Reporters tell me the truth off the record: the fake news business

Reporters tell me the truth off the record: the fake news business

And it burns

by Jon Rappoport

January 23, 2017

During my 34 years of working as a reporter, I’ve had many informal conversations with mainstream journalists. They were illuminating.

Here, from my notes (1982-2011), taken after the conversations, are what these guardians on the watchtower revealed:

ONE: “Investigative reporting has been dying. There’s no money for it. If I work on a piece for three months, while my paper is paying me, suppose at the end I come up dry? It happens. I can’t make my case. I’ve got nothing to show for it, and my paper is out whatever they’ve been paying me. They don’t like that. The other thing is, investigative work makes my bosses nervous. They don’t know where it’ll lead. Worst case, I might come up with something that’ll put the paper in a bad light. It’s like an intelligence agent in the field who wanders off the reservation. He’s got an assignment, but he sees something better, more important, and that’s where he goes. He ends up finding out something about his own agency. Something bad. I’ve seen that happen. A reporter finds out his own paper has been covering up a heavy scandal. It’s an intrinsic part of the story. What’s he going to do now? Go to his editor and tell him what’s going on? Chances are, his editor already knows. Now the reporter’s jammed up. He’s in a bad spot. A guy I know came to me with that exact problem. You know what I told him? Burn your notes. That’s what I said.”

TWO: “Most reporters who cover major issues are de facto intelligence assets. Some know it, most don’t. They’re all taking their information from controlled sources. It’s like somebody giving you talking points as if they’re the honest truth. In these talking points, you’re told who the players are in a story and what they’re doing. But they aren’t the important players, and what they’re doing is just a cover for what’s really going on. It’s all about misdirection. I’ve managed to get a few stories published about illusion vs. reality. But the thing is, no one follows up on that. It’s in print, and then it dies. One night, I had a little heart to heart with my editor. I told him it would be a lot easier if I just had a desk at the CIA in Langley. He agreed. He said we could move the whole paper there. But then the spooks would realize they didn’t need us at all. They could put out the paper themselves.”

THREE: “We’re in a business. We’re selling a product. That’s our role. If our bosses don’t like what we’re submitting to them, they let us know we’re giving them the wrong product. Our company makes product A and we’re giving them product B. Most reporters wouldn’t even understand what I’m saying, because they’re mentally in the camp of product A. That’s where they live. So as far as they’re concerned, they have lots of leeway. I don’t like talking to those guys. They’re dumb.”

FOUR: “I can write an article that’s critical of what a drug company is specifically doing, but I can’t criticize the company. If I did, my editor would read me the riot act. He knows if he published that article, his boss would get a visit from the company. They would threaten to pull their advertising. Everybody would be in serious trouble. There is a fine line. Sometimes, the evidence against a drug company is huge, and we can get away with a critical article. But most of the time, it’s a no-go area. I could lose my job. If I did, I would have a hell of a time trying to find another position on the same level. I might be subject to an industry-wide demotion.”

FIVE: “I thought I could quit working for my paper and get hired by somebody else, who would give me more freedom to write the stories I wanted to. I made a few quiet inquiries. Turned out I was wrong. They’re all pretty much the same. I could get hired by some small paper and write whatever I wanted to, but I would make very little money. I’d be screwed. They don’t cover this in journalism school.”

SIX: “Sometimes an order comes down. By the time I get it, it isn’t sounding exactly like an order. It’s more like ‘this is what we’re doing’. We need to go after a politician and bury him. That kind of thing. Nobody is complicit. You can’t find somebody and blame him for issuing the order. It’s vague enough that everyone escapes blame. And you don’t want to talk to your colleagues too much about it. You don’t want to be seen as making waves. It’s sort of like a game plan in football. You’re going to execute the plan. You’re not going to start talking about what a lousy plan it is.”

SEVEN: “I’m a guy who’s expected to put out baloney for our audience. I can slice it a few different ways, but it’s the same basic thing. After a few years, I can do it in my sleep. I know the routine.”

EIGHT: “You talk about who’s really running things behind the scene. I know something about that. But I can’t write it in a story. That would be called original research. I’m not allowed to do that. I can only quote authorities on two sides of an issue. And the guy I quote first—he carries the point of view of the story. The other guy is the doubter. I place him in the weaker position. I get to choose, but I already know what’s needed and required.”

NINE: “Reporters in my business have two choices. They can lower their IQs and become cynics, or they can maintain their intelligence and get booted out. That’s what it comes down to. Anybody with an IQ over 90 can see we have agendas. The whole business is agenda-driven. The main job of a reporter who wants to keep working is developing a cover—pretending he’s speaking the truth. This is a cover for his real identity. A guy who pleases his bosses. Several of us had the whole Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky story before it was published. We wanted to go with it, but we were told to sit on it. So it was our job to agree with that assessment. We had to pretend we didn’t have enough proof yet. We had the proof, but we had to make it seem like we were responsible journalists and needed more. That was a bunch of crap. The agenda was to protect ourselves from the wrath of the White House. That’s what the editors and the publishers were talking about among themselves. Sure—protect the president. But the real thing was the fear that he and his people would strike back at us and do us damage.”

