The notion that the CIA is influencing media might sound crazy to some people. However, such a campaign really took place. It was called Operation Mockingbird and it officially started in the 1950's and ended in the 1970's.
The main goal of the operation was to recruit leading American journalists to help spread the CIA's views. The agency also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns. The use of journalists was continued until 1973, when the program was scaled back.
The operation first gained exposure in 1964 when two journalists David Wise and Thomas Ross wrote about a book titled Invisible Government which detailed US coups in various countries. This obviously made the CIA furious and they even considered buying up the entire printing of the book. The CIA also tried to prevent the making of a documentary criticizing the CIA's activities, but their attempt of censorship failed.
The church committee investigated the CIA's activities and published a report in 1976. The report detailed the CIA's ties with foreign and domestic news media. The report concluded that: The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.
So who's to say that such an operation isn't taking place today?