Tuesday, January 30, 2007

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY: CIA Mockingbird Propaganda for the Culturati (with Revealing Asides on 9/11, NPR and Howard Ahmanson, Jr.)

DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT: James Fallows – former editor of US News & World Report & boring PBS "commentator" – dismisses the CIA-Media Connection

"Journalists at Work: Who's Watching the Watchdogs?"

"In the handful of self-critical articles about the media that appeared twenty years ago ... the matter of CIA connections with executives, editors, and reporters was emphasized. While this makes for GOOD COPY ... "

TRANSLATION: Scrutiny of CIA-media relations is an anachronistic, silly and sensationalistic enterprise ...

" ... and is certainly worth repeating ... "

... reshashing, that is ... redundantly ... as if the "mainstream" press this side of Rolling Stone has ever touched the topic ...

" ... it also fails to challenge American journalism at it weakest point: the corrupting influence of fame and fortune ... "


(?) ...

BTW, James Fallows is one of the country's leading "MEDIA CRITICS" ... who has yet to expose America's massive state propaganda system in its true bloody colors.
Profile of DAVID BRADLEY, Owner of The Atlantic Monthly

In 2002, the Columbia Journalism Review called The Atlantic “a magazine that, under the leadership of the unusual new owner, David G. Bradley, is experiencing something of a renaissance.” Bradley later remarked that he took “unusual” to be the only convincing thought in the sentence.

A native of Washington, D.C., Bradley graduated from Swarthmore College and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from Georgetown. During his early 20s, he served as a Fulbright Scholar in the Philippines.

At the age of 26, Bradley launched his first company, The Advisory Board Company, a for-profit think tank ultimately serving 4,000 corporations, financial institutions and medical centers around the world. The Advisory Board and its sister enterprise, the Corporate Executive Board, today are public companies, listed on NASDAQ. Bradley sold his ownership in the two companies soon after their public listing.

Today, Bradley owns Atlantic Media Company, the publisher of several high-end magazines and news services for the national and Washington professional classes. Company holdings include The Atlantic, National Journal, Congress Daily, Government Executive and The Hotline. Atlantic Media employs more than 350 professionals. ...


The Ballad of Barbara Bradley Hagerty

MAY 11, 2004

A few months ago, Atrios posted about the World Journalism Institute and outed NPR religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty as a member of this right-wing Christian organization.
"Escape with NPR"

People began taking a closer look at Hagerty's work, especially her recent report on John Kerry's Eucharistic Issues. Alert Eschaton readers pointed out that the seemingly "random" parishoners Hagerty spoke to were in fact conservative Catholic movers and shakers Hagerty most likely already knew. As far as I know, not one reader who wrote to NPR's Omsbudsman to complain about this has received a reply.

Something about this story still niggled at me, so I started to do some research of my own. What I found was, to say the least, enlightening:

Barbara Bradley Hagerty graduated from Williams College in 1981 with a degree in Economics. She then interned at the Christian Science Monitor and subsequently worked for the paper and its related media for 11 years. She joined NPR in 1995 as a contract reporter after having become a born-again Christian while writing a story for The LA Times Sunday Magazine. She eventually became a full-time employee, reporting on the Justice Department, the Clinton Impeachment, 9-11 and starting last year, religion, replacing Duncan Moon as religion reporter.

Her religion reporting for NPR has focused mainly on Christianity, including a report on the Christian Science Church, in which she did not disclose that she was herself a former member of the Church. (This little tidbit is revealed in "Citizen Bradley," a Washingtonian article from October 2000 about her multimillionaire brother, Atlantic owner David Bradley. The article isn't online, but is available through LexisNexis.)

In addition to her NPR gig and her deal with the World Journalism Institute, Hagerty has been keeping busy with other writing and speaking engagements. She is on the board of directors for Knowing and Doing, the magazine of the C.S.Lewis Institute, which "endeavors to develop desciples who can articulate, defend and live faith in Christ through personal and public life." (emphasis mine)

More troubling still is her association with Howard Ahmanson's Fieldstead and Co. and Fieldstead Foundation. Ahmanson is a California millionaire who uses his trust fund to finance right-wing Christian, anti-gay, anti-evolution groups and politicians. He was previously associated with Christian Reconstructionism, which advocates a Biblically-based governement for the U.S. (Neither Ahmanson nor his philanthropic endeavors have their own websites. Make of that what you will.)

