Several major government entities secretly pay media personnel or media sources to parrot the government line or cover-up unfavorable conduct. One of the earliest of such covert manipulation of what the American people hears, or doesn't hear, was the secret CIA media manipulation, Operation Mockingbird.

It began in the 1950s, and paid leading journalists to present CIA propaganda and to cover up for conduct that the CIA wanted to keep secret. The CIA also funded groups and magazines to be fronts for the CIA. It also manipulated political campaigns.

One article by a magazine that exposed this secret misuse of government agencies and government funds was a Ramparts magazine article in 1966. The article revealed that the CIA funded the  National Student Association.