Connect With Us

“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 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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
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 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
“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
“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.
“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
“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 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 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 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
“[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


Mickey Z.

“The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this.”

Che Guevara

Shortly after my recent article about the frightening state of the world’s children was posted, I received a request to narrow my focus to the good ol’ USA. In other words: why should all of us be occupying for America’s kids, too?

Wow…where do I begin?

Hmmm…I could start at birth and talk about the prevalence of toxins in breast milk or the dangerous vaccinations and pharmaceuticals imposed upon almost every child or the endless assault of pesticides, GMOs, additives, and other chemicals that have become part and parcel of the American way of life.

Perhaps I could shine a light on the car culture and point out how, for example, the leading cause of death for children aged 5 to 14 in New York City is pedestrian automobile accidents.

Each of those concepts (and many others) could—and just may—end up as a separate article. However, considering what passes for discourse these days, I think another approach is essential here.

Republicans grumble about welfare queens and Democrats somberly discuss “shared sacrifices” and, of course, there’s the callous Libertarian fantasy of an even playing field. So, I’ll eschew the poetics and stick—as much as possible—to the cold hard facts as we go directly to the heart of the American Dream façade.

This one goes out to all the willfully deluded and overly entitled souls who smugly maintain that low-income Americans are too lazy, stupid, or dishonest to earn enough money to pay their ever-mounting bills.

To follow is but a small taste of the insidious and escalating poverty here in the land of opportunity. (FYI: Primary source for ensuing statistics)

Define “Poverty”

As it stands, the federal poverty level is absurdly and maliciously low: $22,050 a year for a family of four. Thus, the following numbers are inherently skewed as research has shown that such a family would need twice as much money simply to cover basic expenses.

So, when I tell you that 21% of all US children—15 million in all—live in families with incomes “below the federal poverty level,” a more useful and compassionate estimate would be 42% or 30 million.

With that crucial caveat in mind, here are some of the many reasons why we must #Occupy4USChildren:

  • Children make up 26% of the US population, but are 39% of the people who live in poverty (the poverty rate is higher for children than any other age group)
  • Every day, 2,660 children are born into poverty
  • Children and families are the fastest growing group among the homeless, making up 40% of the homeless population
  • One in 50 US children currently homeless

Poverty and Geography

  • Mississippi and the District of Columbia have the highest rates of child poverty, both over 25%
  • Fifteen other states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia) have child poverty rates above 20%
  • The South is the region with the highest rate of child poverty: 42% of Southern children live in low-income families

A quick side trip to my hometown of New York City, where I turn to Doug Henwood, who recently offered these sobering realities:

  • The richest 10% of New Yorkers have 58% of total income
  • The richest 5% have 49%
  • The proverbial 1% has 34%
  • The city’s median income is $28,213
  • The average income of the top 1% is $2,247,515
  • The income of the top 10% of New Yorkers is 582 times that of the poorest 10% (in Brazil, that ratio is 35 times)

By more general locale:

  • 47% of kids in rural areas have low-income families
  • Urban areas: 40%
  • Suburbs: 30%

By race/ethnicity:

  • The overall US poverty rate for white children is 11%
  • Asian children: 13%
  • Hispanic children: 31%
  • Native American children 31%
  • Black children: 34%

Poverty and Health

According a recent Columbia University study, poverty, defined as living below 200% of the United Stated Federal Poverty Level (FPL), was determined to take away 8.2 years of health, meaning poor people have 8.2 fewer years in which they are healthy than someone above 200% of the FPL.

In addition, children who struggle with hunger are:

  • Sick more often, recover more slowly, and are more likely to be hospitalized
  • More likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds, ear infections, and fatigue
  • More susceptible to obesity and its harmful health consequences as children and as adults
  • Predisposed children to emotional and behavioral difficulties, academic problems, and tend to be more aggressive and anxious

In 2006, researchers found: “Children in low-income families start off with higher levels of antisocial behavior than children from more advantaged households. And if the home remains poor as the children grow up, antisocial behavior becomes much worse over time compared to children living in households that are never poor or later move out of poverty.”

Disabilities—whether directly linked to poverty or not—leave American children vulnerable to a lifetime of financial difficulties. According to the US Census Bureau (2006), “Persons with a disability are likely to have limited opportunities to earn income and often have increased medical expenses. Disabilities among children and adults may affect the socioeconomic standing of entire families. It is estimated that over 40 million people in America have some level of disability, and many of these individuals live in poverty.”

Welfare Queens: Real and Imagined

I could go on with the stats but let’s instead stop for some perspective: Billions of dollars are spent to bail out the rich while 54% of our tax dollars funds a global reign of terror known as the US military. But thanks to corporate propaganda, we’re programmed to ignore the vast and corrupt enterprise of corporate welfare and to falsely believe that the poor in America are lazy leeches, coddled by an enabling nanny state.

Contrary to such despite dishonest media imagery, 55% of children living in poor or low-income families have a parent who works full time, year around.

“What’s so hard is that a lot of families are working so hard,” Dr. Megan Sandel, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston Medical Center’s Grow Clinic told ABC News. “They are working jobs. They are earning money and their dollars just don’t go far enough.”

Two of the big reasons why the number of US children living in poverty has jumped by nearly 20% since 2000: higher unemployment and foreclosures. Studies show that nearly 5.5 million children live in families that have lost homes to foreclosures and 8 million children live in families where at least one parent has lost a job.

Those children who manage to either survive or avoid such an oppressive economic plight are then left to navigate a fraudulent system in which it is increasingly difficult to earn a living wage and/or afford health insurance.

Schooling is no longer a guaranteed path towards even relative financial security. In addition, the total student debt now exceeds the total consumer debt and will pass $1 trillion in 2012.

Such a bleak scenario can only leave us wondering what’s left for the vast majority of humans who make up the future of this country. Perhaps such a musing helps to explain why so many young people volunteer to wage illegal and immoral wars and why

7,225,800 American adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2009.


“Do not waste your time on social questions. What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness.”

George Bernard Shaw

Let’s revisit a few details: Despite unfair and impractical US federal government standards for what qualifies as poverty, the numbers still remain staggering. Poverty has increased by 20% since 2000 and currently, 2,660 American children are born into poverty every single day.

Meanwhile, with help from a relentless corporate media, the general population is conditioned to remain oblivious to massive government subsidies for the 1% while demonizing the poor and scoffing at the activists struggling for justice.

So, as with my previous article, I must ask: Where do you stand on all this? Do you block it out or does it keep you up at night?

Do you want to live in a country where 1 out of 50 children are homeless while 1% of humanity accumulates vast material wealth?

If not, why aren’t you fighting back? If you can’t find a reason to fight for yourself, then just do it for all the children in every country. It’s now or never…

We are the 99%. Expect us. Join us…

#DeOccupyCorporatePropaganda. #OccupyClassWar. #Occupy4USChildren.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

Facebook Comments