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“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
“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.
“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
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 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
“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
“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.
“[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 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.
“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
“[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
“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
“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 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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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.)

18. GHETTOIZING THE ELDERLY

“Age” is a dirty word in America. Calvin Klein image-molders cater to a nation of dieters and Joggers who would perennially pour themselves into jeans designed for the teenager. To age is to pass from the limelight reserved for beautiful people into a wasteland of neglect, despair, and poverty.

In America, your probable reward for 50 years of service to family and society, as well as lifelong payments of social security, federal and state taxes, will be confinement to a nursing home at age 65, where one-third of the residents die within the first year.  As Medicare insurance makes no provision for extensive nursing home coverage, you will have to exhaust your savings and sell your property to pay for “care” from an institution where the administrators often earn $35,000 to $50,000 per year, and whose shareholders often earn a 40 percent return on their investments. When your funds run dry, you will be eligible for Medicaid, and will be quickly shuffled out of the “for-profit” nursing home into a substandard home plagued by fire code violations and staffed primarily by underpaid and undertrained women.

If you are fortunate enough to remain outside the walls of the nursing home at age 65, you will nevertheless be hit with skyrocketing medical costs. The cost of medical care in the U.S. has grown at a faster rate for the aged than for everyone else, now consuming about 30 percent of the national medical bill.

Medicare and Medicaid legislation, passed in 1965, brought a phenomenal boost to profits of both the medical and nursing home industries. In 1962, the total national expenditure for long-term care of older people totaled only $500 million.  Formerly charitable institutions or “mom-and-pop” operations, nursing homes today have become large chains, selling stock on the open market. The industry’s revenues since 1962 have increased twenty-fold — to $12.6 billion. More than half the revenues are paid by Medicare and Medicaid.

In contrast to the growth of profits in the aging industries, the elderly themselves are being plunged into poverty. Nearly 15 percent of the elderly today live in “official” poverty; half are getting by on $75 a week.  Blacks are especially hard hit and die more than four years sooner on the average.

When will we begin to look at creative alternatives?  In other countries the elderly are not coldly institutionalized, but are afforded care that fosters more independence and self-respect. In England the government pays home nursing and house-keeping services, and hot meals are available at community centers.  In Sweden apartments have been built around a central unit providing medical care, therapy, hot meals, and social activities.

If the media spotlight were more frequently turned from the derriere of Brook Shields to the human tragedy of 1.3 million Americans ghettoized in nursing homes, needed reforms could be sooner forthcoming. Or must we consign the elderly to silent decay until the post-war baby bulge becomes a senior citizen lobbying power in the year 2000?

The failure of the media to put the plight of the elderly on the national agenda qualifies this story for nomination as one of the “best censored” stories of 1980.

SOURCES:

The Progressive, February 1980, “Nursing Home Watchdogs,” by Karen Hering; Mother Jones, May, 1980, “Growing Old Absurd,” by Hugh Drummond, M.D.

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