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“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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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.)
“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
“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.
“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] 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
“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.
“[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
“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
“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
“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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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 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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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.

11. THE FIRST SHOT IN THE GLOBAL STRUGGLE FOR WATER WAS NOT HEARD

The biggest battle over natural resources in the future may not be over oil, but over the most basic and most needed of all commodities — water. Nonetheless, the ebb and flow of OPEC’s oil price machinations receive front page coverage while the depletion of our nation’s water supply goes virtually unnoticed by the media.

Five years ago, the fifth “best censored” story of the year revealed how our nation’s water supply was drying up. The only change since then is that now there is even less water left.

Water levels in the Ogallala aquifer, which may be the largest underground reserve of fresh water in the world, were reported falling drastically in 1981. Today, the annual overdraft — the amount of water not replenished in the Ogallala — is nearly equal to the flow of the Colorado River. A recent study estimates that by 2020 some 5.1 million acres of irrigated land will dry up. The effect on the national economy could be severe. Nearly 12 percent of our cotton, corn, grain, sorghum and wheat is watered by the Ogallala; almost half or our beef cattle are fattened on high plains feedlots. In Texas alone, 70,000 water wells have been dug into the aquifer. Parts of the Panhandle already have used up more than half the water in the, portion of the aquifer beneath them.

Meanwhile, irresponsible irrigation procedures by corporate farmers, like Prudential Insurance, hasten the day when America may well be left high and dry. In northwest Indiana, the insurance giant installed inefficient irrigation systems on 23,000 acres of previously idle land ill-suited for crops. Sucking the water out left Prudential’s neighboring small-scale farmers with dried-up water wells, corroding fixtures and appliances, sink holes, and a loss of crop production. An added irony is that Prudential received Federal subsidies and tax breaks for irrigation.

Finally, what one environmentalist felt would be “the first shot heard around the world in a global struggle for water resources” appears to have had the media repercussion value of a pea shooter.

Robert H. Boyle, president of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, fired the shot when the Association got a court order temporarily stopping Exxon Corporation from pumping fresh water from the Hudson River and dumping toxic chemicals and sea water into it. By that time, Exxon already had taken 61 tanker-loads, each carrying about 6.3 million gallons of water from the Hudson, without seeking a permit or even discussing the practice with New York State officials.

It seems that Exxon has been taking fresh Hudson River water and selling it to the Caribbean island of Aruba without paying New York State a nickel. As it turns out, Exxon has been quietly tapping the Hudson since the 1930’s whenever Aruba’s desalinization plants weren’t productive enough to satisfy the refinery’s thirst for fresh water.

SOURCES:

THE PROGRESSIVE, February 1985, “High and Dry,” by Devorah Lanner, pp 28-30; THE WASHINGTON SPECTATOR, 3/15/85, “Irrigation Cultivates Disaster;” UTNE READER, December 1985, “Water Wars,” by James J., Napoli, International Eco-Features Syndicate.

 

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