Chapter 3

Manipulation Of The Media

Teaming Up With the Media

Freedom of the press has always passed itself off as one of America's most sacred cows. In reality, it has faithfully served and is still serving as another of the elite's Trojan Horses.

Those who consider America's media to be the freest in the world are perhaps overlooking one important consideration. Virtually all the means of communication from orbiting satellites, to the television networks, to the individual TV stations, to the newspaper chains and the major book publishing houses are owned by the economic elite!

Consolidating Ownership of the Media

The important thing to realize is not just that the elite own virtually all the Western media, but that it is now owned by a very small handful of media moguls. The shocking truth is that the ownership of newspapers and TV stations has already been consolidated to such a staggering degree that unmanipulated news coverage has practically ceased to exist.

Only one man and his media holdings need be mentioned to provide some tip of the iceberg proof to substantiate that perspective. His name is Rupert Murdoch, and he is an American billionaire. His media holdings are registered as The News Corporation Ltd. in Australia "for accounting advantages", but his holdings span four continents.

The areas over which he has the ability to exercise a simultaneous coordinated control include the editorial content and direction of newspapers such as the Boston Herald American, the Chicago Sun Times, and the Sun and the Times of London, to name but a few, and he holds interests in many others including The Financial Times, the Economist, and Reuters, {B140} the European Wire service. He owns 5 magazines in Britain, approximately 20 magazines in the U.S., and more than 100 newspapers in Australia. {B141}

His American based Metromedia TV station network alone cost about 2 billion dollars, and he has a 4 channel satellite television network called Sky Television in Britain.{B142}

Some of his other media holdings include the 20th Century Fox Film Studio (remember that Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford have been its past directors), the Harper & Row publishing house, the Star, New York magazine, the San Antonio Express, New Woman, Elle, In Fashion, Automobile, European travel & Life, Premiere, etc. etc. Recently Rupert Murdoch agreed to pay 3 billion dollars for 4 publications: TV Guide, Good Food, the Daily Racing Form, and Seventeen.

With wealth of this magnitude involved, it is not difficult to establish first of all that the bottom 90 percent of society are virtually excluded from media ownership. He himself has referred to newspapers as a series of "capital intensive" "local monopolies". {B143}

The Newhouse family of New York, the 5th richest family on the planet, owns Advance Publications and Newhouse Broadcasting outright. Besides being the ninth largest cable TV operator in the U.S., they own 22 daily newspapers, Random House publishing company, and a host of magazines such as the New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, and Parade.{B144}

Billionaire Randolph Hearst and family, own 14 daily newspapers, 6 TV stations, 7 radio stations, and some book publishing companies. {B145} Should we look for a better reason to explain why his daughter Patty was released into his custody, without punishment, after she had been photographed holding a gun in a bank stick-up, to earn money for a group of anti-government activists. The American media chorus justified her release by claiming that she had been kidnapped and brainwashed, and since brainwashing is their forte, opposition to the argument was conspicuous by its absence.

Kenneth Irving and family of Canada, the world's 8th richest billionaire has virtually monopolized ownership of all English speaking newspapers in his province. {B146} The Thompson family of Toronto, Canada (the 10th richest billionaire family) now owns even more newspapers than anyone in the States. In Britain, Robert Maxwell, another billionaire is busy consolidating the media there.{B147}

The owner of the largest media conglomerate in the world is Reinhard Mohn, yet another of the world's billionaires. {B148}

Each of these media magnates probably echoes the wishes of Rupert Murdoch who has been quoted as saying that his objective is a "global communications company". Each newspaper, magazine, and TV station reaches a specific section of the population; collectively they form a woven grid of influence that few active members of society can elude.

It would perhaps be worth pointing out that for all intents and purposes, media ownership within each of Western society's Feudal empires, Britain, Australia, Canada, America, Germany, etc., has already been consolidated into the control of a small handful of media moguls. Will it be necessary to have these moguls unite under one corporation name before the term "Big Brother" gets seriously discussed? Media owners can, and do, install TV network directors and newspaper and magazine editors whom they are assured will broadcast and print exactly what the elite want the American public to see, hear, and read. Whether they are openly united under one corporate "Big Brother" logo or not, is irrelevant. Covertly they are part of the elite team. Their coordination and control is best exemplified by considering how well they all work together to elect the team's political functionaries into public office.

Using the Media to Rig Elections

The media's role in undermining the function of true democracy, and especially at election time, cannot be overstated. The elite are not satisfied with infiltrating the nation's highest political offices, nor are they satisfied with negating the effects of democracy with special interest lobbying. No, that's not quite enough.

Before the bottom 90% of society are even allowed to approach the polling booth, the elite take the opportunity to subject the entire population to no less than six full months of intense political conditioning in which individuals and policies that pose a threat to their wealth and power, are systematically discredited. By praising their sympathizers and discrediting and smearing their opponents, the elite have consistently and successfully used the media, to elect enough political candidates to the White House and Congress to ensure success with their future lobbying.

Needless to say, most of the politicians running for election or reelection are doing so with funds contributed by the elite in one way or another, and of course election support translates into either payoffs for past favors, or for favors due and as yet unpaid.

The Hollywood Connection

The use of the media as a political propaganda tool is old hat, in fact, use of the Hollywood motion picture industry began as far back as 1934 during the campaign to elect a new governor of California. Upton Sinclair, a sincere and dedicated socialist, was running as a Democrat, and had won the Democratic primary with a landslide. By proposing a special tax on the California movie industry, Sinclair put into motion events which transformed elections thereafter into propaganda media events.

To scuttle the movie tax, and therefore to make Upton Sinclair lose the election, studio heads like MGM's Louis Mayer, Irving Thalberg, and Harry Cohn of Columbia conducted the first major motion picture oriented smear campaign. In the process, they set a precedent which would thereafter significantly reduce the fairness and integrity of the democratic process.

To scuttle Upton Sinclair, they first of all threatened to move at least four studios to Florida. Next Mayer distributed blank checks to his employees. All the cheques were made out to himself. Employees were effectively being intimidated to donate money to a slush fund to defeat Sinclair. Columbia's Harry Cohn used other tactics but also threatened his staff using their job security. Warner Brothers studio simply assessed each staff member a $3 contribution. The half million dollars generated that way was increased to nearly 10 million, an unprecedented amount with which to launch a political campaign for Governor. The money was used to pay for newspaper ads, radio ads, billboard advertising, phony anti-Sinclair smear groups, and a massive leaflet campaign.

All this direct participation by Hollywood was nothing when compared to their most devastating piece of underhanded trickery and deceit that ended up setting the standards for all future election campaigns, ...national or otherwise.

MGM studio, under Irving Thalberg's direction produced a contrived campaign propaganda film that was edited down to 6 minutes and added to Randolph Hearst's Newsreels which normally ran twice per week in all theaters. Louis B. Mayer went so far as to threaten to withhold the feature films if the political trailers were not shown as well. {B149}

The film depicted respectably dressed citizens declaring their intent to vote for Sinclair's opponent. Those who spoke well of Sinclair were chosen for their hobo derelict appearance. Of course many of the hobo type characters who appeared in the smear pictures were studio extras( i.e. Hollywood actors and actresses). {B150} The carefully edited film left the impression that Sinclair was a champion for rough illiterates who would quickly transform California into a welfare state. The campaign employed psychological tactics to implicitly and explicitly stress that Upton would turn California into a Russian colony. They even stooped to suggest that he might begin dynamiting churches and nationalizing the children.

William Randolph Hearst Sr., father of one of the previously mentioned billionaire owners of consolidated media holdings, used not only his California newspapers to spearhead the attack on Sinclair, but his Movie Newsreels as well to smear Sinclair to defeat.

Those who wish to read about this precedent setting event in much greater detail can refer to an article entitled, How Hollywood fixed an election, which appeared in the Nov 88 issue of the American Film magazine. Hollywood, thereafter, was considered a vital and indispensable political tool.

Today's Elections

Elections are still won and lost through media manipulations. The impact of carefully designed and contrived backdrops for the carefully scripted "30 second sound bites" is well known to media manipulators who employ proven psychological tactics.

In the 1988 Presidential campaign, Bush's Republican party supporters distributed millions of leaflets stating that all the murderers, rapists, drug pushers, and child molesters in Massachusetts would vote for Michael Dukakis, ...still a powerful brainwashing trick in the 80's. The degree to which a society can be effectively controlled using the media cannot be overemphasized. Mr Bush's TV commercials discrediting Mr Dukakis were practically on a par with those that were used to discredit Upton Sinclair back in 1934.

Unfortunately, the public is already so jaded, that the media manipulators don't even try to conceal the fact that what gets shown on TV as casual interviews are in fact, specially staged and scripted performances filmed by "purposely invited TV film crews", to achieve "predetermined reactions" at "precisely the desired time". They are known in the industry by the euphemism "photo opportunities".

Although photo opportunities used to be private affairs, nowadays they are pre-arranged and stage-managed so well, that everyone gets invited to record the event for their papers or their TV networks.

Even the rhetoric used by our nation's leaders is not their own. Some of the most important words uttered during these sound bites by both Ronald Reagan and George Bush were written by a hired speech writer, Peggy Noonan. What qualifications does she have to write stirring speeches for successive Presidents? Well, it certainly can't be her political convictions, because she used to be a Democrat. But she did work for seven years as a writer and producer for CBS News, and even wrote copy for Dan Rather.

Ms Noonan helped George Bush to see a "thousand points of light", just as she helped Reagan convince the nation that:

"...the freedom fighters of Nicaragua. You know the truth about them. You know who they're fighting and why. They are the moral equal of our Founding Fathers".

