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“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.
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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
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“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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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.)

24. Setting the FOX to Guard the Chickens in the 90s

Source: THIS WORLD, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (reprinted from The Recorder, 8/11/93),

Date: 9/19/93, Title: “Fishy Deals,” Author: Todd Woody

SSU Censored Researcher: Tim Gordon

SYNOPSIS: If California is a national trendsetter, as is often said, the rest of the nation had better become aware of the latest environ­mental trend underway there.

With Governor Pete Wilson’s strong support, the California Department of Fish and Game has decided that it can best protect endangered wildlife by turning them over to commercial interests. This privatization of the Depart­ment’s traditional watchdog role has essentially defanged it.

In brief, California has adopted a new environmental policy where it has turned over the responsibility for protecting endangered species to private corporations and devel­oper-friendly local governments.

One example involves ARCO, the oil company that owns or leases about 500,000 acres stretching from Santa Barbara to the Central Valley. As environmental reporter Todd Woody points out, “Not only is the land a prime oil and gas production area, it is home to more than two dozen rare and endangered species.”

Environmental laws normally require a company to obtain per­mits each time it plans to disturb a protected plant or animal. But under the new program, that is no longer necessary. The solution devised by ARCO and the state agency calls for the company to dedicate 6,000 acres of its land as a preserve to compensate for any habitat lost through oil and gas operations.

But then, in an unprecedented move, the Department of Fish and Game made ARCO a game warden, transferring day-to-day responsi­bility for protecting any imperiled wildlife to the company. According to the agreement, ARCO can be removed as manager of the preserve only for gross negligence.

Further, ARCO can sell “mitiga­tion credits” to other companies that want to use the preserve to replace habitat they’ve destroyed elsewhere and, in fact, has already sold some 700 acres worth of credits to three energy companies.

Some department lawyers and biologists have attacked the agree­ment. One Fish and Game staff attorney wrote that he had “sub­stantial problems” with ARCO’s proposal to manage the preserve itself, noting that Fish and Game could not legally delegate that responsibility to others when it could perform such duties itself.

Outraged environmentalists crit­icized Fish and Game for permit­ting ARCO to continue existing oil and gas operations on the preserve and to lease land to other compa­nies. According to the agreement, “The department acknowledged that oil spills and leaks might result in the death-called ‘take’-of the very wildlife the preserve was meant to protect.”

Another case involved the endangered species laws protecting the imperiled Swainson’s hawk. While developers usually must acquire land to replace habitat they destroy, and endow a trust fund for its upkeep, Fish and Game elimi­nated that requirement for the Dana Corp. It allowed the company to build its plant on the hawk’s home in exchange for a one-time, no-strings-attached payment of $46,299. State officials acknowl­edge that no new habitat has been dedicated nor is there a deadline to do so. Environmentalists called this deal “cash for critters.”

COMMENTS: Todd Woody is an environmental reporter for The Recorder, a daily legal newspaper based in San Francisco. Woody said that “Mainly because of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt’s embrace of the concept, The New York Times and other major media have cov­ered the broad strokes of Governor Pete Wilson’s biodiversity approach to saving species while permitting development. Although the Los Angeles Times has done more than other major media, scant attention has been paid to the individual deals brokered under this scheme and the subsequent winners and losers.

“For instance, when the state took the unprecedented step of turning over primary responsibility for protecting species on a Central  California wildlife preserve to an oil company, only the local media ran stories. And few, if any, mentioned the fact that ARCO Corp. not only would act as game warden but would be allowed to continue drilling for oil and gas on the pre­serve.

“Similarly, while a few outlets noted the agreement that allowed a truck manufacturer to build a fac­tory on the habitat of an imperiled hawk-focusing on the jobs cre­ated-none reported the `cash for critters’ component of the deal or the fact that the state was allowing the hawk’s home to be destroyed without a deadline for acquiring replacement habitat.

“And the political machinations in the California Fish and Game Department have received little coverage by the networks or papers.”

Woody feels that the public needs to know what is happening so that it can better judge whether these deals truly will help preserve the fragile ecosystems while allowing economic development. And he warns of the national impli­cations of this effort. “Given the fact that Babbitt has hailed this approach as a national model and has applied it elsewhere, it’s crucial that the public know the behind-­the-scenes politics of this con­cept-at least as practiced in California.”

According to Woody, one of the people benefiting from the limited coverage of this issue is Pete Wilson. “As the (California) elec­tion year approaches, Pete Wilson has been able to portray himself as a `green governor’ who has helped solve some of the more intractable environmental problems facing California. While his approach is indeed innovative, Wilson also has been able to reward some of his top campaign contributors and sup­porters-including Southern California developers, agribusiness, and oil companies. These interests in turn can also assume the mantle of environmental sensitivity without disclosing the economic and political benefits they reap.”

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