Bilderberg media blackout
With the exception of special guest reporters, journalists are barred from Bilderberg meetings. The secret services of the United States and several European nations coordinate with local police to enforce a strict "no-go" area around Bilderberg venues such as the Turnberry Hotel in Scotland. Since the Group's first meeting in 1954, its security network has been specifically used to prevent reporters from sneaking into the forum.
Critics have suggested that the media have been slow to investigate and report on the Bilderberg because many corporate news executives and journalists are members of the Group. Like all other Bilderberg attendees, these individuals have agreed to remain silent about the meetings, in spite of their responsibilities as high-ranking members of the national and international media.
"Guests of the Bilderberg Society are bound by the same rules as members of the Bilderberg Society -- not to write about the proceedings," conservative columnist William F. Buckley wrote six months after attending the Bilderberg's 1975 meeting.
Some of the Bilderberg's past "guests" from the corporate media include:
News Corporation director Andrew Knight;
Reuters CEO Peter Job;
Henry Anatole Grunwald, former editor-in-chief of Time and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News and World Report, New York Daily News, and Atlantic Monthly, also a Council on Foreign Relations member;
Robert L. Bartley, vice president of the Wall Street Journal and member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission;
Peter Robert Kann, Chairman and CEO of Dow Jones and Company, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations;
Katharine Graham, owner and chairwoman of the executive committee of the Washington Post, also a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission;
Jim Hoagland, associate editor, of the Washington Post;
New York Times editor and Council on Foreign Relations member Arthur Sulzberger;
Former Newsweek editor Osborn Eliot;
London Observer editor Will Hutton;
Canadian press baron Conrad Black;
Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC's World News Tonight;
Lesley R. Stahl, CBS national affairs correspondent;
WETA-TV president and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller;
William F. Buckley, Jr., editor-in-chief of the National Review, host of PBS's Firing Line and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Prominent political columnists Joseph Kraft, James Reston, Joseph Harsch, George Will, and Flora Lewis;
Donald C. Cook, former European diplomatic correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Albert J. Wohlstetter, Wall Street Journal correspondent and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist and member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission;
New York Times book critic Richard Bernstein;
Hedley Donovan, Henry Grunwald, and Ralph Davidson of Time;
Joseph C. Harsch, former NBC commentator and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Bill Moyers, executive director of Public Affairs TV and former Director of the Council on Foreign Relations;
Gerald Piel, former chairman of Scientific American and Council on Foreign Relations member;
William Kristol, editor and publisher of the British Weekly Standard magazine;
Toger Seidenfaden, editor in chief of Denmark's Politiken A/S.
Journalists and newspeople outside the Bilderberg's elite inner circle rarely pay much attention to the Group's activities, usually because they are unaware of them. In recent years, citizen media activists have had a small measure of success in getting the local media to cover Bilderberg meetings when they occur. These reports have little impact in the national and international media, but thanks to the Internet, detailed information from coverage by local and regional newspapers is now available to the public worldwide. Without this information, the report you are now reading could not have been written.
Although underground information activists have managed to pierce the local media bubbles and gather useful information about the Bilderberg's meetings, scrutiny of the Group in the establishment press is still verboten.
For example, there is the case of C. Gordon Tether, who for years wrote the prestigious and influential column "Lombard" for the London Financial Times. In his May 6, 1975 column, Tether wrote: "If the Bilderberg Group is not a conspiracy of some sort, it is conducted in such a way as to give a remarkably good imitation of one."
This would be Tether's last reference to the Bilderberg. He continued to write articles mentioning the Group, but editorial management barred every single one of them from publication. After battling this censorship for two years, Tether was finally dismissed by the Financial Times. It may be more than a mere coincidence that Max Henry Fisher, the Financial Times editor who quashed Tether's Bilderberg reports, was a member of the Trilateral Commission.
Freelance journalist Campbell Thomas also saw the ugly side of Bilderberg secrecy when he attempted to cover the 1998 conference for the Daily Mail. Thomas is a reporter with eight years' experience, and he happens to be a special constable as well. Like other journalists at the conference, Thomas remained outside the police security ring surrounding the Turnberry Hotel.
Hoping to get neighbors' reactions to the conference, Thomas entered a block of flats through an open door about 500 yards away. At the first door he knocked on, the young woman who answered informed Thomas that he was in the hotel's staff quarters, and that he should not be there. He left immediately.
A short while later, two Strathclyde Police officers approached Thomas and told him that he was being detained. Even though Thomas showed the policemen his special constable warrant card, he was handcuffed and kept in custody for eight hours. "I was treated in an appallingly heavy-handed way, like a common criminal," Thomas told the UK Press Gazette. "The holding cell I was put in was in a disgusting state, with excrement on every wall, and I was in that cell for the best part of five hours."
Thomas was then questioned and charged with a breach of the peace for putting the young woman he spoke to in a "state of fear and alarm," according to the UK Press Gazette. "I wasn't allowed to speak to my wife," Thomas said. "They took my shoes, my belt, my glasses, even the wedding ring off my finger. The whole thing was ridiculous."
Although Scottish prosecutors declined to proceed with the charge against Thomas, the event left him shaken and angry, and he has sought the advice of his union, the Chartered Institute of Journalists. CIoJ secretary Chris Underwood agreed that Thomas received "scandalous treatment," and said that the institute would back any action that Thomas decided to take.
Jim Bogusz reported similar harassment from the Strathclyde Police while gathering information on the Bilderberg's 1998 conference for his web site. Bogusz, who stood as a Referendum Party Candidate during the 1997 General Election, wrote:
"Security at Turnberry was very tight. Even though I had actually driven into the Police Compound informing them that I was there to register my protest and identifying myself, I was still later apprehended by two armed guards who requested my identification and personal details again. I expressed my concern at the extent of the security in view of the fact that police forces are allegedly under-funded. They refused to give details of how the security was being funded. I was pursued by four police motorcyclists when I went to the local Post Office to buy a newspaper and refreshment."
Bogusz attempted to obtain information from police headquarters on the source and amount of funding for the massive security effort. "They have replied saying that they cannot reveal any details about the funding of the security at Turnberry," Bogusz reported. "I challenged them that as a force which is accountable to the Public they are duty bound to reveal what resources are deployed on their activities.... It is very clear that we are having information unjustly withheld from us and that we must continue to insist on the disclosure of information which reveals in full the dealings of our Police Forces and our Elected Representatives.
The Strathclyde Police telephone number is 0141-532-2658.
The rock-hard wall of secrecy which encloses Bilderberg gatherings is more than an impediment to public knowledge; it is symbolic of the Group's aloof elitism towards the "great unwashed." We are simply not meant to be privy to their discussions. Those who cross the threshold get their knuckles sharply rapped. Like the Group's secrecy policies, the harassment and arrest of reporters who attempt to cover Bilderberg meetings raises justified suspicions about the organization's hidden discussions.