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“[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
“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
“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.)
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“[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
“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.
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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
“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

The Symbiotic Relationship between White Supremacists and Trump’s White House

On August 18, 2017, in the aftermath of right-wing violence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Steve Bannon resigned from his post as “Chief White House Strategist” and returned to Breitbart, where he was hailed as a “populist hero.” “The populist-nationalist movement got a lot stronger today,’ said Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow. “Breitbart gained an executive chairman with his finger on the pulse of the Trump agenda.”

While the Trump administration may be symbolically distancing itself from the “alt-right” with Bannon’s resignation—and corporate media is certainly covering that rift—over the last year, independent journalists at Mother Jones, Truthout, Democracy Now!, and other outlets have meticulously documented the rise to executive power of white supremacists, including the longtime opponent of integration, Jeff Sessions, Breitbart ideologue Steve Bannon, and a host of others.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Klansman David Duke’s praise for Trump received a fair amount of media attention, and Trump eventually distanced himself from Duke. But Trump never rejected endorsements from a number of other extremist groups, none of which had ever before publicly backed a major party nominee for the White House. As Mother Jones’ Sarah Posner and David Neiwert reported in September 2016, “During the Republican National Convention in July, Trump endorser Andrew Anglin, who runs a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer, wrote: ‘The biggest story in the filthy kike media has been a few lines from Melania’s speech which these Jews claim she stole from monkey Michelle.’”(The Daily Stormer was one of the original supporters of the “Unite the Right” Rally held in Charlottesville in August 2017). Posner and Neiwert also reported that other enthusiastic Trump supporters included Rocky J. Suhayda, Chair of the American Nazi Party; Alex Linder, founder of the website Vanguard News Network, and a former member of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group; Don Black, former KKK Grand Dragon and founder of the white supremacist website Stormfront; August Kreis III, a former KKK member and former Aryan Nations Minister of Information and Propaganda; and Rachel Pendergraft, a national organizer for the KKK-affiliated Knights Party.

“Trump has been declared a deplorable racist, and [yet] he won,” crowed Richard Spencer, who has been widely credited with rebranding various supremacist factions as the “alt-right,” after the election. The relationships developed between Trump and the far right have allowed various white supremacists to gain direct access to the Oval Office. In January 2017, Steve Bannon, the former executive chair of Breitbart.com, considered ground zero for the alt-right movement, became the “White House Chief Strategist,” a position the White House created for him. As John Feffer reported for Foreign Policy in Focus, Bannon’s Breitbart protégé Julia Hahn became a special assistant to the president. Both Feffer and Democracy Now! reported on Trump’s deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka—a vocally Islamophobic national security editor at Breitbart. Democracy Now! described Gorka as having been linked to “a Hungarian far-right, Nazi-allied group.”  The Democracy Now! report also covered Gorka’s wife, Katherine Gorka, who serves as policy advisor to the Department of Homeland Security. As Amy Goodman reported after the death of Heather Heyler in Charlottesville, “the Trump administration recently cut funds to groups dedicated to fighting right-wing violence.”

Other alt-right followers assigned Cabinet positions include Kris Kobach, best known as the co-author of anti-immigration laws; strident Islamophobe Michael Flynn, who was assigned Trump’s national security adviser; and Jeff Sessions, who is a hardliner on civil rights in the position of U.S. Attorney General.

Corporate media often report on isolated examples of Trump’s policies attacking minorities, but seldom “connect the dots” between such policies and the white supremacist agenda driving them. On August 1, 2017, the New York Times described an internal White House document that demonstrated that “the Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.” The article framed the move as a Republican response to the Obama administrations policy of bringing in lawyers “with experience working for traditional, liberal-leaning civil-rights organizations.”

Independent news organizations continue to make connections between Trump policies and the far right. In July 2017, Doran Larson reported in The Conversation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has “recently announced a return to a pre-Obama policy of seeking maximum penalties for all drug crimes, including low-level, nonviolent offenses.” A disproportionate number of those affected by this policy are minorities. Larson’s piece went on to quote incarcerated minority writers, touching on two aspects of the retroactive policy changes that you are unlikely to see referenced in corporate media: the need for resistance and the possibility of resistance. Nor is corporate media likely to mention who these policy changes benefit. “Sessions’ statement no doubt sang to the prison servicing industries, prison guard unions, the private prison industry and everyone else who profits from the salaries, pensions and lucrative contracts generated by the largest prison system on Earth,” Larson wrote.

And on August 10, 2017, Truthout’s Ebony Slaughter-Johnson reported, “Jeff Sessions has used his brief tenure as attorney general to promote policies that empower law enforcement officials to brutalize Americans, physically, legally and otherwise, beginning with his April decision to execute a review of all ongoing federal consent decrees.” Consent decrees were the result of Justice Department investigations into police departments where a “pattern or practice” of racially biased policing was evident.

Sources:

Josh Harkinson, “White Nationalists See Trump as Their Troll in Chief. Is He with Them?,” Mother Jones, January/February 2017, pp. 24-34,
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/trump-white-nationalists-hate-racism-power/.

Heather Digby Parton, “The Disturbing Dawn of the Alt-Right: Donald Trump’s the Leader of a Dark Movement in America.” Salon, August 25, 2016, http://www.salon.com/2016/08/25/the-disturbing-dawn-of-the-alt-right-donald-trumps-the-leader-of-a-dark-movement-in-america/

John Feffer, “I Am an Enemy of the People,” Foreign Policy in Focus, March 15, 2017, http://fpif.org/i-am-an-enemy-of-the-people/.

Amy Goodman, “Life After Hate: Trump Admin Stops Funding Former Neo-Nazis Who Now Fight White Supremacy,” Democracy Now! 17, 2017, https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/17/life_after_hate_trump_admin_stops.

Doran Larson, “Digital Database Captures Voices from Inside America’s Prisons,” The Conversation, July 18, 2017, https://theconversation.com/digital-database-captures-voices-from-inside-americas-prisons-81058.

Ebony Slaughter-Johnson, “When It Comes to Police Brutality, Trump Preaches What Sessions Practices,” Truthout, August 10, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41558-police-brutality-trump-preaches-what-sessions-practices.

Student Researcher Jessenia Guzman (Syracuse University)

Faculty Evaluator Jeff Simmons (Syracuse University)

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