Tag Archives: New York Times

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #100

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.

(Discussion begins at 41:45)

“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.

 

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Did Trump Call Illegal Immigrants ‘Animals’?

Editor’s Note: This brief analysis from Russia’s RT succinctly illustrates the extent to which US corporate news media now function as political disinformation outlets. “Disinformation” is defined as “false information spread deliberately to deceive.” Under common journalistic practice an editor’s attempts to persuade her readership on a certain stance is presented as an “editorial.”

Now, however, in their barely-concealed contempt for Donald Trump’s presidency, even the New York Times, which promotes itself as a bastion of sober journalistic objectivity, knowingly partakes in mispresenting information for an intended effect.

Regardless of one’s take on Trump’s political leadership, the notion that he simply uses the “fake news” label to denote news stories and media he personally dislikes is simply self-serving and disingenuous. The analysis below is but one example of how the hyper-politicized US news media undermine their own credibility.

RT
(May 17, 2018)

Mainstream US media was quick to condemn the president’s remarks as bigotry and racism, and a dehumanization technique aimed at any and all immigrants from Latin America who enter the US illegally across the border with Mexico.

Trump “lashed out at undocumented immigrants,” the The New York Times reported:

A ThinkProgress journalist called it a “Hitlerian note”:

Jennifer Rubin, an anti-Trump columnist at the Washington Post, called it “utter dehumanization of men, women and children.”

CNN commentator Keith Boykin argued Trump’s comments were “the same dehumanization tactic used by slave traders and slave owners to justify the oppression of black people for hundreds of years.”

The Huffington Post’s catchy headline read: “Trump Refers To Immigrants As ‘Animals.’ Again.” The New York Times meanwhile delicately highlighted that Trump was referring to just “some” of the immigrants, not all of them.

There is just one tiny problem with the story: it’s ‘fake news’, as Trump himself would probably call it.

If one watches the actual video of the exchange from Wednesday’s roundtable – rather than the selectively truncated segments – it becomes clear Trump was referring to the notorious MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, gang members rather than Latin Americans or illegal immigrants in general. A description of the exchange on C-SPAN, the cable channel that carries live political broadcasts, clearly says Trump was referring to “MS-13 gang members.”

The hour-long portion of the event open to the press was live-streamed on YouTube by the White House, and the relevant exchange is available to anyone who wishes to hear for themselves (at 24:18).

This is not the first time Trump has referred to Mara Salvatrucha members as “animals,” either. He used the term in a June 2017 speech about illegal immigration in Long Island, New York. Another notable instance was the July 2017 rally in Youngstown, Ohio.

https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/996867766740307972

MS-13 originated in California during the 1980s, among refugees fleeing the civil war in El Salvador, in which the Reagan administration backed the right-wing government. The gang, known for its viciousness, has since spread throughout the US and even Canada, and is reportedly allied with Mexican drug cartels.

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The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #96

Douglas Valentine has critiqued the progressive-left’s uncritical stance toward public luminaries, such as longtime CIA operative Daniel Ellseberg, or the functioning deity of American liberals, the New York Times itself. According to Valentine, political progressives demonstrate crucial blindspots in their adoration of such figures and institutions. Works and authors that shed light on the contradictory nature of this adoration are either ignored or derogated by what CIA official Cord Meyer termed “the Compatible Left,” notes Valentine.

Upon The Phoenix Program‘s publication in 1990 “the word went out to ignore the book, not just because it revealed CIA secrets,” observes Valentine,

but because it identified the media, and the Times in particular, as the reason why the public can’t see the CIA clearly for what it is: a criminal conspiracy on behalf of wealthy capitalists.

I had also noted that the release of the Pentagon Papers distracted attention from Congressional hearings into Phoenix. In subsequent books I added that it distracted attention from reports on CIA drug trafficking as well.

Indeed, Valentine argues that he was effectively “neutralize[d]” by CIA media assets, and even his allies responded in chorus that he’d “crossed the line and would never get another book published in the United States. So I learned the hard way,” he continues, “that the CIA has a strategic intelligence network of management level people in the information industry who know, through instruments like the Times Book Review section, what books and authors to marginalize.”

