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Free Press? NY Times Admits it Sends Stories to US Government for Approval Before Publication


June 26th, 2019

Comments (24)

This article was originally published by Ben Norton at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, and reprinted with permission from The Grayzone Project.

The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from “national security officials” before publication. This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don’t want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. According to the article, “the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cyber tools more aggressively,” as part of a larger “digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.”

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article “a virtual act of Treason.”

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous,” the Times communications team said. “We described the article to the government before publication.”

“As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns,” the Times added.

 

Indeed, the Times report on the escalating American cyberattacks against Russia is attributed to “current and former [US] government officials.” The scoop, in fact, came from these apparatchiks, not from a leak or the dogged investigation of an intrepid reporter.

‘Real’ journalists get approval from ‘national security’ officials

The neoliberal self-declared “Resistance” jumped on Trump’s reckless accusation of treason (the Democratic Coalition, which boasts, “We help run #TheResistance,” responded by calling Trump “Putin’s puppet”). The rest of the corporate media went wild.

But what was entirely overlooked was the most revealing thing in the New York Times’ statement: The newspaper of record was essentially admitting that it has a symbiotic relationship with the US government.

In fact, some prominent American pundits have gone so far as to insist that this symbiotic relationship is precisely what makes someone a journalist.

In May, neoconservative Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen — a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush — declared that WikiLeaks publisher and political prisoner Julian Assange is “not a journalist”; rather, he is a “spy” who “deserves prison.” (Thiessen also once called Assange “the devil.”)

What was the Post columnist’s rationale for revoking Assange’s journalistic credentials?

Unlike “reputable news organizations, Assange did not give the US government an opportunity to review the classified information WikiLeaks was planning to release so they could raise national security objections,” Thiessen wrote. “So responsible journalists have nothing to fear.”

In other words, this former US government speechwriter turned corporate media pundit insists that collaborating with the government, and censoring your reporting to protect so-called “national security,” is definitionally what makes you a journalist.

This is the express ideology of the American commentariat.

NY Times editors ‘quite willing to cooperate with the government’

The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington’s interests.

But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.

In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.

Risen detailed how his editors had been “quite willing to cooperate with the government.” In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, “How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?”

There is an “informal arrangement” between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials “regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories.”

“At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations,” the former New York Times reporter said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.

“He told me the disclosure would threaten the safety of the CIA officers in Afghanistan,” Risen said. “I agreed.”

Risen said he later questioned whether or not this was the right decision. “If I had reported the story before 9/11, the CIA would have been angry, but it might have led to a public debate about whether the United States was doing enough to capture or kill bin Laden,” he wrote. “That public debate might have forced the CIA to take the effort to get bin Laden more seriously.”

This dilemma led Risen to reconsider responding to US government requests to censor stories. “And that ultimately set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times,” he said.

“After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration began asking the press to kill stories more frequently,” Risen continued. “They did it so often that I became convinced the administration was invoking national security to quash stories that were merely politically embarrassing.”

In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Risen frequently “clashed” with Times editors because he raised questions about the US government’s lies. But his stories “stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration’s claims of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, were being cut, buried, or held out of the paper altogether.”

The Times’ executive editor Howell Raines “was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war,” Risen said.

In another anecdote, the former Times journalist recalled a scoop he had uncovered on a botched CIA plot. The Bush administration got wind of it and called him to the White House, where then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ordered the Times to bury the story.

Risen said Rice told him “to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone.”

“The Bush administration was successfully convincing the press to hold or kill national security stories,” Risen wrote. And the Barack Obama administration subsequently accelerated the “war on the press.”

CIA media infiltration and manufacturing consent

In their renowned study of US media, “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,” Edward S. Herman and Chomsky articulated a “propaganda model,” showing how “the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them,” through “the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors’ and working journalists’ internalization of priorities and definitions of newsworthiness that conform to the institution’s policy.”

But in some cases, the relationship between US intelligence agencies and the corporate media is not just one of mere ideological policing, indirect pressure, or friendship, but rather one of employment.

In the 1950s, the CIA launched a covert operation called Project Mockingbird, in which it surveilled, influenced, and manipulated American journalists and media coverage, explicitly in order to direct public opinion against the Soviet Union, China, and the growing international communist movement.

Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, published a major cover story for Rolling Stone in 1977 titled “The CIA and the Media: How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up.”

Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Bernstein wrote:

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.

Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.

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

These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government — or at least for the US national security state.

 

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Date: June 26th, 2019
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24 Comments...

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  1. I’ve been searching on-line over Three hours right now, however I actually hardly ever uncovered any kind of intriguing article including you primary German. It can be beautiful value sufficient in my opinion. Individually, when almost all webmasters plus blog writers manufactured excellent articles because you performed, the web are going to be a great deal more beneficial than in the past.

    • TharSheBlows says:

      ALL public media sources are corrupt and a tool of the Government. The only real news sources are ALT News/ independent reporters and those first live on the scene, and first to report. By the time the main stream media shills shows up the scene, they re-form the story to fit the Governments narrative, either for war or taxes or making vaccines as good as candy, and surrendering your rights is needed to protect you. They make the government look good and the public look bad. Hide the Governments crimes, and pretty much not worthy for any source for the facts.

      The American people crave the truth, good or bad, we want the truth.

  2. Kevin2 says:

    “The Press is to serve the Governed, not the Governors”
    US Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in the majority opinion known as “The Pentagon Papers”.

    In five decades the US Free Media, a light of freedom that shone over the world has become functionally the equivalent of the Soviet Unions PRAVDA which translated to English means, “The Truth”.

    • rellik says:

      K2,
      I read the papers of the world.
      Russian, Chinese, Indian, British,
      et al.
      I automatically dump the political stuff,
      I’m interested in floods earthquakes
      and more local news.
      This is my opinion, but like most lawyers
      journalists should be ground up and fed to pigs.
      Pol pot had it right, but did it wrong.
      The biggest danger to his society
      was lawyers, liberal academics, and journalists.
      Our society has the same dangers.
      I don’t advocate Pol Pot solutions,
      but we should prep and plan for
      a passive aggressive 4GW.
      There is a point where American cities,
      will become city states, and the rest of us will
      repudiate them.
      Face book and its employees are very wealthy.
      What do they produce?
      I get a little over 8 eggs per day, have about #50
      of bananas, and over #3,000 of meat walking around.
      who is rich?
      A Facebook SF resident or me?

      • Kevin2 says:

        rellik

        Prior to the Telecommunications Act Of 1996 there was some investigative reporting of government as “The Pentagon Papers” showed. Granted as far back as pre WWI the Imperial German governments warning about the Lusitania carrying munitions (denied but later proven true) was suppressed. It’s sinking was the predicate for US entry into “The War To End All Wars”. The propaganda about “The Hun” (pre NAZI Germany) was rampant while ignoring the British who were certainly no Saint in governance. The media in the “Free World” has always been questionable; post 1996 there is no question. The problem is intellectual chaos, if you can’t believe in anything you see or read then by default can’t logically believe in anything, except of course in not believing.

        • The Deplorable Renegade says:

          Kevin2, good points. I’d hate to think where we would be without the alternative media. But even with that you have to pick through all of those sources with a fine tooth comb. Some of them are just as bad if not worse than any MSM sources.

          • TharSheBlows says:

            Any person can find more facts in the comment section here on SHTFplan, than any MSM Fake News sources.

            Imagine idiots paying for a $130 a month Cable Bill to be lied to every day. And they laugh as they give you 230 channels of BS to fill your brain full of nonsense. That should keep the imbecils distracted, as the Government Robs us blind.

            • Kevin2 says:

              I kinda liked History and Science channels with the occasional Mini Series (Band Of Brothers, The Pacific, John Adams). I watch no news other than local for weather but I do catch Tucker Carlson from time to time. Sifting through the Alt is difficult but Zero Hedge, InfoWars and here with Paul Craig Roberts, David Solomon also on the stop and read list. I do think that there are retired KGB agents drinking vodka and saying, “Borris, how can the Americans lie like that and get their people to actually believe it”; “never worked for us”.

      • The Deplorable Renegade says:

        Rellik, no question you’re a lot better off than anyone who uses social media. None of the even prep I’ll bet. You can bet your last dollar the globalists have Pol Pot-type plans for us. I’d say the damn globalists and all their minions ought to be ground up and fed to pigs. Pigs don’t even care what they eat.

