soldier with rifle american civil war THE



Bob's Lie and the National Media


Robert W. Lee IV was born and raised in Statesville, North Carolina. In April 2017, at the age of twenty-four, Bob graduated from Duke Divinity School. In the summer of 2016, while a Duke student, Bob submitted an essay to the Act of Faith section editors of The Washington Post. In the text of the piece he submitted, Bob had written that he was a "descendant of the Lee family." The Washington Post published Bob's piece with the insertion of the statement that "Robert W. Lee IV is a great, great, great, great nephew of Confederate general Robert E. Lee." How the insertion came to happen, the public record does not say. It may be that, upon reading Bob's piece, The Post's reporters communicated with him, either by telephone, letter, email, or in person, and asked him how he was a "descendant of the Lee Family;" and he responded with the statement that General Lee was his great uncle some greats removed. Or, it may simply be that the editors attached the relationship on Bob's labels without asking him the question, but this is doubtful.

In either event, what is clear is that the editors did not ask Bob how he was what he said he was; for, if they had asked, for example, "What is the name of the person you claim to connect you as a nephew to R.E. Lee?," and Bob answered with—"My great, great, great, great grandfather was R.E. Lee's brother Charles Carter Lee."—the next question reasonably would have been: "What is the name of Charles Carter Lee's son who was your great, great, great grandfather?" It was such a simple question of fact-checking; for whichever of Charles Carter Lee's five sons Bob designated as his ancestral connection between himself and Charles Carter Lee and, hence, with R.E. Lee, a search would establish the objective truth of the matter.

Had The Washington Post editors asked these two questions and Bob gave them answers, their journalistic responsibility was to fact check Bob's answers, to verify that what he said was true. The reporters' task was to establish the genealogy of Bob's paternal line of ancestors. Since Bob presented to them with the name "Robert W. Lee IV," the reporters were on notice that Bob's father was probably known as "Robert W. Lee III; his father as "Robert W. Lee Jr; and his as Robert W. Lee. Therefore, at the threshold of their fact-checking efforts, the editors knew or should have known that Bob's great grandfather was named Robert W. Lee. Since Bob claimed to be R.E. Lee's nephew—four greats removed—a reasonable person in the reporters' shoes would have known it was necessary to identify the name of Robert W. Lee's father, and then, now knowing the name of Bob's great, great grandfather, find the name of that person's father and, finally, find the name of that person's father's father. Assuming Bob was not cooperative in the effort, it can be agreed, the effort to establish the chain of genealogy would have taken time. Indeed, a number of hours of time, time the editors clearly did not invest in. Instead, given who they were in the scheme of things at The Washington Post, and given the commercial value of their section of the newspaper publication, they chose to simply take Bob at his word.

John Osborne Lee's 1949 Obituary

At the time this happened in 2016, The Washington Post reporters and editors did not think for a moment that, as political events unfolded in America in the passage of time, The Washington Post's endorsement of Bob's status as a nephew of General Lee would become valuable to the Black politicians and their white "progressive" pals. By 2016, the Black politicians were intently pursuing an agenda to destroy General Lee's repuation as a great American soldier; by inducing the mass of Americans who are ignorant of American history to feel guilty for the "sins" of a long dead and gone white American generation, and obliterate from public space the South's monuments to the Confederate Dead and the equestrian statues of General Lee, on the ground they are "symbols of racism and hate."

The opportunity of the national media's young predominantly white women reporters, to use Bob as a stand-in for General Lee, to trade off Bob's lie, to persuade ignorant Americans of General Lee's "moral cowardice," his base character, his traitorious conduct, came with the clash of the extreme wings of the political spectrum at Charlottesvile, in 2017. Suddenly, this obscure young man working as a pastor at a North Carolina church was trotted out before a television audience at the MTV Music Awards show, to announce that, as General Lee's nephew, he was so sorry for the sins his uncle had committed, which still were having evil effects in American society, and that the only way to compensate for them, is to wipe the national memory of General Lee out of the minds of white Americans and their children, so to purify them from the sin of racism and hate.