Hagerty has spoken twice at the Summer Institute of Journalism, a program run by the Council for Christian Colleges and University and funded by the Fieldstead Foundation. Student reactions to her talks are here.

Hagerty's keynote address to the 2003 National Student Media Convention was also sponsored by Fieldstead and Co. In 2003 she also spoke at the Baptist Press Student Journalism Conference, along with Terry Mattingly, a Scripps-Howard reporter who is also a Fieldstead grant recipient.

One final Ahmanson-Hagerty connection: Since June of 2003, Hagerty has reported on the Episcopal Church and gay issues 20 times. (Full disclosure: I am a liberal Episcopalian) She has often quoted members of the American Anglican Council, a conservative group seeking to break away from the Episcopal Church USA and join with more orthodox Anglicans worldwide. This group receives major behind the scenes funding from...you guessed it! Howard Ahmanson. (More here.)

Eschaton reader Dreaming Feet brought the NPR Ethics Guide to my attention, especially this portion:

V. Outside work, freelancing, speaking engagements

7. NPR journalists may only accept fees from educational or nonprofit groups not engaged in significant lobbying or political activity. Determining whether a group engages in significant lobbying or political activity is the responsibility of the journalist seeking permission, and all information must be fully disclosed to the journalist's supervisor.

8. NPR journalists may not speak to groups where the journalist's appearance might put in question his or her impartiality. Such instances include situations where the employee's appearance may appear to endorse the agenda of a group or organization.

Hagerty's outside work certainly seems to violate both her employers ethics and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Independence and Integrity II:
The Updated Ethics Guide for Public Radio Journalism.

Hagerty likes to say that God is her "employer and audience." She's wrong. God may be her Creator and Savior, but she is employed by the millions of Americans who donate to public radio and finance NPR programming. They deserve better. Contact Jeffery Dvorkin, NPR's Omsbudsman to complain about Hagerty's blatant conflict of interest and violation of professional ethics.
Clive Crook, The Atlantic's Senior Editor

Clive Crook is a Senior Editor of The Atlantic. In addition to his work for the magazine, he writes a column for National Journal and serves as chief editorial adviser to David Bradley, the chairman of Atlantic Media Group. He was formerly on the staff of The Economist, latterly from 1993 to 2005 as deputy editor. A graduate of Oxford and the London School of Economics, he has served as a consultant to the WORLD BANK and worked as an OFFICIAL in the BRITISH TREASURY. He lives in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, The Atlantic Moved to Washington, D.C. (as befitting a state propaganda outlet)

Boston's Atlantic hoists anchor for D.C.

The Atlantic Monthly will begin publishing in Washington, D.C., soon. But at least it’s publishing at all, owner David Bradley claims. The Atlantic, a Boston staple since 1857, will join parent Atlantic Media’s other publications in Washington, where nearly 40 staff members will relocate. Managing editor Cullen Murphy won’t be among them. The de facto editor since the late Michael Kelly switched to editor at large a few years ago, Murphy didn’t want to leave Boston despite 20 years with the magazine. The Atlantic won a National Magazine Award earlier this week, but otherwise has had little to be cheery about this year. The magazine’s ad pages are down 2 percent year-to-date compared with last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Bradley bought The Atlantic from Mort Zuckerman six years ago for $10 million. In the time since, Bradley claims to have spent three times that on the title while losing $4 million to $8 million per year. ...


ATLANTIC' MOVES INSIDE BELTWAY: When the owner of *Atlantic Monthly* announced that he would move the venerable magazine's staff from Boston to Washington, D.C., David Sirota remarked it was because we need more reporters who are insulated inside the D.C. Beltway and out of touch with the concerns of average Americans. David Bradley said he hopes to reduce costs for the 148-year-old perennially unprofitable *Atlantic* by housing its 37 staffers with nearly 300 employees in the National Journal Group, which includes the weekly *National Journal*, monthly *Government Executive* magazine and daily newsletters *Hotline* and *Congress Daily*.
Re: Atlantic Blogger Andrew Sullivan


... In 1984, he won a Harkness Fellowship to Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration in 1986. In his summers, he interned as an editorial writer at The Daily Telegraph in London, and at the Centre For Policy Studies, Margaret Thatcher's informal think-tank, where he wrote a policy paper on the environment, called 'Greening The Tories. ... In the summer of 1986, he applied for internships at the New York Times, the National Review, and The New Republic. The New Republic accepted him. ... He then returned to Harvard to start a PhD in Political Science. He finished his General Exams in 1987, and taught moral and political theory in the Government Department for several semesters. He subsequently took a break from academia, and worked as an associate editor at The New Republic...

