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“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.
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“[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
“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
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“[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
“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 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.
“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
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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“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 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

15. Thousands of Cubans Losing Their Sight Because Of Malnutrition

Sources: PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER Date: 4/16/93 Title: “Malnutrition in Cuba so severe, thousands are losing their sight” Author: Lizette Alvarez; THE CUBA ADVOCATE Date: May 1993 Title: “Dateline: Miami” Authors: Jamie York and Emily Coffey; SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER Date: I 1/4/93 Title: “Allies desert U.S. on Cuban embargo”

SYNOPSIS: In mid-April, 1993, the Knight-Ridder News Service carried a lengthy article by journalist Lizette Alvarez that warned of a rare disease caused by malnutrition. The rare malnutritional ailment, called optic neuropathy, can lead to blindness.

Alvarez reported that after two years of severe food shortages, thousands of Cubans were going blind and that some 12,000 Cubans were treated for the ailment at hospitals and clinics in Havana during the last two months. On July 17th, the Toronto Star reported that some 45,000 Cubans had been affected by the epidemic of optical neuritis.

Cubans are losing their eyesight because of an almost total lack of meat, milk, cheese, and vegetables in their diet. A number of them also are suffering from beriberi, an illness related to Vitamin B1 deficiency that attacks muscles and nerves and can lead to paralysis.

Most Cubans can only afford the food they get from the government: one bread roll a day; ten ounces of beans a month; and six pounds of rice a month, for three people. Alvarez reported that when Cubans get hungry, they heat water and add sugar.

The article was an important one, well-researched and well-written, except for one critical oversight. The story did not mention one of the prime causes of malnutrition in Cuba-the U.S. economic blockade.

Jamie York and Emily Coffey, editors of The Cuba Advocate, in Boulder, Colorado, point out that the story accurately portrayed the scope of the crisis, but did not mention that the U.S. government was using food as a political weapon.

While the Cuban government confirms the epidemic, it says only a few thousand people have been affected and denies reports of widespread malnutrition. At the same time, it says excessive smoking and drinking-not just malnutrition- are to blame. U.S. doctors say smoking and drinking are not to blame-starvation is to blame. “It’s an indication that these people are starving,” said Matthew Kay, a neuro-ophthalmologist at Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

A Havana doctor, who sees patients with neuropathy almost every day, said, “This is a big, big problem. Rice and beans just won’t cut it. We are all petrified of going blind.” Another Cuban doctor said that without the proper food and a steady supply of vitamins the crisis would become a plague.

The U.S. embargo, implemented in 1961, has already cost Cuba more than $37 billion in trade and investment; created fuel shortages that have slowed agricultural and industrial development; and now is causing tens of thousands of people to go blind. The United States stands nearly alone in world opinion on the Cuban embargo. On November 3, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly, in a non-binding but forceful resolution, repudiated the 33-year-old embargo and urged nations to ignore it. The vote in the General Assembly was 88-4, with 57 abstentions. The four nations voting against the resolution were the United States, Israel, Albania, and Paraguay.

Referring to the growing tragedy in Cuba, York and Coffey wondered, “How does the public learn about U.S. government policies if they are not mentioned by the media? What happened to the public’s right to know?”

SSU Censored Researcher: Kristen Rutledge

COMMENTS: Jamie York and Emily Coffey, co-editors of The Cuba Advocate, a monthly newsletter dedicated to providing “censored” news about Cuba, both feel that the mass media have failed to provide the U.S. public with an accurate, fair, and truthful account of life in Cuba and U.S. policy on Cuba. “The Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 (The Torricelli Bill) is in effect preventing U.S. subsidiaries of foreign countries from around the world from trading with Cuba,” Coffey said. “This turns the U.S. embargo into an economic blockade. Nothing is said in the media about the blockade preventing food and medicine from going to the Cuban people.”

In response to who will benefit from better media coverage of the Cuban situation, Coffey said, “Everybody will. Most U.S. citizens do not realize that if we were free to travel to Cuba and trade with Cuba this would be good economics for both people. Cuba has 10 million people that would like to buy a lot of products from us.”

York feels that the limited media “coverage of U.S. policy on Cuba benefits a handful of wealthy, influential Cuban-Americans who want the total capitulation of socialist Cuba to capitalism. This elite group has the most to gain by returning Havana to its former status as the gambling and prostitution playground of the Caribbean.”

Both York and Coffey said there were a number of other stories that would contribute to public knowledge and understanding of U.S.-Cuba relations if they had not been censored by the media.

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