In 1959 New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger allowed for then-Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles to place 12 CIA agents at the Times where they secretively functioned on the newspaper’s editorial or reportorial staffs. According to author and attorney William Pepper “those 12 slots have probably been rotated right to the present day. They are agents who will deal with the most sensitive matters.”
Pepper was a personal friend of of Martin Luther King Jr. and in 1999 represented his family in posthumous court proceedings concerning his assassination that ultimately exonerated James Earl Ray, who according to the US government and corporate media narrative was King’s assassin, and identified US government agencies as the principal operatives in the April 4, 1968 murder.
Mass media are central to perpetuating such “lone gunman” myths. “When we had the trial, the media was present when Coretta King took the stand, or any member of the King family took the stand,” Pepper recalls. “But then they were absent for the evidence. They walked out under instructions.”
One cannot dispute the fact that since the 1950s major US news media outlets have seldom wavered from advocating official explanations of complex events while suppressing the countervailing arguments and evidence of independent researchers.
It’s not only those critical assassinations … of King, or [John] Kennedy or Malcolm [X] or Robert Kennedy in the 1960s. But it’s anything that will shake the core or credibility in the institutions and agencies of the American government and how they actually function.
Pepper states that the 1999 King trial was of particular significance, and that while the Court TV was set to televise the event, the cable channel pulled out at the last minute.
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“I have been blacklisted by the New York Times forever,” Pepper concludes.
They won’t use my name [and] they didn’t use my name in virtually anything. I think they slipped once in one report of the 1999 trial they had to do. They quoted a witness, and the witness said, “Well, Mr. Pepper showed us …” They were quoting him and they put that in. But other than that I may be recognized as “the attorney for the King family” but never named, and I am not to be named in that newspaper. It’s as simple as that. I’ve had to live with this, as have many other progressive journalists in areas of very delicate strategic issues. They don’t want this out, and they won’t allow it out. That’s the basis of corporate control over the media.