The National Review was subsidized by the CIA for years (because it didn't sell), edited since the 1950s by the CIA's William F. Buckley

Sullivan's tenure at TNR was often turbulent, controversial and pioneering. The magazine expanded its remit beyond politics to cover such topics as the future of hip-hop, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action in the newsroom. Writers such as Douglas Coupland and Camille Paglia supplemented more traditional political writing by authors such as Michael Kinsley, Mickey Kaus and John Judis. Under Sullivan, the magazine campaigned for early intervention in Bosnia, for homosexual equality, and against affirmative action. TNR also published the first airing of 'The Bell Curve,' the explosive 1995 book on IQ, and 'No Exit,' an equally controversial essay that was widely credited with helping to torpedo the Clinton administration's plans for universal health coverage. In 1996, Sullivan was named Editor of the Year by Adweek magazine....

His 1999 essay, 'What's So Bad About Hate,' is included in the 'Best American Essays of 1999.' His 2000 cover story on testosterone, 'Why Men Are Different,' provoked a flurry of controversy, as well as a cover-story in Time, and a documentary on the Discovery channel. Since 2002, Sullivan has been a columnist for Time Magazine, and a regular guest on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" and NBC's "Chris Matthews' Show."

In the summer of 2000, Sullivan became one of the first mainstream journalists to experiment with blogging, and soon developed a large online readership with andrewsullivan.com's Daily Dish. In January 2006, Sullivan took his blog to Time.com's home-page. ...

He has appeared on over 100 radio shows across the United States, as well as on Nightline, Face The Nation, Meet The Press, Crossfire, Hardball, The O'Reilly Factor, The Larry King Show, Reliable Sources, Hannity and Colmes, and many others. He remains a senior editor at the New Republic and his forthcoming book, "The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It; How To Get It Back," will be published by Harper Collins in the fall of 2006.


The Atlantic's ANDREW SULLIVAN waxes ecstatic on self-evident American SUCCESSES IN IRAQ

January 27, 2005

Excitable Andrew Watch: On the Chris Matthews Show that aired last Saturday, Andrew Sullivan was giddily upbeat about the result of the war in Iraq and, in particular, the coming elections:

Mr. SULLIVAN: We are going to have these elections, Chris, and I--the other thing, I think that there's going to be--people are going to be shocked at how successful they are. ...[snip]

MATTHEWS: Define success.

Mr. SULLIVAN: Success is 80 percent turnout in--in most of the regions, extremely enthusiastic voting among the Kurds and the Shias, and better than expected among the Sunnis.

MATTHEWS: [snip] Does they war in Iraq increase or decrease American power in pushing democracy in other countries? Nine of you say Iraq hurts, three say it helps the president's chances of achieving his goals in the world.

Andrew, you say it helps. A bloody war helps us sell...

Mr. SULLIVAN: Of course it helps. When we see, as we will , see ordinary Iraqis voting for the first time to forge their own destiny in the future, it's going to be an extraordinary moment.


MATTHEWS: But if you polled Iran, would it be hostile to America?

Mr. KLEIN: They're overwhelming faithful.

Mr. SULLIVAN: No, it would be overwhelmingly positive towards the United States...

MATTHEWS: Would it be?

Mr. SULLIVAN: ...and that's the other point about Iraqi democracy. The signal it will send to Iran, which is our real enemy right now, will be enormously helpful. I'm a--I'm a complete optimist about this. I think it'll--I think it'll work. ...
Embedded with Rudy Giuliani - Atlantic Coverage of 9/11

Atlantic Rising
What makes a serious magazine soar?


Cullen Murphy

... The immaculate corner office belongs to the dapper, red-haired managing editor, Cullen Murphy, who, a few weeks ago, replaced Michael Kelly at the top of the masthead. He is not the editor, however: the magazine's owner, David Bradley, is trying him out for the top job.

