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“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
“[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
“[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
“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 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.
“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
“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
“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.)
“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 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.
“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
“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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast

4. American Sweatshops Sew U.S. Military Uniforms

Title An American Sweatshop
Source Mother Jones, May/June 1999
Author Mark Boal
Faculty Evaulator Sally Hurtado
Student Researcher Jaime Foster

The Department of Defense (DoD) has $1 billion invested in the garment industry, making it the country’s fourteenth largest retail apparel outlet. Lion Apparel contracts with the DoD to produce military uniforms, yet the company’s workplace conditions are dismal and remain virtually unregulated by the U.S. government. Lion employees are mostly women who are paid as little as $5.50 per hour. According to records obtained by Mother Jones, through a Freedom of Information request, OSHA cited Lion Apparel 32 times for safety and health violations in the past 12 years. Employees in a Kentucky plant are subjected to formaldehyde fumes that cause shortness of breath, headaches, and skin rashes. Efforts to unionize workers have failed because, union leaders claim, the company managed to evade a federal law prohibiting the threat of plant closures. The military continues to refuse to sign the garment industry’s anti-sweatshop code of conduct. Despite the coverage provided by this article, the author estimates that there are still 10,000 American women sewing government uniforms, often in unsanitary, unsafe conditions

Coverage 2000

There has been no direct news follow-up of this story aside from some brief local coverage when the city council of Bangor, Maine, deliberated on whether or not to purchase its fire department uniforms from Lion Apparel. Their decision, as it turned out, was directly influenced by information in Boal’s Mother Jones article.

Otherwise it’s been business-almost-as-usual at Lion Apparel. Three months after Boal’s article appeared, Lion was awarded a DOD contract twice the size of its previous one. This new 10-year, $110 million contract is Lion’s largest yet with the DOD. Lion, in conjunction with Vallen Corporation, will “manage procurement, inventory logistics, and distribution for military recruit clothing” for the military’s entire Southeast region. A Lion VP made it clear that “the company will not manufacture the clothes, nor will it have control over who the DOD chooses as its supplier.” Instead, Lion/Vallen will perform supply chain management.

Mysteries remain over Lion’s denial of the original Mother Jones allegations. Lion’s Richard Lapedes claims that Lion Apparel is one of the most progressive companies in the country, and paints a workplace picture far different from the one described by the Lion employees Boal interviewed. But Boal documented Lion’s 32 OSHA citations in 12 years, eight times as many as those received by other contractors during the same period. The Bangor City Council found Lion’s average wage to be $8/hour compared to another company’s $13/hour. Although Lion explicitly states that it is not a manufacturer in their newest DOD contract, they still have their old Air Force contract as well as a new USDA Forest Service uniform contract. Also, in refuting Boal’s story, Lion had asserted that it now manufactures only fire protection clothing, and that they have not manufactured military uniforms in decades. Yet Lion continued to represent itself as a “manufacturer of government uniforms” as recently as early 1999.

The DOD’s procurement practices are themselves questionable. For instance, Federal Prison Industries (FPI), the federally mandated supplier for government agencies, is taking a big bite of the market share of the apparel manufacturing industry, especially those companies that produce uniforms and personal issue items for the U.S. military. FPI is currently the largest supplier of textiles and apparel to the DOD. But the DOD’s procurement practices have recently come under fire. A New York Times article reported on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) procurement of large quantities of apparel from Chentex, a suspected Nicaraguan sweatshop operation. Several members of Congress questioned such acquisitions, and U.S. labor-rights groups have mounted an intense campaign against further procurement. In light of such criticism, AAFES sent officials to Nicaragua to examine the Chentex operation. According to a spokesman, representatives found no problems.

News articles have appeared this year regarding the “frayed, patched, and obsolete gear” that servicemen are still being issued. Despite a $287.8 billion defense budget, soldiers are obliged to buy equipment themselves on an annual clothing allowance of only $255.60. This in turn forces them to purchase needed items from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

SOURCES: Small Business News, January 1, 1999; PR Newswire, September 10, 1999; Dayton Daily News, October 9, 1999; Bobbin, January 1, 2000; Bangor Daily News, February 7 & July 4, 2000; Commerce Business Daily, June 27, 2000; The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 30, 2000; The New York Times, December 3, 2000.

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