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

18. Charter Forest Proposal Threatens Access to Public Lands


EARTH FIRST! Eostar 2002
Title: “Privatization’s Trojan Horse”
Edited by: Scott Silver

Title: “Park Wars”
Author: Jon Margolis

Faculty Evaluator: Eric McGuckin Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Dana Balicki, Lisa Badenfort

Corporate Media Partial Coverage: Ventura County Star, 5/15/02, “Charter Forests Spell Trouble.”
Washington Post, Park Wars, Jon Margolis, 9/9/02, p.29

The Bush Administration’s Charter Forest Proposal is an attempt to privatize and profit from public forestland. Under this proposal, public land management will be transferred from public hands to local privately controlled oversight boards. The Charter Forest Plan is the Bush administration’s attempt to further commodify and privatize the collective public domain of national forests by implementing ideas formulated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC). ARC represents resort developers, more than 100 motorized recreation industries and touts the Walt Disney Corporation as their most prominent member. According to its own description, the ARC “strives to catalyze public/private partnerships for outdoor recreation opportunities.” The ARC guided the development of President Clinton’s Fee Demonstration Program as well as the current Charter Forest Proposal.

The Charter Forest Plan would transfer authority of some national forests from the U.S. Forest Service to local “trusts” (board of trustees) consisting largely of “user groups.” This plan will decentralize forest management, allowing industry and local governments to wrest control of public lands from the federal government. Public domain makes up a third of the country and includes national parks, national forests and wilderness areas.

This Charter Forest Proposal promotes a “free-market environmentalism” which makes market demand the determiner for how public lands will be used. A chartered forest board of trustees, left on its own to raise revenue and manage a natural area, “discovers” that they can raise more money by charging $20 a night for a developed campground site, versus six dollars a night for an undeveloped space. Advertising would target wealthy patrons, offering “forest-based” lodging with a wide variety of items for purchase at convenient and tastefully rustic shops.

The charter forest concept goes hand in hand with the Clinton era Recreational Fee Program, charging people high fees to enjoy public lands; in essence imposing “double taxation” on areas for which Americans already pay taxes (for the management of these public forestlands). This is a pay-to-play plan requiring citizens to pay for access to national forests at hundreds of sites across the U.S. These proposals would allow corporations to decide through their boards of directors who uses the land and how. The ARC already shares responsibility with the Forest Service for the implementation of the Fee Program, through the Challenge Cost Share Agreement of 1996. Under this agreement they are in charge of preparing and distributing all press releases and fact sheets regarding the privatization and development of natural forest areas.

The ARC represents resort developers and strives to create new, highly profitable outdoor recreation opportunities for businesses, such as the Walt Disney Corporation. Local boards would have complete control over these lands and would be categorized as a corporation. The lands are to be privatized, developed, and outdoor recreation will be their product for sale (at up to $50 a day).

Francis Pandolfi (former Chair of ARC’s Recreation Roundtable before he was chosen as chief of staff of the Forest Service) stated at a 1997 FS staff meeting, “the next step is to use the recreation fee pilot project to pull together a first class business management plan…For the first time, we are selling a product.” As incorporated entities, the boards would also have the freedom to grant logging and mining contracts. The new proposal would obstruct the legal avenues currently available to environmental groups seeking to preserve public lands.

Wild Wilderness, an environmental organization is working to prevent this occurrence. Scott Silver, executive director of Wild Wilderness states, “Rec-fees and the Charter Forest Proposal are just the first visible manifestations of an entirely new federal land management paradigm, one that strongly emphasizes and promotes highly developed, intensively motorized recreation.”

UPDATED BY SCOTT SILVER: “In wildness is the preservation of the world,” wrote Henry David Thoreau more than 100 years ago. Consider the recent implications of wildness being commercialized, privatized and turned into recreation opportunities by federal land managers and the private-sector. Consider what happens when wildness is Disneyfied, marketed and sold to paying customers.

In light of Thoreau’s warning, the corporate takeover of nature is more than just another example of creeping privatization. And that is the story that was presented in the March-April 2002 issue of the Earth First! Journal.

Following the publication of “Privatization’s Trojan Horse,” 35 coordinated demonstrations took place in 16 states in an attempt to gain visibility for this issue. Our mission was to explain the value of preserving free access to wild nature and to warn the public that big changes were in the works.

For the most part, the corporate media failed to report upon these events. In some cases, reporters attended protests but failed to get their stories printed. Others published stories consisting of only a few sentences that neglected to address the real issues. In those rare cases, where lengthy articles were printed, government and recreation industry spokespersons put their own twisted spin upon the issues. Today, the Bush administration is racing to privatize everything of value. It is actively creating a fiscal crisis with policies revolving around tax-cuts and empire building. With the crisis becoming firmly entrenched, President Bush and his team can say: “We have no money, we must make cuts, cuts and still more cuts. And when cuts are not enough, we must turn to the private sector for help.”

Seeing this coming and sounding the alarm, the Earth First! Journal reported the news, while the corporate media looked the other way.

Perhaps there’s hope in the fact that the Bush administration is so blatant in its war upon democracy and its rush to strip citizens of everything they hold in common. The public is finally starting to get a whiff of what’s in the air.

With the threat of privatization of our national forests looming large, the question becomes: “Will our message be heard broadly enough so that this takeover agenda can be stopped in whatever time remains?”

For those wishing to learn more, contact Wild Wilderness, (541) 385-5261; The Wild Wilderness website,, documents threats to wildness that Thoreau could have never imagined.

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