CIA vs. Joe McCarthy

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Writes Charles Burris: “Wendy McElroy’s article today, ‘The Media versus the State,’ was very interesting reading, but I would like to challenge the fundamental assumption at the root of the piece.

“Rather than viewing the actions of CBS News against Senator Joseph McCarthy (as portrayed in the award-winning film Good Night and Good Luck) as a heroic case of the mainstream news media working against state power, I believe it was precisely the opposite.

“The destruction of McCarthy and his populist crusade against the elites governing America was a triumph of the most powerful forces of the National Security State.

“George Clooney’s film does not delve into Joe McCarthy’s preliminary investigation of CIA covert activities and how CBS chairman William Paley, Fred Friendly, and Edward R. Murrow were part of the Agency’s Operation Mockingbird to provide deflection and cover for the Agency’s ‘family jewels’ of the day.“CBS News president Sig Mickelson (1954-61) was liaison to the CIA. Because of his frequent communications, Mickelson even had a direct private phone line installed to the Agency.

“I would suggest reading chapter ten, ‘Things Fall Apart: Journalists,’ in Hugh Wilford’s new book, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How The CIA Played America, for background on these crucial events. It outlines how the Columbia Broadcasting Service was closely connected to the Central Intelligence Agency during this period.

“CIA director Allen Dulles, CBS chairman William Paley, and CBS board director Senator Prescott Bush were intimate associates in various sociopolitical networks of the northeastern seaboard establishment found in Washington and New York during the days of the early Cold War.

“Whether they would meet in their private clubs, at the Harold Pratt House of the Council on Foreign Relations, or in Wall Street corporate and bank board rooms, these old birds of a feather flocked, connived, schemed, and conspired together.

“For more on the mainstream news media and the CIA, see Wikipedia on Operation Mockingbird.

“And see also the classic Rolling Stone article, ‘The CIA and the Media,’ by former Washington Post investigative journalist Carl Bernstein which is discussed in detail in The Mighty Wurlitzer.

“There is much more to Joe McCarthy, the CIA, and 1950’s America than found in a Hollywood film treatment or presented by ‘court historians’ anointed by the MSM.

“As with much other conventional establishment history, Americans have been lied to and bamboozled yet again. Its time for yet more ‘revisionism’ on this topic. And libertarians should lead the way.”

7:36 pm on June 16, 2008