Thursday, September 3, 2015

Subverting the Media

In discussing the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dan Rather, the well-loved anchorman for CBS Television, described the now famous Zapruder film that captured footage of the shot which killed President John F. Kennedy. The movie, taken by amateur cameraman, Abraham Zapruder, was quickly snapped-up by Life magazine for $250,000.00.  Although Life published still frames of the movie, the 18 second film was kept under lock and key – not to be seen by Americans until 1975.

 But Rather’s remarks were misleading.  He told his viewers that the film showed JFK falling forward – confirming the official view that Kennedy had been shot from behind.  However, the film clearly showed Kennedy lurching violently backwards, evidence of a frontal shot.  To add to the confusion, the Warren Commission report printed two frames of the film in reverse – again implying a rear shot - an accident the FBI typified as a “printing error.”

 Meanwhile, still pictures lifted from the Zapruder film were also published by Life magazine.  Remarkably, they too were published in reverse order, thereby creating the impression that the President had been shot from behind by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald.  Until the film was shown to Americans in its entirity, no one was the wiser.  Following the broadcast in 1975, a massive controversy followed giving rise to ongoing allegations of conspiracy.

 The Zapruder film clearly showed President Kennedy had also been shot from the front.  The result immeasurably strengthened the charge  - that had been bubbling in the background – that the President had been assassinated as a result of a well orchestrated conspiracy, and that this was covered-up to protect the guilty, who many now believe involved senior figures in the CIA and US military.  Not least it was pointed out that Henry Luce, the founder of Life magazine was a close personal friend of Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA.  Moreover, the individual who purchased the Zapruder film for Life magazine was C.J. Jackson, formerly a “psychological warfare” consultant to the President.

 Inevitably, these events were to lead to accusations that the media were culpable of the worst form of toadying and propaganda.  This, in turn raised serious questions about the role and integrity of the mass media.  Some years later, Washington Post reporter, Carl Bernstein – who came to fame with his colleague Bob Woodward, for their expose of the Nixon administration’s illegal re-election campaign activities, known as “Watergate” – dropped a media bombshell on an unsuspecting America.

 In an October 1977, article published by Rolling Stone magazine, Bernstein reported that more than 400 American journalists worked for the CIA.  Bernstein went on to reveal that this cozy arrangement had covered the preceding 25 years.  Sources told Bernstein that the New York Times, America’s most respected newspaper at the time, was one of the CIA’s closest media collaborators.  Seeking to spread the blame, the New York Times published an article in December 1977, revealing that “more than eight hundred news and public information organisations and individuals,” had participated in the CIA’s covert subversion of the media.  (more...)

Left? Right? Everyone needs money and access to media, and can be controlled by their benefactors. Never assume objectivity.

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