Connect With Us

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

19. Big Business Corrupts The Judicial System by “Buying a Clean Record”

Source: MULTINATIONAL MONITOR, Date: July/August 1993, Title: “Justice for Sale,” Author: Holley Knaus

SSU Censored Researcher: Gerald Austin

SYNOPSIS: While big corpora­tions have, for years, pressured all areas of government to limit the corporate sector’s level of responsi­bility for wrongdoing, they have developed a new practice that goes beyond simply stalling the legal process. Rather than denying the plaintiff an opportunity to be heard in court by costly long delays and pre-trial bluster, corporations are now using the dubious legal process of vacatur.

The vacatur process not only allows corporations to appear squeaky clean but more seriously undermines the fundamental issue of precedential law. Despite the sig­nificant impact that a vacatur ruling can have, the process seems remarkably simple. According to an editorial in Multinational Monitor, “Justice for Sale,” it is a little-publi­cized but growing phenomenon in corporate lawsuits.

Basically the vacatur process allows a corporation found guilty in a lower court action to make a set­tlement with the plaintiff so that the case will not be appealed to a higher court. Both plaintiff and defendant request that the pre­siding appeals judge “vacate” the decision and strike the previous finding from the record, ultimately eliminating the precedential value of the ruling.

A May 1992 settlement between U.S. Philips, a manufacturer of rotary electric shavers, and Windmere, a U.S. distributor for the Japanese firm Izumi, also a manufacturer of rotary shavers, illustrates how easy it is for pow­erful business groups to corrupt the judicial system. Locked in a battle over patent infringement and anti­trust violations, the court awarded Philips $6,500 in damages for the patent complaint. However, in a counter-suit charging anti-trust violations, a jury found in Windmere’s favor and awarded Windmere $89 million on the antitrust claim. Faced with an appeal that might confirm Philips’ wrongdoing, Philips struck a deal with Windmere.

The deal was for Philips to give Windmere an additional $57 mil­lion-on one condition: Windmere was required to join with Philips in requesting a federal appeals court to vacate the lower court jury’s verdict. Philips’ motivation was made clear in the agreement which said, “Windmere’s anti-trust claim will be of no force and effect and shall have no precedential or other value.”

Not satisfied that Philips was able to buy a clean record, Izumi filed suit in the Supreme Court raising the issue of whether a corpo­ration can justifiably erase wrong­doing by simply paying off the plaintiff. Supporting Izumi’s appli­cation for review of the decision to grant vacatur, the Washington, D.C.-based Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ) has clearly outlined areas of real concern.

The amicus curiae filed by TLPJ notes that the granting of vacatur undermines the legal process, “It reduces respect for the judiciary by permitting a judicial decision to be bought and sold.” The brief notes that the process favors wealthy cor­porate interests, particularly those that often land in court. “Certain types of litigation, including prod­ucts liability, illegal toxic dumping cases, and employment discrimina­tion claims, frequently pit an indi­vidual  plaintiff with limited litigation experience … against an institutional defendant with repeated exposure to the litigation process. The defendants in these cases have both the reason and the resources to `roll the dice’ and then, if the gamble fails to pay off, to buy out unfavorable decisions. The plaintiffs do not.”

COMMENTS: Holley Knaus, author of the Multinational Monitor editorial, said the issue of corporate manipulation of the Judi­cial system does not receive the media exposure it deserves. “I learned about the subject from a very good article that ran in the Legal Times,” Knaus said, “but I am unaware of any other coverage in the mainstream media.

“Part of the problem is that the large papers and the networks tend to cover `events’ rather than exposing and examining on-going institutional problems. And I sup­pose a challenge to a legal process (even before the Supreme Court) does not qualify as an event in the minds of the corporate media shapers.”

Given that corporations are using the vacatur process to erase prior offenses and shape U.S. case law, Knaus feels that the “general public needs to know about a process that is undermining the public value of court decisions and rulings.” She assumes that most of the public would agree that corpo­rations have no place in shaping the law in any manner.

“Corporations are the only ones benefiting from the limited cov­erage given this issue,” Knaus said. “As with so many other issues, cor­porations are benefiting not from any active form of information sup­pression, but from mass media’s failures to point out and analyze systemic problems.”

Facebook Comments