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

22. THE PROFITABLE REVOLVING DOOR AT THE EPA

When William Ruckelshaus resigned as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about five years ago, his salary was $72,600 a year. Since taking over as chief executive officer at Browning-Ferris Industries, of Houston, his salary has jumped to a guaranteed minimum of $1 million annually. In addition, he is assured of far more than that in incentive bonuses and the exercise of options to buy up to one million shares of Brown­ing-Ferris stock.

Browning-Ferris is a giant waste-management firm and Ruckelshaus is just the best­ known member of an expanding class of former EPA professionals now employed in the booming waste disposal industry. Typically, they have gone to work for companies that are prospering from contracts with the agency’s multi-billion dollar Superfund program to clean up hazardous dumps. In addition to his long EPA experience, Ruckelshaus has easy access to President George Bush who looked to him for environmental policy advice during his campaign. He has been a mentor to the current EPA chief, William Reilly. And at Brown­ing-Ferris, he provides a profile of moral rectitude to a company in frequent trouble as a price fixer and major polluter.

His resume since the EPA also included a stint in 1987, overseeing a coalition of Fortune 500 companies that sought to weaken the Superfund law. The top lieutenants in this effort were Phillip Angell, his former administrative aide at the EPA, and Henry Habicht, a former assistant attorney general with responsibilities for prosecuting Superfund violators. All three pulled out after the plan was leaked to the business press. Angell later became a Washington representative of Ruckelshaus’ company, Browning-Ferris. And, in another spin of the revolving door, Habicht is now deputy administrator of the EPA.

“Obviously, we do hire EPA people, and for a while they do have knowledge of EPA’s needs for contracting services,” said Gary Dietrich, a former EPA executive now on the staff of a large waste disposal consulting firm, ICF Inc., of Fairfax, Virginia. “I don’t know whether that’s bad.” Critics disagree, however, viewing EPA fence jumpers as mer­chants of secret information, whose new employers, in turn, use this information to their advantage in winning contracts.

The principal victims of this relationship between the EPA and industry are the millions of people who live near the toxic waste dumps. The cleanups that satisfy the agency aren’t nearly good enough for the local residents and they often can’t do a thing about it.

EPA frequently calls upon an organization called Clean Sites to serve as an informal media­tor to help settle cleanup disputes. While Clean Sites touts itself as an “unbiased third party,” its largest corporate donors, giving $100,000 or more, are Dow Chemical, DuPont, Monsanto, Shell Oil, General Electric, and Union Carbide. The EPA unfailingly praises Clean Sites. You should not be surprised to learn that William Reilly, current EPA chief, was one of the founders of Clean Sites, while Russell Train, EPA chief in the Nixon and Ford administrations, is the current chair of Clean Sites.

While there is no hard evidence of unlawful conduct, the revolving door at the EPA certainly poses ethical and conflict of interest questions that should be asked by the media.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: SALLY ACEVEDO

SOURCE: THE NATION 72 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011, DATE: 11/6/89

TITLE: “REVOLVING DOOR AT THE EPA”

AUTHOR: JIM SIBBISON

COMMENTS: The ethical question of public employees leaving the EPA for high salaries in corporations they formerly were supposed to regulate was raised by investigative journal­ist Jim Sibbison. Sibbison believes that wider media exposure of this issue “could lead to legislative reforms to bar EPA officials from the corrupt practice of taking jobs in the indus­try they are regulating — especially in the superfund hazardous waste disposal companies.” Reason magazine called Sibbison’s article the best environmental piece The Nation has published in recent years. The article also generated a call from ABC-TV’s PrimeTime Live program. The producer said they were interested in doing a segment on the subject with Sam Donaldson. That was in February. When Sibbison checked with PrimeTime Live in mid-July to see when they would do the expose on EPA’s revolving door, the producer said the story was “filed away for future use.” Apparently ABC-TV News doesn’t want to be accused of contributing to any legislative reforms.

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