Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths
See Chapter 9 on Control of the Media:
Control of the Media
As mentioned in Chapter 1, one of the two clever strategies used by the Power Control Group in the taking of America has been the control of the news media.
For those American citizens who steadfastly refuse to believe that all of the American establishment news media could be controlled by the CIA and its friends in the White House, the continuing support of the Warren Commission's lone assassin conclusion by virtually all of the major news media organizations in November, 1975, twelve years after the event, must have been very puzzling indeed. Since 78% of the public believe that there was a conspiracy in the case, there must be a series of questions in the minds of the most intelligent of the 78% about the media's position on the subject.
This Chapter is intended to enlighten readers and to remind them of the control exercised by the intelligence community and the White House over the 15 organizations from whom the public gets the vast majority of its news and opinions.
Let's begin with 1968-1969. By 1973 the American public had begun to develop a skepticism toward information they received on television or radio. Various news stories appearing in our national news media through those years had brought about this attitude. Some examples are: the Songmy-Mylai incident, the Pueblo story, the murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton, the Pentagon Papers, the Clifford Irving hoax, the Bangladesh tragedy and the India-Pakistan war, Hoover & FBI antics, the Jack Anderson papers, and IT&T and the Republican National Convention.
The general reaction was bound to be, "Don't believe everything you read, see or hear, especially the first time around, and more especially if the story comes from Washington." In the case of the Pentagon Papers, things we all had taken as gospel for nearly two decades suddenly seemed to crumble.
To what extent can the national news media be held responsible for this situation? What has happened to the inquiring reporter and the crusading editor who are both searching for and printing the truth? If a government or a president lies or keeps secrets, can the American news media really find out about it? And if they do, what moral, ethical, political or other criteria should they use in uncovering the lies and presenting them to the public?
Vice President Agnew would have said, "The press is already going too far." Members of the press would have said, "We must remain independent and maintain the freedom of speech." Just how independent is the news media? Is it controlled to some extent by Washington?
The answer to some of these questions can be found by taking an inside look at the major national news media organizations during 1968 and 1969 and how they treated the most controversial news subject since World War II. The assassination of John F. Kennedy and its aftermath is an all-pervading, endless topic. It has yet to reach the Pentagon Papers, Anderston papers, or Mylai stage of revelation. Precisely because it is still such a controversial subject, verboten for discussion among all major news media (unless the discussant supports the Warren Commission), it serves as an excellent case study.
A categorical statement can be made that management and editorial policy, measured by what is printed and broadcast in all major American news media organizations, supports the findings of the Warren Commission. This has been true since 1969, but it was not true between 1964 and 1969.
Of significance in this analysis and what it implies about the American public's knowledge about the assassination and its aftermath is a definition of "major American national news media." It can be demonstrated that an overwhelming mass of news information reaching the eyes and ears of Americans comes from about fifteen organizations. They are, in general order of significance: NBC-TV & Radio CBS-TV & Radio, ABC-TV & Radio, Associated Press, United Press, Time-Life-Fortune-Sports Illustrated, McGraw Hill Business Week, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, New York Times News Service, Washington Post News Service, Metromedia News Network, Westinghouse Radio News Network, Capital City Broadcasting Radio Network, the North American Newspaper Alliance, and the Saturday Evening Post (the Post is, of course, now defunct.)
There are some subtle reasons for this, not generally appreciated by the average citizen. Television has, of course, become the primary source of information. For any nationally circulated news story, local stations rely heavily on film, videotape and written script material prepared and edited by the three networks. Once in a while Metromedia may also send out TV material. In effect, this means that editorial content for a vast majority of the television information seen by American citizens everywhere originates not only with three or four organizations but also with a very small number of producers, editors and commentators in those networks.
A large majority of any national news items printed by local newspapers originates in a small number of press-wire services. AP and UP dominate this area, with selected chains of papers subscribing to a lesser extent to new services of the New York Times, Washington Post, North American Newspaper Alliance, and a very small percentage receiving information from papers in Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis.
In a national news story of major significance such as the assassination of John Kennedy, the smaller local papers rely almost exclusively on their affiliated news services. Economic reasons dictate this situation. The small paper can't afford to have reporters everywhere. The major newspapers might send a man to Dallas for a few days to cover the assassination, or they might send a man to New Orleans to cover the Clay Shaw trial. But even the major papers can't afford to cover every part of a continuing story anywhere around the world. So they too rely on UP and AP for much of their material. They also rely on AP, UP and Black Star for most of their photographic material.
