As CNN reporter, Gary Tuchman, mocked supporters of Donald Trump who displayed signs supporting the internet “Q-Anon” movement, he blatantly misrepresented a well-established fact.
Tuchman taunted one Trump supporter who said mainstream media was ‘weaponized by the CIA’ saying: “I don’t know anyone in the CIA except for a few people I’ve interviewed over the years? But weaponized by the CIA? What does that even mean?… Do you think I’m weaponized by the CIA?”
The truth is that mainstream media does indeed have a relationship with intelligence agencies, and the US government works very hard to control and cooperate with the mainstream media to achieve its goals.
The CNN anchor who introduced Tuchman’s package was none other than Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper’s work with the CIA is public knowledge. The Washington Post quotes him saying that “It was less James Bond than I expected… I actually made a fake press pass, and I borrowed a camera and I decided to start going to wars by myself.”
It’s hard not to believe that Tuchman was being intentionally disingenuous, laughing off the idea of the CIA working with the media, when the very anchor introducing his package had openly worked for the agency.
A long, open relationship
But the CIA’s relationship with American media is very longstanding, going back much further than Anderson Cooper. The CIA maintained a program called “Operation Mockingbird” for many decades. “Operation Mockingbird” involved crafting the media’s narratives in ways that were favorable to the agency’s foreign policy goals.
Ramparts Magazine first exposed the project in 1967, but extensive details became public knowledge during the 1970s, when the Congressional Church Committee [SF2] was investigating the work of the CIA and FBI.
The political significance of CNN mocking what should be a commonly known fact, that intelligence agencies maintain a relationship with the media, shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Furthermore, the nature of the “Stop Trump” movement, championed on CNN, which seeks to demonize Trump supporters for allegedly believing in “conspiracy theories” (like the idea that CNN might have a relationship with the deep state) shouldn’t be ignored either.
As former intelligence figures like John Brennan, James Clapper, and James Comey find themselves on the airwaves, presenting a partisan political message to the US public, the fact that this relationship can be so blatantly denied should be disturbing to any viewer.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.