William Cummings, "New York Times Reactions to the
Election of Salvador Allende"

15

As we have seen, Kissinger was saying little the editors of the New York Times did not already believe, but the speech was successful in generating alarming headlines such as "Administration Fears Red Rule in Chile May Lead to Takeovers Elsewhere."50 The briefing did produce some negative reaction from "Latin American diplomats" in a later article, such as one who said that the claim that Bolivia, Peru, or Argentine could fall to communism, "'shows a lack of understanding of the real political situation.'"51 This backlash was minimized by the fact that the last five paragraphs of the article covering their reaction described the seriousness of the left-wing threats within South America.

The CIA was also very successful in generating negative press for Allende around accusations that "freedom of the press is being jeopardized in Chile as a result of a concerted campaign of harassment and intimidation 'by the Communists and their Marxist allies.'"52 No solid evidence was ever offered within the New York Times, or other journals, to support these claims, except that "Dr. Allende's coalition sent a Communist deputy, Jorge Insunza, to visit some radio stations that had not supported his candidacy."53 The CIA clearly believed that Allende was trying to intimidate the press in order "to smother any opposition to his election by Congress and to take advantage of that peculiarly Latin, and pronounced Chilean, propensity to jump on an accelerating bandwagon."54 "Covert actions resources were used to launch" a propaganda campaign that produced letters of protest from several Latin American papers, and "a protes


50. Carroll Kirkpatrick, "Administration Fears Red Rule in Chile May Lead to Takeovers Elsewhere," Washington Post, September 20, 1970, A17. According to the New York Times Index: 1970 A-L (New York: New York Times Co., 1971), 354, the New York Times ran a similar story on September 20, but the author was unable to locate the story in University of Maryland microfilm version of the paper.
51. Tad Szulc, "Briefing on Chile Disturbs Latins," New York Times, September 23, 1970, 13.
52. "A Threat to the Press is Seen," New York Times, September 21, 1970, 3.
53. Joseph Novitski, "Chile's Papers Exercise Caution Following Election," New York Times, September 21, 1970, 3.
54. Illusion of Peace, 366.

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