Walter Storch - TBRNews.org
During the middle of March, 2003, tbrnews received an email from a man who claimed to be a mid-level executive with a major American television network. He stated in this, and subsequent, emails that he was in possession of “thousands” of pages of in-house memos sent from his corporate headquarters in New York City to the head of the network’s television news department. He went on to say that these memos set forth directives about what material was, and was not, to be aired on the various outlets of the network.
This individual claimed he was developing serious doubts about the strict control of media events and decided that he would pass this material along to someone who might make use of it.
There was the question of his job security. If someone published his name, it would be certain he was not only fired but blackballed throughout his profession.
If tbrnews.org would agree to protect his identity, he would send us these alleged thousands of pages of notes, going back to 2001.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating so we accepted his caveats and he then sent to us by disk the pages he spoke of. All are on corporate stationary, signed or initialed by the senders and again, signed or initialed by the recipients in the news division.
It was always possible that this material consisted of a very involved hoax or was something designed for the news site to use and then have it revealed that it was not original. It would not be the first time that spurious disinformation had been sent to us in the hopes that it would be used.
There were not “thousands of pages” of memos but a total of 1,497 separate pages involved. Many of them consisted of short memos while others ran to a larger format.
Naturally, someone could easily have obtained correct in-house network letterheads, made copies of them and prepared false memoranda but the sheer size and depth of the collection was impressive.
If these memos were true, they showed with a terrible clarity that at least one part of the American mass media was strictly controlled and that the news was so doctored and spun that it might as well be official news releases from the White House and Pentagon.
The best way in which to ascertain whether or not these documents contained original information was to check the dates of issuance and compare the information with subsequent news stories.
This was a terrible, time-consuming chore but by selecting random memos and looking through the archives of various national newspapers, checking AP releases and so on, the results indicated that indeed, news was being managed.
However, it was also possible that someone else did this and was preparing these after the fact and making the memos conform to published material.
That having been said, we insisted on absolutely current memos so that we could then check these against future publications. If, for example, a corporate fiat was to show certain pictures or spin a story in a certain way, it would be relatively simple to simply read the press or watch television news to see if these suggestions were implemented.
It was both shocking and gratifying to note that this proved to be the case in a preponderance of cases and so we began to put these up, either in toto or, more often, in excerpt and watch as ordained news was created before our eyes.
When a corporate order states, for instance, that certain pictures should be shown with accompanying commentary and the memo predates a published story by a week or more, then it is more than likely that the memos are not inspired guesswork but genuine.
When tbrnews put up the first two pages, there were two basic forms of public response. One was to thank us for exposing something many people believed; that the American media was controlled and not free. (That much can easily be ascertained by reading the websites of various reputable foreign publications such as the Swiss NZZ, the British Guardian, the Canadian Toronto Globe and Mail, Reuters News Service, AFP and the Jerusalem Post. What any viewer can see on these sites is certainly not reflected in the American media.)
The second response consisted of irate, and literate, statements to the effect that all of these items were just stupid hoaxes and should not be believed. “I believe,” one writer who claimed to be a Professor of Journalism at an Ivy League college said, “these are just disinformation designed to discredit American journalists whose reputation for honesty and integrity is certainly beyond question. You are performing a great disservice in repeating these politically-motivated fictions…”
This is certainly a true statement because if it became generally accepted that the American media was only a mechanical parrot for various political organizations, it would no longer be either believed or watched. If viewers turned off their television sets, the networks would lose huge amounts of advertising revenue, reporters would be laid off and people would turn instead to the Internet for their news.
The file, “Controlling the News” has proven to be the most durable and viewed section of tbrnews. As the result of our earlier postings, we have been receiving a significant amount of input that extends far beyond the scope of our original informant. These sources include, but are certainly not limited to; an employee of a major American news magazine, a source inside the corporate offices of a major media conglomerate, various military sources, foreign press and intelligence individuals and persons connected with official agencies who are greatly disturbed by the machinations of the current Administration.
That these sources have requested anonymity is self-evident.
In the final analysis, it is always up to the reader to make up their own mind as to the truth, or fiction, of what they read. The media has an opposite view of this.
It is fairly obvious that the average Americans get their news either from TV, mostly, or, to a shrinking number, from the print media. If someone in East Peoria, Illinois sees something on CNN, the Voice of the White House, they have no reason to question it. And don't. The establishment does not worry about a website that, as in our case, reaches perhaps on a very good day, 100,000 people at a time when they have control over NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN that can, and do, reach millions a day.
What do they care about people who email messages back and forth? Even if a Pentagon plan to nuke North Korea ( an increasing possibility) were up on the net, all that would happen is that some would say, "See, I told you so!" while others would say "Oh shame! You are questioning our Glorious Leader (appointed to his high office by Almighty God Himself!) and putting our Brave Troops in danger!"
If the honesty of the American mass media is finally brought into serious question, perhaps the ruling Establishment cannot jam their lies down the public's throat with such ease.