TEN: “My decision to get out of the news business was pretty easy. I wanted to write a story about the influence of the Council on Foreign Relations on government policy, since World War Two. The way I was told to forget about it was like a cop talking to a drug dealer. All of a sudden, I was the bad guy. I really got into it with my editor. I saw what a phony he was. The thing is, I knew he had a cozy thing going with the CIA. Several people knew it. In my years in the business, I got a first-hand education in what selling out means. I came pretty close to the edge. There’s a weird adrenaline kick to it. You see your whole future laid out in front of you. It’s very rewarding, in terms of money and status. If you just play ball, it’ll be a smooth ride.”

ELEVEN: “What the teachers told me in journalism school was a load. All I needed was one honest talk with a professor, and I never would have bothered with the whole thing. I was naïve. During my career, there were days I thought we were really on the right track. Somebody wrote a great piece, and it was published. But then we fell back. We put out provable lies. And they were big ones. It was like being psychologically whipsawed. A few great days, and a lot of bad ones. The worst thing for me was government sources. I was like a horse with a feed bag on, and they were filling it up with rotten food. They knew it, I knew it, and we just kept doing it.”

TWELVE: “I saw what I called ‘the inch-below’ thing. An inch below what we were reporting was the real story. It was about power players and what they were doing to make profit for major corporations. It kept coming up. Crimes. People should have been arrested. I could have written great stories. But nobody wanted them. I would have proved intent. I’m talking about wars. Not little stuff. Whole wars, and the money. The profits. In court, a lawyer could have taken what I had and made a great circumstantial case. The jury would have been convinced. When you can’t publish these stories, you sink into boredom after a while. Tremendous boredom. That’s why some reporters become drunks.”

power outside the matrix

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

37 comments on “Reporters tell me the truth off the record: the fake news business

  1. Eliza Ayres says:

    With the MSM, there is NO real journalism any more… unless things change drastically.

    • jerry hamilton says:

      There never was. WW1 & 2 news reports will testify to that.

      • Observation says:

        Indeed Jerry, you are correct. …the Truth about the “wars (especially significant WW2) was not being told and suckered our American Soldiers into fighting a war for the ‘then’ unknown names of the profit mongering ‘globalists’.

  2. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Thanks for posting this revealing information. My research mentor, P.K. Kuroda was almost a person without a country as he worked quietly behind the scenes to get the story to the public.

    • steve brown says:

      “a person without a country”
      that’s how i feel, most of the days.
      not that i am as good as your reseach mentor.

  3. Depressing, but no surprises. A very valuable view from the trenches, Jon. What is encouraging is that there are journalists, like you, worthy of the name. It’s hard to monetize that integrity, but I foresee the development of new platforms that will enable real investigative journalism and analysis to thrive and to reach its audience. The times, they are a-changing. God bless you in your indefatigable mission to educate, inform, and empower.

  4. swo8 says:

    That explains the baloney.

  5. Joy says:

    What is even more incredible than the fact that they are knowingly spewing misinformation and lies is the fact that they continue to do so! Those who remain must truly be soulless ghouls. I cannot imagine the effort it must take to so completely overcome one’s conscience, if in fact it ever were present in the first place!

    • elliottjab says:

      This is revelation from people who do have souls and are compassionate… They’ve become trapped in their work – grasping smidgens of hope – but living the life daily – until – for whatever reason/s – they can extricate. Walking even a mile in their shoes just can’t be done.

      Thru Jon, their shared insights ratified what millions of us have come to suspect over the last decade.

    • Bob Klinck says:

      Because of the corrupting influence of the “career path”, the kind of prostitution John describes here is endemic in every form of endeavor undertaken for a monetary reward. And simpletons are persuaded that this situation is compatible with a “free society”. All are ultimately slaves of the Money Creators.

    • Bob Klinck says:

      They look at their colleagues and make the eternal leveling assertion: “I’m no worse than the next man.”

    • Stephen J Carter says:

      That’s very very easy. It’s a process of a few months of self-programming, giving yourself a cloud of keywords around intallable concepts that justify and ‘sanctify’ a worldview. True though, it has to be carefully hierarchized so you always have a ready response to twinges of conscience, which become fewer & fewer as time goes on. The Left has been manically proficient at this. There are dozens of media talking heads and Hollywood celebrities who make up the vanguard sheltering the journolists, and of course it’s rotten all the way down. the Purple Revolution has come to America:

  6. Thanks, Jon, for this straightforward look at true untrue journalism.

  7. Desperately sad this situation has been slowly arising. Get the CIA out for a start….

  8. IMNAHA says:

    In Memoriam to one of the last (if not the last) true investigative newsprint reporters: J.D. Cash who worked for the McCurtain Gazette in Idabell OK. Cash who passed at age 55 was, as far as I know, the ONLY reporter who did a real investigation of the OKC bombing – and his paper actually printed his research! I used to look forward to his weekly reports via alt radio interviews.
    He was IMO the last of the print media investigative journalists, and he was able to receive some limited national coverage through a nascent alternative broadcast media. If you were only tuned into the major networks you never heard of J.D. Cash or his reports.

  9. steve brown says:

    “money talks, bullshit walks” in the capitalist world.
    every journalism class starts and ends with this truth.
    so what are you gonna do about that?
    that’s the only real question left.

    • Marilyn Guinnane says:

      Steve, why single out ‘capitalist’ world? Are you intimating that the socialist world clamors for honest reporting? Well, we know that that isn’t true. Socialist, communist=Big Brother. But believe it or not, I honestly remember when investigative reporting occurred. I clearly recall, back in the 70s, when the Trilateral Commission was raked over the coals by a San Francisco paper, and I remember when an investigative reporter uncovered the CIA as the biggest dope running organization in the world, which is true to this day. It’s how they finance their black ops, if you’re not aware.

      The trouble is, as I understand matters, all the independent newspapers were bought out. And now, should you try to start a new one, you’re killed if you refuse to sell your concern to the globalists, or Zionists if you will.

  10. somethinghappeninghere says:

    I’ve known this since the NYT story about the 1970 March Moratorium Vietnam War protest that I attended. And the NYT claimed the protest was violent when it wasn’t…the only ‘hard hats’ (supposedly pro-war construction workers) I saw had suits on! They were NOT construction workers, and the protest was NOT violent, so the NYT just made it all up for sensational news…I was going to go to journalism school–not after those lies hit the NYT however! Not becoming a journalist was one of the best decisions I ever made!

  11. billy says:

    In a synchronistic way I think you’ll like Jon, just as I was reading this piece I had RT watching the hawks on in the background and they were interviewing Robert Steele ex (?) CIA…he threw you SERIOUS props as being a “real” journalist. I have followed your work for the past 16 years and couldn’t agree more.

  12. Rip says:

    “Here is a bulletin from CBS News: in Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas. – Walter Cronkite

    We all know now this was fake news and that JFK was gunned down by multiple shooters with at least eight bullets being fired.

    • plannumber9 says:

      While not literally the first shots of the Fake News wars, they were the official start of MSM = Fake News assault on the people.

      • Bob Klinck says:

        Nonsense. It’s been going on forever–most cynically in time of war. Have you never heard the expression “yellow press”? All press can be rendered yellow by the application of political pressure, and the coordinated INTERNATIONAL lampooning of and fearmongering about Trump has completely exposed the system.

  13. Wally says:

    If this is how it is, you really can’t have a “free press.” Somehow, some way, they will find a way to get you or your company financially. We should honestly do without, and let the bloggers who really want to do this stuff do it. But even then, if their site relies on funding we’re just back in the same boat again.

  14. Bob Klinck says:

    I have never forgotten the declaration about four decades ago on TV of a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter that he normally told the public about one-quarter of what he knew. There are also on record several reports that newspaper editors post-WWII were instructed never to mention the name of Major Clifford Hugh Douglas, the founder of the Social Credit movement.

  15. Lenny Lexx says:

    Breaking News!

    The pretty water colored reality you thought you know, is nothing more than lies, deception and a sprinkle of truth to help it all go down. Your serving a life sentence in a concentration camp on a planet called earth far out in the outer limits of the galactic core.

    I now return you to all the distractions you so dearly embrace and believe in.

    But first this quick announcement.

    True Power never allows itself to be seen or confronted, the faces in power we do see, are its distraction.

  16. Larry says:


    Madonna claims that she’s tattooed her vagina, in protest of the Trump victory.

    It’s another media lie.

    There’s not enough ink on the entire planet, to cover an area that large.

  17. …Once working for CBS and uses his blog Nomorefakenews to inform about the real role of the MSM. In this piece he quotes anonymous sources from the mainstream like this: “Most reporters who cover major issues…”

  18. alexandrabader says:

    Jon, I quote your article here
    made the same experiences as media in some parts of Europe are under total control. And alternative media often are fake or their editors mix their emotions and beliefs with subjects they want to report on critically..

  19. Symon Petkovich says:

    there is only one single source of ‘news’ these days — reuters — and it where all other media outlets get their ‘information’ from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.