Editor’s Note: In August 2015 MHB published, “The CIA and the Media: 50 Historical Facts The World Needs to Know.” The present series seeks to augment this initial article with several dozen additional facts and observations on the relationship between the US intelligence community, the mass media, and public opinion. One historical fact will be released each day over the next month and beyond.

From its formation in 1948 the CIA sought to influence not only the pedestrian informational landscape via news, but also academe’s intellectual topography. Through propaganda programs the Agency cultivated fierce anti-communist sentiment on a transnational basis to help propel the Cold War and its attendant military industrial complex. This involved, for example, a “campaign against ‘neutralism’” according to communications historian Christopher Simpson. “Beginning in 1950,” Simpson notes,

the CIA sponsored and financed the Congress for Cultural Freedom and a series of politically liberal, strongly anticommunist publications including Encounter (England), Der Monat (Germany), Forum (Austria), Preuves (France), and Cuadernos (Latin America) as a means of combating the perceived neutrality of intellectuals in the face of purported communist expansion. Sidney Hook, Melvin Lasky, Edward Shils, Daniel Bell, and Daniel Lerner, among others, emerged as prominent public spokesmen for this campaign, though they have insisted in later years that they were unaware of the CIA’s sponsorship for their work.

Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare 1945-1960, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994, 100-101.

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One thought on “The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #55”
  1. https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/04/01/military-working-cat-program-underway-at-the-old-guard/
    Comment to above article:
    Former U.S. Marine, Ken O’keefe, in his famous video from LAX in 2016, declares the U.S., government and Congress are a body of traitors, all of them. Congress requires new members to take a pledge to support Israel, they have approved numerous laws illegally abridging basic rights under the Constitution especially the 4th Amendment, they approved a sham body to investigate 9/11 and passed the Patriot Act which gang rapes even more of our basic rights. They have looked the other way from evidence Israel even did 9/11. They approved the criminal secret CIA and many other similar agencies all against every principle of our Constitution. They have winked at totally illegal and criminal U.S., military activities all over the planet in our good names. What would be an appropriate punishment for them? Are not they much lower than the higher animals especially cats and dogs which we love so much? I say arrest all of them and put them doing this dirty work sniffing out bombs and drugs and discovering land mines. They could also be assigned to decontaminate and give baths to all new illegal aliens from other countries who bring in all the horrible diseases we eradicated long ago. They could look into those black holes and see what a real black hole looks like and smells like. Wouldn’t this be an appropriate punishment for traitors who have sold out our country in most despicable and unspeakable ways? Are not they a perfect example of Mark Twain’s dictum “Man evolved DOWN from the higher animals?” Another possibility would be to assign them to work as slaves and servants to black families so they can see and learn first hand what slavery was all about. They could also be assigned to pick crops like the virtual slave labor in “Harvest of Shame” by Edward R. Murrow. . https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it

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