Caitlin Johnstone: Just Run the News Media Out of Langley

That way nobody needs to pretend they’re doing news reporting instead of intelligence agency stenography and the public is clear they’re being fed whatever story about reality the C.I.A. wants them to believe.

Aerial view of CIA Langley, Virginia. (Carol M. Highsmith, Wikimedia Commons)

By Caitlin Johnstone

I think it would be a lot more efficient and straightforward if all English-language news media were just run directly out of C.I.A. headquarters by agency officials in Langley, Virginia. This way news reporters could eliminate the middleman and drop the undignified charade of presenting unproven assertions by western intelligence agencies as “scoops” that they picked up from “sources”.

I mean, right now the mass media are churning out stories about “intelligence” which says Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine very soon, citing government officials and anonymous sources. We are never shown the “intelligence”, and we are never shown any evidence of its veracity; we’re simply told what opaque and unaccountable government agencies want us to believe about a foreign government.

We’re not even reminded by the publishers of these C.I.A. press releases that western intelligence agencies have a very extensive history of lying about exactly this sort of thing, and we’re certainly not informed that Kiev appears to be ramping up aggressions in eastern Ukraine.

Seriously, look at this absurd tweet by CNN’s Natasha Bertrand:

That’s not a “scoop”. That’s just a news media employee repeating something she was told either directly or indirectly by the western intelligence cartel. She’s literally just telling us what an immensely powerful spy intelligence agency told her to say. And that’s become the norm for mass media reporting on all nations the western power alliance doesn’t like, especially Russia.

So why mess around? Why not just move CNN’s office into the George Bush Center for Intelligence in Langley and have the C.I.A. just publish its reports directly from there? I hear CNN needs a new president anyway. That way nobody needs to pretend they’re doing news reporting instead of intelligence agency stenography, the general public is clear that they’re being fed whatever story about reality the C.I.A. wants them to believe, nobody feels like they’re being treated like a fool, plus it saves a commute for all the intelligence agency insiders who already work in the mass media.

Because it must get pretty tedious, right? Where instead of just having your C.I.A. employer tell you to run a story you have to go through this whole song and dance where an agency officer contacts you and says “Ooh buddy, have I got a scoop for you!” and then you type up what they say in newsy-sounding language citing “sources familiar with the matter” and present it as a news story.

Clearly that’s not news reporting. Clearly it’s nothing other than garden variety state propaganda. So why not just be forthright about it? I know the C.I.A. has a lot going on right now, but surely it can make some space in all its domestic surveillancelying, torturingdrug traffickingcoup-stagingwarmongering and assassinations for a little more state media news punditry? 

And of course we already know the answer. Propaganda doesn’t work if its targets know they are being propagandized. It needs to be administered by institutions who the public trusts to tell them the objective truth about what’s going on in the world. If the U.S. and its Five Eyes allies simply controlled all media through the government like overtly totalitarian regimes, their propaganda would actually be far less effective than the systems of domestic perception management they have in place currently.

The C.I.A. is officially forbidden from operating in the United States (though as we’ve seen many times since its creation and up to the present day this is treated more as a guideline than a restriction), but what it is not officially forbidden to do is contact the media directly or through a proxy under the pretense of feeding them a news story which just so happens to advance the interests of the agency. The plutocratic media who benefit from the same status quo that the C.I.A. protects then uncritically funnel that information into the minds of the unsuspecting public, and before you know it they’re rending their garments over a foreign government they’d previously not thought much about.

In an actual free society with an actual free press, the very idea of this would be outrageous and if such a thing ever occurred it would be immediately condemned as journalistic malpractice with severe consequences for everyone involved. In an inverted totalitarian dystopia with the most effectively propagandized population on earth, it’s just treated as normal.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


8 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Just Run the News Media Out of Langley

  1. Eric
    February 15, 2022 at 02:51

    Or “A Modest Proposal for Mainstream American Media”

  2. Hide Behind
    February 15, 2022 at 00:12

    Happy and contented slaves are they who do not know they are slaves.
    Appearances of freedom hide the permissions of the ruling elite.
    How many in world are on the internet portion that deals with international economics and politics,and what are the demographics?
    Today’s internet is becoming an everyday tightening cage and censors free speech at will, and continues to do so not needing public who pays for internet services,.approvals.
    Thousands of web sites are shut down completely daily for inappropriate content and thousands more until they agree to change content or wording.
    And in most political disscussionsites more adore all we hear is from those within the what is appropriate ornot elitist systems framework.
    Why blame journalist who are beeing paid well for lies etc when we who comprehend they are lies do not complainbloudly to their bosses?

  3. Tony P
    February 14, 2022 at 18:28

    Put them in the offices next to the Bush’s and Obama’s. Sixteen years of CIA operations out of the White House. Few know how extensively Obama was connected to Langley. It’s one big spy club!!

  4. February 14, 2022 at 15:58

    “The C.I.A. is officially forbidden from operating in the United States (though as we’ve seen many times since its creation and up to the present day this is treated more as a guideline than a restriction)”
    ~ Caitlin Johnstone, Consortium News, Feb. 14, 2022.