Valentine explains how author Peter Dale Scott was similarly marginalized as a result of his landmark books, The War Conspiracy (1972) and Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993). “Peter supported me,” Valentine recalls,

and a few years after the Phoenix book was published, I mentioned to him that I was writing an article based on my interviews with [CIA officers Frank] Scotton and [Lucien] Conein, about Ellseberg’s deep state political association with the CIA. Peter is Ellsberg’s friend, and even though the article had the potential to embarrass Ellsberg, he arranged for me to interview him. Peter gave me Ellsberg’s number and I called at a pre-arranged time. And the first thing Ellsberg said to me was, “You can’t possibly understand me because you’re not a celebrity.

CIA Operative and Progressive-Left Darling, Daniel Ellsberg. Image Credit: Huffington Post

If you want to understand the critical role celebrities play in determining what society accepts as real and valuable, read Guy Debord’s books The Society of the Spectacle and its sequel, Comments. Debord explains the symbolic role celebrities play (at times inadvertently) in maintaining the illusions we confuse with reality.

Debord cites the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, who famously said: “But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence… illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.”

When Ellsberg told me he was a celebrity, he was saying that he underwent a symbolic transformation the moment he leaked the Pentagon Papers, and landed  in a social realm that alienated him from non-celebrities like me. He became an icon, and nobody on the left is about to say, “Oh, my god! Valentine had this revelation about Ellsberg. Let’s rethink everything we believe is true.”

Like its doppelgängers on the right, the management class on the left is invested in celebrity heroes who represent their business interests. they focus on the symbol and ignore any contradictory but essential facts, the way [journalists Glenn] Greenwald and [Jeremy] Scahill] ignore Pierre Omidyar’s funding of the Center for the United Action in Kiev, which was a Phoenix-style coordination center for covert political action.

Douglas Valentine, “How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom (based on interview with James Tracy),” in The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, Atlanta GA: Clarity Press, 2017, 31-32.

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Corporate Media Promote “World Press Freedom Day”

“Read and Watch” Mainstream Peers

Several corporate news media recognized the “World Press Freedom Day” on May 3 with promotional messages in the pages of their respective publications and via social media.

The occasion is in fact sponsored by the United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a vital arm of the UN that has overseen a multitude of social engineering projects since its founding in 1948 by individuals including eugenicist Julian Huxley.

From UNESCO’s site,

In 2018, UNESCO will lead the 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day. The main event, jointly organized by UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, will take place in Accra, Ghana on 2 – 3 May. This year’s global theme is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’, and will cover issues of media and the transparency of the political process, the independence and media literacy of the judicial system, and the accountability of state institutions towards the public. The Day will also examine contemporary challenges of ensuring press freedom online. (Emphases retained)

In celebration of UNESCO’s observation the New York Times, which has had a historic information-sharing and censorial relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency instructs its audience on examples of the vaunted Western “free press.”

The fact that such entities are promoting “Press Freedom” is especially noteworthy in the wake of the recent court decision that legally codifies the CIA practice of selectively disclosing select information to journalists and news outlets of its choosing.

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"Don’t just read The New York Times." Look at the front page of NYT today! #WorldPressFreedomDay from Journalism

The event is also recognized by US Senator Diane Feinstein, who encourages her followers to “fight fake news” by reading quality journalism. In 2013 Feinstein proposed legislation that would effectively define “journalism” as being only something practiced by individuals drawing a salary, thus eliminating a broad array of independent, citizen journalists from the information gathering, sharing, and analyzing equation.

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The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #83

Newspaper publisher and venture capitalist John Hay Whitney. Image Credit: Alchetron.com

Among the most extensively distributed of CIA‐owned or subsidized news services within the United States was Forum World Features, established in 1958 as Forum Information Service, with headquarters in London. Through most of its existence Forum was apparently owned by New York Herald Tribune publisher and pioneer venture capitalist John Hay Whitney.

“According to several C.I.A. sources, Mr. Whitney was ‘witting’ of the agency’s true role,” a 1977 New York Times article series documents. “Though the C.I.A. has insisted that it never attempted directly to place its propaganda in the American press, at one time Forum World Features had 30 domestic newspapers among its clients, including The Washington Post.”

The selling of Forum content to The Post “and other American newspapers, one C.I.A. official said, ‘put us in a hell of a dilemma,’ The sales, he went on, were considered necessary to preserve the organization’s cover, and they occasioned a continuing and somewhat frantic effort to insure that the domestic clients were given only legitimate news stories.”

Worldwide Propaganda Network Built By the CIA,” New York Times, December 26, 1977.

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