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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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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.
“[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
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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
“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.
“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 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
“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.
“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
“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.)
“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.
“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

7. Disaster That Challenges TIM Exxon Valdez

Source: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Date: 3/22/93, Title: “The Killing Fields,” Author: Robert H. Boyle

SYNOPSIS: “It’s hard to believe, but the ecological disasters caused by the oil spills from the Exxon Valdez, in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989 and the Braer, off Scotland’s Shetland Island, in 1993 seem to pale when compared with the chronic environmental night­mare being wrought by selenium ­contaminated drain water flowing from irrigated lands in California and 13 other Western states.” The strident warning comes from envi­ronmental writer Robert H. Boyle, president of the Hudson River­keeper Fund.

“Although selenium runoff is also a problem in Arizona, Colo­rado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, no state has been hit as hard as California, where agricultural inter­ests wield clout out of all propor­tion to their importance to the state economy.”

Ironically, selenium is not a new problem; poisoned water holes and sinks have existed for years in the West. The first recorded case of selenium poisoning was in 1857, in Nebraska. A mysterious livestock disease in Mississippi in 1933 was found to be selenium poisoning. Now, however, man-made “lakes” and ponds saturated with selenium from agricultural run-off are threat­ening our drinking water and wildlife.

In the 1960s, at the cost of $1.4 billion, the U.S. Interior Depart­ment began constructing a canal to carry off drainwater in the San Joaquin Valley, but for lack of funds the project only got as far as the old Kesterson Ranch, a tract of land that contains 1,280 acres of gouged-out ponds, now called the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge. All was well until 1978 when drain-water began flowing into the ponds. By 1982, the hardy mosquito fish, the only fish still living in Kesterson, was found to contain the highest selenium levels ever found in any fish anywhere.

In 1983, Harry M. Ohlendorf, a wildlife research biologist, studying nesting birds at Kesterson, found a high incidence of dead adults, dead embryos, deformed embryos and deformed young coots, ducks, eared grebes, black-necked stilt and killdeers. When he reported these findings to the regional deputy director at the U.S. Fish and Wild­life Service, he was told to delete those references in his report since the subject was “totally out of con­text-does not lend anything but a red flag to people.” In 1984, virtu­ally no nesting birds were seen at Kesterson; instead, 16,000 adult birds died from selenium poisoning.

Boyle estimates that tens of thousands-some say hundreds of thousands-of birds have died or have been born dead or with grotesque deformities. But the calamity has not attracted the media or even the environmental group attention it demands. Lloyd Carter, an environmental activist who has been trying to sound the alarm about selenium for years now, said, “It amazes me that not a single major environmental group has done anything to stop the killing.”

However, Carter also points out the hazards of blowing the whistle. “Anyone in Interior who dares speak the truth about what is really hap­pening will be swiftly punished or driven from government service. The people in charge have abdi­cated their responsibilities to pro­tect wildlife in favor of careerism, big agribusiness, and political expe­diency.” While the selenium crisis has now grown to extraordinary proportions-in California alone, the selenium runoff now threatens the entire 500-mile-long Central Valley as well as the water supply for Los Angeles-it has yet to attract the mainstream media.

SSU Censored Researcher: Paul Chambers

COMMENTS: Author Robert Boyle said, “In no way has the calamity of toxic drainwater, which involves criminal violations of fed­eral law, received anywhere near sufficient exposure in the mass media, be it in the last year or the several years before that. In point of fact, drainwater has received next to no exposure, aside from the reporting of Lloyd Carter, (for­merly) of UPI’s Fresno bureau, Russell Clemmings of the Fresno Bee, and Tom Harris, recently retired from the Sacramento Bee. Their readership, alas, is pretty much limited to the San Joaquin Valley.” Boyle believes that if the “general public knew the extent of the damage and threats posed by toxic drainwater. .. thinking people would demand that the federal gov­ernment end the problem, prose­cute those responsible, and reform, if not cauterize, the government agencies involved.” He also noted that those who benefit from the lack of coverage include “agri­business interests who get a free ride from subsidized water, the politicians who lustily suck upon the teats of agribusiness (among them some of the biggest names in both parties), and the ass-kissing bureaucrats in the federal govern­ment who get ahead by denying that problems exist and by harassing and punishing scientists who attempt to come up with the facts.”

