Saturday, December 30, 2017

Robert Crowley: Early 1950s: Operation Mockingbird: Taking Control of the Media



[Editor's Note: This section on "Early 1950s: Mockingbird: Taking control of the media" comes from a lengthy piece published by Institute for the study of Globalization and Cover Politics (16 August 2014) by Joel v.d. Reijden as a revision of an earlier version by Gregory Douglas/Walter Storch. His discussion of Operation Mockingbird appears to be well-founded, where Reijden attempts to spin his further confession of the complicity of the CIA in the assassination of JFK--which I shall discuss in a sequel--as though it were not. Robert Crowley was revealing too much truth about the agency and its role in the death of our 35th president, which Reijden appears to have been doing his best to deflect.]

Early 1950s: Mockingbird: Taking control of the media


"Ben Bradlee was the managing editor of the Washington Post and was our man all the way. ... Ben's best friend when he was a child was [later CIA director] Dick Helms. After Ben left Harvard during the war, he joined ONI and worked in their communications center. ... Not generally known, however: war was over and Ben was sent to join the ACLU as a spy. ... [Later] Ben was off to France where he worked in the embassy in Paris where he did propaganda work and started working very closely with us. Then he went to work for Newsweek. Ben is an ambitious type and he ditched the Saltonstall woman and married Toni Pinchot. Her sister, Mary, was married to Cord Meyer, our beloved Cyclops...

Bill Bradlee and his best childhood friend, Richard Helms

"I had to deal with the media for years. Cord [Meyer of the CIA] and [CIA/OPC boss] Frank [Wisner] did the publishing companies and I worked with media corporate. We had a death grip on them. Couldn't and wouldn't print a word if we told them not to or ran puff pieces we wanted out. ...

"I can guarantee that the press will either keep very, very quiet about you or will make a fool out of you. We still do control the press and if we say to trash an enemy, they will do it. And if the editor won't, we always talk to the publishers. Or, more effective, one of my business friends threatens to pull advertising from the rag. That's their Achilles heel, Gregory. No paper can survive on subscription income alone. The ads keep it going. In the old days, a word from me about ad-pulling made even the most righteous editor back down in a heartbeat. We bribe the reporters and terrify their bosses. They talk about the free press who know nothing about the realities. ...

"We control most of the major publishers or if we don't, they would never dare to put out anything that would get us upset. Hell, we have our man right there in the New York Times and they jump through the hoops, believe me. The Times is in our pocket absolutely. Of course for silence, we give them inside stories. Sometimes, Gregory, the stories are actually true. Can you believe that? ...

"We always wanted to emulate Colonel [Edgar] Hoover's good PR. You know, the Hollywood and radio dramas about the wonderful G-Men. I think we established a far more effective system but then, of course, I am prejudiced. Before we were finished, we had our fingers in every pot imaginable from the major media to book companies, television networks and so on. ... We infiltrated our people into every level of the business, political and professional worlds and you never knew when one of your people might bring home the bacon. I can say with some pride that, let’s say, we wanted to get some legislation passed, it was a piece of cake. ...

J. Edgar Hoover (right) with his close personal friend, Clyde Tolson (c. 1939)

"We had to cover up failures as well. I think you can say that the Company [CIA] pretty well controls the media in this country now. Take the AP for example. Every little jerkwater paper out in East Jesus, Texas, cannot have a reporter in Washington or Moscow so they rely almost entirely on the AP for anything outside their town. I mean if a cow waders out onto the highway and wrecks a truck or the local grange burns down, sure they have the local reporters, but for what's going on in Washington or elsewhere, it's the AP.

"Look, you get on a plane in New York bound for, say, Chicago. You read the paper and then stuff it into the seat pocket and get off. In Chicago, you pick up the Tribune and read it. Same national and international news. Fly to [San] Frisco and the same thing. The AP is a wonderful asset, believe me. Let's say you want to put a story about

that a certain foreign potentate is about to get kicked out. Or better, you want him kicked out. So, we plant a story with the New York Times, the Washington Post or other big papers and then get AP to send our special message all over the damned country. Let's say we start in the night before. By the six o'clock news the next day, all of America knows just what we want it to know and we do this so anyone reading an article can only come to the conclusions we want. ...

"Oh yes, [as said,] the paper out in Podunk, Kansas is not controlled but all it talks about are whose cow won a prize at the state fair and how the local football team is doing. No, those papers are not controlled because no one but a bunch of hicks read them. But the AP, all the major papers, magazines, publishing houses and television people are under tight control. ... The media is owned by corporations. ...

Corporations control the media. If some article injures any one of them, or has the potential to do so, the article ends up in the trash along with the reporter. I know the New York Times does just what we wish them to do, print what we wish them to print and kill off any story we tell them to. Besides, we control the AP and all across the country, many of the national and international news stories come directly from the AP. ...


