CIA & the Media 

Here's just a snippet from Carl Bernstein's famous 1977 article entitled 
"The CIA & The Media" from Rolling Stone, 10/20/77. Anyone with access to 
a library should try to find this - it's a truly breakthrough piece - 16 
pages long in the reprint!

begin snippet:

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America's leading syndicated 
columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go 
because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he 
was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at 
the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past 25 
years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence 
Agency according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these 
journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were 
explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists 
provided a full range of clandestine services -- from simple 
intelligence-gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist 
countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared 
their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, 
distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without 
portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign 
correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped 
their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the 
derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest 
category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In 
many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform 
tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's 
leading news organizations.

The history of the CIA's involvement with the American press continues to 
be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the 
following principal reasons:

   -   The use of journalists has been among the most productive means 
of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA. Although the agency has 
cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 (primarily as a 
result of pressure from the media), some journalists are still posted abroad.

   -  Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would 
inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950's 
and 1960's with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals 
in American journalism.

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William 
Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., 
Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the 
Louisville Courier-Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Services. 
Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American 
Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated 
Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, 
Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the 
Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA 
officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.

Appropriately, the CIA uses the term 'reporting' to describe much of what 
cooperating journalists did for the Agency. "We would ask them, 'Will you 
do us a favor?'" said a senior CIA official. "'We understand you're going 
to be in Yugoslavia. Have they paved all the streets? Where did you see 
planes? Were there any signs of military presence? How many Soviets did 
you see? If you happen to meet a Soviet, get his name and spell it 
right....Can you set up a meeting for us? Or arrange a message?'" Many 
CIA officials regarded these helpful journalists as operatives: the 
journalists tended to see themselves as trusted friends of the Agency who 
performed occasional favors -- usually without pay -- in the national 

Two of the Agency's most valuable relationships in the 1960's, according 
to CIA officials, were with reporters who covered Latin America -- Jerry 
O'Leary of the Washington Star and Hal Hendrix of Miami News, a Pulitzer 
Prize winner who became a high official of the International Telephone and 
Telegraph Corporation. Hendrix was extremely helpful to the Agency in 
providing information about individuals in Miami's Cuban exile community.



Like I said - a great article!

A note about Hendrix - he was the one who Seth Kantor, reporting on the
JFK assassination, was told to call for 'background' on Oswald after
Oswald's arrest. Hendrix, from Miami, had all the info on Oswald's 
pro-Castro leafleting activities in New Orleans, details about Oswald's 
defection to the Soviet Union, etc.

Only years later did Kantor realize the significance of a guy like 
Hendrix, CIA, having so much info on Oswald so soon after the assassination.