During President Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress in Latin America “[t]he CIA used an entire news organization, Copley News Service, as a cover for its agents,” according to investigative journalists Joseph Trento and David Roman.
“’The Agency’s involvement with the Copley organization is so extensive that it’s almost impossible to sort out,’” one CIA official said of the Agency’s relationship with the entity. Other CIA officials confirmed that James S. Copley, the news chain’s owner, was directly involved in making cover arrangements for Copley journalists to serve as CIA assets.
In the 1950s, Trento and Roman explain, Copley personally offered his news organization to President Eisenhower to perform as “the eyes and ears” against “the Communist threat in Latin and Central America” for “our intelligence services.” James Copley was also intimately involved in the InterAmerican Press Association, a CIA-backed entity with close relations to rightwing owners of South American newspapers.
Trento and Roman were among the first journalists to elaborate on CIA infiltration of news media in a 1977 article published in Penthouse magazine, “The Spies Who Came In From the Newsroom.”
Joseph J. Trento, A Secret History of the CIA, New York: Prima Publishing/Random House, 2001.