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

4. Deforming Consent: The PR Industry’s Secret War On Activists

Sources: COVERTACTION QUARTERLY, Date: Winter 1995-1996, Title: “The Public Relations Industry’s Secret War on Activists,” Authors: John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton; EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL, Date: Winter 1995-1996, Title: “Public Relations, Private Interests,” Authors: John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

Multi-million dollar clients of major public relations firms are behind the creation of false non-profit organizations, which target activists and lobby against legislation that threatens big business. Most of these organizations focus on environmental, consumer, and labor issues. The strategies of these powerful media manipulators include the defamation of activists, their ideas, and the deception of American citizens.

Through the PR industry and the enormous financial resources of their corporate clients, these organizations mobilize private detectives, lawyers, and undercover spies; influence editorial and news decisions; launch phony “grass-roots” campaigns; and use high-tech information systems to influence and manipulate public opinion and policy. With its array of sophisticated persuasive weaponry, the PR industry can out-maneuver, overpower, and outlast citizen reformers.

In one recent—and high-profile example, the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) created the Coalition for Health Insurance Choices (CHIC) to defeat the Clinton Administration’s attempt at health care reform. They utilized public opinion polling and lobbying strength to execute its campaign against mandatory health alliances.

“Greenwashing” is the term now commonly used to describe the ways that polluters employ deceptive PR to cultivate an environmentally responsible public image while covering up their abuse of the biosphere and public health. “Astroturf lobbying,” a term coined by Lloyd Bentsen, is another new concept which Bentsen describes as the “synthetic grassroots movements that now can be manufactured for a fee.” Campaigns & Elections magazine defines “Astroturf” as a “grass-roots program that involves the instant manufacturing of public support for a point of view in which either uninformed activists are recruited or means of deception are used to recruit them.”

These anti-public-interest campaigns generate the false impression of public support in the name of “citizen activism” to promote the goals of corporate clients. Consequently, dissenting voices have been muffled, scientifically proven unhealthy chemicals and practices have been legalized, and public opinion has been profoundly, yet quietly influenced.

SSU Censored Researchers: Diane Ferre, James Hoback

COMMENTS: According to John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, coauthors of both articles, “There was virtually no mention or analysis of public relations’ role in protecting the status quo and dividing and attacking social change activists,” and “the anti-environmental campaign organized by business received almost no in-depth coverage by mainstream media.” Wider media exposure of this subject would allow the public to understand “the extent to which ‘news’ is the creation of PR experts, and the extent to which corporations spy upon and attack citizen activists.” The public would also understand “that ‘green’ claims by business often mask anti-environmental policies.”

Stauber and Rampton believe the limited media coverage of this issue serves the interests of “the companies that pollute, which typically pump hundreds of millions of advertising dollars into mainstream media.” Media’s interests are served as well, “in covering up the extent to which it is complicit in passing on public relations as journalism, and its corporate interest in preserving the status quo.” For more on this issue, see the book, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry (Common Courage Press, 1995), also by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton.

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