New Evidence for the Surprisingly Significant Propaganda Role of the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense in the Screen Entertainment Industry

Tom Secker, Matthew Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article reassesses the relationships of the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense with the American entertainment industry. Both governmental institutions present their relationships as modest in scale, benign in nature, passive, and concerned with historical and technical accuracy rather than politics. The limited extant commentary reflects this reassuring assessment. However, we build on a patchy reassessment begun at the turn of the 21st century, using a significant new set of documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. We identify three key facets of the state-entertainment relationship that are under-emphasized or absent from the existing commentary and historical record: 1. The withholding of available data from the public; 2. The scale of the work; and 3. The level of politicization. As such, the article emphasizes a need to pay closer attention to the deliberate propaganda role played by state agencies in promoting the US national security state through entertainment media in western societies.
LanguageEnglish
Pages347-359
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Sociology
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2017

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CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
entertainment industry
propaganda
entertainment
freedom of information
politicization
national security
evidence
politics
society

Cite this

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