    Ms. Johnstone, the CIA’s National Resources Division (“CIA NR”) is very active within the United States, as confirmed by the below noted 1 article and the 2 Youtube video interviews of a retired CIA officer and a retired FBI agent.

    “The Biggest Little CIA Shop You’ve Never Heard Of”; by Jeff Stein Published in Newsweek, on Nov. 14, 2013.

    “Marc Polymeropoulos: Clarity in Crisis at the CIA”, on Feb. 02, 2022; on JackCarrUSA Youtube channel.

    “FBI Mobile Surveillance Team (MST) and DIA intel officer Craig Gant”, Ep. 84, on March 12, 2021; on The Team House Youtube channel.

    – Umesh Heendeniya

  5. Lois Gagnon
    February 14, 2022 at 15:44

    They’ve been essentially doing that for many decades via “Operation Mockingbird.” The only way to believe anything they say is to want to be lied to 24/7.

    • Sky Torigoe
      February 14, 2022 at 18:50

      So right!! Denial by public media conumers is so much more comfortable than realizing we really have no say in foreign policy. Voters on these issues talk into a toy phone.

  6. Realist
    February 14, 2022 at 15:04

    Go to the usual “social media” that activates when you first turn your computer on or when you open a new tab. You know who churns out this stuff. Very influential multi-billionaires who own most of everything including 99% of the media. Go look at the rubbish they are circulating on this latest issue, which could well be the actual last issue to confront the human species.

    According to them “social media is a key battleground in the Russia-Ukraine standoff” and those malevolent Russians are at it again, monopolizing this communications modality just as they nefariously did during the 2016 elections to steal the leadership position of the free world from HRC to give it to their loutish puppet DJT. It’s really quite amazing that their minions scattered in media trenches throughout the world can discern any influence whatsoever for the Russion POV when it seems to an objective observer, like myself, that most of America–at least that cadre aware and active enough to post on media forums–is still mostly spouting the age-old cold war Russophobic rhetoric of circa 1955, 1963, 1969 or 1984. You would think that Putin is still pushing Marxism and Stalinism to the max, and that the Ukraine kerfuffle is still about Russian world domination through any means possible. Did you know that “researchers (who dat?) say pro-Russian actors are flooding sites with messages portraying Western forces as aggressors.” Little did CN or Caitlin realise the floodgates they had opened! Obviously, the entire deep state, spook community and the grifters from the MIC fear imminent drowning!! Glub, glub… somebody please throw them a life preserver!

    Heavens to Betsie, but it is said that certain influence operations (who dat?) are designed to “deflect on the intent of the military buildup around Ukraine, and preemptively justify a military offensive,” some senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab [whose identity we shall protect here], told some “author” [whose name we shall also protect from Putin’s long tentacles]. This really gets applied fast and thick if you like your sleaze wholesale.

    “The trend [purportedly] highlights how Russia’s messaging and tactics online have shifted as platforms have cracked down on more overt disinformation campaigns [Yeah, Google, Facedbook and Twits to the rescue!!], and as the prevalence of social media has made it harder to mask the realities on the ground. [My, THAT sounds ominous, do it not?] “In 2014, the Kremlin deployed an army of trolls and fake accounts on social media to push disinformation and shape perception about the annexation of Crimea.” [Make sure you note the brazen criminality with which America’s heroes must incessantly contend!] “But after facing intense scrutiny about Russian interference online during the 2016 U.S. elections, tech companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter cracked down on those tactics.” [Gates, Zuckerman and Bezos to our rescue!] [Thank you, Barack, may I have another?]

    “Now, researchers (who dat?) say, Russian influence campaigns over the Ukraine standoff are largely taking place in public view and being carried out by government leaders.” See, NOW, Putin, Zakharova and Lavrov are lying to you personally, just like some sleazy multi-billion dollar uber capitalist with a gold-plated license to steal under our anti-trust laws. [Did we forget to tell you that Putin is the richest man in the world? Yep, embezzled every last kopeck from the Russian people. Makes American plutocrats almost look like nice guys, don’tcha know?]

    There is so much more straight from the open hearth furnaces of American democracy on tap for whomever is seeking the God’s truth on-line about Russia, Russia, Russia during these ominous days. And yet so many Americans remain convinced that it is Putin pulling the wool over our collective eyes, that his false narratives cannot be allowed to stand, and, by golly, he and his corrupt and primitive country deserve the fate our exceptional patriots have in store for him. As Dmitry Orlov would be sure to tell you in much more colorful terms, these anti-Russian fanatics, willing to torch the whole planet just to bag Putin, are a walking parody of themselves. They conclusively prove the old childhood adage of “I know what you are, but what am I?” And Caitlin, I’m sure the CIA agrees 100% with the proposition floated in the title to your essay. In fact, they probably figure, “been there, done that.”

  7. Topor
    February 14, 2022 at 13:17

    When the Soviet Union collapsed and Russians travelled and had better access to info, they saw for themselves what the free press in America is. They now have a saying. “What the Soviets told us about the Soviet Union was all lies, what they told us about the USA was true! So , what we have now is the USA telling all lies about America and all lies about Russia….1oo% lies. At least in the Russian case it was only 50%….barely a passing grade.

    Thanks, I always look forward to your excellent essays.

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