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“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
“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.
“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.)
“[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
“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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“[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
“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.
“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 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
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.


The Bohemian Grove encampment, which draws the cream of America’s male power elite, including media moguls, to northern California each year, is one of the media’s best known, best kept secrets. But this year, Dirk Mathison, San Francisco bureau chief for People magazine, managed to surreptitiously infiltrate the encampment in search of a story few reporters have access to. And he got it. He recorded a variety of newsworthy items, including a speech, “Smart Weapons,” by former Navy Secretary John Lehman, who said that the Pentagon estimated that 200,000 Iraqis were killed by the U.S. and its allies during the Gulf War. Other speakers included Defense Secretary Richard Cheney on “Major Defense Problems of the 21st Century,” former Health, Education and Welfare secretary Joseph Califano on “America’s Health Revolution — Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Pays,” and former Attorney General Elliot Richardson on “Defining the New World Order.”

Mathison’s entree into the secret world of the Grove ended on July 20 when he was recognized by a participant in the activities — an executive from Time Warner — People’s corporate boss. More loyal to the grove than to the public’s right to know, the Time executive escorted Mathison to the gate. However, Mathison already had plenty of material for the article which was scheduled for the August 5, 1991. But suddenly the story was killed. Landon Jones, People’s managing editor, said the decision to kill the story had nothing to do with Time Warner. He said it was killed because Mathison hadn’t been in the Grove long enough to get a complete story and because the story had been obtained through questionable means, trespassing.

Like Mathison, there have been few journalists who have infiltrated the Grove and been allowed to report the story. One exception is Philip Weiss, whose story appeared in the November 1989 issue of Spy. More typical are “censored” experiences, such as in 1982 when NPR got a recording of Henry Kissinger’s speech at the Grove but declined to air it and, also in 1982, when a Time reporter went undercover as a waiter in the Grove but whose story, like Mathison’s, also was killed.

Time Warner’s executives are not the only media moguls who patronize the Grove. Others include Franklin Murphy, former CEO of the Times Mirror corporation; William Randolph Hearst, Jr.; Jack Howard and Charles Scripps of the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain; Tom Johnson, president of CNN and former publisher of the L.A. Times. When Associated Press president Louis Boccardi once spoke at the Grove about kidnapped reporter Terry Anderson, he referred to his audience as men of “power and rank” and “gave them more details than he said he was willing to give his readers.”

Media apologists who reject the concept of news media self-censorship often cry “Where’s the smoking gun?” Here’s a smoking gun.


SOURCE: EXTRA!, 130 West 25th St., New York, NY 10001, DATE: November/December 1991

TITLE: “Inside Bohemian Grove: The Story People Magazine Won’t Let You Read”

AUTHORS: Jim Naureckas with Jeff Cohen and Steve Rendall

COMMENTS: On July 30, 1991, I received a call from Mary Moore, a northern California activist and member of the Bohemian Grove Action Network. She told me how the Action Network had “facilitated” Dirk Mathison’s entry to the exclusive Bohemian Grove encampment; they had no problem getting the People Magazine reporter in and out the first two times, Moore said, but the third time it was a coincidence that an executive from Time saw him. As noted in the synopsis, Mathison was thrown out of the Grove and People Magazine subsequently spiked his expose.

I called Mathison at the San Francisco bureau of People Magazine but while he confirmed what Moore had told me he was not willing to go beyond what was already known. Acknowledging that he didn’t like to use the phrase, he finally said he would have “no comment” until he heard from his bosses in New York as to what he could say. As noted earlier, I also talked to Mathison’s boss, Lanny Jones, managing editor of People Magazine. Jones denied any censorship, saying they couldn’t use the story because it had been obtained through illegal means, — trespassing.

Since Moore already had contacted the local media about the story, I told her I’d try to get some national coverage. “Expose,” the short-lived NBC news magazine program, was hot at the time and Tom Brokaw had previously expressed interest in Project Censored’s efforts, so I called him. Brokaw was out of the country at the time and the person I talked with said she’d get back to me but didn’t. However, Marty Lee, at EXTRAI, was very interested in the story and it became the cover story for EXTRA!’s November/December issue.

In a sidebar story with “Inside Bohemian Grove,” EXTRA! points out that Time Warner laid off 600 magazine employees last September; Mathison was one of the 600 and got the pink slip when the magazine’s San Francisco bureau was closed.

Jeff Cohen, executive director of FAIR, said this was a “clear cut example of how an aggressive reporter was not allowed to tell what he learned through his aggressive reporting because his corporate managers were more concerned with the sanctity of corporate and government elites than in journalism.”

“In years of exposing incidents of censorship,” Cohen concluded, “this one was one of the most compelling we’ve come across. When a journalist trying to cover how governing elites operate is prevented from reporting his story because his corporate managers identify with those elites, its speaks volumes.”

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