"If something gets loose, who will publish it? Surely not our boys in the media. A book publisher? A joke, Gregory. Never. ... One thing [the CIA's Frank] Wisner did was to build up a very cooperative media and that includes book publishers. ... Even if some big [publishing] house printed [a sensitive book], it would never see the light of day. Why? Because our people would block it. It's that simple. They would ruin you as they have ruined many other authors who have gone before you for daring to speak ill of them. Can you imagine the New York Times reviewing it? I think not. I think not ever. One phone call from us and into the wastebasket with any kind of commentary, good or bad. Gregory, the blanket of silence would descend upon you, believe me. Silly idealists somehow believe we have a free press here, but it is as tightly controlled as it is in Russia or it was in Hitler's Germany. ...

"Your publisher is not big enough to reach too many people and a bigger one would be told right off not to talk to you. I also might suggest several things to you. If anyone tries to come to visit you, and they want to bring a friend, don't go for it. ... The so-called friend would be a government expert [there to look at your papers]. ... And one other thing, if you get a very nice offer from some publisher you never heard of, just begging you to let them publish, be warned that they would take the manuscript, send it to Langley and if Langley thought it was dangerous, give you a contract to publish it along with a token payment. Of course they would never publish it but since they paid you and had a contract to publish, you could never find another publisher. They'd get a court order in record time, blocking it. Just some advice. ...

"You're not a Company man, Gregory. They'll do everything they can to keep you out of print. Threaten any prospective publisher with dire financial problems and believe me, not one article about you or your book will ever appear in any American newspaper or on any American television talk show. And I mean ever. They'll put a blackout on you. And I can assure you that even as I speak, [the CIA's] Jim [Critchfield] is gathering in all kinds of government informers to write terrible things about you ...

A brilliant expose from the son of a CIA official involved in both assassinations

"Let us say that you write a newspaper article on what I just told you. It would never get published and within minutes of you submitting it to an editor, we would be notified. ... No, [they would] trash you. Laugh at you. Get our little broken down academics to piss on you. The press would ignore you completely and eventually, you would find something else to do. Now, on the other hand, if you had been one of us and had inside knowledge and worse, proof, you would perish very quickly. ... But as an outsider, just laughter and silence. ... We would look into your tax records and turn the IRS loose on you or let your wife know you were boffing a nice waitress at a cheap local motel. Or one of your nice children would be introduced to dangerous drugs . ... Rather than off some snoop, it's much more subtle to marginalize them in print, imply they are either liars or nuts and make fun of them. Discredit them so no one will listen to them and [maybe] later, the car runs over them in the crosswalk. Oh, sorry about that, officer, but my foot slipped off the brake. I am desolated by that. And we pay for fixing the front end of his car. ...

"I developed H&K [Hill & Knowlton] as a purely captive asset... One of my jobs with the company was to keep up our connections with major business and H&K was my baby. ... We used them to plant our own agents all over the world. It is a wonderful cover. We have some of the major columnists, of course, and many editors and more than a few publishers, but putting our own agents in, say, in France or Ottawa, is a great advantage, believe me. And H&K had the best, the very best, connections.

Bobby Gray [Robert Keith Gray] was Ike's [Eisenhower's] press secretary and was a good friend of Nixon and Reagan and had their ear. ... Not only H&K, but a number of other firms have been of inestimable help to us. They plant stories we want planted, they open offices in foreign countries of interest and let our men come in as employees and so on. The PR people can move mountains. [Howard] Paster, who not only worked for H&K, but also the Clintons, worked with Bill's people to neutralize the Lewinski scandal which was really not political but religious in nature. The right wing Christians, who are as crazy as shit house owls, wanted Clinton's scalp so they could put one of their own pro-Jesus nuts in the White House. ...

"Never [will there be made accurate movies about these subjects], Gregory, I can promise you that. A [movie] studio that even considered this would be bankrupt within a few months. No, none of this will ever see the light of day and if you want to continue walking around, remember that silence is golden."

3 comments:

  1. Sobering thoughts, to say the least. The Company is best described as "tentacular".

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete



  3. Gclub Online gambling games where anyone gamble to create money.


    Gclub Our gambling site is open for full gambling games with quality. The player to play gambling games in simple baccarat game. Online Poker Online Slots Online Slots Online Article And other gambling games like no other.

    Our online casino has launched a fast gambling game. And it is safe to bet the gamblers have fun and comfortable when they come to play our gambling games. Adding both fun and easy gambling, many of our online casino games have many gamblers to play gambling through notebooks, computers, mobile phones.

    If anyone interested in trying to change the gambling. But before you go to play at a casino, far away, you just enter our online casino. Guaranteed that the player will not miss the fun of gambling games that anyone who wants to play gambling games with our online casino all the time that you want the player. How do I apply to join the game of our gambling. Gclub Slot

    ReplyDelete