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U.S. media have, increasingly since the turn of the century, been dominated by agents of influence of the British Empire.
The two ``newspapers of record'' in the United States, the New York Times and the Washington Post, are controlled by British interests. The Times, which is a $3.4 billion media empire owning nearly two dozen other papers (including the Boston Globe), several radio stations, and the largest supplemental news service in the world, was founded by Tory-linked interests of the Ochs family and was financed by the British-linked J.P. Morgan. The Ochses and the Sulzbergers have always been close to British intelligence--so much so that, during World War I, the Times was widely rumored to have its copy approved by Lord Northcliffe, the head of the British propaganda machine.
The $1.75 billion Washington Post conglomerate, which owns dozens of other papers, as well as several cable television franchises and six television stations, is run by the Anglophile Katharine Graham, the daughter of Eugene Meyer, of Lazard Frères. It was Meyer's purchase of the Post, that put the paper on the road to national prominence, as a vehicle to circulate British policy.
Other major newspaper publishers have a similar, long-standing British connection. For example, the $3.3 billion Tribune Company, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and other papers, with a total circulation of more than 1.3 million, and owner of 11 television and 5 radio stations, has historically been controlled by the McCormick family: Its scion, who shaped the company in this century, was raised in England, as a would-be ``aristocrat;'' its connections to British banking interests led to joint ventures with Barings Bank in the Asian market.
The nation's largest domestic news wire service, the Associated Press, which provides news to more than 6,500 media outlets and has operated for more than 50 years, was part of a cartel, with the British Reuters news agency, that divided up news reporting and transmissions. After that cartel broke up in 1934, AP maintained a collaborative relationship with British intelligence. When it needed funds in the 1980s to expand and modernize, it received a large cash transfusion and credit line from its long-standing bankers, the Morgan interests.
National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which has been affiliated to the Radio Corporation of America, is now a subsidiary of Morgan-controlled General Electric. It has had, since its founding by Anglophile David Sarnoff, a relationship to British intelligence. During World War II, by arrangement with Sarnoff, British Security Coordinator Sir William Stephenson worked out of RCA's building in Rockefeller Center.
Southern Agrarian Ted Turner, whose cable and television empire was recently absorbed in a $40 billion merger with Time Warner, is a professed Anglophile who, along with his wife, Jane Fonda, has been a champion of British New Age environmentalist policies, and has promoted them through his media outlets. Turner's new controllers at Time Warner have British connections dating back to the Meyer Lansky mob-connected Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood, and to Time Warner founder Henry Luce's leading role in the Anglo-American establishment, as pushed in his magazines, most notably Time and Life.
British influence is also spread through the ``training'' of journalists at places such as the Columbia University School of Journalism, Harvard, and the University of Chicago.
While there has been long-standing British influence over U.S. media, approximately 30 years ago, British companies and individuals started increasing their direct holdings of U.S. media properties.
The Canada-based Thomson Corporation was one of the earliest players in the U.S. market, with a solid base in the Midwest. At this point, Thomson, which controls such important British media properties as the London Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplement, and whose founder, Ray Thomson, was raised to a peerage in 1964, as Lord Thomson of Fleet Street, owns 105 daily and 26 weekly newspapers throughout the United States. Mostly in medium-sized and smaller markets, these papers have a circulation of more than 2.1 million. Thomson is also one of the key purveyors of financial information, through various publications and data sources, and controls the largest legal research publisher in the United States.
In 1995, Thomson sold 23 of its smaller U.S. holdings to the London-based Hollinger Corporation, headed by Conrad Black. Since 1992, Hollinger, which got its start as a privatized asset of British intelligence in North America, known as the Argus Corporation, has been on a U.S. media buying spree, doubling its holdings. It now owns 80 daily newspapers and over 300 weeklies, in both large cities and smaller markets, including the Chicago Sun-Times and the British intelligence scandal-mongering weekly, the American Spectator. Black, who owns the London Daily Telegraph, has been financed in his takeover operations by the Rothschild banking interests, and reportedly has received funding from Li Kai-shing, a former board member of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, identified in EIR's book Dope, Inc. as a long-standing controller and money-launderer of Asian drug-trafficking proceeds.
A third British heavyweight, the London-based Pearson PLC, has limited, but important, direct holdings in the United States. These include Capital Publications, which publishes 41 specialized newsletters aimed at the U.S. corporate elite, and the most important Capitol Hill journal, Roll Call. In 1995, it expanded its holdings to include the Journal of Commerce. It has promoted the direct distribution in major markets, including New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles, of its London-published, U.S.-printed Financial Times daily and Economist magazine, with its Washington-based Economist Group publishing journals directed at corporate and political elites.
Perhaps the best known, and certainly the most flamboyant of the direct British players in the U.S. market is the Australian Rupert Murdoch. His multibillion-dollar News Corporation Ltd., based in London and New York, owns several score newspapers in the United States, including the New York Post, and 11 large circulation magazines, including TV Guide; his publications have a circulation of several score millions worldwide, and several millions in the United States. Murdoch, the son of an Australian press magnate, apprenticed under Lord Beaverbrook, the most important British press figure of the twentieth century. Murdoch began buying up press two decades ago, and affixed himself to the dirty side of British operations in the United States, becoming close to the notorious homosexual political fixer Roy Cohn and his New York machine. In the 1980s, Murdoch, using highly leveraged funds, purchased the 20th Century Fox movie studios, which he used to spawn the fourth national television network, Fox-TV, which has outlets in all major media markets.
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EIR Issue: Who Controls the Media?, $10.00.