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

21. GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA HAVE PROPAGANDIZED THE WAR ON DRUGS

When President Bush held up a bag of crack cocaine (purchased earlier across the street from the White House) during a prime-time television speech to announce his “War on Drugs” last September, it set the tone for the whole media campaign which is apparently based on deception and the creation of hysteria rather than fact.

As it turned out, the Drug Enforcement Agency set up the deal in a crass bit of PR showboating. Never mind that Lafayette Park never attracted drug dealers of any kind, never mind that the DEA’s hidden microphone didn’t work, never mind that the young drug dealer was lured there only with great difficulty by the drug agents. President Bush  got his prop and that was all that mattered. According to Propaganda Review, “A vast array of propaganda techniques and devices are being used to convince Americans that the ‘drug thing’ is the country’s number one problem – a problem that required extraordinary and even unconstitutional measures to solve.”

The media have cooperated with Bush by providing extensive, uncritical coverage of official speeches, press conferences, news leaks, sensationalized drug busts, and TV specials that exaggerate and distort the drug problem.

One of the most effective propaganda techniques, which taps deeply into the Ameri­can psyche, is the use of wartime symbols and jargon to justify extraordinary measures. And these propaganda techniques are apparently working. According to an ABC News/Washington Post Poll, more than 60% of Americans were willing to give up their own constitutional rights regarding illegal search and seizure to help “fight the Drug War:”

It may be understandable that the Bush and Reagan administrations were willing to wage this Propaganda War since it diverts attention from the budget deficit, AIDS, home­lessness, administration scandals and corruption, nuclear weapons, and other domestic and foreign policy problems. But one of the most disturbing questions is why would the media engage in such a misleading and dangerous propaganda campaign?

When Bush was questioned about the sleazy tactics in setting up the Lafayette Park drug deal, he got angry and asked whether the press was siding with “this drug guy.”

That is perhaps one of the scariest aspects of this propaganda campaign — dissenting voices are simply not permitted. Early last year, DEA agent Charles Stowell, during a KCBS interview, compared the publisher of a marijuana grower’s magazine to a child pornogra­pher. And when former Secretary of State George Schulz came out publicly for legalization, the White House said he “has been out West too long.”

This new McCarthyism has chilled public discourse on alternative solutions to the administration’s plans of prosecuting and imprisoning drug users. When was the last time you saw a TV special on legalizing drugs, or corruption in the DEA, or drug trafficking in the White House?

Last year, roughly one thousand times more people died from alcohol and tobacco use than from cocaine, heroin, crack, speed, and marijuana combined. Yet most Americans still consider illegal drugs to be the country’s number one problem.

While the War on Drugs may not be a success, the Propaganda War certainly is.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: JOHN GILLES

SOURCE: PROPAGANDA REVIEW Fort Mason, Building D San Francisco, CA 94123, DATE: Winter 1990

TITLE: “DRUG WAR PROPAGANDA”

AUTHOR: JOHAN CARLISLE

COMMENTS: Author Johan Carlisle raises the disturbing possibility of a society willing to give up its constitutional rights to fight a war it has been propagandized into believing is worthwhile. Carlisle charges that the media have gone along with the government in por­traying the drug wars unilaterally as a law enforcement problem. “There have been a few articles in the progressive weeklies which have challenged the party line,” Carlisle said. “The overwhelming consistency of the drug war story on T.V., in the magazines, and in the major daily newspapers reveals the McCarthyesque nature of trying to challenge the party line.” Carlisle suggests that “The general public would benefit a great deal from a national dialog on legalization of drugs — just one of the sides of this story overlooked by the media. Crime, public health, corruption in government and law enforcement, and the staggering social costs of incarcerating millions of casual drug users are but a few of the real costs for the public.”

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