critical media literacy, Dr. Peter Phillips, KPFA, Mickey Huff M.A., neoliberalism, Nicholas "Nick" Schou, Pacifica Radio Network, Professor, Professor Brian Covert, Project Censored, transcript
LUMPENPROLETARIAT—On this week’s edition of free speech radio’s Project Censored, co-hosts Mickey Huff and Dr. Peter Phillips presented an hour-long interview with Professor Brian Covert. Brian Covert is the author of “Played by the Mighty Wurlitzer: The Press, the CIA, and the Subversion of Truth“, which is the sixth chapter within Censored 2017, which is the latest addition to Project Censored’s annual book highlighting the year’s most censored or underreported news and information.  Professor Brian Covert gives you a fresh perspective on the CIA’s role in undermining democracy. Listen (and/or download) here. 
[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Project Censored.]
PROJECT CENSORED—[13 JAN 2017] [The Collision sports show stepped on Project Censored’s 1pm time-frame] (c. 1:04) [station identification announcements by unidentified speaker] (c. 1:19)
[Project Censored theme music: “We Want” by Junkyard Empire] (c. 1:45)
MICKEY HUFF: “Welcome to the Project Censored show on Pacifica Radio. I’m Mickey Huff with Peter Phillips.
“On today’s programme, we look at the CIA and the media in the United States. We’ll be joined by journalist, author, and Professor Brian Covert, longtime contributor to Project Censored. We’ll be looking at [the] recent chapter, that he did called “Played by the Mighty Wurlitzer: The Press, the CIA, and the Subversion of Truth“. We’ll also talk more about the CIA and media history in the U.S. Please stay with us. (c. 2:20)
[theme music continues]
“Welcome back to the Project Censored show on Pacifica Radio. I’m Mickey Huff with Peter Phillips. On today’s programme, “Played by the Mighty Wurlitzer: The Press, the CIA, and the Subversion of Truth. For the hour, we’ll be joined by journalist, author, and professor Brian Covert, a longtime contributor to Project Censored. We’ll be discussing his latest chapter on the CIA and media history in Censored 2017. Before we do that, however, here is Peter to introduce our guest to you.” (c. 2:54)
DR. PETER PHILLIPS: “Brian Covert is an independent journalist and an author based in Japan. He has worked for United Press International […] news service in Japan, as a staff reporter for the English-language daily newspapers in Japan, a contributor to Japanese and overseas newspapers and magazines. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Communications at Doshisha University in Kyoto.
PROF. BRIAN COVERT: “Good afternoon, Peter. Good afternoon, Mickey.”
DR. PETER PHILLPS: “You have a chapter in our book called “Played by the Mighty Wurlitzer: The Press, the CIA, and the Subversion of Truth. What do you mean by the mighty Wurlitzer?” (c. 3:32)
PROF. BRIAN COVERT: “Well, The Mighty Wurlitzer is the nickname, which the CIA, itself, gave to this propaganda machine within the agency back in the 1940s onward, in which it would foster relationships with reporters and news companies and put a message out there. They’re much like the Wurlitzer organ was used in silent movie days to kind of play the background soundtrack of what was going on the screen, the press was used as a kind of mighty Wurlitzer to get the CIA’s message out, or the U.S. government’s message out about what was happening in the world in the form of favourable news stories and various forms of propaganda. The Wurlitzer was, literally, the CIA’s in-house propaganda machine. But that’s the nickname they gave it.” (c. 4:13)
MICKEY HUFF: “And, Brian Covert, welcome back to the Project Censored show. We’ve had you on before for your stellar reporting on [the] Fukushima [Daiichi nuclear disaster]. You’ve also published, of course, with us over the years—Mandela, the work on Mandela, that mentions, of course, the CIA happenings in South Africa.
“You’ve also done research with us on whistleblowers—Gary Webb and the CIA.
“And, again, here you are, returning in Censored 2017 with another entire chapter on the CIA and the media. And let’s kind of go back and look at some of this history because you do this quite deftly in a chapter. Naturally, there have been certain books, that have tackled this. Not long ago, we had Nick Schou on the programme—his book Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood, along with David Talbot and Hot Books—definitely some overlap there.  But you go through and look at some different connections, and some pretty specific historical connections.
“So, could we go through and talk a little bit about the history of what you found, you know, researching this because this was a very fascinating research project for you.” (c. 5:20)
PROF. BRIAN COVERT: “Yeah. Well, actually, the project started when I was working on the Gary Webb ‘Dark Alliance’ piece for Censored 2016.
[additional notes/transcription pending]
[THIS TRANSCRIPT IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PLEASE CHECK BACK SOON FOR AN UPDATED DRAFT]
[SNIP] (c. 59:59)
Learn more at PROJECT CENSORED. [Also see ProjectCensored.org]
 About Censored 2017‘s chapter six, entitled “Played by the Mighty Wurlitzer: The Press, the CIA, and the Subversion of Truth” (quoted in the Introduction for Censored 2017 written by Andy Lee Roth and Mickey Huff):
In Chapter 6, “Played by the Mighty Wurlitzer: The Press, the CIA, and the Subversion of Truth,” veteran Project contributor Brian Covert focuses on the history and role of one of America’s most secretive institutions and its influence over the news media. In other words, it isn’t just corporate owners and advertisers who have an interest in shaping public opinion for profit via the press; the so-called Deep State, or secret government departments and agencies, also aided in the engineering of opinion in support of US Cold War and anticommunism policies. Readers familiar with the history of CIA propaganda efforts may recall “Operation Mockingbird”, but Covert’s research reveals that this may have only been a minor project. He focuses more specifically on the network of CIA assets in the media that could play the press, and thus the public, like a Mighty Wurlitzer. Covert argues that the CIA cast a long shadow over America’s so-called free press, and in newsrooms around the world. Despite the declared cessation of various CIA programs, or their specific names, the history uncovered by Covert provides vital context for developing a deeper understanding of the relationships between major news media outlets and government agencies, as well as a more sophisticated framework with which to critique media control, censorship, and propaganda in the present.
About Professor Brian Covert (quoted in Censored 2015):
Brian Covert is an independent journalist and author based in western Japan. He has worked for the United Press International news service in Japan, as a staff reporter for English-language daily newspapers in Japan, and as a contributor to Japanese and overseas newspapers and magazines. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Communications at Doshisha University in Japan.
 Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving: Project Censored, this one-hour broadcast co-hosted by host Mickey Huff and Dr. Peter Phillips, Friday, 13 JAN 2017, 13:00 PST.
 About Skyhorse Publishing‘s investigative imprint Hotbooks:
In 2015 we launched our newest imprint Hot Books, offering important newsworthy books curated by editor and bestselling author David Talbot.
[15 JAN 2017]
[Last modified at 06:46 PST on 18 JAN 2017]