All full of himself now, Bob returned to North Carolina from the MTV Music Awards, quit his position as pastor of the church in a matter of days, and by the end of 2017 had published a thin biography—The Sins of My Fathers—in which he tells us he got the idea of being a nephew of General Lee from his grandmother "Nana" who told him once, when as a child he sat on her knee, that R.E. Lee was his uncle. He appears on television again, this time it is The View. Next he appears on CNN's The Don Lemon Show, and soon he has made the circuit of all the shows of the Black political TV personalities. He is meeting Jesse Jackson, Cory Booker, AOC, Mrs. King, the list goes on.

Bob & "Nana," the keeper of the records

As this experience is unfolding The NewYorker magazine published a piece written by a fellow named Tik Root, head-lining and reinforcing the public perception that Bob is Lee's great, great, great, great nephew. At the same time The New York Times comes on board with Bob, publishing several pieces in which The Times endorses Bob's status as Lee's nephew. By 2020, with a long trail of appearances throughout the United States, television news show interviews, and newspaper pieces, the Governor of the State of Virginia, Northam, calls Bob to the platform of a press conference to endorse the Governor's decision to allow the equestrian statue of General Lee on Richmond's Monument Ave, to be descrecrated and taken away. From this, the Democrats in Congress invite Bob to testify at a congressional committee hearing, to endorse their proposed legislation to remove a statue of General Lee from the battlefield of Antietam. And, then, in the 2020 election cycle, Bob appears at a Biden rally in North Carolina, prays, and introduces Biden's wife, Jill, to the audience. He meets and confers with the Vice-President of the United States, and, finally, Bob offers a prayer for the new President at the time of his election which is incorporated into "The Presidential Prayer Service" at the National Catheral the day before Biden's inaguration.

Three months later, in May 2021, The Washington Post publicy retracted its endorsement of Bob as Lee's nephew, telling its audience, four years too late, that there is "no evidence" to show Bob is, in fact, who he says he is. For Bob's part, he refuses to face reality. He refuses to provide what "evidence" he says his family posesses, which he says confirms who he says he is, saying the family member [Nana] who "owns" it refuses to share it publicly.

Silly nonsense this is—for the public needs no "evideence" from Bob to conclusively negate his non-relationship with Lee. What the public needs, simply, is for Bob to give it the name of the person that he claims he believes is an ancestor who stands in the chain between himself and Charles Carter Lee. So, as the Religious News Service reported recently, Bob "vehemently" denies he is a liar, but refuses to commit himself to a name. The public must just take the reverend's word for it.

The Timeline

Phase One

As a Duke Divinity School senior
Bob Submits an article connecting himself to Lee,
to The Washington Post

image R E Lee
editor note

Joe Ryan comments:

The Washington Post's "Editor's note" does not explain how it was that its staff decided to insert into Bob's submitted piece the iconic image of General Lee astride Traveller, or who decided to insert as the caption of the image of Bob the statement he is "a great, great, great, great nephew of General Lee." Therefore, we do not know whether Bob led the Post staff down the garden path, or whether the staff created Bob's nephew status on their own.

In 2019, I wrote to Fred Hiatt, an editoral writer at the Post and to the Post's Act of Faith reporters Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Michelle Boorstein, informing them of the Post's misstatement of fact and asking that it be publicly corrected. I received silence in return. Two years later, I received a communication from Glenn Kessler of The Post asking for the documents then available to the public on this website. Mr. Kessler said "a reader of the site had referred the issue" to him.

Bob graduates from Duke Divinity School
April 2017

Bob's First Book: Stained Glass Millennials
March 2017

The Riot at Charlottesville
August 13, 2017

Joe Ryan comments:

The two young white reporters intentionally chose words which are intended to demonize one side of the riot while clothing the other side in righteousness. It is here that the Democrat politicians began pushing their agenda down the throats of the mass of Americans ignorant of their nation's history, condensing it to their point of view that slavery, not Africans, was the cause of the Civil War, that the South fought the war to perserve slavery, more for its economics than for its perserving the white people's control of their political communities.

Bob was not present at Charlottesville when the nuts on the left attacked the nuts on the right in the city streets, both sides going at each other with football helmets, plywood shields, and swords, stones, and fists. But Charlottesville was the predicate that launched Bob on his national career as the go-to apologist for General Lee.

