Sunday, March 29, 2009

The CIA and the Media

I've talked about this many times before, and will talk about it many times again. But this article should be required reading for anyone interested in how our news is shaped. And I'm sure the CIA isn't the only group with its hooks in the media.

Please read, if you haven't already, Carl Bernstein's landmark piece, "The CIA and the Media," originally published in Rolling Stone in 1977. The New York Times did a follow up piece later that same year talking extensively about the one outlet Bernstein doesn't go after, his home journal of the Washington Post.

Another excellent summary can be found here:

And please read this memo from then CIA Director Robert Gates (now Secretary of Defense), written fourteen years after Bernstein's breakthrough piece, which contains the following text about the CIA's Public Affairs Office (PAO):


1) Current Program:

a) PAO now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation. This has helped us turn some "intelligence failure" stories into "intelligence success" stories, and it has contributed to the accuracy of countless others. In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.

b) PAO spokespersons build and maintain these professional relationships with reporters by responding to daily inquiries from them over the telephone (3369 in 1991), by providing unclassified background briefings to them at Headquarters (174 in 1991), and by arranging for them to interview the DCI, DDCI and other senior Agency officials (164 in 1991).

c. PAO responds to numerous requests from authors, researchers, filmmakers, and others seeking information, guidance, or cooperation from the Agency in their endeavours. Some responses can be handled in a one-shot telephone call. Others, such as Life Magazine's proposed photo essay, BBC's six-part series, Ron Kessler's requests for information for his Agency book, and the need for an Agency focal point in the Rochester Institute of Technology controversy drew heavily on PAO resources.

d. PAO has also reviewed some film scripts about the Agency, documentary and fictional, at the request of filmmakers seeking guidance on accuracy and authenticity. In a few instances, we facilitated the filming of a few scenes on Agency premises. Responding positively to these requests in a limited way has provided PAO with the opportunity to help others depict the Agency and its activities accurately and without negative distortions. Except for responding to such requests, we do not seek to play a role in filmmaking ventures about the Agency which come to our attention. For example, although we knew that Oliver Stone's movie on JFK was in the works for some time, we did not contact him to volunteer an Agency viewpoint.

Here's a picture of the document for the above text, for the doubting Thomases among us.

It should be obvious to anyone who reads and digests the above that if print media was important, and TV, that control of major blogs on the Internet would be the next step in their strategy for total media dominance.

I've written at length about the CIA and the Media in the book The Assassinations. I refer you there for the details I don't have time to repeat here. If you are serious about learning Real History, you have to learn about the control of the media. You can't stop yourself from being propagandized if you have no awareness that it's happening.

It's also a bit scary that Obama is leaving in charge of the Defense Department the man who had no qualms bending the media to the will of the CIA. In this same document, the CIA references the 'briefing' (I read that as propagandizing) of new Congressional members.

I recommend reading the whole document - as it mentions the priority the CIA gives to its contacts in Academia and the business world as well as the media.

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous MinM said...

Thomas Braden, was a key figure in the early days of Operation Mockingbird. He was officially head of the CIA's International Organizations Division (Cord Meyer was his deputy). In 1954 Braden was replaced by Meyer in this job.

Braden went into newspaper publishing, 'Crossfire' creator, and also wrote 'Eight Is Enough,' a 1975 memoir that spawned the popular TV series...

Died today, Tom Braden was 92.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Braden became infamous after writing a big article titled, "Why I'm Glad the CIA is Immoral." He later essentially retracted that position, and expressed great concern at the Agency's lack of accountability.

He also supports the notion that the CIA was blackmailing the hill, mentioning how Angleton and Dulles would discuss the take from the previous nights bugs, i.e., who was sleeping with whom, etc., in the guise of talking about fly fishing.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous MinM said...

This sounds eerily similar to the story of the photo of Clyde Tolson and J Edgar Hoover...

Left out of the Tom Braden obits: Braden was a California newspaper editor when (according to Braden) future Senator Alan Cranston personally showed him compromising photos of an opponent. "I thought it was pretty shoddy business. It certainly changed my opinion of [Cranston]," Braden said (as first reported by Carl Cannon). Cranston denied the charge. I believe Braden. ... 1:25 A.M.

BTW given what we know of the Hoover case. Unlike Mickey Kaus, I tend to believe Alan Cranston over Tom Braden.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CIA is not supposed to operate within US,(since 1974) but it does in the name of national security,(secretly decided on) which means keeping secrets like who in the government or CIA is not heterosexual.They have made dozens of movies, some as a perk, to make them look like heroes,some as defamation of their enemies, to make people who resemble their enemies look like swine, knife wielding sadists of women who get beaten up by CIA lookalikes.The giant in the early Bond films,was supposed to caricature a certain Russian agent who also appeared in Three Days of The Condor as Max Von Sydow.

7:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home