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“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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.
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 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
“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
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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] 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
“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 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
“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
“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.

25. SIT, FIDO. DOWN. ROLL OVER. GOOD BOY. NOW DIE FOR ME.

Every once in a while, radical animal rights activists commit an act of protest which earns the media attention. But rarely do the media publicize the issues which drive the activists to action.

According to the Congressional Office of Technological Assessment, 17 to 22 million animals are used yearly for testing in research laboratories. Animal rights activists believe the figure is closer to 70 million. Animals have been used to determine what the potential adverse effects would be to humans if exposed to explosives, chemicals, binary poison gases, radiation, infectious bacterial and viral diseases, and, of course, cosmetics.

Dogs, primates, rats, cats, mice, and rabbits are not the only animals being cruelly treated in the U.S. Now the mistreatment of exotic animals is also being reported.

Because the meat of exotic animals, like deer, elk, and buffalo, is leaner than commercial meat and without antibiotics, it has become a popular menu item in trendy East Coast restaurants. Venison consumption jumped from 1,000 pounds a week in 1985 to 4,000 pounds a week in 1986 in New York.

Animals reported slaughtered in 1986 in North America included 9,000 bison, 5,000 caribou, countless thousands of deer, and untold numbers of wild boar, elk, llamas, and water buffalo. Before these animals were killed, many of them lived in stacked cages, barely with enough room to turn around in.

In Australia, three to five million kangaroos are killed yearly. Marian Newman of the International Wildlife Coalition described this slaughter as “one of the most barbaric commercial wildlife massacres in the world.” Their hides are typically used for athletic shoes, dress shoes, purses, belts, cattle whips and novelty items. According to Dean Wilkinson, legislative director for Greenpeace, in the U.S., Adidas, Puma, and Florsheim continue to make kangaroo-leather shoes.

In 1987, the corporate owners of three California Bay area pet stores agreed to pay a $150,000 settlement rather than risk a higher jury verdict for having allegedly sold sick animals, beat some animals to death, and practiced veterinarian medicine without a license. Unfortunately this was not an isolated case. Particularly offensive is the exotic bird trade which sees between 50,000 and 100,000 birds enter the U.S. illegally every year. But perhaps the most offensive thing about pet shops is not their greed and cruelty but their superfluousness. With more than 20 million unadopted dogs and cats -­many of them purebreds — being put to death every year in the nation’s tax-supported shelters, why do we need a pet industry?

A nation of people who sometimes seem to care more for their pets than for one another might be tempted to do something about animal cruelty if they knew more about it. The issues that force animal rights activists to take to the streets surely deserve better coverage by our media.

SOURCES:

THE ANIMAL’S AGENDA, “Marsupial Wars — Australia’s Shame,” by Peter A. Rawlinson, April 1987, pp 8-14, 48; “The Pentagon’s Secret War on Animals,” by Holly Metz, June 1987, pp 22-29, 48; “Exotics for Slaughter,” by Merritt Clifton, July/August 1987, pp 41-43; “The Pet Shop Scam,” by Jack Rosenberg, December 1987, pp 12-15, 19-20.

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