Tag Archives: William Paley

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #78

Chief executive of CBS broadcasting network, William Paley, was a close acquaintance of CIA director Allen Dulles. Much like New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger, Paley made arrangements with the Agency for the network to provide cover for CIA officers. Paley’s chosen contact for the Agency was none other than Sig Mickelson—president of CBS News throughout the mid-to-late 1950s.

Sig Mickelson. Image Credit: AP

On one occasion, Mickelson protested to CBS President Frank Stanton “about having to use a pay telephone to call the CIA, and Stanton suggested he install a private line, bypassing the CBS switchboard, for the purpose. According to Mickelson, he did so.” Mickelson went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, both well-documented CIA-backed propaganda organs.

Fun Fact: As with other CIA-media operatives, Mickelson’s 2000 New York Times obituary makes no mention of his indisputable Agency affiliation.

Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media,” Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977.

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