In the case of news magazines, the holding corporations become important in forming editorial policy in a situation as controversial as the assassination of JFK. Time Inc. and Life,Newsweek and the Washington Post, U.S. News, and McGraw Hill managements all became involved.
Fifteen organizations is a surprisingly small number, and one is led to conjecture about how easy or difficult it might be to control or dictate editorial policy for all of them or some appreciable majority of them. An article in Computers and Automation reprinted a statement by John R. Rarick, Louisiana Congressman and an entry made in the "Congressional Record" bearing on this subject. In the reprint, the "Government Employees Exchange" publication is quoted as stating that the CIA New Team used secret cooperating and liaison groups after the Bay of Pigs in the large foundations, banks and newspapers to change U.S. domestic and foreign relations through the infiltration of these organizations. The coordinating role at The New York Times was in the custody of Harding Bancroft, Executive Vice President.
A useful analysis consists of examining what happened organizationally and editorially inside each of the fifteen companies following the assassination of President Kennedy. My personal knowledge, plus information available from a few sources connected with the major news media, permits such an analysis to be made for eleven of the fifteen. They are: NBC, CBS, ABC, Time-Life, The New York Times, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press, Saturday Evening Post, Capital City Broadcasting, and North American Newspaper Alliance. In addition, the performance of nine local newspapers and TV stations directly involved in the events in Dallas and New Orleans will be analyzed. These include: Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, Dallas CBS-Affiliate WBAP, New Orleans Times Picayune, New Orleans Times Herald, and New Orleans NBC-Affiliate WDSU-TV.
Most of these organizations had reporters and photographers in Dallas at the time of the assassination or within a few hours thereafter. Most of them had direct coverage available when Jim Garrison's investigation broke into the news in 1967 and during the trial of Clay Shaw in New Orleans in 1969. For many of them the Shaw trial became the running point in the changing of editorial policy toward the assassination. For a few, the Garrison investigation and the Shaw trial took on the aspect of waving a red flag in front of a bull. They became directly involved in a negative way and thus not only reported the news, but also biased it.
Immediately following the assassination the media reported nearly everything that had obviously happened. All was confused for the first few days. The killing of Oswald by Ruby on live television produced even greater confusion.
For one year the major media reported everything, from probable Communist conspiracies to the lone assassin theory. The media waited for the Warren Report, and when it was issued in October of 1964 many of the major media fell into line and editorially backed the Commission's findings. Some questioned the findings and continued to question them until 1968 or 1969. The New York Times and Life magazine fell into this category. But by the time the Shaw trial ended in March 1969, every one of the fifteen major news media organizations was backing the Warren Commission and they have continued to maintain this editorial position since.
The situation would perhaps not be so surprising had not the internal assassination research teams in several of these organizations discovered the truth about the Kennedy killing between 1964 and 1968. These teams examined the evidence and thoroughly analyzed it. No one who has ever taken the trouble to objectively do just that has reached any conclusion other than conspiracy.
In each and every case the internal findings were overruled, suppressed, locked up, edited and otherwise altered to back up the Warren Commission. Management at the highest editorial and corporate level took the action in every instance. Before drawing any further generalization about the performance of the media in the JFK case, it will be revealing to examine what happened and specifically who took what actions in the case of the eleven national organizations and the nine local ones listed earlier.
The Time Inc. organization let Life Magazine establish its editorial policy while Time published more or less standard Time-Life stories. Life became directly involved in the assassination action and evidence suppression from the very beginning, on November 22, 1963.
Life purchased the famous Zapruder movie from Abraham Zapruder on the afternoon of the assassination for about $500,000. The first negative action took place when Life and Zapruder began telling the lie that the price was $25,000 (which Zapruder donated to the fund raised for the widow of Dallas policeman, J. D. Tippit, who had also been murdered that day). Apparently, both Life and Zapruder were ashamed that he profited by the event. He lived in fear that the true price would be revealed until the day he died.
As many readers know, the Zapruder film (viewed in slow motion) proves there was a conspiracy because of the backward motion of the President's head immediately following the fatal shot. It proves the shot came from the grassy knoll to the right and in front of the president while Oswald's purported position was very nearly directly behind him. The film also helps establish that five, and not three shots, were fired, and that one of them could not have been fired from Oswald's supposed sniper's nest because of the large oak tree blocking his view.