Lee statue
General Lee leading his young Americans to Gettysburg

Phase Two

Bob Takes Off

The National Public Radio Promotes Bob: August 20, 2017

Joe Ryan comments:

Given the sequence of dates, it is apparent that, Bob's NPR radio interview of August 20, 2017, with Lulu, NPR's heroine, three days after the event at Charlottesville, was listened to by Viacom's "Vice-President of Social Impact," Noopur Agarwal, and this prompted her to the idea of putting Bob on the MTV Music Awards Show to be televised on August 27, 2017. As with the others, neither reporter brothered with the detail of fact-checking Bob's claim of connection to R.E. Lee.

Viacom Music Awards: August 27, 2017

Rob image

Joe Ryan comments:

Up to this point in Bob's emerging career, as a senior at Duke Divinity School, he had an article published in The Washington Post which identified him as a nephew of R.E. Lee; he had graduated from the school, obtained a position as a pastor at an affluent North Carolina church, and had published a book comprised of essays about young people loving God. Then Charlottesville happened, Bob is interviewed on NPR, trashs he uncle Bob, and three days later Bob receives a telephone call from a young woman named Noopur Aragwal, who offers him the opportunity to appear on television and, in the name of General Lee, say something to the Viacom's audience of five million kids that will be watching the Viacom MTV Music Awards show to be televised from the Los Angeles Forum, on August 27, 2017.

Noopur Agarwal

Presumably Noopur, with other Viacom programming executives involved, recognized the event at Charlottesville—nothing more really than a mob of kids siezing an opportunity to act out violently their respective agendas—as attracting the attention of the youth nation to the "Black Lives Matter" mania sweeping the country, and Noopur, perhaps remembering The Washington Post's 2016 article and listening to her friend Lulu's interview Bob, she saw Bob as a perfect tool to get the kids interested in the Democrats' agenda.

Bob Decides to Keep the Headlines Coming: Sept. 5, 2017

Joe Ryan comments:

Now this is something. Bob is twenty-four. He is a divinity school graduate. He has a nice position as pastor at an affluent church. He writes on the side. You can see the life ahead for him: marriage, children, managing the flock during the week—prayer groups, community outreach, bible school, day care center. But the devil seeps into his mind, pointing out he is now a national figure. He has been exposed to millions of ignorant kids across the country who are being inflamed by their sad education, by the Black politicians, by the Democrat "progressives," to make American history disappear, make the memory of General Lee the symbol for the nation's sin of slavery, of segregation, of just plain old racism of the bourgeois against the proleterians. So Bob sees the chance at a different life ahead—a life as a stand-in for General Lee kneeling on the national stage, his presence demanded by the Black politicians and their progressive pals at rallys, at churches, on radio and television, and in the halls of congress—and he goes for it by manufacturing more headlines, exciting the public, keeping his face and his mea cupla in the news. But to do it, he must lie again and he does.

Within hardly five days of his appearance on television, Bob announces he has been driven out of his church by the racists and forced to resign as pastor. This is a lie as the members of the Board of Directors attempted to explain to the media that had now seized on Bob as their darling. The Directors said they didn't know of Bob's television appearance, much less knew what he had said; nor did they care when, after the fact of his resignation, they caught up on the news. Bob used them to his personal advantage, and couldn't care less whether he hurt them, or their church. What a little shit the guy is.

The NewYorker Carries The Baton Onward: Dec. 2017

New Yorker logo

Joe Ryan comments:

Amazing: we have come full circle. The Washington Post set the ball rolling, in 2016, and now it has one of its staff reporters—a guy that reports on "climate change"—promoting Bob through The NewYorker, and The NewYorker staff, with their storied "fact-checking," wave the silly piece through to the press.

Bob Spends 2018 Appearing at Churches

Joe Ryan comments:

It appears that The Washington Post is the driving force, keeping Bob's face in front of the East Coast audience.

Bob Publishes His Biography in 2019

Phase Three: Back to Stratch

Bob Becomes an Embarressment to the Post


Joe Ryan comments:

Northam, the Governor of Virginia, in June 2020, introduces Bob at a press conferernce, by saying R.E. Lee is his "great grandfather." Northam is a Virginia boy, a graduate of the University of Virginia. It may be he thought Bob was Robert E. Lee IV, R.E. Lee's great grandson. Robert E. Lee IV was a very old man in 2020. He died in early 2021. He was the grand son of R.E. Lee's son, Rooney Lee. He had a son, Robert E. Lee V, who is still living.

