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“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.
“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.
“[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 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.
“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
“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
“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
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“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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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.
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“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

2. OSHA Fails to Protect U.S. Workers

The Progressive
February 2000
Title: Losing Life and Limb on the Job
Author: Christopher D. Cook

Faculty and community evaluators: Fred Fletcher, Virginia Lea, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Mike Graves, Ambrosia Crumley, Dana Balicki

United States labor laws are poorly enforced and fail to meet the basic human rights of U.S. workers. Each year, about 6,000 workers die on the job from accidents and another 50,000 to 70,000 workers die annually from “occupationally acquired diseases.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not capable of effectively overseeing U.S. workplaces.

The entire federal and state worker health and safety apparatus involves just 2,300 inspectors, who must cover America’s 102 million workers in 6.7 million workplaces. That comes to one inspector for every 44,348 workers. Theoretically, it would take OSHA 110 years to inspect each workplace under its jurisdiction just once.

Needed by labor and despised by business, OSHA may be workers’ best friend in government, but critics say OSHA has never been weaker or less worker-friendly. Recent studies show that United States labor laws have loopholes, are poorly enforced, and fail to meet human rights standards that our nation requires of other countries.

Titan International, an Illinois-based company, has been under fire lately at its plant and at other subsidiary locations. Despite a lengthy recent record of safety violations and injuries-including two deaths-Titan’s Des Moines plant has stymied five attempts by Iowa OSHA to inspect some twenty-three complaints lodged by workers. Titan Tire refused entry to OSHA even with an inspection warrant-a violation of law and a direct assault on the integrity of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Titan was held responsible by the Polk County District Court in Des Moines and was fined Iowa’s maximum civil-contempt penalty-just $500- which Titan is appealing.

Titan workers are being maimed across the country. Workers say it is usually the result of decrepit machines, minimal training and punishing hours. Since May 1999, the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) has been challenging Titan with a slew of unfair labor practice charges. These include, but are not limited to, illegally moving jobs and equipment to avoid a union contract, refusing to bargain in good faith, discriminating against union members, and trying to permanently replace striking workers. Union officials say that fines are too low and that companies, even in worker death cases, are only getting slapped on the wrist.

In Titan’s Des Moines plant on March 20, 1997, Don Baysinger, a tire builder with 27 years of experience, was pinned between two tire-tread machines for more than twenty minutes. Baysinger died two days later of asphyxia-related symptoms. Titan paid only a $10,000 OSHA fine for failure to have emergency stops on the equipment and for being inadequately guarded.

Another death occurred at the Des Moines plant in November 1999. Nearly 2,000 gallons of highly flammable heptane poured unnoticed onto the ground and headed into the street. A passing car ignited the chemicals and set off a massive fire, killing Bulkamatic Transport Company’s driver Donald Oswald.

Titan often develops close relationships with job-starved cities. In 1997 Brownsville Texas gave Titan $6.5 million in free land, site improvements, and utility and wage subsidies. The state of Texas added $448,000 for job training for 168 workers. Titan received similar subsidies from the state of Virginia to the tune of $500,000.

In these times, it is hard to get the attention of an OSHA inspector as there are so few of them. Instead of addressing or attempting to alleviate an issue or complaints early on, inspectors seem to respond, “only when there is a death or serious injury,” union official Tim Johnson. Regardless of who is to blame, OSHA is woefully ill-equipped to monitor the workplaces of America.

UPDATE BY CHRISTOPHER D. COOK: On the surface this is a story about the untold daily horrors that still exist on today’s assembly line. But this story is about more than a “bad-apple,” runaway company abusing its workers-though that, in and of itself, is a disturbingly commonplace scandal about which we hear little in the mainstream press. The broader significance is that firms like this can-and do-regularly get away with it, thanks to a remarkably anemic worker health and safety enforcement system. Companies can turn inspectors away and delay inspections for months. Fines are minimal and routinely reduced. And while business complains about government intervention in the workplace, the reality is that there are just 2,300 federal and state inspectors charged with monitoring 6.7 million work sites across the U.S.-so firms like Titan can endanger workers with impunity.

Regrettably little has changed since this story appeared. The United Steelworkers of America continues to battle Titan, which has attempted to replace striking U.S. workers with laid-off workers from a Titan spin-off in Uruguay. On November 22, 2000, the Detroit city council declared the motor city a “Titan-free zone” to express its support for the workers.

The mainstream press has shown little interest in this story. I promoted the story to the Washington Post-with local and national hooks-to no avail.

There is a distressing lack of national groups focusing on injured workers. I encourage people interested in learning more to contact the United Steelworkers of America, Public Citizen, and the AFL-CIO, which studies worker injuries and deaths on the job, as well as government inspector per worker ratios.

Christopher D. Cook:

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