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“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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 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 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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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 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
“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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“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] 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
“[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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“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.)

Parkland shooter belonged to group advocating marksmanship as substitute for science

Public officials have offered their thoughts and prayers to the families of more than 122 victims of the dozens of school shootings in the U.S. since April 20, 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, a teacher and then themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. Columbine was the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history until the Feb. 14, 2018, when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As has become the norm, there is great media and government hand-wringing about the Second Amendment and the influence of the National Rifle Association.

But one aspect of Cruz that has not been discussed much is that he joined the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program at his high school. A series of reports by Pat Elder, for Truthout, Buzzflash, World Beyond War, and on Democracy Now! highlighted Cruz’s connections to the  Army’s JROTC program and the program’s connections to other organizations.

The program is regulated by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), funded by the NRA, and currently has more than 500,000 children enrolled in its national programs. The JROTC gave Cruz, and students like him across the country, a weapon and trained him how to lethally operate it. Children in these programs are not only given weapons and taught how to use them, they are able to substitute this type of “learning” for coursework in biology, physical science, physical education, and art. The Army is specifically asking schools to allow its untrained instructors to meet these curricular requirements within the confines of its JROTC program.

These facts call for more media attention for the NRA’s role in this, which leads us back to the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The function of the CMP as a core part of the NRA’s gun running scheme has long been left out of the media narrative. The New York Times recently ran a short piece about how AR-15s are the most popular gun in the US because of how ridiculously easy they are to obtain and how much damage they have the potential to cause, effectively running a full page on the machines. They highlight issues in legislation as the fatal flaw of these assault rifles, not how they end up on the shelves of sports stores in the first place.

The Army gifts their outdated weaponry to the CMP which they, in-turn, sell them at discounted rates to the American public and “re-gift” them to JROTC programs in schools.

Marjory Stoneman High was a recent recipient of $10,000 in funding from the NRA.

The CMP serves this function as the US Army’s weapons dealer to the American public in addition to regulating school JROTC programs and the civilian shooting ranges in most towns with JROTC programs.

Normalizing violence and American patriotism in children by these special interests is a crucial part of the gun and violence debate that must first be understood before it can be changed. Corporate media failed to cover this story. Outside of the independent news sites and reporters who advocate change, corporate media talks about competitive shooting as a sport and praises it as such.  Nowhere do they stop to talk about the societal ramifications of the culture this is creating.

Sources:

Amy Goodman interviews Pat Elder, “Florida Gunman Nikolas Cruz Knew How to Use a Gun, Thanks to the NRA and the U.S. Army,” Democracy Now!, February 23, 2018, https://www.democracynow.org/2018/2/23/florida_gunman_nikolas_cruz_knew_how.

Pat Elder, “The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Is Not a Substitute for Education,” Truthout, February 16, 2017,  http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39509-the-junior-reserve-officer-training-corps-is-not-a-substitute-for-education.

Pat Elder, “How the Civilian Marksmanship Program Has Become a Premier Arms Dealer,” BuzzFlash, March 6, 2018, http://www.buzzflash.com/commentary/cruz-instagram-and-the-cmp-as-the-nation-s-premier-arms-dealer.

Pat Elder, “Cruz, Instagram, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program,” World Beyond War, February 27, 2018, http://worldbeyondwar.org/cruz-instagram-cmp/.

Student Researcher: Bethany Surface (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)

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