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      Kevin2, I always knew there was an unholy alliance between government and the MSM. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone in the MSM admit to it. CORRECTION; there was one previous CEO of CBS News who once said, “Our job is to give people not what they want but what we believe they should have.” Some of the wording from the actual quote may not be correct but the statement certainly is. And I don’t recall the CEO’s name.

  3. Best non- prepper article on this site since forever. This is fantastic. Not that what the article says is good; it’s just nice to see it in print.

    .

  4. Whatever says:

    The times might get clearance from the DNC.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Your “free” country.
    Your “free” press.
    Your “fair and balanced” mass media.
    How do you like the Tech Bully Monopoly, Gaggle-Youkooks-FarceBook-Twatterr? All of them shutting you up. Shutting your speech down. Censorship. Lies, fabrications, war mongering. Always wanting war with bad man of the 15 minute attention span. TRILLIONS of dollars spent. Our young men dead. For what? War is NOT patriotic. PEACE is patriotic. Always the media pushes war.

    All of the Tech Monopoly snooping on you. Snitching on you.
    The “Smart” cities with 5g that cook your insides.

    Why no pushback? Ban the censors from your life. Cancel the accounts. Pushback against TYRANT Tech monopoly Censorship. Pushback and STAND!

    CENSORED BANNED DELISTED

  6. Clown World says:

    I like the idea that news might be so empowering that you could change the situation, personally. If not, I could live without it.

  7. Clown World says:

    I’ve seen informative and uplifting films, with a stamp on it. Sometimes, there is a formal paragraph of nice calligraphy-like writing, or an announcer will directly tell you that it has been censored, in his best speaking voice. Censorship has been understood as a form of quality control, when the govt is presumably-credible. (Macros of zooplankton. Also, historical depictions of feudalism. Documentaries on a literal filmstrip.)

    In some countries, they say, what crime problem, what social problem? There is no need for the noir crime drama show. Paint a very rosy picture, where people should feel very grateful for their citizenship. NK shows their people as gentle, Disney-esque, forest creatures, and apparently sings them lullabies at curfew.

    We are shown malaise, forever, and kept on a razor’s edge, with false, moral alternatives, where a Holder runs guns, or the people in uniform, on Fox, guard the poppy fields. People’s morals can be corrupted, sexually, with bread-and-circuses, as opposed to the happy labor colony. You could be manipulating people to feel joyful and accomplished, rather than bored, neutered, and unwanted.

  8. Clown World says:

    I think, our propaganda has a Lord-of-the-Flies (irritations) angle to it. A tedious balance of equal-but-opposite forces, like in a stream engine.

  9. the Lone Ranger says:

    God the Father recently told the Holy Love visionary that Satan controls mainstream news.

    This article is just yet one piece of abounding evidence of that.

    Truth in mainstream media is scarce.

    Note to the NYT: when you have to get “daddy’s” approval for what you write, you can’t call yourselves “journalists”.

    You lack even the integrity a high school’s newspaper have.

    The only exception to this would be if our national security was at stake.

    Why do you see fit to print only lies that jeopardize our Liberty, our Constitution our Democracy?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Like this FAKE NEWS Story:
    A federal lawsuit filed in New York accused Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl more than 20 years ago, at several Upper East Side parties hosted by convicted registered sex offender and notorious billionaire investor, Jeffrey Epstein, known as Trumps, best buddy.

    The suit, first reported by ************, accuses Trump and Epstein of luring the anonymous plaintiff and two other and underage young women to four parties at Epstein’s Wexner Mansion at 9 East 71st Street. Epstein allegedly lured the plaintiff, identified in the suit only as Jane Doe, with promises of a lucrative modeling career and cash. They were to be processed through the now defunct Trump Modeling Agency.

    There were many witnesses to this crime. The 13 year old girl and her mother filed a report and tried to come forward by going public but were bullied, threatened and harassed. They backed out fearing for their lives. Being that Epstein is one of Trump closest friends Trump was right on board with this scheme.

    FAKE NEWS!!!FAKE NEWS!!!FAKE NEWS!!!

  11. aljamo says:

    What we have is a media with a total truth blackout. But somehow people still believe the lies. Otherwise occupied.

  12. aljamo says:

    Does anybody believe that the multimillion dollar drone allegedly shot down was not over Iranian territory. They used that excuse to jack gas higher again. How about the Osama bin Laden lie that kicked off the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Suckers do wah. Has there ever been a war started with the truth.