Ex-Leftist Informant Who Stopped Violence at 2008 GOP Convention Is Taunted by NPR as 'FBI Rat'

As weird as it sounds, the government-funded radio “objective news” operation thinks activists who cooperate with the government in stopping violence are easily defined as “rats.”

Movie reviewer Ella Taylor, who’s written reviews for the far-left Village Voice newspaper in New York, wrote an online review titled “Meet Brandon Darby, Grass-Roots Activist (And FBI Rat).” The film is called "Informant" and is based on how in 2008, Darby went to the FBI when his leftist group built Molotov cocktails to firebomb attendees at the Republican convention in Minneapolis. Wouldn’t this make him a hero? Nope:

Like almost everyone else in the crowd of fellow travelers and detractors who come out for and against him — sometimes both — Darby is more unreliable narrator than cynic. Certainly he comes across as a grandiose believer in his own propaganda, whether as the founder of the militant grass-roots aid movement Common Ground, created as a response to support survivors of Hurricane Katrina, or as the disillusioned turncoat and FBI plant who egged on, then turned in a group of young hotheads plotting to disrupt the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis.

How Darby got from A to B is a both a shorter journey than you might imagine and a longer one. Meltzer, a filmmaker with an inquisitive nose for complexity and contradiction, spends just enough time on Darby's Texas childhood and distant-but-domineering dad to conclude that they pretty much programmed him for the role of rescuer — and for the crippling 50-50 ambivalence toward authority that made him first a dissident leader and then a slavish follower of FBI orders.

He didn’t merely cooperate with the FBI, he was a “slavish follower.” NPR couldn’t find a “slavish follower” of Obama’s with both hands. The psychoanalysis of Darby’s daddy issues continued:

...perhaps his difficulty with father figures caused him to tell a police officer who asked what he was doing in the area that "I'm trying to foment social change" — then later bond so deeply with an FBI handler that he readily sold out an amateur cell of would-be terrorists trying to rig up Molotov cocktails using tampons.

Perhaps, too, it was Darby's insatiable hunger for attention and recognition that allowed him to participate in Meltzer's reenactment of that very betrayal — an Errol Morris-style dramatize-it gambit that made me squirm a bit, and one which pretty much convicts Darby of entrapment.

NPR’s reviewer is itchy to convict Darby of the engineering the violent plan so he could stop it – just like everyone else on the Left, so they can somehow absolve the leftists who eagerly prepared to bomb the Republicans. Darby recently confronted one of the men planning violence in 2008 -- a man who has no remorse over his violent plans. But NPR has no harsh words for the leftists, except to suggest they were "hamfisted" amateurs.

If they were real terrorist professionals, then what, NPR?

Taylor conceded the “would-be bombers” were dangerous because they were unskilled, but Darby is a “stooge” to her and NPR: "And as the Minnesota journalist who outed Darby as an FBI stooge gleefully observes, a bunch of incompetents browsing Wal-Mart for bomb parts smacks more of farce than of thriller."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis