When a government wants to use a media outlet to participate in a disinformation campaign, how does it go about gaining complicity of the press?
It goes out and hands the story to the newspaper. In the case of the US Government, its media of choice are the New York Times and The Washington Post. The Israeli government prefers Rupert Murdoch’s outlets, like The Times of London, Fox News, and The New York Post.
Let me illustrate how this works with a real-world example. The Times of London recently ran a story on how Iran’s nuclear program was gaining progress. That story was planted by the Israelis. We know this because the source was listed as “an Asian intelligence source,” which is how the Israelis are typically identified. The Asian intelligence source provided documents which the US has now come out and claimed to be forgeries.
The Israelis want to push for military action against Iran. The US wants more time to negotiate. No matter what’s true or false, one can see how a state can use a media outlet to push its agenda. When the US needs to change or bolster public opinion, look for its message first in a big-time leak in the New York Times or The Washington Post.