Take Back The Fourth Estate

Posted: February 25, 2013 in The People's History
Tags: , , ,

F. Oscar Callaway

On February 9, 1917, Congressman Oscar Callaway inserted the following statement in the Congressional Record:

“In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests… and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the United States. These 12 men worked the problem out by selecting 179 newspapers, and then began, by an elimination process, to retain only those necessary for the purpose of controlling the general policy of the daily press throughout the country. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest newspapers. The 25 papers were agreed upon; emissaries were sent to purchase the policy, national and international, of these papers; an agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.

This contract is in existence at the present time, and it accounts for the news columns of the daily press of the country being filled with all sorts of preparedness arguments…”

“American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing to commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against “global Communism.” Accordingly, the traditional line separating the American press corps and government was often indistinguishable: rarely was a news agency used to provide cover for CIA operatives abroad without the knowledge and consent of either its principal owner, publisher or senior editor. Thus, contrary to the notion that the CIA insidiously infiltrated the journalistic community, there is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements. They were witting.”  In all, about twenty‑five news organizations including those listed at the beginning of this article) provided cover for the Agency.” – Carl Bernstein, The CIA and the Media, Rolling Stone Magazine, October 20, 1977

Sixty years between the first quote and the second, and both describe the same stranglehold on the media, whether we’re talking bankers or the CIA… but then, what’s the difference? The ‘mainstream media’ in the United States was bought and paid for many years ago, and it is even more obvious today. The major media outlets only parrot the stories that the corporate-government tells them to go with and it is up to you and I to discern between propaganda and the truth. We all must be more informed to make better decisions in choosing what is best for our country and the world.

Reclaim the Fourth Estate: a return to what’s important; the death of bitchiness; the death of gossip & voyeurism; speaking truth to stupid; relentlessly ask the relevant hard-ball questions until you get an actual answer on the record. Reclaim journalism as an honorable profession, even if it means doing citizen journalism by yourself. Always cite (& link to) your sources.

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web

united states currency eye (Photo credit: kevindean)

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