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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
“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
“[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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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
“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.)
“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 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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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.
“[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 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.
“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

3. THE CONTINUING CENSORSHIP Of THE NUCLEAR ISSUE

Three Mile Island, the worst accident in the history of the atomic energy program in the United States, has proven to be a blessing for pro-nuclear propagandists.

Using the phrase “no one died at TMI,” the nuclear power industry has embarked on a nationwide campaign to resell nuclear power to the American public.  Slick television commercials and full page ads in magazines and newspapers solicit public and press support for nuclear power.

America’s Electric Energy Companies directed its campaign right at the media with an advertisement in Columbia Journalism Review (March/April 1981) headlined “Three Mile Island has made nuclear power even safer.”

The campaign appears to be working. More than a half dozen nuclear-oriented stories were nominated for “best censored” of 1980. Following are the highlights of some of these stories.

The continuing media cover-up of critical commercial/military nuclear issues qualifies this story for nomination as one of the “best censored” stories of 1980.

“NO ONE DIED AT TMI” — A recent report by the Pennsylvania Health Department was widely publicized under headlines like “No Infant Deaths Caused by TMI.”  But a devastating study by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass which refutes that optimistic finding was unpublicized in the U.S.  Dire Sternglass, a protégé of Albert Einstein, holder of several patents in X-ray technology, and a tenured professor of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh, has been unsuccessfully trying to warn the American public about the dangers of low-level radiation. Using the government’s own data, and in direct refutation of the “no harm to anyone” claims, Dr. Sternglass laid the blame for a minimum of 430 infant deaths in the United States on Three Mile Island.  Dr. Sternglass said his story “received no coverage in the major newspapers or TV network in the U.S., although copies were sent to all major media in June 1980.” However, Harrowsmith, a Canadian magazine, devoted 18 well-documented pages to alert its readers to the true TMI story. Harrowsmith editor, James Lawrence, was surprised to find nothing in his clip files from American media about the story.  “Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times had said nothing about such health ramifications among the Harrisburg population,” Lawrence reported.

SOURCES: Harrowsmith, June 1980, ‘”The Silent Toll,” by Thomas Pawlick; San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 1981, “No Infant Deaths Caused by TMI,” United Press.

URANIUM MINING IN “REMOTE NEW JERSEY” — The health and environmental risks associated with uranium mining are so well established that even the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) — not known for its alarmist position on radiation exposure — has recommended that facilities for mining and milling uranium be confined to “remote areas.” There are no remote areas in New Jersey, the state with the highest population density and the highest cancer rate in the U.S., which already has several pollution and water-supply problems. There is, however, a rich vein of high-grade uranium in a formation called the Reading Prong that runs through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.  Exxon and Standard Oil of New Jersey have begun exploratory drilling for uranium in an area of northern New Jersey from which four cities and six towns — with a combined population of close to one million — now derive their water supplies.

SOURCE: In These Times, Nov. 19-25, 1980, “Uranium rush threatens New Jersey,” by Ann Spanel.

THE HIDDEN U.S. NUCLEAR WAR — Some 235 nuclear bombs have been detonated in the hidden 17-year nuclear war the U.S. has fought against itself. Although few Americans realize it, an atomic weapon is detonated underground nearly every three and one-half weeks at the U.S. nuclear test site in Nevada. Now evidence supplied by a former high-ranking Air Force official and other sources indicates that radiation from these tests may be seeping into the atmosphere as well as poisoning the scarce water supply of the arid region.  Colonel Raymond F. Brim, the Air Force official in charge of monitoring fall out from the tests from 1966 to 1975, said that clouds of radiation in the atmosphere have been traced as far as Canada. The failure of the media to cover ongoing. nuclear testing was highlighted in December, 1980 when some Americans learned of Operation Wigwam, a deep­water nuclear test conducted in the ocean southwest of San Diego. That test, which involved 6,500 Americans and a nuclear force of more than twice that of the Hiroshima bomb, was held on May 15, 1955, but it wasn’t until late 1980 when the Center for Investigative Reporting in Oakland, California, revealed the story to New West readers.

SOURCES: Pacific News Service, July 2, 1980, “Underground Tests Every Three Weeks,” by Norman Solomon; New West, Dec. 1, 1980, “Operation Wigwam,” by Dan Noyes, Maureen O’Neill, and David Weir of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

A DANGER-LADEN PIT ON THREE MILE ISLAND — Cooling water contaminated with cesium-137 is being continually pumped out of the damaged nuclear plant at Three Mile Island and stored in a pit on the ground on the island. “An island in the middle of a large river hardly seems an ideal storage depot for tens of thousands of curies of biologically active material for a decade or more,” stated Peter Montague, Director, National Campaign for Radioactive Waste Safety. Nureg-0591, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report, refers to the cesium waste as “low-level” waste suitable for disposal in shallow trenches at an existing “low-level” burying ground. However, upon inspection of this document, Montague discovered that the cesium content of these wastes is “hundreds of times higher than the NRC’s own proposed upper limit for cesium content of wastes defined as “low-level.” Montague, who saw no coverage on this alarming aspect of TMI, tried to alert some people through a letter to the New York Times.

 SOURCE: New York Times, June 21, 1980, “A Danger-Laden Pit on Three Mile Island,” Letter to the Editor by Peter Montague, Director, National Campaign for Radioactive Waste Safety, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

THE PERILS OF INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR SHIPPING — An incredible nuclear odyssey, spanning 30,000 miles by land an open sea, circled the globe in 1980 … exposing millions of people to potential nuclear threat who were ignorant of the danger. The uncovered nuclear saga began in Canada where uranium ore was mined, ground, processed, and converted to uranium hexaflouride. It was then shipped to Russia where it was enriched in an old Soviet nuclear weapons plant. The materials subsequently left Riga, Russia, in eleven steel cylinders weighing three tons each aboard a French steamer. At Le Havre, France, the cylinders were transferred to a German steamer and shipped to the Port of Seattle, Washington. Seattle officials, unprepared for the international shipment, inadvertently allowed the materials to sit on the waterfront for three weeks. Neither the Seattle fire marshal nor the Seattle residents were aware of the hazardous cargo which sat just four blocks from the main downtown district. When the Russian and German shipping documents were finally translated, the cylinders were released to Exxon’s Richland, Washington, plant for conversion into uranium dioxide fuel pellets. The pellets were subsequently shipped back to Europe, where at another Exxon facility in Lingen, Germany, they would be assembled into fuel rods. These rods would finally be sent to the West German town of Biblis for insertion into the core of one of the largest nuclear reactors in the world. The extraordinary story of this international traffic of  hazardous nuclear materials, between Western and communist countries without regard for political fences, but with risks every step of the way, was not reported by the major U.S. news media.

SOURCE: New West, January 1981, “A Nuclear Odyssey,” by Bruce MacGregor.

HISTORY’S GREATEST PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT — The Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a national organization of 3,000 physicians, charges that the consequences of nuclear war is an issue largely ignored by the media.  PSR states that nuclear war is the most serious potential public health hazard in history. Dr. Helen Caldicott, president of PSR, believes that within 30 days after a nuclear exchange, which would take 20 minutes, some 90% of all Americans and Russians would be dead. Dr. Howard Hiatt, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health and a PSR member, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Talking about civil defense, I think raises hopes inappropriately.  It is counterproductive. The only answer is prevention, and so we should not distract ourselves with Civil Defense …”. Dr. Hiatt pointed out that a nuclear war could cause as many as 25 million burn cases, and that two hundred burn cases would saturate all existing facilities in the U.S.  This would happen at a time when three-quarters of the doctors would be dead or severely wounded and half the hospital facilities would be destroyed. While PSR symposiums on the dangers of nuclear war have been happening across the U.S., they have received little mass media coverage. Cyrus Vance, shortly after he resigned, spoke at one in New York at which some of the top doctors in the country also spoke. This symposium occurred just before the election and after the New York Times had published seven full-page articles on the arms race — stressing how far America was behind Russia. However, the New York Times failed to mention the PSR symposium.

SOURCES:

Journal of the American Medical Association, November 1980, by Dr. Howard Hiatt; Washington Post, Nov. 21, 1980, “In Event of Nuclear War, Health Prognosis is Hopeless, Doctors Say,” by Philip, J. Hilts; The Sierra Club Yodeler, January 1980, “An Interview With Dr. Helen Caldicott.”

2,300 NUCLEAR PLANT “INCIDENTS” IN 1979 — On July 14, 1980, Critical Mass, an antinuclear group affiliated with Ralph Nader, announced that more than 2,300 incidents, including operational errors and mechanical failures, were reported at the nation’s nuclear power plants in 1979. According to Critical Mass director, Richard Pollock, “This data speaks volumes about mismanagement, poor operator training, lax inspection and frequent mechanical breakdowns.” “… taken as a whole these reported events point to a technology pocked with serious operational defects,” he concluded. While the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed the number of incidents reported, Carl Michaelson, head of the commission office that analyzes such reports, said  “I would attach no significance whatsoever to” the number of reports. The ominous report generated a mere 18 column inches on Page A16 of the New York Times. While the nuclear industry gears itself for expansion in the 80’s, including these problem-plagued reactors, the American public is being fed the soothing “no one died at TMI” message planted by the nuclear industry’s skilled propagandists and distributed by the media.

SOURCE: New York Times, July 14, 1980, “2,300 Incidents Reported At Nuclear Plants in 1979,” Associated Press.

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