Open Mouth, Insert Foot
(?) March 30th, 2001


OK, we'll skip the pleasantries and get down to business.  We read this article on

CIA Admits To Controlling
US Media In 60's - Imagine
What They Do NOW
Especially for those who still think America has a FREE PRESS
which can be relied upon to bring us the TRUTH,
From Brasscheck

Especially for those who still think America has a FREE PRESS which can be relied upon to bring us the TRUTH, READ THIS CIA DOCUMENT CAREFULLY...
From Brasscheck 3-26-1
(From a recently declassified CIA propaganda plan for the Bay of Pigs invasion)
"Should military action be extended over a long period of time, the radio and leaflet operations previously described will be augmented by all the regular propaganda apparatus.
This will include press placement throughout the hemisphere through CIA assets; through Miami exile contacts with Florida papers; and through Headquarters placement directly on international wire services . . . For in spite of all elaborate planning to reach the Cuban people and the rest of the world directly, it is the output of the established wire services which most effectively do the job.
One report on United Press International, for example, will be repeated on nearly every radio station and most of the newspapers of the Caribbean area (AND THE U.S. -ed).
Because of the importance of this, military planners should be aware of Headquarters capability of placing items directly on the wire service tickers.
During a period of fighting, especially in the first few days, we will be in a position to place specific messages and propaganda lines. This will be enormously important in influencing the actions of Cuban government leaders and stimulating sympathetic support of the patriotic rebellion from other countries."
Your free press at work.

So, we sent an email to, and here is the unabridged version:

OK, here's the full text of the story from you on (a bastion of legitimate journalism if there ever was one): 

[contents of above article]

OK, there are a lot of problems with your analysis of this file.

First of all, what makes you say that the CIA "controls" the media?  Because they publish propaganda?  Because they're using their "contacts" to release positive views of the invasion?  It is neither surprising nor inherently evil that the CIA does these things, and this release has ZERO new information to suggest a wide-based intelligence element in the control of US media outlets. 

This looks like nothing more than a Radio Free Europe for Cuba. 

Jim Foreman

Editor, The Skeptic Report

We tried our damndest to be nice in our criticisms.  Almost entirely  absent is our usual biting sarcasm...the sarcasm that this email does exhibit is not directed at the writer of the analysis; I made fun of, which is nothing strange. 

Which is why we were exceedingly surprised to get this email response: (the bold statements are most indicative of Brasscheck's less than professional demeanor)

Dear Mr. Foreman,

"military planners should be aware of Headquarters capability of
placing items directly on the wire service tickers."

In other words, the CIA can and does place the stories they want
directly  on the wires of the major news services like AP and UPI.
If you don't grasp the significant impact that has on the reliability
of the US news media, you need to brush up on your skills as a skeptic.

Actually, the unreliability of outlets like the AP is an open
secret and has been since at least the 1920s when arch skeptic
Upton Sinclair (unsupported by "foundation" grants by the way)
wrote about the subject in depth in his book "The Brass Check."
Anyone reading the AP's output on Kosovo got a good reminder
of how seriously compromised that news service is.

Since you feel free to make comments about the integrity
of other skeptics (Mr. Rense)... [ed. note: I did no such thing, to another skeptic...because if Jeff Rense is this guy's definition of a skeptic, then I'm glad I'm not a very good one]

You sound less like an informed skeptic and more like a
mudslinger with an ax to grind and an agenda.
I note that
while your organization makes a concerted effort to
expose the fraud of minor players, it stays far away
from substantial issues effecting the status quo.

Hmmm, I wonder why that is? [ed. note: because we don't care.]

Ken McCarthy

P.S. Jeff wrote the headline for this and in fact, it's accurate.
The CIA released the file. The file states they had the ability
in the 60's to put ANYTHING they wanted on the news wires, true or
false. Ergo the CIA admits to having substantial control over
the output of fundamental elements of the US media in the 60's.

Putting stories on the major news wires is about as close
to "controlling" the US media as mere mortals can get.

Though I'm sure you know that.

By the way, what were we doing invading a small sovereign
nation, communist or otherwise, that had not attacked us?
Doesn't seem very American to me. Are some kind of commie?
Or worse yet a drug dealing Radio Free Europe for Arab
terrorists? <makes about as much sense as your snide

I'm not sure we deserved that treatment.

But what I am sure of is that my point stands.  Simply because a government agency can put a positive slant on its own dealings, no matter how insidious they are, does not indicate a broad-based control of the media.  To assume this requires a great leap of faith; journalism is a field in which faith has no part.

That article ain't journalism. 

Also, I could put things on the wire service, too.  It's really not that difficult, since all I have to do is get a job at the AP.  Then I could put pretty much anything on them that I wanted, until I got fired.  

Anyway, I'm apparently not the only one with an axe to grind...take a look at and get back to me.

Send us your comments.



June 11th, 2001

A Million Damn Dollars
May 31st, 2001

Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001