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.
The Central Intelligence Agency often acts to serve the strategic financial interests of transnational corporations as spycraft and corporate largess act symbiotically to conceal each other’s misdeeds. In 1979 the McGraw-Hill publishing house released Kermit Roosevelt’s, Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran. In the book former CIA officer told his exclusive story of “how intelligence agencies overthrew a left-leaning Iranian premier, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953 and reinstated the Shah,” former Washington Post editor and college journalism educator Ben Bagdikian explains.
“The issue was control of oil. The plot was called ‘Ajax,’ of which Roosevelt wrote: ‘The original proposal for Ajax came from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) after its expulsion from Iran nine months earlier.’” Copies of Countercoup “were on sale in bookstores and reviewer copies were already in the mails when British Petroleum, successor corporation to AIOC, persuaded McGraw-Hill to recall all the books—from the stores and from reviewers.”
Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Fourth Edition, Boston: Beacon Press, 1992, 39.