is published by Republic Book Publishers – really great outfit, Al Regnery, Eric Kampmann. They do a great job. So you want to… So we’ll talk about Lincoln.
But I’ll get back to Washington. And don’t forget the program here, if you’re listening live, if you’re listening on the radio, we got four parts coming up. The beginning of the program is what you need to Know, kind of a pullback and a look at especially at the end of the week here. When you look at the week in review, it’s kind of what’s the big picture. What’s the big picture? What do you need to know? That’s the Daily WYNK.
And then two segments of interviews. Today it’ll be John Cribb, the author of Old Abe and also Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of Open the Books, OpenTheBooks.com. I was going to talk to him about his 2021 annual report and how much good work they did. But we got a bigger story to talk about. I’m going to get to in a minute because it’s going to dominate what you need to know.
And then the final segment, as I mentioned, is kind of a wrap up. And today it will be about George Washington. All right. So don’t forget, please visit Proamericareport.com, Proamericareport.com. If you go there, you can listen to all these segments again. You can go and search them by author name. And you can especially sign up for the daily email, it’s called the Daily WYNK – What you need to know – W-Y-N-K. What you need to know, the Daily WYNK. And it comes in your inbox at 08:00 A.m. East coast, 05:00 A.m. Pacific. Almost 60,000 people, just under 60,000 email addresses are in that system. Get that Daily WYNK. So go to Proamericareport.com and sign up.
So today’s what you need to know has to do with our friend Adam Andrzejewski, who we’re going to talk to in a few moments. And the story is this: his nonprofit, 501(c)3, nonprofit, which has tirelessly and fearlessly investigated by FOIA request and open records requests and otherwise asking people in public life to come clean with the spending. It’s about transparency. It’s about showing, not… And he is as likely to ding Republicans as he is Democrats. And I happen to know, years ago, I think he ran for governor, maybe as a Republican in Illinois. He didn’t win, obviously. So I think he might be a Republican, but he’s mostly a policy guy.
He’s got all these people that work with him that go out and train local communities. And his idea is that government works better when it’s more transparent. And for eight years now, he has written a column Forbes.com. I don’t know if it runs in Forbes magazine. I don’t even know if there is a paper magazine anymore at Forbes. But for eight years, he’s been writing a regular column. I don’t know, it’s certainly not weekly, but it’s at least monthly, and it’s periodic and regular enough, there’s a whole archive of it.
And in the archive in his column on Forbes.com, Adam Andrzejewski has written about what they found in terms of transparency. And it’ll be a ridiculous amount of money that goes, pays to the endowments of universities. It’ll be spending in California for X or Y area. It’s transparency. Again, it’s not partisan, it’s never partisan – again, he dings Republicans as well as Democrats.
Well, Forbes.com under pressure from the federal government, they dropped his column after eight years. And the reason why is because he was writing about the highest paid member, the highest paid employee of the federal government. It’s not the President of the United States. It’s not the Supreme Court chief justice. It’s Anthony Fauci, Dr. Fauci. And he wrote a column, three columns actually, about this issue, about what they had found – openthebooks.com – by sunshining, what was FOIA requesting, the documents.
And so he was writing about stories. Now, again, whether you agree with the stories or not, the stories, the columns he was writing was about facts that they’d gleaned from their open records requests. And that is the fact that Dr. Fauci made more money than anybody else. It is a fact that when that news broke and Adam Andrzejewski and openedthebooks.com is the one that broke it, it became embarrassing, and there was a big reaction.
Well, one of the things that happened was the organizations, the entities with which Fauci works – I’m not sure it was his organization or if it was broadly the NIH, one of the groups, they wrote an email, and we’re going to get more of these details. We talk to Adam, but I think he’s going to write this up. They wrote an email and they said to Forbes, you shouldn’t do that. That’s not exactly accurate. We quibble with something or other. I don’t think they actually had a fact dispute, but they complained and they complained sufficient that they shut him down.
Now, my point here is to underscore not the cancel culture, that’s not what I want to talk about now. I kind of think the cancel culture is recognizable. I’m talking about the sophisticated way that the society is able to limit speech and to create a dynamic where it’s easier to self censor. It’s more profitable to self censor, but it’s also easier it’s less burdensome to self censor than it is to stand up and speak for the truth.
So Forbes.com decides they’re going to back off and get rid of Adam Andrzejewski when for eight years there’s not any major objections. In fact, the objections probably where people complaining about being caught. And the message becomes not that governments censored, it’s that society around it, the people and entities with power join in the pressure to make people want to self censor.
So I don’t know if Adam Andrzejewski was paid to do the Forbes column. I kind of doubt it the way the model is right now for business, for media online. I bet he was getting as much publicity for his firm, his organization, openthebooks.com, as anything. But certainly it was a platform for him. And so what they did is they cut that off. And again, the lesson and I’ll talk to him about this, the lesson for people when they see what happens: The cost of speaking out on the center right and the right wing of the conservative side, the cost is high. On the left and the center left, the cost is marginal. So on the left, people feel free to speak because they don’t think that they’ll pay a price. They don’t have to worry the same way.
What you need to know, and pulling back and looking at America right now, is the crisis is no longer of selfcensorship. The crisis is becoming one of inaction because people will not want to even do anything that will get them scrutiny. So go stand with the truckers in Canada? Not in America. Give money through a GoFundMe or one of the others and then have it be hacked and have people leaking and have the journalists call and ask you, did you really mean to give money? I think not.
What you need to know is we’re being put in a position, we’re being herded into a mentality that says inaction is the safest way to be and that ought to worry all of us. It’s really not the American way. And that’s what you need to know.
All right, we got to take a break. We’ll come back. We’ll talk with John Cribbs celebrating Abe Lincoln. And also later, I’ll talk about George Washington, my personal favorite. And then we’ll talk with Adam Andrzejewski also. Be right back.
Ed Martin here in the Pro America report, back in a moment.