When I asked Boyle whether he had any additional comments to make about his efforts to get his story published, he said, “You bet.” Given the extraordinary experi­ences Boyle had in getting his toxic drainwater story printed, and the insights they provide into the media’s “selection process,” his comments are reprinted in full. Robert H. Boyle: `A bit of back­ground that may be pertinent: I went to work for Sports Illustrated (SI) in 1954 when the magazine was only four issues old, and in 1986, 32 years later, I took early retirement as a Senior Writer and accepted a contract with the maga­zine as a Special Contributor. “While on staff, one of my fortes was environmental reporting, which I pioneered for the magazine starting in 1959 with a story that foiled the attempted rape of Tule Lake in Northern California, the single greatest gathering spot in the world for migratory waterfowl, by a bunch of farmers and a schemer in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “For years afterwards, SI ran hard-hitting environmental pieces from time to time because the magazine covered participant sports, such as fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, sailing, hunting, camping, etc., along with spectator sports, and the editors figured that if someone was messing up a trout stream, or a mountain, or an ecosystem, the readers ought to know. This edito­rial stance started to change 10 years ago as the magazine became more and more jock-oriented, and that’s the major reason I chose­ early retirement.

“Mind you, in the old days we didn’t preach about the environ­ment every week-it’s easy to turn people off-but we did run any­where from three to six compelling articles a year.. I think of Jack Olsen’s articles on the deadly 1080 “coyote-getter” poison, and pieces by Robert Cantwell and Bill Gilbert. A piece I did in 1970 first reported the presence of PCBs in fish in North America (I collected or arranged for correspondents to collect fish that I then had tested by the leading analytical laboratory in the country), and this was five years before the federal government finally owned up to a pervasive PCB problem. In a 1984 piece I offered the hypothesis, based on chemical evidence that I had gath­ered, that acid rain was largely responsible for the lack of repro­ductive success by striped bass and five other important Atlantic Coast species of fish that spawned in rivers tributary to Chesapeake Bay. This hypothesis, since proven, prompted a scientific conference, and the papers presented were pub­lished in a special issue of the peer ­review international scientific journal, Water, Air & Soil Pollution.

“I first offered the drainwater story to Sports Illustrated in July of 1991. After five months of batting it around, editors, off into deep jockdom, rejected it.

“In February of 1992, I offered the article to Audubon magazine. The editor, Michael Robbins, said he would publish it as soon as pos­sible, which I took to mean at once. “In the meanwhile, I offered Audubon another article, this one on edible insects that were to be served at the banquet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the New York Entomological Society, to which I belong. Robbins published the edible insects article immedi­ately after I turned it in, but he kept postponing publication of the drainwater article even after researchers called me up to check and double-check the facts.

“Finally, Bruce Stutz, an editor at Audubon and an old friend, phoned to say that the drainwater article would be in the November/December 1992 issue. Then, at the last minute, Stutz called again to say that the article was being yanked in favor of an article on Roger Tory Peterson, but that it would finally appear in the January-February 1993 issue. I said, `Bruce, you are a dear fellow, but I want my article back. NOW! Go tell Michael Robbins that he has turned Audubon into the People Magazine of the environ­ment. What is Audubon going to tell us that’s new about Roger Tory Peterson??? How the penguins hop up and down with joy when Peterson, binoculars at the ready, sets foot on Antarctica once again with a troupe of blue-haired ladies from a Lindblad cruise ship??? The National Audubon Society was founded specifically for the protec­tion of birds. By the way, Audubon still owes me anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for the extra reporting Robbins asked me to do. Don’t bother to send it: I don’t want Audubon’s goddamned money.’

“I got the article back, but not, of course, the money due me. What to do now? I had a world-class scoop and nowhere to place it. I decided to send the article to an editor I knew at The New Yorker because the magazine had recently run two `Talk of the Town’ pieces I’d written. I got two responses from The New Yorker. One was that Tina Brown, who had just taken over the editorship, wasn’t interested, and the other was that my drainwater article conflicted with a piece the magazine was going to run.

“I tried Harper’s. The magazine rejected it because the article was too regional. By this time my wife was saying `Do you have to devote your life to an article about drain­water?’

“My wife and I then went to SI’s Christmas party at the Hard Rock Cafe on Manhattan’s West 57th Street. We had a good time, and just as we were leaving, Mark Mulvoy, who had returned from being publisher to managing editor, stopped me and said, `I want you to see me after the holidays.’

“We met in Mulvoy’s office in the Time-Life Building after the holidays. `I want a strong environ­mental piece for the March 22nd issue,’ he said.

“Mark, I sent one in a year and a half ago. The magazine turned it down. My wife says I’m ruining my life making a career about it, but it deals with toxic drainwater in the West, selenium poisoning in Cali­fornia in particular.

“`Never heard about it, but it sounds great,’ Mulvoy said. Turning to subordinates, he announced, `March 22nd issue, 400 lines, close it two weeks ahead.’ Turning to me, he said, `Okay, Bob?’

“`Mark, you’ll have it,’ I replied. “And thus Sports Illustrated finally published it.”

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