Tag Archives: WWII

Porkins Policy Radio episode 74 Tom King, the CIA and Comic Books with Ryan Carey

Writer and comic book reviewer Ryan Carey joins me for an in depth discussion of the comic industry and its relationship with the CIA. We begin by looking at the early days of comic books and their first forays into politics during WWII. Ryan talks about the overt left leaning politics of the original Superman comics and how this evolved into a nationalistic pro-US series during WWII. Next we move onto ex-CIA agent Tom King who’s charmed life has led him to the pinnacle of comics, writing the latest Batman comics. Ryan explains how King went from being a clandestine office in Iraq and Afghanistan to moving quickly up the ladder within the industry. We talk about King’s earlier work such as Omega Men and Vision and how shades of his past bled through with the writing. Ryan also talks about The Sheriff of Babylon which is loosely based on his own experiences inside Iraq. Ryan also points out the bizarre circumstances surrounding Kings career and how he continued to move up despite poor comics sales.

Later we discuss the significance and influence that Batman has with the comics industry and why it is so important. Ryan and I talk about why the CIA would gravitate to Batman and seek to influence it and its message. Ryan explains how several of King’s story-lines fit into the narrative the CIA is constantly putting out. We also talk about how the latest Batman comics have Bruce Wayne working indirectly for a shadowy arm of the government. Ryan and I also touch on the fact that CIA asset Ben Affleck is the latest actor to portray Batman and how this couldn’t just be a coincidence.

Download PPR episode 74

Show Notes:

Trash Film Guru

@TrashFilmGuru

Daily Grindhouse

How one man went from the CIA to writing Batman adventures

The spy who came into the comic book store

Porkins Policy Radio episode 73 Carol For Another Christmas with Tom Secker

Tom Secker joins me for a Christmas themed episode. We discuss the 1964 television film Carol For Another Christmas. Commissioned by the United Nations and produced by the Xerox corporation this 1964 film would feature a disturbing retelling of A Christmas Carol. Tom and I discuss the people involved in this movie including director Joseph Mankiewicz, actor Sterling Hayden, and writer Rod Serling. We talk about some of the various intelligence connections some of the individuals had prior to making this film with the UN. Tom and I explore the film as a piece of propaganda and whether or not it succeeds in promoting the United Nations. We break down Peter Sellers amazing performance as “Imperial Me” the hyper-individualist cult leader who takes over in the post apocalyptic world with out the UN. We discuss how this fear based vision represents the “Liberal Consensus” of the UN: with out us there will be WWIII.

Through much of the second hour Tom and I devote time to laying out how ineffectual and corrupt the UN has become. We talk about the contradictory political messages the film presents us with and how this mirrors the many problems of the UN. Looking ahead to the future Tom and I discuss if we are headed to WWIII, and why so much of the news the past week has been decidedly dark for the Christmas season.

Download PPR episode 73

Show Notes:

A Carol For Another Christmas

The UN Goes to the Movies

The CIA and Hollywood episode 2 Robert DeNiro

Guillermo Jimenez joins us for this episode to talk about Robert De Niro – a man whose relationship with the CIA spans two decades.  We look at four films – Wag the Dog, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers and The Good Shepherd, the latter three of which have documented CIA assistance in their production.  We discuss Robert De Niro’s transformation from a serious dramatic actor into a kooky comedy figure, and the CIA’s apparent involvement in that.  This led to us asking whether the three comedy films are trojan horses for a sneaky CIA agenda, and talking about how The Good Shepherd has many flaws but this did not stop the CIA themselves from praising it as ‘probably as good as any film on the Agency’.

Download The CIA and Hollywood ep. 2

Show notes:

Chase Brandon (personal website)

ClandesTime 021 – Wag The Dog

Wag the Dog (1997)

Meet the Parents (2000)

Meet the Fockers (2004)

The Good Shepherd (2006)

CIA roundtable discussion on The Good Shepherd

Robert De Niro interview on The Good Shepherd

Milt Bearden interview on The Good Shepherd

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