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“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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
“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
“[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
“[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 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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
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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.)
“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 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.
“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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“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.

7. OLIVER NORTH & CO. BANNED FROM COSTA RICA

Few individuals fascinate the U.S. media like Ollie North. Few subjects grab more media attention than drugs. Few democracies win more media praise than Costa Rica. Mix these three into a single scandal and it spells Front Page News, right? Wrong. According to Extra!, the newsletter published by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), what it spells is “C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P.”

In July of 1989, North and other major contragate figures were barred from Costa Rica. The order was issued by none other than Oscar Arias Sanchez, president of Costa Rica and winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize for Peace. President Arias was acting on recom­mendations from a Costa Rican congressional commission investigating drug trafficking. The commission concluded that the contra re-supply network in Costa Rica which North coordinated from the White House doubled as a drug smuggling operation.

As a result of the commission’s findings, North, former National Security Advisor John Poindexter, former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Lewis Tambs, Major General Richard Secord, and former CIA station chief in Costa Rica Joseph Fernandez are barred from ever setting foot in Costa Rica again.

The commission’s probe of the contra network centered around the northern Costa Rican ranch of U.S. expatriate John Hull because of the quantity and frequency of drug shipments in the area. In a recent development, Hull was indicted for murder in Costa Rica in connection with the La Penca bombing in 1986. He is currently a fugitive after having fled Costa Rica where he was to be tried on drug trafficking and neutrality violation charges. According to Extra!, North’s personal notebook mentioned the “necessity of giving Mr. Hull protection.” North’s notebooks also contain dozens of references to contra-related drug traf­ficking, including one entry dated July 12,1985: “14 million to finance came from drugs.”

The reaction of the U.S. press to this story was one of complete indifference. It was not for lack of information however, considering the lengthy Associated Press wire report (7/22/89) which carried the story into virtually every newsroom in the United States. The mainstream media, however, either ignored the story completely, or, like the Washington Post and the Miami Herald, relegated it to “In Brief’ sections. Incredibly, The New York Times and all three major television networks failed to mention the story at all.

When FAIR contacted major media outlets to ask why the story had been buried or ignored, journalists offered no plausible answers. Typical was the response from Walter Pincus of The Washington Post, who stated, “Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn’t mean it’s true.” Ironically, when criticized for giving uncritical coverage to U.S. officials’ often questionable statements about Central America, these same media have responded that “When leaders of a democracy make statements, it’s news and we have to cover it. We aren’t ruling on whether it’s true or not.”

When high-ranking officials of the “Just Say No” administration are banned — due to drug links — from Central America’s leading democracy, and the media fail to cover the story, it spells just one thing: C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P!

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: JOHN GILLES

SOURCE: EXTRA!, 130 West 25th Street New York, NY 10001, DATE: October/November 1989

TITLE: “CENSORED NEWS: OLIVER NORTH & CO. BANNED FROM COSTA RICA”

COMMENTS: Given the ingredients of this story — the charismatic Ollie North, drugs, gun smuggling, and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate — one has to wonder why the press ignored this one. It also puzzled Jeff Cohen, director of FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a national media watchdog group. “Costa Rica’s banning of Oliver North and other leading U.S. officials was, to our knowledge, never mentioned on network TV news, in the newsweeklies, or The New York Times. It was men­tioned twice in passing in the Washington Post. This lack of coverage persisted despite the fact that FAIR sent documentation of the story to every major national media outlet, and despite the fact that AP dispatched a lengthy report on the sub­ject,” Cohen said. Looking back at the issue, Cohen said FAIR pushed the story as hard as they ever pushed any story but to no avail. “At the same time Ollie North’s banning over drug-linked activities was being ignored by the media, they continually covered North’s lectures about the evils of drugs, his community service that was to help inner city youth avoid drugs, his bullet-proof vest business, and other North stories that were relatively trivial,” Cohen added.

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