Murphy is responsible for one of the greatest coups in the history of the Atlantic. A few days after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, Murphy dispatched a letter to Kenneth Holden, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction, the agency responsible for cleaning up Ground Zero. Murphy asked if he could send one of his most distinguished correspondents, William Langewiesche, to the site. To Murphy's astonishment, Holden said yes. The commissioner had subscribed to the Atlantic for twenty years, during which time he had devoured most of Langewiesche's articles, along with several of his books. Holden knew instantly that Langewiesche was the ideal journalist to chronicle the story of the cleanup. "He is very interested in how things work, and how people relate to processes," commissioner Holden said recently. "Obviously I'm not an editor; I run a construction agency. But it seemed like it would be a very good fit."

Holden went to bat for Langewiesche with Mayor Giuliani's office, which, for a variety of reasons, was eager to restrict media access to Ground Zero. "Let's just say I had to use up quite a number of chits in order to secure the kind of access that William was looking for," Holden says. In the end, Holden got his way, and Langewiesche got the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime.

He made the most of it. For five months, Langewiesche (pronounced long-gah-vee-shuh) showed up at Ground Zero virtually every day, and often stayed there for sixteen hours at a time. "When I went down to see him on a few occasions," Cullen Murphy recalls, "he was indistinguishable from the people there. He was wearing overalls and hardhat, respirator slung around his neck, and had an easy relationship with everybody on the pile that I saw. Engineers and construction people would come up and talk to him. He knew everybody there."

The fruit of Langewiesche's labor was an extraordinary 70,000-word series entitled "American Ground," which ran in three consecutive issues of the Atlantic, and which has just been published as a book by North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The series, which flew off the newsstands, focused attention on the Atlantic — a magazine that, under the leadership of the unusual new owner, Bradley, is experiencing something of a renaissance. The Boston Globe recently called it "the magazine of the moment." The Washington Post referred to the July/August issue, which contained the first installment of "American Ground," as "probably the best issue of any magazine published in America this year" for "people who actually like to read." "It's the hot book right now," says Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker.

The magazine's current success owes much to the deep pockets of Bradley, who has invested a great deal of money in a publication that, since its founding in 1857, has drained a fortune from its owners. When Bradley purchased the magazine in 1999, he promised to guide and protect it, and to honor its history. If he reneges on that promise, the Atlantic will probably return to the kind of economic instability that has burdened it for much of its history. If Bradley keeps it, years from now it can be said that he safeguarded and revitalized one of the great American magazines.

William Langewiesche came to the Atlantic through the slush pile. "Enclosed are two pieces on Algeria," he wrote in a blind query to the magazine. The year was 1990. The Algeria pieces didn't quite work, the editors felt, but the writing was graceful and evocative, and something about Langewiesche's sensibility impressed them. Eventually they let him write about North Africa, and the result was a 1991 cover story on the Sahara. In the 1990s, Langewiesche — a professional airplane pilot whose only writing experience had been for aviation magazines — would turn out a series of remarkable pieces for the Atlantic, including "The Shipbreakers," a stunning report from Alang, India, a place where massive ships are torn apart by hand and turned into scrap metal; "The Crash of EgyptAir 990," which showed how a pilot's intentional act led to the deaths of 217 people; and "The Profits of Doom," a parable about pollution and urban renewal in Butte, Montana. In an eerie way, much of Langewiesche's work for the magazine — on the unmaking of colossal ships, on suicide pilots, on massive pits in old mining towns — foreshadowed his report from Ground Zero.

Langewiesche's has been a most unusual career. His father, a distinguished pilot, wrote a classic text on aviation, Stick and Rudder. The son decided to become a writer in high school, after devouring the books of John McPhee. Following his graduation in 1977 from Stanford, where he majored in anthropology, Langewiesche spent a few years in Manhattan working for Flying magazine. But he recoiled from the New York magazine world, and for the next fifteen years earned his living as a pilot — flying cargo planes, air ambulances, air taxis, and corporate jets — while writing on the side, with "great determination" and "many rejections." In those years, he also worked as a flight instructor. "He teaches students how to fly into storms," explains Cullen Murphy. "He'll wait for a storm front to come across the country, and then when he sees it getting close to where he is, he'll call up his students and say, 'OK, we've got an ice storm coming over Denver, and class is ready.' "

Langewiesche's technical expertise, and his unruffled manner, enable him to move with unusual ease in hostile environments. In 1996, when ValuJet 592 plunged into a Florida swamp, killing 110 people, the Atlantic dispatched Langewiesche to the Everglades. The press was confined to an area seven miles from the accident site, but Langewiesche persuaded investigators to give him access. ...