Media Demons

April 2, 2010

When I read it, I laughed. To me, it was obvious.

Definition for propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also: a public action having such an effect (Merriam Or—manipulation of information to influence public opinion.

In 1948, the CIA established Operation Mockingbird, a program designed to influence the American media to play an important role in the propaganda campaign against the spread of Communism. The CIA recruited journalists, who wrote for The Washington Post, New York Times, Time Magazine, New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Miami News, Chattanooga Times, etc.  By 1953, this CIA network had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies (like the Associated Press and United Press International).

Evidence suggests that Operation Mockingbird (or something like it) exists today. If so, whom would this operation target? After all, Cold War Communism is gone.

The reason I mention Operation Mockingbird in this post is because of something I read in the New York Times today—Journalists’ E-Mails Hacked in China. The first few paragraphs of this piece infer that China’s government is responsible. Later, the piece indirectly mentions there is no way to know who did it. In the last paragraph, we are not sure if Google is partially responsible. As a journalist, why organize the piece this way?

See Google Recycled