Life magazine never permitted the Zapruder film to be seen publicly and locked it up in November 1968 so that no one inside or outside Life could have access to it, automatically becoming an "accessory after the fact". Life helped protect the real assassins and committed a worse crime than the Warren Commission.
In answer to those defenders of Life who will say, "But Life turned over a copy of the Zapruder film to the Warren Commission, and it is available in the National Archives," let's look at the facts. Life did not supply the copy of the film now resting in the Archives. That copy came from Zapruder's original to the Secret Service to the Warren Commission to the Archives. It is available for viewing by the few people fortunate enough to visit the Archives. It can not be duplicated by anyone, and copies can not be taken out of the Archives or viewed publicly in any way. The Archive management responsible for the Kennedy assassination records state that the Life magazine ownership of the Zapruder film is what prevents copies from being made available outside the Archives.
The Warren Commission did not see the film in slow motion. Nor does the average Archives' visitor get to see it in slow motion or stop-action. Yet the most casual analysis of the film in slow motion convinces anyone to conclude there was a conspiracy.
Thus Life magazine is an important part of the efforts to suppress evidence of conspiracy.
Life was involved in several other ways as an accessory after the fact. The organization began its efforts to discover the truth about the assassination in 1964 when it assigned Ed Kern, an associate editor, to investigate. By the fall of 1966, Kern had become convinced that the basic evidence pointed to conspiracy. Life management was also apparently convinced; they published articles in November 1965 and November 1966 questioning the Warren Commission's conclusions.
In the fall of 1966 Life transferred Richard Billings from their Miami office to headquarters in New York. His assignment was to take over the investigation of the Kennedy assassination, and to head a team of several people working full time on it. One of Dick Billings' objectives was to search for and acquire as much of the missing photographic evidence as possible.
This author initiated a similar search, independent from Life magazine, in September 1966. As often happens, people with common objectives decided to work together. Billings and the author arrived at a tacit understanding that any JFK assassination photographs, including TV films or private movies, found by either would be brought to the other's attention. In exchange for access to Life's photographic collection (including the Zapruder film and slides), the author agreed to give Life the results of any analyses of the photographic evidence. In cases where the author could not afford to acquire some new piece of evidence, Life would offer to purchase the materials from the owners and supply copies to the author.
In this manner the author discovered and helped Life magazine acquire the largest collection of photographic evidence of the JFK assassination, outside of the author's personal collection and the collection now located at the headquarters of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations in Washington, D.C. Among the photos discovered were:
The Dorman movie - Private
The Wilma Bond photos - Private
The Robert Hughes movie - Private
The David Weigman TV footage - NBC
The Malcolm Couch TV footage - ABC
The Jack Beers photos - Dallas Morning News
The William Allen photos - Dallas Times Herald
The George Smith photos - Ft. Worth Star Telegram
The John Martin movie - Private
Hugh Betzen's photo - Private
(See Computers and Automation, May 1970)
Continued at link above. Includes CBS, The New York Times, NBC, ABC, UPI, AP, Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, Dallas Newspapers, The Times Herald and The Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, TV Stations WFAA (ABC), WBAP (NBC), KTTV -- Dallas and others...
..."How, one may ask, could all of this have happened in the world's greatest democracy? What has become of the principles of the Founding Fathers, Horace Greeley, Will Rogers and others, in which the "free" press is supposedly our best protection from the misuse of governmental power. Didn't things change with Watergate? What about the New York Times and the "Pentagon Papers," the Washington Post, Bernstein and Woodward, Watergate, NBC's white paper on Vietnam, Sy Hersh and the CIA stories in the New York Times?
The actions taking place in November-December, 1975 and on into 1976, proved the media were still influenced and controlled by the same forces that controlled the media in 1968 and 1969. Some of the names of the players were different: Ford for Nixon, Colby for Helms, Kelley for J. Edgar Hoover. But the forces were the same. The chairmen of the boards and presidents of NBC, CBS, ABC, Time, Inc., Newsweek-Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, UPI, AP, and the rest, were still very much controlled and influenced by the White House and the Secret Team. Some of the influence was by infiltration, as Fletcher Prouty so aptly demonstrated. "