If knowledge is truly power and you can only become knowledgeable on any subject with accurate information, then those who decide what information we can receive are incredibly powerful. If you have control over what information can or can’t seen and you want an event to look a certain way to achieve an outcome beneficial to you, you simply direct the narrative of said event to show the people what you want them to believe. This has been a very powerful tool for influencing public opinion- one that most Americans believe only happens in countries that have government-run media outlets. Although, there are clear examples of this happening in America. The most recent glaring example, being the media’s “beating of the war drums” after 9-11. Specifically, the lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that were used to get us to invade. Simply put, if you are able to control the information the masses receive, you are able to program them to think a certain way about a subject and manipulate them into doing what you want. This is the very definition of mind control!
In one of my past articles, I briefly address how 6 companies control 90% of all media, television or print. This consolidation process (aimed at controlling what information the public is privy to and what way it is presented to them) has been going on for over a century. When you combine the media like this, it is a whole lot easier to control the information. When you add all that with the fact that the media is legally allowed to lie and distort facts, we have some serious problems. Media executives have the legal right to fire a journalist for not disseminating the big business or the government propaganda (disinformation and misinformation) that they want spread. The journalist can either be propagandists or get fired. Unfortunately, this is not a new development and big business and government agencies are constantly using the media to do this- as if the media news outlets are really just advertising for them. In part two, I will look into more examples specifically pertaining to big business. But I want to focus the rest of this article showing how the government has used the media to spread disinformation.
The CIA’s past troubles with pushing disinformation
In the 70’s, the CIA was caught secretly implanting their employees in almost every major print and broadcast news outlet in America! This resulted in an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee that culminated in a 1975 hearing. A hearing that featured William Colby, the Director of the CIA, admitting to having people who submit articles to American newspapers. He was then asked a follow-up question about whether the same was true for T.V. news and what specific newspapers it was happening in. However, he effectively refused to answer these outside of executive session. In other words, he would not answer under oath and on camera.
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Carl Bernstein, spent 6 month researching the CIA’s connection to the media. He was given access to some of the CIA files on the subject and interviewed a variety of high-ranking personnel from both the media outlets and the CIA. Rolling Stones made his 25,000 word article, The CIA and The Media ,their cover story for their October 1977 publication. All in all, he found more than 400 journalist (over the 25 year period before the article) “were also secretly carrying out orders from the CIA.” By the time this article was written, the CIA had already crafted an official stance as to the main purpose of these journalist. They claim they were being used to gather information the agency wanted or as spotters for potential assets overseas. This stance was repeated over and over in the article (by either High level CIA employees or Media exec’s), as if to paint a picture that there was nothing to fear about this practice. That its simply used as a way to fight communism and not because the CIA was planting stories to influence the public. However, Bernstein was able to find one case were a journalist (with a very sizable readership) did exactly what Colby admitted to and The CIA was trying to get the public to believe didn’t happen. He published an article, almost verbatim, as to what was given to him by the CIA!
“On one occasion, according to several CIA officials, Sulzberger was given a briefing paper by the Agency which ran almost verbatim under the columnist’s byline in the Times. “Cy came out and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing a piece, can you give me some background?’” a CIA officer said. “We gave it to Cy as a background piece and Cy gave it to the printers and put his name on it.”
This article only mentioned this practice once, but a CIA document was uncovered around the same time as this article’s publication. The document shows this was not an isolated incident. It also shines light on why Director Colby did not want to answer questions under oath. Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report. is the name of the document.
In the wake of the JFK assassination, President Johnson convened a commission that looked at the evidence from the assassination. It was called the Warren Commission because Chief Justice Warren was the head of the commission. The Warren Report was what commission’s final report was called and it found that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to kill JFK. This conclusion was questioned by a growing number of people (stateside and abroad), the CIA wrote this document as a way to counter this. It states they need to discuss with “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough of an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.”. This translates to: Critics of the job the commission did are wrong and they did the best possible job. Every single claim about the assassination that we did not make is not accurate and talking about this any more is un-American and is helping out the enemy- who clearly started these theories..
The document goes on to say that after they get these men on board they need “to employ propaganda assets to [negate]and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.” After which they give examples of how to discredit anyone who is outspoken about the many flaws in the official story. These include saying those making the claims are:”(1) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (2) politically interested, (3) financially interested, (4) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (5) infatuated with their own theories.” Today, anytime someone writes a book, does lectures, or is outspoken about the “official story” from the government or big business, a variation of these 5 things are still used to try and dismiss the people speaking out, instead of having to address the valid points they brought up. For example, when doctors write books or articles on the dangers of pharmaceuticals, it gets brushed off as “well, he wrote a book and is selling” or “he promotes vitamin supplements” implying he is clearly in it for financial gain and what he says is not applicable. This type of argument only tries to bring someone’s character into question instead of actually addressing their arguments alone. It is a logical fallacy known as the “ad hominem attack”. When trying to discredit someone today, the media still uses this tactic, just like when this document was written.
The document also present arguments to counter all the people saying the evidence suggests a conspiracy and not a lone gunman. Most don’t hold up to actual critical thought or logic, but the goal is to get the different media outlets all on the same page. This way, the population hears the same propaganda repeated over and over. As Joseph Goebbels , the NAZI propaganda minister, once said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
As you can see, with the consolidation of the media, the very cozy relationship the media has with big business and the government, and the ability to legally lie on the news, it was pretty easy to control information. However, with the invention of the internet, that all changed. People suddenly discovered it was easy to research on their own and more people were able to disseminate information that was not controlled by those few men that own and run the 6 companies that control the main stream media. This is a huge problem for them but they have, once again, come up with an idea that they think will give them some of the power back. I will discuss their new technique in part 2 of this article.