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“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.

1. DISTORTED REPORTS OF THE EL SALVADOR CRISIS

The outbreak of civil war in tiny El Salvador was given ample attention by the U.S. media in 1980. But the nature of the coverage, on the whole, was dangerously misleading. Through either willful misinformation or ignorance, the major media contributed to a misguided U.S. foreign policy that threatened to embroil Americans in another Vietnam war.

A popularly promoted myth was that the current government of the tiny Central American country in a “moderate” junta, struggling to maintain order in the face of left and right-wing extremist minorities. But according to Murat Williams, a former U.S, ambassador to E1 Salvador, and others, the “left” is more accurately a heterogeneous mix of peasants, students, teachers, priests, nuns, and middle-class businessmen, comprising about 80 percent of the population. What remains is lose “center” than “right,” comprised chiefly of the military and the oligarchy. The few “moderates” of the civilian-military junta and Cabinet of 1979 had resigned by January, 1980, despairing of any real governmental reforms. Subsequent participation in the junta by members of the Christian Democrat party is perceived by the majority of Salvadorans as a facade for- international opinion, while governmental repression has increased.

Furthermore, the U.S. press has generally perpetuated the belief that the bulk of El Salvador’s estimated 10,000 assassinations in 1980 were the work of “Marxist-inspired guerillas” or reactionary right-wing forces. But records of the Legal Aid Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador show that government military units themselves were responsible for 80 percent of the country’s political assassinations.  Following is one brief example of how America’s major news media failed to cover important events when they happened in El Salvador:

On February 22, 1981, the London Sunday Times ran a long story about the May 1980 massacre at El Salvador’s Rio Sumpul, headlined “VICTIMS OF THE MASSACRE THE WORLD IGNORED. Hundreds of unarmed Salvadoran peasants were gunned down in a joint action by Salvadoran and Honduran forces. While that story hadn’t appeared in the New York Times or the Washington Post, it had been the lead in an article which appeared in Inquiry, a small circulation semimonthly magazine published in San Francisco — on November 10, 1980.

Another fallacy commonly put forth was that Cuban or Russian-inspired guerillas were the cause of El Salvador’s social upheaval.         This simplistic theory dangerously diverted attention from tackling the country’s real enemy — a century of poverty, hunger, and economic and social injustice. Nearly 91 percent of El Salvador’s 4.5 million inhabitants live in poverty under an archaic feudal system whereby 2 percent of the population controls 60 percent of the land. Prime agricultural lands are used for raising luxury export crops such as cotton and coffee, at the expense of subsistence crops which could better meet local needs. Certainly Communism will feed on these problems, but to cite the Russians or Cubans as the source of El Salvador’s turmoil is a myopic view that promotes hysteria, engenders militarism, and short-circuits compassionate reform efforts.

A “land to the Tiller” program, similar to that which failed in Vietnam, was being touted by both the U.S. government and much of the major media in 1980 as proof that the “centrist” Salvadoran junta was sincerely working towards land reform. But human rights offices of both the Organization for American States and the United Nations report that such “reform” is more often a pretext for the murderous extermination of organized peasant groups in rural areas as government troops move in to supervise the expropriation process. And 85.5 percent of proposed land redistribution remains on the drawing boards as continued violence betrays government lip-service to reform.

There also was much media-induced paranoia regarding Cuban or Russian arms shipments to the “leftist guerillas.”‘ This misdirected public scrutiny from an alarming U.S. military buildup in El Salvador. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, U.S. security assistance to El Salvador between 1950 and 1979 totaled $16.72 million. In 1980, over $5.7 million in U.S. military aid was sent to El Salvador, in addition to the stationing of U.S. military advisers in that country.

The U.S. media, rather than parroting governmental policy, should have been seriously questioning our involvement in E1 Salvador. Why should a purported defense of democracy take the form of financial and military aid to a repressive regime? Why has 80 percent of El Salvador’s population joined in opposition to the so-called “reform” government? How can meaningful economic and social reform be accomplished with the. exclusion of the disadvantaged from the government? What possible goodwill can the U.S, hope to generate throughout Latin America by pursuing a blatantly unpopular foreign policy in El Salvador’s struggle for self-determination?

The media’s inadequate and distorted coverage of the crisis in E1 Salvador qualifies this for nomination as one of the “best censored” stories of 19800

SOURCES:

 America, April 26, 1980, “El Salvador’s Agony and U.S. Policies,” by James L. Connor; The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 29, 1980, “El Salvador Land Reform May Bite the Dust,” by Clifford Krauss, and Jan. 1, 1981, “Rights and Wrongs in El Salvador;” Christianity and Crisis, May 12, “El Salvador: Reform as Cover for Repression,” by William L. Wipfler; Inquiry, May 5, 1980, “The Continuing Calamity of El Salvador,” and Nov. 10, 1980, “Central American Powder Keg,” both by Anne Nelson; The Nation, Dec. 13, 1980, “El Salvador’s

Christian Democrat Junta,” by Penny Lernoux, and Dec. 20, 1980, “The Junta’s War Against the People,” by James Petras.

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