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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
“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.)
“[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
“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 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
“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] 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
“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 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.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
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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 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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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“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.

7. CONTRAGATE: THE COSTA RICA CONNECTION

As 1986 ended, each day seemed to bring new evidence of the Reagan administration involvement in the Iran/contra arms scandal. But even now, one major chapter in the sordid story remains to be told.

It involves Lt. Col. Oliver North and those to whom he reported; it involves two American journalists and their $22 million lawsuit against a group of U.S.-backed mercenaries operating in Miami and Central America; it involves a conspiracy to murder dissident contra leader Eden Pastors and the US. ambassador to Costa Rica, Lewis Tambs — and blame both acts on the Sandinistas; it involves a drug trafficking ring operating out of contra bases and airstrips on the property of a shadowy U.S. rancher in Costa Rica; it involves a cover-up that included the torture and murder of a key journalistic source; and it involves the continued threats against the lives of the two journalists who sought to expose the whole incredible plot.

There also are allegations that the conspiracy was organized by a secret group of paramilitary operatives established as far back as 1979 — and since 1981 Reagan administration officials may have had a role in the affair, according to the author. The lawsuit was filed by the Christic Institute, a respected public interest law firm with a long track record of taking on, and winning, important political cases. The Institute’s lawyers represented Karen Silkwood’s family in their successful suit against Kerr-McGee; they also represented the victims of the Nazi-Klan violence at Greensboro, North Carolina, Mississippi Mayor Eddie Carthen, and Sanctuary worker Stacey Merkt.

The two plaintiffs, Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey, are veteran journalists who had worked for news organizations like ABC, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LONDON TIMES, and the BBC. They started investigating the Contra Costa connection after Avirgan was injured in the assassination attempt against Pastors on May 30, 1984, which left three journalists dead and more than a dozen injured.

On January 30, 1987, U.S. District Judge James L. King, in Miami, denied nine motions of dismissal and instead granted the plaintiffs, Avirgan and Honey, wide-ranging subpoena powers, allowing them to prepare for a jury trial that could bring to the stand many of the individuals whose names are already well-known in connection with the Iranian arms scandal.

The potential implications of the case are staggering; however, the extraordinary charges were filed in a federal lawsuit in Miami in May 1986 and the nation’s major news media have largely ignored them.

Michael Emery, author of the articles used as a source for this nomination, is the co-author of THE PRESS AND AMERICA, an authoritative book on press history. He also is a former UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL reporter and U.S. Army public information officer. He currently is chair of the Journalism Department at California State University, Northridge.

SOURCE:

THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, 12/3/86, “Contragate: The Costa Rica Connection,” p 1+, and 2/4/87, “Christic Institute officials detained in Costa Rica,” p 9, both by Michael Emery.

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