Operation Mockingbird was an alleged plot by the CIA to manipulate American news for propaganda purposes during the Cold War. Top journalists in the United States were recruited by the CIA to be part of propaganda networks that wrote fake news stories to push specific ideas and detest communism, according to author Deborah Davis.
Student organizations and magazines were allegedly funded by the CIA as fronts for the operation. In 1967, Ramparts Magazine exposed the operation when it revealed that the National Student Association had received funding from the CIA.
According to an article written by Carl Bernstein for Rolling Stone in 1977, he stated that the CIA “has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers-both English and foreign language-which provides excellent cover for CIA operatives.” He also went on to explain that over 400 U.S. members of the press had secretly carried out assignments for the CIA.
The only real reference to the operation came from a document that was released in 1973 called the “Family Jewels.” The document was published by the CIA and referenced “Project Mockingbird” by saying it was the name of a 1963 operation that wiretapped two journalists who were believed to be disseminating classified information to the public.
Operation Mockingbird has never been officially confirmed, but according to declassified records, this type of operation did occur. In modern times, Operation Mockingbird is used as a reference when fake news is being reported by far-left publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. In an article by the Guardian, the New York Times admitted that they were encouraged to report the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction by “United States officials who were convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq.”
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