Joe Ryan comments:

In July 2020, Bob appeared at the Capital and "testified" that, as the great, great, great, great nephew of R.E. Lee he hoped the equestrian statue of him at Antietam be taken away and dumped. I wrote to the Chair, now in Biden's Cabinet, informed her Bob is a phony trading off the reputation of General Lee. No response was forthcoming This prompted me to write to Bob Woodward, who still has a desk somewhere within the offices of The Washington Post.


In October 2020, Bob appeared at a Biden rally in North Carolina, made a speech, and introduced Biden's wife, Jill, who made a speech.

In January 2021, Bob offered a prayer for Biden as an invited participant in Biden's National Prayer Service event.

On May 4, 2021, I received an email from Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, inquiring whether documents were available establishing the identity of Bob's great, great, great, great grandfather. The documents were provided.

On May 13, 2021, the O'Melvey & Meyer law firm, representing the plaintiffs in the action against Bob's home county, Iredell, filed an amended complaint which deleted Bob as a named plaintiff.


Comment: August 12, 2021

It's now been about ninety days since The Washington Post, through the device of using "The Fact Checker," retracted its representation, its "journalists" first made in 2017, that Robert W. Lee IV is "a great, great, great, great nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee." From Rob's twittering of late, we learn the predictable has happned. Rob is out of a job and has gone to Las Vegas to drive a Benz up and down the strip screaming at the world.

The poor devil is hardly thirty years old. In 2016, Bob received a degree from Duke University's School of Divinity. He obtained a good position to start his promising career as a pastor at a church with an affluent congregation. Having written pieces in the past for his home town newspaper, he wrote a piece of fluff about "God" and submitted it to the Act of Faith desk at The Washington Post. Two young adults, holding the post of "journalist" at the Desk, appear to have inserted into the piece the statement that Bob was a nephew of General Lee, "many greats removed, of course," when all Bob had actually asserted, was that he was a "descendant of the Lee Family"—an assertion several hundred thousand persons assert as members of the Society of Lees; a society you cannot join without some proof of the connection to the family you contend you are a descendant of. This, Bob had not done in 2017 and has not done up to today.

At the time The Post's "journalists" created Bob's status as General Lee's nephew, they probably had nothing more in mind than simply enhancing Bob's credibility for the benefit of the piece being received by their readership base. But, then, the event at Charlottesville happened and The Post, leading the pack of Democrat mouthpieces, magnified the story of the event into something that it was not, and called on "General Lee's nephew" to step up to the plate and stand in for his dead uncle and ask for forgiveness for his sins. And, bang, Viacom, to whip up the kids, brings him on stage at the Forum under national television light and, bang again, Bob suddenly finds himself living his lie before 320 million Americans.

Who, in America, has not heard of "Rev Bob, General Lee's nephew," by now? And so, Rob, all full of himself with the fantasy of living the role for the rest of his life, getting comfortable financially from the endeavor, throws himself into it; not thinking, for a moment, that he will caught in the lie The Washington Post created for him.

Note: A cynic might say that Bob was counting on the fact that, because in most states death certificates can be hard to obtain, if you are not a relative, the death certificate of his actual great, great grandfather, John Osborne Lee, would not be discovered, as it is the dagger that drove Rob's lie into his heart.

What now is Bob to do, having been caught? What congregation will hire him as its pastor to lead it in the way of the Lord? What can Bob do now with his Duke degree? What can Bob do now, without it? Get a job as a journalist with the Statesville Record-Landmark newspaper, writing about religion, about politics, about Confederate monuments, about white supremacy? Work in television as a commendator? A producer? Write books about his childhood and Nana? The kid has screwed himself for fifteen minutes of phony fame. A very sad case he is. But, hey, he can stiffen his spine like the rest of us do, put down by adversity of our own making. He can pick himself up and get back on his feet and get back in the race and get going: use his falling from grace like Jimmy Swaggert, or Nixon, or Clinton, or Trump, or Cuomo, or the CNN masturbator Toobin, or a hundred other down and outers who got up and came back. Stop feeling sorry for himself and use the experience to his advantage. A challenge? Sure. The other way madness lies.


Joe Ryan