Since the late 1940s – directly upon the chartering of the CIA, Operation Mockingbird was hatched under a wing called the Office of Policy Coordination, whose role it was (as was later revealed – only in 1976) to ‘buy influence’ in the media by a number of tactics. Having reporters directly on the OPC payroll was one of these. CIA recruits Frank Wisner (Wall Street Lawyer), Allen Dulles (senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell), Richard Helms, and Philip Graham (publisher of The Washington Post). Wisner and Graham had directly thought up and initiated Operation Mockingbird and sought the first media recruits.
It is perhaps no secret that media corporations share members of their boards of directors with a plethora of other large corporations, including: banks, capital and investment coroporations, health care corporations, oil companies, pharmaceutical, and NASDAQ companies. Until the start of the 1980s, the media corporations were domestically owned and fully regulated. Under the care of Ronald Reagan, and pressure from the IMF, World Bank, and Federal Reserve, steps were taken to deregulate and privatize the mass media. This resulted in a global commercial media system dominated by a small number of super-powerful supernational companies (primarily US based), working to promote the cause of a handful of individuals, their cronies and employees.
The top level of this hierarchy (mass media branch only) is populated by the likes of Disney/ABC, General Electric/NBC, Time Warner/AOL, Bertelsmann, Viacom/CBS, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation/Fox, Sony, Universal/Seagrams, Tele-Communications, Inc. or TCI and AT&T. This is just the head of the medusa – which has its second and third tiers working in real or feigned cooperation as independent companies. These might include The New York Times/Weekly Standard, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post/Newsweek, Tribune Co., US News, Gannett/USA Today, Washington Times, Knight-Ridder, etc.
Typical mass media tactics may include blackouts, misdirections, pundits parroting Establishment views, smear campaigns, defining popular opinions, entertainment distractions, and Hobson’s Choice (the presentation of a limted dialectic stemming from a single perspective). Watching Bill O’Reilly on FOX News provides fairly obvious demonstrations of these types of manoeuvre. However – such behavior seems all but universal and independent of a media outlet’s apparent position on the American political spectrum. A fairly critical listen to the seemingly ‘liberal’ NPR reveals shocking bias. In politically ‘hot’ news stories, the opinions of only one side of a debate may be sought, or only the opinions of pundits representing right-wing think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, The Brookings Institute, The Council on Foreign Relations (perhaps surprising, considering their ‘liberal stance’).
Think Tanks: The Missing Link?
The US Department of Defense (DoD) directly funds a number of US based Think Tanks, whose research, in many cases, goes well beyond the scope of their purported programs. Foremost