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Commotion: Viral CIA Recruitment Video

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
3rd May 2021
Commotion: Viral CIA Recruitment Video
The CIA has one of the least diverse workforces in government (Getty Images).

The Claim

A new CIA video is trying to appeal to woke left-wingers and is embarrassing as a result.

Emerging story

On April 28th, the U.S.’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) posted a new recruitment video to its Twitter page. The video stars a Hispanic woman who discusses overcoming imposter syndrome, refusing to internalize patriarchal ideas and being a first generation American.

In the following days, many commentators mocked the contents of the video. In addition to the version of the video posted on Twitter, critics have cited an extended version, where the star of the video talks about being cisgender and a millennial with an anxiety disorder, which has led to further mockery.

The critical posts have been popular on Twitter, with one video embedded tweet gaining over 26,000 views within a few hours of its appearance. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation finds that the opposition to the CIA video is hyperbolic. It is of course a matter of opinion whether or not something is “too woke” as the sources state. However, context can highlight why this new recruitment video is both typical of the CIA and necessary for the CIA to portray. 

The CIA’s YouTube channel has always featured diverse individuals in its promotional content. For example, the oldest videos on the CIA’s YouTube channel feature people from a range of ethnic minorities. Additionally, the CIA also released videos starring diverse employees when Donald Trump was the president. 

While some are claiming that the video shows that the CIA is disseminating/inventing/funding “woke ideology,” it is also important to note the actual composition of the agency and its reasons for attempting to appear diverse. As recently as October 2020, ABC News reported that the CIA has one of the least diverse workforces in the US government. Additionally, a CIA veteran, Douglas London, also stated at this time that the need to add diversity to the CIA was a matter of simple practicality. Specifically, he stated the following: “It’s a practical equation. It’s not even about right or wrong. It’s about what they need as a foreign intelligence service. Our adversaries and enemies are not going to be privileged, white suburbanites walking around the streets in Southern California.” 

Therefore, while it is impossible to state what is and isn’t “too woke,” it is possible to state the facts of an organization that is being labeled as such. The CIA’s online video content has a long history of highlighting minorities, and, as CIA veteran Douglas London’s statement implies, the latest video from the CIA appears to have been the result of a practical need to diversify, as the agency’s lack of diversity is harmful to its activities.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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