Sunday, July 19, 2009
“It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite,” said Sean McManus , president of CBS News, on the passing on Walter Cronkite. “More than just the best and most trusted anchor in history, he guided America through our crises, tragedies and also our victories and greatest moments.”
I wonder if Mr. McManus knew the real Cronkite — Cronkite the a former intelligence officer who was lured away from his UPI Moscow desk by Operation Mockingbird’s Phil Graham.
Of course he did. Because the corporate media, at least at the level Walter Cronkite occupied, is rife with spooks, government agents, and disinfo operatives. The CIA has “important assets” inside every major news publication in the country, a fact established by numerous FOIA documents. A rare glimpse was also provided by Frank Church’s committee in the mid-70s.
Some of the journalists working the CIA’s side of the street “were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country,” Carl Bernstein  wrote in an article published in Rolling Stone in October, 1977. “Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad.”
“It was not until 1982 that the Agency openly admitted that reporters on the CIA payroll have acted as case officers to agents in the field,” writes Alex Constantine in The Depraved Spies and Moguls of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD . “Most consumers of the corporate media were — and are — unaware of the effect that the salting of public opinion has on their own beliefs.”
“In the 1950s, outlays for global propaganda climbed to a full third of the CIA’s covert operations budget. Some 3, 000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts. The cost of disinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year by 1978, a budget larger than the combined expenditures of Reuters, UPI and the AP news syndicates.”
Cronkite was a trusted and valued part of that huge mass propaganda effort.
Cronkite betrayed his kindly and fatherly demeanor in 1999 when he accepted the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award at the ceremony at the United Nations :
It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace. To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order. But the American colonies did it once and brought forth one of the most nearly perfect unions the world has ever seen.
It is said Cronkite “somehow spoke for the nation he spoke to,” according to the Los Angeles Times, when in fact — like all corporate media figures — Cronkite was reading from a script provided by the CIA at the behest of the ruling elite.