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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
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“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
“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.
“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
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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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
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“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.)
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9. THREE STORIES THAT MIGHT HAVE CHANGED THE COURSE OF THE 1984 ELECTION

Like the Watergate story in 1972, there were potentially explosive political stories available to America’s press long before the 1984 presidential election. They were important enough so that, if given sufficient and consistent media coverage, some thought they might have altered the results of the election. In fact, Mike Wallace publicly predicted (on the Phil Donahue Show — 9/14/84) that a 60 Minutes segment on just one of these stories could possibly change the course of the presidential election.

But 60 Minutes never did air that segment nor were the two other stories ever given national media coverage. The stories dealt with three of Reagan’s closest associates and advisors: Paul Laxalt, Edwin Meese, and Charles Wick.

IN BRIEF: PAUL LAXALT.  Considered to be President Reagan’s closest friend, Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt is high on Reagan’s list of potential nominees to fill the next U.S. Supreme Court position.  According to some of the nation’s leading investigative journalists, if this should take place, it would provide an extraordinary link between organized crime and the nation’s highest court. Under close scrutiny, Paul Laxalt appears to be the prototype of a politician whose career was nurtured by members of the underworld. Journalists investigating Paul Laxalt have found that he has accepted political contributions from supporters linked to organized crime, has received highly questionable loans, has tried to limit FBI investigations into Nevada gaming operations, and has himself owned a Carson City casino which engaged in illegal skimming operations. The story that 60 Minutes produced after a three-month long investigation uncovered startling revelations about Laxalt’s notorious friendships. It was the story that Mike Wallace thought could change the course of the 1984 election; it also was the story that was never shown by 60 Minutes. It was reported that the decision not to run that story was jointly made during a phone conversation between Don Hewitt, executive producer of 60 Minutes, and Roone Arledge, President of ABC News and Sports, whose network also was investigating Laxalt’s underworld associations. Both networks had been contacted by Laxalt, and his attorney, before the phone conversation, and had been warned not to run the Laxalt story. Neither network ran the story. (1)

IN BRIEF: EDWIN MEESE. Edwin Meese is a close personal friend of President Reagan and has just been named the top law enforcement officer in the United States. Most of us have heard about his questionable financial dealings and how friends of his who loan him money subsequently get appointed to well-paid federal jobs. However, few of us are aware that in the late ’60s and early ’70s, as a California State official, Edwin Meese directed a secret operation involving a wide variety of illegal and unconstitutional activities aimed at subverting the antiwar movement in California. Now, as U.S. Attorney General, Meese has the authority to undertake, on a national scale, the same types of unconstitutional counterinsurgency programs he once directed in California. Some feel he has already created the machinery for such activities through the restructuring of federal agencies such as FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA used to deal with natural disasters and civil defense, but now, under the leadership of Louis Guiffrida, a Meese protégé, it has been redirected to combat domestic terrorism. (2)

IN BRIEF: CHARLES WICK. Nancy and Ronald Reagan traditionally spend Christmas Eve with their good friends Mary Jane and Charles Wick. Wick, President Reagan’s biggest single private fundraiser in 1980, was later rewarded with the directorship of the U.S. Information Agency which disseminates information about American policy and culture to foreign countries through the Voice of America and other government media. The USIA position requires a thorough background investigation by the FBI and a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. At his confirmation hearing on April 30, 1981, the Senators asked about his handling of ticket sales for Reagan’s inaugural ball and about his involvement in an organization formed to promote the administration’s economic philosophy. But the senators did not ask about the nursing home Wick operated in Visalia, California; nor about the day state inspectors paid an unannounced visit to his Visalia Convalescent Hospital. The inspection team found what one inspector called the worst nursing home conditions he had ever seen in California. The inspectors charged the home with a host of health-code violations and issued 23 “Class A” citations for conditions considered imminently dangerous to the patients. One patient was found lying face down on the floor in a pool of blood and died soon after. Later another patient wandered away from the hospital and was found dead in an irrigation ditch a mile away, his body partly eaten by animals and maggots. (Wick’s nursing home received another “Class A” citation for that.) In early 1984, an investigative journalist sold that story to ABC-TV News. ABC subsequently spent several months investigating and filming the story in California and Washington. Then, just as the story was ready for final edit, it was suddenly killed. It seems that the editorial side of ABC started to get pressure from the business side of ABC; there also were reports of heavy political pressure on ABC-News; and finally, there was a report from a reliable source that a call directly from the White House to ABC killed the story.          As far as we know, that story is still sitting in the can at ABC in New York. (3)

Individually, these stories might have had little import or impact on Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984; collectively, and with significant media coverage, they could have provided a new insight into a man who lacks the moral judgment needed to run a democracy concerned with the welfare of all the people. These stories may yet make the evening network news and the covers of Time and Newsweek; however, the irrefutable fact is that they were far more important and relevant before November 6, 1984, than they are now.

SOURCES:

(I) MOTHER JONES, Aug/Sep ’84, “Senator Paul Laxalt, The Man Who Runs the Reagan Campaign,” by Robert I. Friedman, pp 32+; THE NATION, 7/24/82, “The Senator and the Gamblers,” by Bob Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, pp 79-83;       VILLAGE VOICE, 3/12/85, “Networks Knuckle Under to Laxalt: The Story That Never Was Aired,” by Robert I. Friedman & Dan E. Moldea, pp 10-14. (2) VILLAGE VOICE, 2/26/85, “From the Man Who Brought You SWAT: Return of the Night of the Animals,” by James Ridgeway, pp 30-31; S.F. BAY GUARDIAN, 2/20/85, “Meese Acknowledges Counter-Insurgency Role,” by Paul Rauber, pp 5 & 11. (3) MOTHER JONES, Nov ’84, “What the Senate Didn’t Know About Charles Z. Wick,” by Seth Rosenfeld and Mark Shapiro, pp 33+.

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