Doesn't that kind of bring lumps to your throat?...the variety you would just as soon spit out. {B151}

The reason that the media cooperate so readily and eagerly in this type of trickery can be traced back to the McCarthy era in the 50's. Even then the elite were so aware of the media's potential for influencing public thought, that they took the drastic step of ridding the media of those who might offer serious criticism against either the elite or their policies.

Purging America's Leadership of Critics

In the early 50's, capitalists were in a mild state of paranoia concerning the growing spread of Communism throughout the world. The people of China had just followed in Russia's footsteps and overthrown their emperor. At this point, America realized that the best way to stamp out public discussion of the shortcomings of monarchies and governments run by economic elite minorities, was to purge the country's key positions of socialist thinkers. The purge was spearheaded by a Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy who worked in close cooperation with J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI. Together these two men mounted a fierce campaign that lasted years, and quite successfully instilled in the public a fear and hatred of anything associated with socialist thinking. Nowhere was this carried out more fiercely than for people working in Hollywood's film industry.

During the McCarthy era, anyone working in the industry, whom the FBI suspected of having socialist leanings was branded as a Communist, and banned from employment. Many went underground and continued working under false identities, while others fled the country. As a result of this purge, Hollywood continues to be one of the most useful controlled outlets for propaganda. Because this campaign was carried out so ruthlessly, pro-elite sympathizers were left to occupy all the key social positions, and especially with regard to the media.

Maintaining Team Loyalty and Unity

Today, the most important media members of our society to be kept sympathetic, or on the payroll are: TV Network owners and directors, newspaper owners and editors, film company board members, and advertising industry heads, etc.

Incidentally, before I had become aware of the degree of consolidated ownership of the media, I had always wondered how such tight control over the press is managed, and I was given my first clue when on a flight from Tucson one day, I met a newspaper editor who was on his way to an editor's convention. When he mentioned that he used to work for the CIA, a group renown for its covert scheming, I was left wondering how many more of the nation's editors had acquired at least some of their skills from this College of Infiltrating Activists.

An additional, but vital clue concerning media's link with Capitol Hill and the White House came when I learned that Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford have served together on the board of directors of 20th Century Fox.

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to recognize this inter-relationship of the elite with both the media and Hollywood, as a telltale hint of the complex ways in which the elite achieve their political and psychological objectives. Hollywood's propaganda potential alone is enormous and has been used extensively. What more obvious connection exists between Hollywood and the White House than Ronald Reagan himself. When Reagan needed support for his Star Wars program, up popped movies like Rambo (with Presidential endorsement, less), Rambo II, and Rambo III. Is there an end in sight? Which leads us to the question as to whether there was any conscious intention for the Star Wars movie to help prepare the public for a military space program by the same name.

Not surprisingly, in the 60's era when police were being publicly criticized and looked down upon because of their heavy handed use of force to suppress demonstrations and anti-Vietnam war protests, TV cop shows and movies, and "made for TV" movies started springing up like mushrooms to the ludicrous extent that at one point in time there were more than twenty police promotional films, (TV cop shows), running concurrently. Although Hollywood has a large role to play, newspapers and TV play the biggest role.

Today, the media is as interconnected with the elite's political functionaries as ever. Incidentally, Caspar Weinberger, formerly Ronald Reagan's Trilateral Commission Defense Secretary, is now the publisher of Forbes magazine. {B153} And oh yes, Texan Eugene C. Pulliam, founder and owner of a chain of 7 newspapers died in 1975 leaving his grandson Dan Quayle some media power too.{B154}

Ownership of the media has never been more consolidated, and the ability to control public thinking has never been more tightly controlled. Consequently, using the media to get sympathetic politicians elected in the first place, is a snap. Discrediting "liberalism" is a snap. Carrying on alliances with dictators (without suffering any media criticism) is a snap.

Acknowledging the Elite's Teamwork

By far the most important thing to realize is that the elite remain in power because they are highly organized. The elite use campaign financing to buy loyalty from politicians who then work in close cooperation with upper echelon media managers to sell the elite's actions and policies to the public. Together, they determine and control the content of information that flows out through the mass media. In effect, they practically dictate the opinions of those who derive their impressions of America and the world primarily from newspaper and television sources.

For those of you who are still reluctant to think that the so-called "freest media in the world" cooperate with politicians behind the scenes to accomplish just that, let me hand you a bombshell. Think back for a moment to the fact that the Trilateral Commission is virtually operating America. How could this information have slipped the attention of the freest media in the world? (society's watchdog) Very simply. The reason is as shocking as it is revealing.

To help elect Carter, and to be assured of coordinated cooperation of the media when required, the following media kingpins were also included as

Trilateral Commission Members:

But that's not all! TV Network heads were also plugged into the Trilateral Commission.