The model of a journalist being co-opted by the nuclear establishment involves New York Times reporter William L. Laurence. News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb, by Beverly Deepe Keever, writes of how Gen. Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project, personally made arrangements with Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger and senior editor Edwin James to have Laurence work for the World War II program to build atomic
The Times man would be paid by the government while, under the arrangement, his wife would collect “his regularly weekly salary” from the Times.
“To sell the bomb, the US government needed the Times…and the Times willingly obliged,” writes Keever, professor of journalism at the University of Hawaii.
Laurence was central to the first major piece of official government media disinformation about nuclear technology. When it came time for a test of a nuclear device, in July 1945, Laurence wrote a press release to “disguise the detonation and resulting radiation,” notes Keever.
The deceptive release stated: