Mass Media News Articles
Excerpts of Key Mass Media News Articles in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important mass media news articles from the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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For an index to revealing excerpts of news articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
US plans to fight the net revealed
2006-01-27, BBC News
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations". The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act. Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it. The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks. The military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans. "Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public. Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will 'fight the net' as it would an enemy weapons system," it reads. The document recommends that the United States should seek the ability to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum". US forces should be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum". The fact that the "Information Operations Roadmap" is approved by the Secretary of Defense suggests that these plans are taken very seriously indeed in the Pentagon.
Note: For other revealing news articles on military corruption, click here. For other revealing news articles on government corruption, click here.
Media as lapdog
2007-04-27, Los Angeles Times
In an e-mail uncovered and released by the House Judiciary Committee last month, Tim Griffin, once Karl Rove's right-hand man, gloated that "no [U.S.] national press picked up" a BBC Television story reporting that the Rove team had developed an elaborate scheme to challenge the votes of thousands of African Americans in the 2004 election. Griffin wasn't exactly right. The Los Angeles Times did run a follow-up article. But ... most of the major U.S. newspapers and the vast majority of television news programs ignored the story even though it came at a critical moment just weeks before the election. In fact, not one U.S. newsperson even bothered to ask me or the BBC for the data and research we had painstakingly done. The truth is, I knew that a story like this one would never be reported in my own country [the U.S.], because investigative reporting ... is dying. Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Back in December 2000, I received two computer disks from the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Analysis of the data ... indicated that Harris' office had purged thousands of African Americans from Florida's voter rolls as "felons." Florida now admits that many of these voters were not in fact felons. Nevertheless, the blacklisting helped cost Al Gore the White House. I reported on the phony felon purge in Britain's Guardian and Observer and on the BBC while Gore was still in the race, while the count was still on. Yet the story of the Florida purge never appeared in the U.S. daily papers or on television ... until months later, that is, after the Supreme Court had decided the election.
Note: The American-born author of this article, BBC reporter Greg Palast, has repeatedly exposed major corruption in the British media, yet the U.S. press often ignores his well-researched stories. For possibly the most amazing story he wrote which got virtually no U.S. media coverage, click here.
Behind the Eavesdropping Story, a Loud Silence
2006-01-01, New York Times
The New York Times's explanation of its decision to report, after what it said was a one-year delay, that the National Security Agency is eavesdropping domestically without court-approved warrants was woefully inadequate. And I have had unusual difficulty getting a better explanation for readers, despite the paper's repeated pledges of greater transparency. For the first time since I became public editor, the executive editor and the publisher have declined to respond to my requests for information about news-related decision-making. My queries concerned the timing of the exclusive Dec. 16 article about President Bush's secret decision in the months after 9/11 to authorize the warrantless eavesdropping on Americans in the United States. I e-mailed a list of 28 questions to Bill Keller, the executive editor [of the New York Times], on Dec. 19, three days after the article appeared. He promptly declined to respond to them. I then sent the same questions to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, who also declined to respond. They held out no hope for a fuller explanation in the future. The top Times people involved in the final decisions [are] refusing to talk and urging everyone else to remain silent.
U.S. Suppressed Footage of Hiroshima for Decades
2005-08-03, New York Times/Reuters
In the weeks following the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, U.S. authorities seized and suppressed film shot in the bombed cities by U.S. military crews and Japanese newsreel teams to prevent Americans from seeing the full extent of devastation wrought by the new weapons. It remained hidden until the early 1980s and has never been fully aired. "Although there are clearly huge differences with Iraq, there are also some similarities," said Mitchell, co-author of "Hiroshima in America" and editor of Editor & Publisher. "The chief similarity is that Americans are still being kept at a distance from images of death, whether of their own soldiers or Iraqi civilians." The Los Angeles Times released a survey of six months of media coverage of the Iraq war in six prominent U.S. newspapers and two news magazines -- a period during which 559 coalition forces, the vast majority American, were killed. It found they had run almost no photographs of Americans killed in action. "So much of the media is owned by big corporations and they would much rather focus on making money than setting themselves up for criticism from the White House and Congress," said Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent. In 1945, U.S. policymakers wanted to be able to continue to develop and test atomic and eventually nuclear weapons without an outcry of public opinion. "They succeeded but the subject is still a raw nerve."
Note: As this highly revealing Reuters article was removed from both the New York Times and the Reuters websites, click here to view it in its entirely on one of the few alternative news websites to report it. And to go much deeper into how the devastating effects of the bomb were covered up by various entities within government, click here.
Experts Urging Broader Inquiry In Towers' Fall
2001-12-25, New York Times
Saying that the current investigation into how and why the twin towers fell on Sept. 11 is inadequate, some of the nation's leading structural engineers and fire-safety experts are calling for a new, independent and better-financed inquiry that could produce the kinds of conclusions vital for skyscrapers and future buildings nationwide. Experts critical of the current effort ... point out that the current team of 20 or so investigators has no subpoena power and little staff support and has even been unable to obtain basic information like detailed blueprints of the buildings that collapsed. Some structural engineers have said that one serious mistake has already been made ... the decision to rapidly recycle the steel columns, beams and trusses that held up the buildings. Interviews with a handful of members of the team, which includes some of the nation's most respected engineers, also uncovered complaints that they had at various times been shackled with bureaucratic restrictions that prevented them from interviewing witnesses, examining the disaster site and requesting crucial information like recorded distress calls to the police and fire departments. Members have been threatened with dismissal for speaking to the press.
Note: Our website has over 30 full articles posted from the New York Times. This is the only article for which the Times threatened to sue us if we didn't remove it. We were allowed to replace it with this short summary. For more on this, click here. For more reliable news articles suggesting a major cover-up of 9/11, click here.
Whistle-blower Had to Fight NSA, LA Times to Tell Story
2007-03-06, ABC News
Whistle-blower AT&T technician Mark Klein says his effort to reveal alleged government surveillance of domestic Internet traffic was blocked not only by U.S. intelligence officials but also by the top editors of the Los Angeles Times. Klein describes how he stumbled across "secret NSA rooms" being installed at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco and later heard of similar rooms in at least six other cities. Eventually, Klein says he decided to take his documents to the Los Angeles Times, to blow the whistle on what he calls "an illegal and Orwellian project." But after working for two months with LA Times reporter Joe Menn, Klein says he was told the story had been killed at the request of then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and then-director of the NSA Gen. Michael Hayden. Klein says he then took his AT&T documents to The New York Times, which published its exclusive account last April. In the court case against AT&T, Negroponte formally invoked the "state secrets privilege," claiming the lawsuit and the information from Klein and others could "cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States." The Los Angeles Times' decision was made by the paper's editor at the time, Dean Baquet, now the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times. As the new Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, Baquet now oversees the reporters who have broken most of the major stories involving the government surveillance program, often over objections from the government.
Note: So after the NY Times has the guts to report this important story, the man who was responsible for the censorship at the LA Times is transferred to the very position in the NY Times where he can now block future stories there. For why this case of blatant media censorship isn't making headlines, click here.
Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush
1989-06-29, WantToKnow.info/Washington Times
A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political elite. Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring. Among clients who charged homosexual prostitutes services on major credit cards over the past 18 months are Charles K. Dutcher, former associate director of presidential personnel in the Reagan administration, and Paul R. Balach, Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole’s political personnel liaison to the White House. Members of major news organizations also procured escort services from the ring, credit card documents show. These include Stanley Mark Tapscott, who was an assistant managing editor of The Washington Times. Before joining The Times, Mr. Tapscott worked for the Office of Personnel Management in the Reagan administration. A major concern, said the former official with longtime ties to top-ranking military intelligence officers, was that hostile foreign intelligence services were using young male prostitutes to compromise top administration homosexuals, thus making them subject to blackmail.
Note: How is it possible that this major story was not covered by any major media other than the Washington Times? For answers to this question, click here. For more on this astonishing case, don't miss the excellent, reliable resources and the powerful, suppressed Discovery Channel documentary available here. For an insider's story of how prostitution was regularly used to compromise politicians, click here.
CNN and the business of state-sponsored TV news
2012-09-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[CNN] is seriously compromising its journalism in the Gulf states by blurring the line between advertising and editorial. CNN International (CNNi) [has refused] to broadcast an award-winning documentary, "iRevolution", that was produced in early 2011 as the Arab Spring engulfed the region and which was highly critical of the regime in Bahrain. The documentary ... documented the brutality and violence the regime was using against its own citizens who were peacefully protesting for democracy. CNNi has aggressively pursued a business strategy of extensive, multifaceted financial arrangements between the network and several of the most repressive regimes around the world which the network purports to cover. Its financial dealings with Bahrain are deep and longstanding. CNNi's pursuit of and reliance on revenue from Middle East regimes increased significantly after the 2008 financial crisis, which caused the network to suffer significant losses in corporate sponsorships. It thus pursued all-new, journalistically dubious ways to earn revenue from governments around the world. Bahrain has been one of the most aggressive government exploiters of the opportunities presented by CNNi [which produces] programs in an arrangement it describes as "in association with" the government of a country, and offers regimes the ability to pay for specific programs about their country. These programs are then featured as part of CNNi's so-called "Eye on" series [or] "Marketplace Middle East", [which are] designed to tout the positive economic, social and political features of that country.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on corruption in the major media, click here.
Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA
2012-08-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The rightwing transparency group, Judicial Watch, released [on August 28] a new batch of documents showing how eagerly the Obama administration shoveled information to Hollywood film-makers about the Bin Laden raid. Obama officials did so to enable the production of a politically beneficial pre-election film about that "heroic" killing, even as administration lawyers insisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified. The newly released emails [were] between Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times's national security and intelligence reporter, and CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf. The CIA had evidently heard that [NY Times columnist] Maureen Dowd was planning to write a column on the CIA's role in pumping the film-makers with information about the Bin Laden raid in order to boost Obama's re-election chances, and was apparently worried about how Dowd's column would reflect on them. This exchange ... is remarkably revealing of the standard role played by establishment journalists and the corruption that pervades it. Here we have a New York Times reporter who covers the CIA colluding with its spokesperson to plan for the fallout from the reporting by his own newspaper ("nothing to worry about"). Beyond this, that a New York Times journalist – ostensibly devoted to bringing transparency to government institutions – is pleading with the CIA spokesperson, of all people, to conceal his actions and to delete the evidence of collusion is so richly symbolic.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on corruption in the major media, click here.
Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor
2012-04-19, USA Today
A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites. Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY's reporting on the military's "information operations" program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan — campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored. For example, Internet domain registries show the website TomVandenBrook.com was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker's byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site, RayLocker.com, through the same company. If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption. Some postings ... accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. "They disputed nothing factual in the story about information operations," Vanden Brook said.
Note: For more on a proposed amendment to a U.S. bill which would make it legal to use propaganda and lie to the American public, click here.
Pentagon sets sights on public opinion
2009-02-05, MSNBC/Associated Press
The Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law. An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006. This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department. The biggest chunk of funds — about $1.6 billion — goes into recruitment and advertising. Another $547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences. And about $489 million more goes into what is known as psychological operations. Staffing across all these areas costs about $2.1 billion, as calculated by the number of full-time employees and the military's average cost per service member. That's double the staffing costs for 2003. Recruitment and advertising are the only two areas where Congress has authorized the military to influence the American public. Far more controversial is public affairs, because of the prohibition on propaganda to the American public.
Note: For more revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
Buying the War
Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit ... in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. The [PBS "Buying the War"] program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media. "Buying the War" examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what's changed? "More and more the media become ... common carriers of administration statements," says the Washington Post's Walter Pincus. "We've sort of given up being independent on our own."
Note: You can view the highly revealing documentary "Buying the War" or read the transcript at the link above.
Bribes offered to scientists
2007-02-03, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's leading newspaper)
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine the UN climate change report. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute, an ExxonMobil-funded think tank with close links to the Bush Administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of the report. Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered. The institute has received more than $1.6 million from ExxonMobil - which yesterday announced a $50 billion annual profit, the biggest ever by a US company - and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush Administration. A former head of ExxonMobil, Lee Raymond, is the vice-chairman of the institute's board of trustees.
Note: Why wasn't this important story covered by any major media in the U.S.? For an answer, click here.
Letter to Thomas Kean from Sibel Edmonds
2004-08-05, AsiaTimes ('Asia's most trusted news source')
Your commission ... has now issued its "9/11 Commission Report". After [9/11] we, the translators at the FBI's largest and most important translation unit, were told to slow down, even stop, translation of critical information related to terrorist activities. This issue has been confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Melek Can Dickerson, with the assistance of her direct supervisor, forged signatures on top-secret documents related to certain 9/11 detainees. Not only does the supervisor facilitating these criminal conducts remain in a supervisory position, he has been promoted. In April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset ... received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting 4-5 major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes [and] the attack was going to be carried out soon. No action was taken. After 9/11, the agents and the translators were told to 'keep quiet' regarding this issue. The translator who was present ... reported this incident to Director Mueller in writing. Why did your report choose to exclude the information ... despite the public confirmation by the FBI, witnesses provided to your investigators, and briefings you received directly? As you are fully aware, these issues and incidents were found confirmed by a Senior Republican Senator, Charles Grassley, and a Senior Democrat Senator, Patrick Leahy. Even FBI officials 'confirmed all my allegations and denied none' during their unclassified meetings with the Senate Judiciary staff. However, neither your commission's hearings, nor your commission's five hundred sixty seven-page report ... include these serious issues, major incidents, and systemic problems.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Sibel Edmonds is one of the great heroes of our day. She has been gagged directly by the U.S. Attorney General from telling what she knows. The above letter was not published in any major U.S. media, though widely reported in alternative new sources. To understand how such vital information is hidden from the public, click here. For lots more on Ms. Edmonds, click here.
The CIA and the Media
1977-10-20, Website of Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Carl Bernstein
In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA. Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.
Note: To understand how the CIA and others manipulate the major media is in its news coverage, see the brilliant summary of the work of 20 award-winning journalists on this key topic at this link.
Washington's press is the cabin boy of the political class
2012-08-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Washington press corps ... is too caught up in its own self-importance and petty competition to understand it has become the cabin boy of the political class. Washington reporters are co-conspirators in an ongoing fraud. The epidemic of blind quotes is a standard way of giving a platform to officials speaking in an official capacity, yet with zero accountability. The practice is also supremely manipulative, giving the most banal information the allure of forbidden fruit. At its worst, the game can allow the vice president of the United States to leak phony intelligence to the New York Times and later refer back to the leak as independent journalistic confirmation, leading to invasion and hundreds of thousands of deaths and a trillion dollars in squandered treasure. The Iraq disgrace aside, obscuring official sources might be understandable if this journalistic worst practice were in the service of earth-shaking news. It almost never is. The blind quotes, though, are not even the worst of it. The New York Times recently revealed that reporters are not merely working on background, they negotiate after interviews what comments may be used and send them to sources for prepublication approval. The sources routinely edit those quotes before turning them back over to news organisations. As media ethicist Edward Wasserman so aptly put it, "At this point you're no longer talking about an interview; you're talking about a press release … And what happens is Washington becomes no different from Beijing, in terms of reporting what authorities want reported".
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on mass media corruption, click here.
What is Media Manipulation? A Definition and Explanation
Media manipulation currently shapes everything you read, hear and watch online. Everything. In the old days, we only had a few threats to fear when it came to media manipulation: the government propagandist and the hustling publicist. They exploited the fact that the media was trusted and reliable. Today, with our blog and web driven media cycle, nothing can escape exaggeration, distortion, fabrication and simplification. Media manipulation is the status quo. It becomes, as Daniel Boorstin, author [of] The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, once put it, a "thicket ... which stands between us and the facts of life." Today the media -— driven by blogs -— is assailed on all sides, by the crushing economics of their business, dishonest sources, inhuman deadlines, pageview quotas, inaccurate information, greedy publishers, poor training, the demands of the audience, and so much more. These incentives are real, whether you’re the Huffington Post or CNN or some tiny blog. They warp everything you read online. Everyone is in on the game, from bloggers to non-profits to marketers to the New York Times itself. And when everyone is running the same racket, the line between the real and the fake becomes indistinguishable. Media manipulation exploits the difference between perception and reality. This all happens because of the poor incentives. When readers don’t PAY for news, the creators of the news don’t have any loyalty to the readers. To combat these manipulations, we must change the incentives. If we want loyalty to the truth, we must be loyal to the people who provide us with it. This probably means paying for information in one form or another.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on mass media cover-ups and distortions, click here. Thanks to the generous support of our readers and our lack of advertising, WantToKnow.info is one of the few news sources not subject to pressure from financial incentives which drive news manipulation for others. To support our work so that we can continue to be free of these market pressures, click here.
Health care outrage goes uncovered
You probably have never heard of Robin Beaton, and that's what's wrong with the debate over health care reform. Beaton, a retired nurse from Waxahachie, Texas, had health insurance -- or so she thought. She paid her premiums faithfully every month, but when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her health insurance company, Blue Cross, dumped her. The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch. Beaton testified before a House subcommittee this week. So did other Americans who thought they had insurance but got the shaft. The subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called the hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage. Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud? All three health insurance executives said no. It was as dramatic as congressional testimony gets. Yet it got no airtime on the networks, nor, as far as I can tell, on cable news, although CNN.com did run a story. The story did not make The New York Times. Nor The Washington Post, which found space on the front page the morning after the hearing for a story on the cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, but not a story on the cancellation of health insurance for deathly ill Americans who've paid their premiums.
Note: For lots more on corruption in the health industry, click here.
Some see media flu coverage as overblown
2009-05-03, San Francisco Chronicle
After a few days of breathless H1N1 flu coverage - some of it on his own network - CNN commentator Jack Cafferty noted that 13,000 people have died from the "regular ol' flu" this year in the United States, compared with just one confirmed H1N1 flu death. Cafferty then asked his audience to respond to his online poll asking "if swine flu coverage was overblown." He waited a moment, then said, "Hint: Yes." For a week, the flu story has whet cable TV's bloodlust with what the 24-hour cable news vacuum craves: mystery, death and great visuals that inspire fear. "Frankly, I've been a little horrified by how sensationalist and scare-mongering it is," said Vivian Schiller, chief executive officer of National Public Radio. No detail about the flu - often delivered without context - has been too tiny to go unreported, which means that cable TV viewers are getting coverage that is moment-to-moment but often not terribly useful. Conservative talk radio hosts have used fear about the flu to segue to anti-immigrant remarks and calls to close the U.S.-Mexico border.Just when the coverage appeared to be calming a bit Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden helped rekindle fears by saying on the "Today'" show that he "would tell members of my family - and I have - I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now." Health stories always attract huge audiences, said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. But viewers shouldn't expect as much breathless coverage when Congress begins debating an overhaul of the U.S. health care system over the next few months.
Note: For an excellent article showing how media fear-mongering of this and past flu emergencies have brought unprecedented profits to the pharmaceutical companies, click here.
Controversy and conspiracies
2008-07-02, BBC News
World Trade Center Building 7 has become the subject of heated speculation and a host of conspiracy theories suggesting it was brought down by a controlled demolition. And some people suggest it was not just the government and foreign intelligence, but ... even the media that were involved. It is certainly true that on 9/11 the BBC broadcast that WTC7 had collapsed when it was still standing. Then the satellite transmission seemed to cut out mysteriously when the correspondent was still talking. Then [head of BBC News] Richard Porter admitted in his blog last year that the BBC had lost those key tapes of BBC World News output from the day. The internet movie Loose Change has been viewed by more than 100 million people according to its makers and it asks this question in the latest film release: "Where did CNN and the BBC get their information especially considering the building was still standing directly behind their reporters?" It turns out that the respected news agency Reuters picked up an incorrect report and passed it on. They have issued this statement: "On 11 September 2001 Reuters incorrectly reported that one of the buildings at the New York World Trade Center, 7WTC, had collapsed before it actually did. The report was picked up from a local news story and was withdrawn as soon as it emerged that the building had not fallen." And the reason the interview with the BBC correspondent, Jane Standley, ended so abruptly? The satellite feed had an electronic timer, which cut out at 1715 exactly.
Note: How many "coincidences" does it take for people to start to ask questions? How could people know that the building was going to collapse when a skyscraper had never collapsed before from fire? For a useful BBC FAQ on 9/11 alternative theories, click here.
Assault on Press Freedom
2006-11-26, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
In a nation that preaches the virtues of democracy, the United States government has consistently eroded the media's ability to report. U.S. press freedom has been slipping away since Sept. 11, 2001. Many other countries are now ranked freer than the United States. In the most recent survey by Freedom House [the U.S.] tied for 17th place. International free-press advocates Reporters Without Borders ranked us 53rd, tied with Botswana, Croatia and Tonga. Now that we are in a seemingly permanent "war" on terrorism, the government claims wartime powers that result in restricting press freedom. The Bush administration has multiplied exponentially the number of documents it classifies as secret. The office of Vice President Dick Cheney claims to be exempt from reporting even the numbers of records it brands with the "classified" stamp. Within weeks after 9/11, President Bush issued Executive Order 13233, allowing him to veto public release not only of his own presidential papers but those of former [presidents]. One of former Attorney General John Ashcroft's first post-Sept. 11 acts was to issue a directive to federal agencies restricting access to government records under the Freedom of Information Act. Cheney [refused] to disclose even the identity of the corporate executives he met with to determine the administration's energy policy. The U.S. Supreme Court held ... that there is no such thing as a First Amendment right of access to government information or facilities. The Bush administration did not advance press freedom by producing ... favorable "news" stories with fake reporters. It is hard to stomach the hypocrisy of claiming to spread democracy abroad while restricting at home the very freedoms that make democracy possible.
Getting closer to Uncle Sam
2006-09-20, Toronto Star (One of Canada's top newspapers)
Public kept in dark as business leads talks about North American integration. Away from the spotlight, from Sept. 12 to 14, in Banff Springs, Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met with U.S. and Mexican government officials and business leaders to discuss North American integration at the second North American Forum. The guest list included such prominent figures as U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mexican Secretary of Public Security Eduardo Medina Mora and Canadian Forces chief General Rick Hillier. The event was chaired by former U.S. secretary of state George Schultz, former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe. Organizers did not alert the media about the event. Our government ... refuses to release any information about the content of the discussions or the actors involved. The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. The media have paid little attention to this far-reaching agreement, so Canadians are unaware that a dozen working groups are currently "harmonizing" Canadian and U.S. regulations on everything from food to drugs to the environment and even more contentious issues like foreign policy. This process ... is about priming North America for better business by weakening the impacts of such perceived obstacles as environmental standards and labour rights. This is why the public has been kept in the dark while the business elite has played a leading role in designing the blueprint for this more integrated North America.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why has the U.S. media not covered this key topic? For a second article discussing this secret meeting on a top Canadian TV website, click here. To learn about other secret meetings of the power elite, click here
Lifting the Censor's Veil on the Shame of Iraq
2005-05-05, New York Times
There was a close-up of a soldier who was holding someone's severed leg. There were photos of G.I.'s happily posing with the bodies of dead Iraqis. This is what happens in war. It's the sickening reality that is seldom seen in the censored, sanitized version of the conflict that Americans typically get from the government and the media. Mr. Delgado, 23, is a former Army reservist who was repelled by the violence and dehumanization of the war. He completed his tour in Iraq. But he sought and received conscientious objector status and was honorably discharged last January. Some of the most disturbing photos in his possession were taken after G.I.'s at Abu Ghraib opened fire on detainees who had been throwing rocks at guards during a large protest. Four detainees were killed. The photos show American soldiers posing and goofing around with the bodies of the detainees. In one shot ... a G.I. is leaning over the top of the body bag with a spoon in his right hand, as if he is about to scoop up a portion of the dead man's wounded flesh. "These pictures were circulated like trophies," Mr. Delgado said. Some were posted in command headquarters. But while at work in a headquarters office, he said, he learned that most of the detainees at Abu Ghraib had committed only very minor nonviolent offenses, or no offenses at all. (Several investigations would subsequently reveal that vast numbers of completely innocent Iraqis were seized and detained by coalition forces.) His goal, he said, is to convince his listeners that the abuse of innocent Iraqis by the American military is not limited to "a few bad apples," as the military would like the public to believe.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. For more on war manipulations and the suffering of our soldiers by a highly decorated U.S. general, click here.
A Hidden Story Behind Sept. 11? One Man's Ad Campaign Says So
2004-11-08, New York Times
The grainy 30-second commercials ... suggest a government cover-up of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The advertisements, which ran repeatedly ... on several cable networks, including CNN, Fox News and ESPN, offer a Web site, an address and a phone number. The ads are the latest salvo from James W. Walter ... who over the years has financed programs promoting voter registration in low-income neighborhoods and prison reform. The television commercials, as well as ads in magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Daily News, are part of a $3 million national campaign paid for by Mr. Walter in an effort to press for the reopening of the investigation by the independent Sept. 11 commission. "We've never gotten solid answers on why Tower 7 collapsed when it was two full blocks away from where the planes hit," he said. "We've also never received an answer for how such a large plane left such a small hole in the side of the Pentagon." A Zogby poll of New Yorkers' opinions about the 9/11 investigation, released last month, indicated that 49 percent of New York City residents and 41 percent of New York state residents believed that some federal officials "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act." The poll also found that 66 percent of New York City residents and 56 percent of state residents wanted a fuller investigation of the "still unanswered questions."
Note: For lots more reliable information suggesting a major cover-up of 9/11, click here.
Maybe It Stands for War's Mission Disputed
2003-06-08, WantToKnow.info/Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002 [White House website] "Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." President Bush, Jan. 28, 2003 [St. Petersburg Times website] "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." President Bush, March 17, 2003 [White House website] "There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them." Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22, 2003 [Washington Post] "They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer." Donald Rumsfeld, May 27, 2003 [Washington Post website]"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction [as justification for invading Iraq] because it was the one reason everyone could agree on." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, May 28, 2003 [CNN website]
Note: This article was published on the front page of the editorial section in the June 8, 2003 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Yet within weeks of its publication it disappeared from their website. Why have the media so avoided these most important facts? For an enlightening answer to this question, a powerful article by a highly decorated U.S. general is available here.
Moore Asks Inquiry Into Charges on Preparedness Campaign
1917-02-14, New York Times
A demand for an investigation of charges printed in the Congressional Record by Representative Oscar Callaway of Texas, a pacifist Democrat, that “the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel shipbuilding, and powder interests” had purchased control of twenty-five great newspapers to further the preparedness campaign, was made in the House today by Representative J. Hampton Moore, a Pennsylvania Republican. Mr. Callaway’s speech, as inserted in The Record charged: “In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations got together twelve men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select from the most influential papers in the United States in sufficient numbers of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the United States. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of twenty-five of the greatest newspapers. [An] editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers. The policy also included the suppression of everything in opposition to the wishes of the interests served."
Note: For more showing how the media is controlled by carefully selected people placed by big money and the power elite, click here and here. For a short video of Congressional testimony from the 1970s proving CIA media manipulation, click here. The full text of this revealing article is available free at this link.
CNN claims Iran shot at a US drone, revealing the news network's mindset
2012-11-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Barbara Starr, CNN's Pentagon reporter (more accurately known as: the Pentagon's reporter at CNN), has an exciting exclusive today. Exclusively relying upon "three senior officials" in the Obama administration (all anonymous, needless to say), ... the CNN report on this incident is revealing indeed. Every paragraph - literally - contains nothing but mindless summaries of the claims of US government officials. There is not an iota of skepticism about any of the assertions, including how this incident happened, what the drone was doing at the time, or where it took place. Most notably, CNN does not even bother with the pretense of trying to include the claims of the Iranian government about what happened. There is no indication that the self-described news outlet even made an effort to contact Tehran to obtain their rendition of these events or even confirmation that it occurred. It simply regurgitates the accusations of anonymous US officials that Iran, with no provocation, out of the blue decided to shoot at a US drone in international airspace. (Although CNN does not mention it, last December Iran shot down a US drone which, it claims (and the US does not deny) was in Iranian air space). That CNN's prime mission is to serve the US government is hardly news. [The Christian Science Monitor, however, noted]: "There was no way to independently confirm the Pentagon's account, and correct facts have not always been initially forthcoming in past US-Iran incidents in the Persian Gulf." It then detailed several historical events when the US government's claims about Iran were proven to be false.
Note: Iran denies that the drone was in international airspace, as claimed by the US. For more on this, click here.
Sexual Abuse Scandal Turns the Tables on BBC
2012-10-18, New York Times
The story seemed perfect for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s hard-hitting “Newsnight” program: a nationally beloved television host, it seemed, had also been a pedophile who for decades preyed on young teenagers in hospitals, in children’s homes — and in the halls of the BBC itself. But last December, as the segment neared completion, it was abruptly canceled by the editor in charge, who said there was not enough evidence to justify going ahead. That decision, and the BBC’s earlier failure over four decades to investigate rumors about Mr. Savile’s behavior, is now the subject of three independent investigations. But they are just the latest and most explosive elements in a scandal that seems to widen by the hour. With new victims of Mr. Savile coming forth daily, George Entwistle, who took over as the BBC’s director general just a month ago, is facing embarrassing questions about what the corporation knew and why it did nothing. The Savile affair is by no means restricted to the BBC, drawing in some of Britain’s most important institutions. Scotland Yard has opened an investigation involving 14 other police forces and no fewer than 340 “lines of inquiry”; it said that from 1959 to 2006, Mr. Savile might have molested 60 or more underage girls. But politically the primary focus is on the BBC.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse, click here.
Why the US demonises Venezuela's democracy
2012-10-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
On 30 May, Dan Rather, one of America's best-known journalists, referred to [Venezuelan president Hugo] Chávez as "the dictator" – a term that few, if any, political scientists familiar with the country would countenance. Here is what Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela's "dictatorship" a few weeks ago: "As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." Carter won a Nobel prize for his work through the election-monitoring Carter Center, which has observed and certified past Venezuelan elections. The opposition will probably lose this election ... because the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans have dramatically improved under Chávez. Since 2004, when the government gained control over the oil industry and the economy had recovered from the devastating, extra-legal attempts to overthrow it (including the 2002 US-backed military coup), poverty has been cut in half and extreme poverty by 70%. And this measures only cash income. Millions have access to healthcare for the first time, and college enrolment has doubled, with free tuition for many students. Inequality has also been considerably reduced. By contrast, the two decades that preceded Chávez amount to one of the worst economic failures in Latin America, with real income per person actually falling by 14% between 1980 and 1998. In Washington, democracy has a simple definition: does a government do what the state department wants it to do?
Note: For a powerful movie which shows how much our media distorts our perception of global events, watch "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" about Venezuela and Hugo Chavez at this link. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on mass media corruption, click here.
88 million out of work and not looking for a job
2012-02-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
88 million. That's how many working-age Americans don't have a job and aren't trying to find one. The increase in people dropping out of the labor market altogether skews the otherwise-positive unemployment numbers released last week. While the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent in January - a three-year low - it doesn't [take into account] this army of nonworking Americans. The percentage of people participating in the labor market dropped to 63.7 percent last month, the lowest level since May 1983.
Note: This one small article reveals an astounding statistic the media and government are all but ignoring. The actual rate of jobless Americans is well over 30%. The U.S. government definition of unemployed covers only those who "do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work."
A Grass-Roots Newscast Gives a Voice to Struggles
2011-10-24, New York Times
“Democracy Now!,” the 15-year-old public radio and television program ... distinguishes itself by documenting social movements, struggles for justice and the effects of American foreign policy, along with the rest of the day’s developments. Operated as a nonprofit organization and distributed on a patchwork of stations, channels and Web sites, “Democracy Now!” is proudly independent, in that way appealing to hundreds of thousands of people who are skeptical of the news organizations that are owned by major media companies. Though it has long had a loyal audience, “Democracy Now!” has gained more attention recently for methodical coverage of two news events — the execution of the Georgia inmate Troy Davis and the occupation of Wall Street and other symbolic sites across the country. [Host Amy] Goodman broadcast live from Georgia for six hours on Sept. 21, the evening of the execution, and “Democracy Now!” reporters were fanned out in Manhattan from the first day of the protests against corporate greed. The media, Ms. Goodman said in an interview last week, can be “the greatest force for peace on earth” for “it is how we come to understand each other.” But she asserted that the views of a majority of Americans had been “silenced by the corporate media.” “Which is why we have to take it back,” she said.
Note: Up until now, there has been a virtual ban on mentioning the important work of Amy Goodman and Democracy Now. Could this be a signal of some real change?
Top Gear's electric car shows pour petrol over the BBC's standards
2011-08-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
What distinguishes the BBC from the rest of this country's media? Perhaps the most important factor is its editorial guidelines, which are supposed to ensure that the corporation achieves "the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive[s] to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences." Woe betide the producer or presenter who breaches these guidelines. Unless, that is, they work for Top Gear. Take, for example, Top Gear's line on electric cars. Casting aside any pretence of impartiality or rigour, it has set out to show that electric cars are useless. If the facts don't fit, it bends them until they do. It's currently being sued by electric car maker Tesla. Now it's been caught red-handed faking another trial, in this case of the Nissan LEAF. Last Sunday, an episode of Top Gear showed Jeremy Clarkson and James May setting off for Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, 60 miles away. The car unexpectedly ran out of charge when they got to Lincoln, and had to be pushed. They concluded that "electric cars are not the future". But it wasn't unexpected: Nissan has a monitoring device in the car which transmits information on the state of the battery. This shows that, while the company delivered the car to Top Gear fully charged, the programme-makers ran the battery down before Clarkson and May set off, until only 40% of the charge was left.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on promising new energy and automotive technologies, click here. For more on corruption in the mass media, click here.
Scotland Yard Chief Quits Over Hacking in Britain
2011-07-18, New York Times
Britain’s top police official resigned on [July 17], the latest casualty of the phone-hacking scandal engulfing British public life, just hours after Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, was arrested on suspicion of illegally intercepting phone calls and bribing the police. The official, Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly known as the Met or Scotland Yard, said that he had decided to step down [but] that he had done nothing wrong and that he would not “lose sleep over my personal integrity.” The commissioner’s resignation came as the London political establishment was still digesting the stunning news about the arrest of Ms. Brooks — who apparently was surprised herself. A consummate networker who has always been assiduously courted by politicians and whose friends include Prime Minister David Cameron, Ms. Brooks, 43, is the 10th and by far the most powerful person to be arrested so far in the phone-hacking scandal. The arrest was a shock to the News Corporation, the parent company of News International, and the other properties in Mr. Murdoch’s media empire, which is reeling from the traumas of last week: the forced withdrawal of its cherished $12 billion takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting and the resignations not only of Ms. Brooks but also of Les Hinton, a longtime Murdoch ally and friend who was the chairman of Dow Jones and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
Note: For lots more on media and government corruption click here and here.
SF Chronicle video prompts White House threat
2011-04-29, San Francisco Chronicle
The White House threatened [on April 28] to exclude The San Francisco Chronicle from pooled coverage of its events in the Bay Area after the paper posted a video of a protest at a San Francisco fundraiser for President Obama last week, Chronicle Editor Ward Bushee said. White House guidelines governing press coverage of such events are too restrictive, Bushee said, and the newspaper was within its rights to film the protest and post the video. Chronicle senior political reporter Carla Marinucci was invited by the White House to cover the Obama fundraiser on April 21. About 200 donors paying $5,000 to $38,500 each attended the event at the St. Regis Hotel in the city, a day after Obama visited Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley touting the proliferation of "new media" breaking the confines of traditional journalism. At the St. Regis event, a group of protesters who paid collectively $76,000 to attend the fundraiser interrupted Obama with a song complaining about the administration's treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier who allegedly leaked U.S. classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.
Note: This is an excellent example of how politicians can control the press. Top reporters are under threat of losing their connections to top officials if they report anything negative about them.
Fewer Law Enforcement Officers Died on Job in 2009
2009-12-28, New York Times
Law enforcement deaths this year dropped to their lowest level since 1959, while the decade of the 2000s was among the safest for officers -- despite the deadliest single day for police on Sept. 11, 2001. Through Dec. 27, the report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found [the following]. 124 officers were killed this year, compared to 133 in 2008. The 2009 total represents the fewest line-of-duty deaths since 108 a half-century ago. Firearms deaths rose to 48, nine more than in 2008. However, the 39 fatalities in 2008 represented the lowest annual figure in more than five decades. One female officer was killed in 2009, compared with 13 the previous year. There was no explanation for the decline. An average of 162 officers a year died in the 2000s, compared with 160 in the 1990s, 190 in the 1980s and 228 in the 1970s -- the deadliest decade for U.S. law enforcement. Seventy-two officers died on Sept. 11.
Note: Why wasn't this article titled something like "Law Enforcement Deaths Lowest in 50 Years"? Why is this inspiring news given so little attention? Did you know that violent crime nationwide in the US has decreased by 50% in the last 15 years? Click here to read about this. Why is news that inspires fear given such prominence while inspiring news gets so little notice? For a possible answer, click here.
Pay-for-Chat Plan Falls Flat at Washington Post
2009-07-03, New York Times
For generations, The Washington Post has been a scrupulous watchdog over the capital’s cozy world of power networking. For a short time, it almost became the network’s host. The Post decided Thursday to cancel plans to charge lobbyists and trade groups $25,000 or more to sponsor private, off-the-record dinner parties at the home of its publisher, Katharine Weymouth, events that would have brought together lobbyists, business leaders, Post journalists and officials from the Obama administration and Congress. The revelation of the parties early Thursday morning by Politico.com appalled members of The Post newsroom and put the paper squarely in the cross hairs of journalism ethicists. In response, Ms. Weymouth canceled the first dinner, scheduled for July 21. A flier describing the events promised corporate sponsors conversation (“Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No.”) at the Washington home of Ms. Weymouth. Sponsors were asked to pay $25,000 to attend an event, or underwrite a series of 11 for $250,000. The July 21 event, focusing on health care reform, “guaranteed” a “collegial evening” with health industry advocates, Post journalists covering the field and administration officials involved with its policies. The Politico article prompted an immediate newsroom reaction. The Post’s ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, wrote on his blog that “this comes pretty close to a public relations disaster.” With the print business in tough straits, many news organizations have turned to conferences and other events to raise revenue and their profiles. But the planned Post events seem particularly audacious, not only acting essentially as a paid conduit between lobbyists and government officials, but also providing sponsors the opportunity to make their case to Post journalists.
Note: This article shows the blatant manipulations going on behind the scenes in our major media. To learn just how compromised the media have been for a long time, click here to read about former Post owner Katharine Graham's connections with the CIA. And to understand how major news is suppressed, click here.
How to Deal with Swine Flu: Heeding the Mistakes of 1976
2009-04-27, Time Magazine
In February 1976, an outbreak of swine flu struck Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey, killing a 19-year-old private and infecting hundreds of soldiers. Concerned that the U.S. was on the verge of a devastating epidemic, President Gerald Ford ordered a nationwide vaccination program at a cost of $135 million (some $500 million in today's money). Within weeks, reports surfaced of people developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralyzing nerve disease that can be caused by the vaccine. By April, more than 30 people had died of the condition. Facing protests, federal officials abruptly canceled the program on Dec. 16. The epidemic failed to materialize. Medical historians and epidemiologists say ... the decisions made in the wake of the '76 outbreak — and the public's response to them — provide a cautionary tale for public health officials, who may soon have to consider whether to institute draconian measures to combat the disease. "I think 1976 provides an example of how not to handle a flu outbreak," says Hugh Pennington, an emeritus professor of virology at Britain's University of Aberdeen. Despite modern advances in microbiology, today's health officials still make decisions in a "cloud of uncertainty," Pennington says. "At the moment, our understanding of the current outbreak is similarly limited. For example, we don't yet understand why people are dying in Mexico but not elsewhere." Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and a historical consultant to the CDC on flu pandemics, says the most vexing decision facing health officials is when to institute mass vaccination programs.
Note: To watch two short commercials made in 1976 showing clear scare tactics, click here. Only one person died from the actual flu in this 1976 "epidemic," yet more than 30 died of the flu vaccine. To explore the serious risks of vaccines reported in the media, click here. For lots more on bird and swine flu scares, click here.
You are being lied to about pirates
2009-01-05, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? The British Royal Navy – backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China – is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. But behind ... this tale there is an untold scandal. In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas. Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them.
One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex
2008-11-30, New York Times
Through seven years of war an exclusive club has quietly flourished at the intersection of network news and wartime commerce. Its members, mostly retired generals, have had a foot in both camps as influential network military analysts and defense industry rainmakers. It is a deeply opaque world, a place of privileged access to senior government officials, where war commentary can fit hand in glove with undisclosed commercial interests and network executives are sometimes oblivious to possible conflicts of interest. Few illustrate the submerged complexities of this world better than Barry McCaffrey. General McCaffrey, 66, has long been a force in Washington’s power elite. A consummate networker, he cultivated politicians and journalists of all stripes as drug czar in the Clinton cabinet, and his ties run deep to a new generation of generals, some of whom he taught at West Point or commanded in the Persian Gulf war. But it was 9/11 that thrust General McCaffrey to the forefront of the national security debate. In the years since he has made nearly 1,000 appearances on NBC and its cable sisters, delivering crisp sound bites in a blunt, hyperbolic style. He commands up to $25,000 for speeches, his commentary regularly turns up in The Wall Street Journal, and he has been quoted or cited in thousands of news articles, including dozens in The New York Times. His influence is such that President Bush and Congressional leaders from both parties have invited him for war consultations. At the same time, General McCaffrey has immersed himself in businesses that have grown with the fight against terrorism.
Note: This in-depth article on the "military-industrial-media complex" is worth reading in its entirety. For lots more on war profiteering from reliable sources, click here.
Was Press a War ‘Enabler’? 2 Offer a Nod From Inside
2008-05-30, New York Times
In his new memoir, What Happened, Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary, said the national news media neglected their watchdog role in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, calling reporters “complicit enablers” of the Bush administration’s push for war. Surprisingly, some prominent journalists have agreed. Katie Couric, the anchor of “CBS Evening News,” said ... that she had felt pressure from government officials and corporate executives to cast the war in a positive light. Speaking on “The Early Show” on CBS, Ms. Couric said the lack of skepticism shown by journalists about the Bush administration’s case for war amounted to “one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism.”She also said she sensed pressure from “the corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kind of dissent or any kind of questioning of it.” At the time, Ms. Couric was a host of “Today” on NBC. Another broadcast journalist also weighed in. Jessica Yellin, who worked for MSNBC in 2003 and now reports for CNN, said ... that journalists had been “under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation.” For five years, antiwar activists and media critics have claimed that the national news media failed to keep the White House accountable before the invasion. Greg Mitchell, the author of So Wrong for So Long, a book about press and presidential failures on the war, argues that some media organizations have yet to come to terms with their role.
Note: For a powerful overview of the media cover-up by top, award-winning journalists, click here.
Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon's Hidden Hand
2008-04-20, New York Times
In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guant'namo Bay. The detention center had just been branded 'the gulag of our times' by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure. The administration's communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guant'namo. To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as 'military analysts' whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world. Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration's wartime performance. The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants.
Note: This excellent article should be read in its entirety. For a related video presentation, click here. For an analysis, click here.
How the spooks took over the news
2008-02-11, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
On the morning of 9 February 2004, The New York Times carried an exclusive and alarming story. The paper's Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials had obtained a 17-page letter, believed to have been written by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war. The story went on to news agency wires and, within 24 hours, it was running around the world. There is very good reason to believe that that letter was a fake – and a significant one because there is equally good reason to believe that it was one product among many from a new machinery of propaganda which has been created by the United States and its allies since the terrorist attacks of September 2001. For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it. The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. The "Zarqawi letter" which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media. This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new ... structure of "strategic communications" which was originally designed ... in the Pentagon and Nato.
Note: This article is an edited excerpt from investigative journalist Nick Davies' new book, Flat Earth News: an award-winning reporter exposes falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media. To read about or purchase it, click here. For a highly revealing two-page summary of 20 award-winning journalists describing how huge stories they tried to report were shut down by corporate media ownership, click here.
Project Mockingbird: Spying on Reporters
2007-06-26, New York Times
The C.I.A. monitoring of journalists in 1963, 1971 and 1972, including wiretapping their phones and setting up observation posts across the street from their offices to track their comings and goings and their visitors, was a practice that the White House itself employed during the Nixon administration. The description of Project Mockingbird [details] C.I.A. wiretapping of two Washington reporters (unnamed) from March 12, 1963 to June 15, 1963. As with other questionable or illegal C.I.A. activities that were endorsed by top government officials, this account shows that spying on reporters was approved at the highest levels of the Kennedy administration. According to the transcripts of the tapes that President John F. Kennedy secretly recorded in the Oval Office, shortly after 6 p.m. on August 22,1962, JFK and Director of Central Intelligence John McCone discussed a plan for the CIA to wiretap members of the Washington press corps. The president told McCone to set up a domestic task force to stop the flow of secrets from the government to the newspapers. The order violated the agency’s charter, which specifically prohibits domestic spying. By ordering the director of central intelligence to conduct a program of domestic surveillance, Kennedy set a precedent that Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and George W. Bush would follow.
Note: This fascinating report discusses only a limited aspect of Operation Mockingbird, which included as well the placing of CIA agents in news organizations in decision-making positions for purposes of propaganda and information control.
On what should [have been] a happy day of fundraising in the four boroughs of New York City ... for Rudy Giuliani's 63rd birthday, a few protestors ruined his first event. At City Island's Sea Shore Restaurant in the Bronx, a young woman named Sabrina approached the Mayor with a prepared question, reading it word for word off of a notepad. "You reported to Peter Jennings on 9/11 that the World Trade Center towers were going to collapse. No steel structure in history has ever collapsed due to fire. How come the people in the buildings weren't notified and who else knew about this? How do you sleep at night?" Matthew Lepaceak, who stood on the other side of Giuliani, joined in. "But you said on ABC video with Peter Jennings in an interview that you were aware the towers were going to collapse in advance. Who told you the towers were going to collapse in advance, sir?" During this time, Giuliani had an incredulous look on his face, completely caught off guard. The statement they were referring to is from a phoner Giuliani had with Jennings. "We set up headquarters at 75 Barclay Street which was right there with the police commissioner and the fire commissioner, the head of emergency management, and we were operating out of there when we were told the World Traded Center was going to collapse." After being interrupted again, Giuliani responded with an explanation. "Our understanding was that over a long period of time, the way other buildings collapse, the towers could collapse. Meaning over a seven-, eight-, nine-, ten-hour period. No one that I knew of had any idea that they would implode. That was a complete surprise."
Note: To view a video clip of Rudy Giuliani describing how he was told of the Towers' collapse ahead of time, click here. To watch him deny what he said on this clip, watch this one. When so many have said no one could have predicted the fall of the towers, how is it that Giuliani knew otherwise -- and then denied ever knowing it?
Pentagon rolls out stealth PR
2005-12-14, USA Today
A $300 million Pentagon psychological warfare operation includes plans for placing pro-American messages in foreign media outlets without disclosing the U.S. government as the source, one of the military officials in charge of the program says. Run by psychological warfare experts at the U.S. Special Operations Command, the media campaign is being designed to counter terrorist ideology and sway foreign audiences to support American policies. The program will operate throughout the world, including in allied nations and in countries where the United States is not involved in armed conflict. The three companies handling the campaign include the Lincoln Group, the company being investigated by the Pentagon for paying Iraqi newspapers to run pro-U.S. stories. (Related story: Contracts for pro-U.S. propaganda) It's legal for the government to plant propaganda in other countries but not in the USA.
The ricin ring that never was
2005-04-14, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Colin Powell does not need more humiliation. But yesterday a London jury brought down another section of the case he made for war - that Iraq and Osama bin Laden were supporting and directing terrorist poison cells throughout Europe, including a London ricin ring. Yesterday's verdicts on five defendants ... make clear there was no ricin ring. Nor did the "ricin ring" make or have ricin. Not that the government shared that news with us. The public record for the past three fear-inducing years has been that ricin was found in the Wood Green flat occupied by some of yesterday's acquitted defendants. It wasn't. [Found there] were the internal documents of the supposed al-Qaida cell planning the "big one" in Britain. But the recipes were untested and unoriginal, borrowed from US sources. Moreover, ricin is not a weapon of mass destruction. It is a poison which has only ever been used for one-on-one killings. All the information roads led west, not to Kabul but to California and the US midwest. The recipes for ricin now seen on the internet were invented 20 years ago by survivalist Kurt Saxon. The chemical lists found in London were an exact copy of pages on an internet site in Palo Alto, California. But it seems this information was not shared with the then home secretary, David Blunkett, who was still whipping up fear two weeks later. The most ironic twist was an attempt to introduce an "al- Qaida manual" into the case. To show that the Jihad manual was written in the 1980s ... was easy. The ricin recipe it contained was a direct translation from a 1988 US book called the Poisoner's Handbook. We have all been victims of this mass deception.
Note: As the above link no longer functions, click here for the full article. According to a post on Prof. Michel Chossudovsky's excellent Center for Research on Globalization website and other inside sources, the British government ordered the above article removed from the website within a week of its publication. Someone doesn't want us knowing how we are manipulated into fear. For more on this, click here.
US seizes independent media sites
2004-10-11, BBC News
The FBI has shut down some 20 sites which were part of an alternative media network known as Indymedia. A US court order forced the firm hosting the material to hand over two servers in the UK used by the group. Indymedia says it is a news source for the anti-globalisation movement and other social justice issues. The reasons behind the seizure are unclear but the FBI has reportedly said the action was taken at the request of Italian and Swiss authorities. The servers affected were run by Rackspace, a US web hosting company with offices in London. It said it had received a court order from the US authorities last Thursday to hand over the computer equipment at its UK hosting facility. The reasons behind the action against the Indymedia websites are unclear. The group said the servers affected had hosted the sites of more then 20 local collectives and audio streams for several radio stations, as well as several other projects. The seizure has sparked off protests from journalist groups. "The constitution does not permit the government unilaterally to cut off the speech of an independent media outlet, especially without providing a reason or even allowing Indymedia the information necessary to contest the seizure," said EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl.
Note: This important news was not covered by any major U.S. media. Why? Is it a coincidence that these websites were taken down shortly after they started promoting a video clip showing President Bush may have been using an electronic hearing aid during the presidential election debates with John Kerry? Website founder Fred Burks had personal experience suggesting Bush may have used electronic feeds in high-level meetings while Burks worked as a language interpreter for him. For more, click here.
US media cowed by patriotic fever, says CBS star
2002-05-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Dan Rather, the star news anchor for the US television network CBS, said last night that "patriotism run amok" was in danger of trampling the freedom of American journalists to ask tough questions. And he admitted that he had shrunk from taking on the Bush administration over the war on terrorism. In an interview with BBC's Newsnight, he graphically described the pressures to conform that built up after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. "There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tyres around people's necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tyre of lack of patriotism put around your neck," he said. "Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions." Rather did not exempt himself from the criticism, and said the problem was self-censorship. "One finds oneself saying: 'I know the right question, but you know what? This is not exactly the right time to ask it.'" Such a confession is astonishing, bearing in mind its source. He said his view of the patriotism differed from that of the administration. "It's unpatriotic not to stand up, look them in the eye, and ask the questions they don't want to hear - they being those who have the responsibility, the ultimate responsibility - of sending our sons and daughters, our husbands, wives, our blood, to face death."
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on media cover-ups, click here.
Chemical Coup d'etat
2002-04-16, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
The US wants to depose the diplomat who could take away its pretext for war with Iraq. On Sunday, the US government will launch an international coup. It has been planned for a month. It will be executed quietly, and most of us won't know what is happening until it's too late. It is seeking to overthrow 60 years of multilateralism in favour of a global regime built on force. The coup begins with its attempt ... to unseat the man in charge of ridding the world of chemical weapons. If it succeeds, this will be the first time that the head of a multilateral agency will have been deposed in this manner. The coup will also shut down the peaceful options for dealing with the chemical weapons Iraq may possess, helping to ensure that war then becomes the only means of destroying them. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) enforces the chemical weapons convention. Its director-general is a workaholic Brazilian diplomat called Jose Bustani. He has, arguably, done more in the past five years to promote world peace than anyone else on earth. His inspectors have overseen the destruction of 2 million chemical weapons and two-thirds of the world's chemical weapon facilities. In May 2000, as a tribute to his extraordinary record, Bustani was re-elected unanimously by the member states for a second five-year term. Last year Colin Powell wrote to him to thank him for his "very impressive" work. But now everything has changed. [But now] the man celebrated for his achievements has been denounced as an enemy of the people. In January, with no prior warning or explanation, the US state department asked the Brazilian government to recall him.
Note: The "coup" was successful. The New York Times, though reporting few of the details above, stated six days after the above article, "José M. Bustani ... was voted out of office today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down because of his 'management style.'" For why this highly revealing story received no media coverage in the U.S., click here. For a top U.S. general's comments, click here.
The Assisi Decalogue For Peace
2002-02-01, King's University College, University of Western Ontario
What if leaders of the world’s major religions got together one day and denounced all religious violence? What if they unanimously agreed to make this plain, clear and bold statement to the world? “Violence and terrorism are opposed to all true religious spirit and we condemn all recourse to violence and war in the name of God or religion.” It could change the world. More than 200 leaders of the world’s dozen major religions did get together January 24 in Assisi, Italy. Pope John Paul II and a number of cardinals were at the meeting. So was Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians. So were a dozen Jewish rabbis, including some from Israel. So were 30 Muslim imams from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan. So were dozens of ministers representing Baptists, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Disciples of Christ, Mennonites, Quakers, Moravians, The Salvation Army and the World Council of Churches. So were dozens of monks, gurus and others representing Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Zoroastrians and native African religions. They unanimously agreed to condemn “every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or religion.” They also said, “No religious goal can possibly justify the use of violence by man against man.” And that “Whoever uses religion to foment violence contradicts religion’s deepest and truest inspiration.” They called their statement the Assisi Decalogue for Peace. Maybe you missed the story. It didn’t even make the newspapers the next day, hidden inside or not. What if leaders of the world’s major religions got together one and denounced all religious violence - and no one cared?
Note: Why is it that news about war and terrorism so frequently makes headlines, but the amazing news that leaders of religions from around the world got together to denounce all violence in the name of God and religion did not even warrant an article or story in any major media?
Journal axes gene research on Jews and Palestinians
2001-11-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A keynote research paper showing that Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians are genetically almost identical has been pulled from a leading journal. Academics who have already received copies of Human Immunology have been urged to rip out the offending pages and throw them away. Such a drastic act of self-censorship is unprecedented in research publishing and has created widespread disquiet, generating fears that it may involve the suppression of scientific work that questions Biblical dogma. 'I have authored several hundred scientific papers, some for Nature and Science, and this has never happened to me before,' said the article's lead author, Spanish geneticist Professor Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, of Complutense University in Madrid. 'I am stunned.' Arnaiz-Villena has been sacked from the journal's editorial board. The paper, 'The Origin of Palestinians and their Genetic Relatedness with other Mediterranean Populations' [found that] no data [exist] to support the idea that Jewish people were genetically distinct from other people in the region. In doing so, the team's research challenges claims that Jews are a special, chosen people and that Judaism can only be inherited. Jews and Palestinians in the Middle East share a very similar gene pool and must be considered closely related and not genetically separate, the authors state.
US newspapers accused of complicity as drone report reopens security debate
2013-02-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[The] New York Times and Washington Post ... are facing accusations of complicity after it emerged that they bowed to pressure from the Obama administration not to disclose the existence of a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia despite knowing about it for a year. Amid renewed scrutiny over the Obama administration's secrecy over its targeted killing programme, media analysts and national security experts said the revelation that some newspapers had co-operated over the drone base had reopened the debate over the balance between freedom of information and national security. One expert described the initial decision not to publish the base's location as "shameful and craven". Dr Jack Lule, a professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said that the national security implications did not merit holding on to the story.
"The decision not to publish is a shameful one. The national security standard has to be very high, perhaps imminent danger," he said. The Obama administration has resisted any effort to open up its targeted killing programme to public scrutiny. The White House legal advice on the assassinations program, including the killing of a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, has been withheld from the public and Congress, despite repeated requests to make it public. Lule said that in not publishing the location of the base when it had the information, the newspaper had failed in its responsibility to the public. "It happened at the top ranks of the media, too. They should have been leading the pack in calling for less secrecy. For them to give up that post is terrible."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on major media coverups, click here.
AP's dangerous Iran hoax demands an accounting and explanation
2012-11-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Evidence proves that the graph trumpeted by [the Associated Press] as evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons program is an obvious sham. Although it was intuitively obvious that the graph trumpeted by AP as scary and incriminating of Iran's nuclear program was actually a farce, there is now new, overwhelming, very compelling scientific evidence that is the case. Whether as victim or recklessly culpable participant, AP helped perpetrate a dangerous hoax, and owes an explanation and accounting for what took place, including identifying the "officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program" who made false claims about what this is. At the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS), Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress [wrote]: "Graphs such as the one published by the Associated Press can be found in nuclear science textbooks and on the Internet." So what AP presented to the world as some sort of highly complex, specialized document was, in fact, nothing more than a completely common graph easily found in all sorts of public venues. Butt and Dalnoki-Veress document that the graph "does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax". That's because, they explain, "the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level". This error is patently obvious to anyone versed in nuclear physics. Yet AP - eager to believe, or at least lead others to believe, that it had some incriminating evidence - either failed or refused to understand its significance.
Note: You can find the graph in question and other graphs for comparison at the link above. For a top US general's essay laying bare the desire for continued war at the expense of the public, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on media corruption, click here.
Phone hacking scandal: Ex-confidants of U.K. PM charged with illegal payments to government officials
2012-11-20, Toronto Star (One of Toronto's leading newspapers)
Two former confidants of Britain’s prime minister have been charged with conspiring to pay public officials in exchange for stories and information — the latest development in the country’s establishment-shaking scandal over media malfeasance. Britain’s Crown Prosecution Services [said] that former tabloid editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks were among five people being charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Prosecutors said that Brooks, a neighbour, close friend, and political ally of Prime Minister David Cameron, conspired with journalist John Kay to funnel as much as £100,000 ($160,000) to Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan Barber in return for seven years of stories that were published in Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper. The allegations cover 2004 to 2011, when Brooks was editor of The Sun and then in charge of News International, the parent company of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The prosecutors alleged that Coulson, who until last year served as Cameron’s top press aide, conspired in 2005 with former royal reporter Clive Goodman to pay officials for access to a royal phone directory known as the “Green Book.” The confidential directory includes home and office numbers for senior royals including two of Queen Elizabeth’s children, Prince Edward and Princess Anne, as well as the landline, office and mobile numbers of the royal household staff, the Telegraph reported.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on media corruption, click here.
The bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange
2012-08-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Is it not remarkable that one of the very few individuals over the past decade to risk his welfare, liberty and even life to meaningfully challenge the secrecy regime on which the American national security state (and those of its obedient allies) depends just so happens to have become – long before he sought asylum from Ecuador – the most intensely and personally despised figure among the American and British media class and the British "liberal" intelligentsia? In 2008 – two years before the release of the "collateral murder" video, the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and the diplomatic cables – the Pentagon prepared a secret report which proclaimed WikiLeaks to be an enemy of the state and plotted ways to destroy its credibility and reputation. But in a stroke of amazing luck, Pentagon operatives never needed to do any of that, because the establishment media in the US and Britain harbor at least as much intense personal loathing for the group's founder as the US government does, and eagerly took the lead in targeting him. Many people like to posit the US national security state and western media outlets as adversarial forces, but here – as is so often the case – they have so harmoniously joined in common cause. Whatever else is true, establishment media outlets show unlimited personal animus toward the person who, as a panel of judges put it when they awarded him the the 2011 Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism, "has given the public more scoops than most journalists can imagine."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
Eight arrests as Murdoch 'throws staff to the wolves'
2012-02-12, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Police swooped on eight individuals between 6am and 8am yesterday, arresting the five Sun journalists, two Ministry of Defence staff and a police officer. The arrests came hard on the heels of five related arrests two weeks ago when four senior Sun journalists and a police officer were questioned in connection with bribery allegations. The latest astonishing development ... prompted fury among the newspaper's staff, amid allegations that those arrested had been "thrown to the wolves" in an effort to bolster the embattled News Corp empire, and, particularly, to rekindle its hopes of taking over BSkyB. The police were acting on information provided by News International, owner of The Sun and Times newspapers. The investigation broke new ground yesterday: for the first time, the arrests broadened beyond payments to police, with a female member of the MoD and a member of the armed forces also held while their homes were searched. The journalists arrested were Geoff Webster, The Sun's deputy editor; John Kay, a former chief reporter who joined the title in 1974; Nick Parker, chief foreign correspondent; John Edwards, picture editor; and John Sturgis, a reporter.
Note: The fact that the The Sun's deputy editor and chief foreign correspondent were arrested along with a female member of the MoD and a member of the armed forces is astounding. Could the predictions of David Wilcock of mass arrests of key people involved in major corruption be coming true? Wilcock has written a thoroughly researched and amazingly deep and penetrating paper on all that is going on at this link.
'SOPA Blackout' is Web's political coming of age
2012-01-19, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
In an unprecedented display of Internet force, thousands of websites went dark or censored themselves [on January 18] to protest twin antipiracy measures pending in Congress. The blackout represented a culmination of months of intensifying outcry over the bills, echoed and amplified by social media, blogs and tech publications, that drew more and more popular sites into the official day of protest, including Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist, Wired, Reddit, Boing Boing, Reporters Without Borders, Pressthink, Greenpeace and McSweeney's. Their actions and the frenzy of media coverage in the buildup raised mainstream awareness of what, until recent days, had been a wonky set of proposals only lightly covered outside tech circles. Congressional phone lines were reportedly flooded Wednesday in what could begin the final unraveling of the already troubled measures. The stated goal of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), is to confront the sale and distribution of pirated movies, drugs, music and consumer goods by rogue overseas sites. But in doing so, critics say the bills threaten crucial legal protections that foster online innovation [and undermine] due process and free speech. Some observers said the day of protest may come to represent a fundamental shift in the legislative landscape, a flexing of a newfound and untraditional source of political power in the Internet sector.
Note: For lots more on government and corporate threats to civil liberties, click here.
Pentagon Finds No Fault in Ties to TV Analysts
2011-12-25, New York Times
A Pentagon public relations program that sought to transform high-profile military analysts into "surrogates" and "message force multipliers" for the Bush administration complied with Defense Department regulations and directives, the Pentagon's inspector general has concluded after a two-year investigation. The inquiry was prompted by articles published in the New York Times in 2008 that described how the Pentagon, in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, cultivated close ties with retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks. In response to the articles, the Pentagon suspended the program, and members of Congress asked the Defense Department's inspector general to investigate. The results of the inquiry ... confirm that the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld made a concerted effort ... to build and sustain public support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The inquiry found that from 2002 to 2008, Rumsfeld's Pentagon organized 147 events for 74 military analysts. The inquiry confirmed that Rumsfeld's staff frequently provided military analysts with discussion points before their network appearances.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
L.A. calls for end to 'corporate personhood'
2011-12-06, Los Angeles Times blog
At a packed City Council meeting ... Los Angeles lawmakers Tuesday called for more regulations on how much corporations can spend on political campaigns. The vote in support of state and federal legislation that would end so-called "corporate personhood” is largely symbolic. The council resolution includes support for a constitutional amendment that would assert that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, and that spending money is not a form of free speech. City Council President Eric Garcetti, the resolution's sponsor, said such actions are necessary because “big special interest money” is behind much of the gridlock in Washington.
He blamed a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, which rolled back legal restrictions on corporate spending on the grounds that political speech by a business entity should receive the same 1st Amendment protections that people do. It allows corporations and other groups to spend unlimited money on behalf of candidates. Councilman Richard Alarcon, who also supported the resolution, said corporations are “trying to take over every aspect of our lives.” “Corporations are at the wheel of America,” Alarcon said. “And they are driving us to destruction.”
Note: Why was this key decision only reported in a blog and hardly covered by the media elsewhere? To understand how the media controls public debate, as reported by top journalists, click here.
News of the World phone-hacking whistleblower found dead
2011-07-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbusiness reporter who was the first named journalist to allege that Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead. Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but said in a statement: "The death is currently being treated as unexplained but not thought to be suspicious." There was an unexplained delay in the arrival of forensics officers at the scene. There was no police presence at the scene at all for several hours. Hoare was in his mid-40s. He first made his claims in a New York Times investigation into the phone-hacking allegations at the News of the World. He told the newspaper that not only did Coulson know of the hacking, but he also actively encouraged his staff to intercept the calls of celebrities in the pursuit of exclusives. In a subsequent interview with the BBC he alleged he was personally asked by his editor at the time, Coulson, to tap into phones. Hoare returned to the spotlight last week, after he told the New York Times that reporters at the NoW were able to use police technology to locate people using their mobile phone signals, in exchange for payments to police officers. He said journalists were able to use "pinging", which measured the distance between a mobile handset and a number of phone masts to pinpoint its location.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
Stain From Tabloids Rubs Off on a Cozy Scotland Yard
2011-07-17, New York Times
For nearly four years they lay piled in a Scotland Yard evidence room, six overstuffed plastic bags gathering dust and little else. Inside was a treasure-trove of evidence: 11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid newspaper. Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page. During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid. After the past week, that assertion has been reduced to tatters, torn apart by a spectacular avalanche of contradictory evidence. The testimony and evidence that emerged last week, as well as interviews with current and former officials, indicate that the police agency and News International, the British subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the publisher of The News of the World, became so intertwined that they wound up sharing the goal of containing the investigation. Members of Parliament said in interviews that they were troubled by a “revolving door” between the police and News International.
Note: Media and government corruption could hardly get worse than seen in this case of the Murdoch phone hacking scandal. Scotland Yard's primary responsibility is to protect the UK public from criminal activity; instead it enabled the activity to continue and shared high-level information and personnel with News Corporation. For lots more on media and government corruption click here and here.
‘Unlawful Killing’s’ charges about Princess Diana’s death cause stir at Cannes
2011-05-13, Washington Post
“Unlawful Killing,” a documentary about the death of Princess Diana that began to stir up controversy even before it got [to the Cannes Film Festival, was] directed by Keith Allen [and] earned global [comment] for including a graphic image of the aftermath of the car accident that took Diana’s life in 1997, the details of which have historically been distorted in the interest of taste. The photo does appear in “Unlawful Killing,” but only for a moment, and within the legitimate context of Allen’s claim that Diana received tardy and inadequate care immediately after the wreck and that a more timely response would have saved her life. “Unlawful Killing,” which is part of the Cannes “Marche du Film,” or Film Market, and played here ... to a packed house of buyers and critics, will surely raise hackles for the additional ... accusations Allen levels in the film. These include allegations ... that Diana was murdered, most likely by a cabal involving the royal family, the political establishment and the secret services; that she was killed because she was threatening the British arms industry with her work against land mines; and that the inquest into the death ... was little more than a coverup in which the media were ... complicit.
Note: For more on Princess Diana's mysterious death, click here.
BP's Photo Blockade of the Gulf Oil Spill
2010-05-26, Newsweek magazine
As BP makes its latest attempt to plug its gushing oil well, news photographers are complaining that their efforts to document the slow-motion disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are being thwarted by local and federal officials — working with BP — who are blocking access to the sites where the effects of the spill are most visible. More than a month into the disaster, a host of anecdotal evidence is emerging from reporters, photographers, and TV crews in which BP and Coast Guard officials explicitly target members of the media, restricting and denying them access to oil-covered beaches, staging areas for clean-up efforts, and even flyovers. Last week, a CBS TV crew was threatened with arrest when attempting to film an oil-covered beach. On Monday, Mother Jones published this firsthand account of one reporter’s repeated attempts to gain access to clean-up operations on oil-soaked beaches, and the telling response of local law enforcement.
Note: To see some of the devastating photos from this tragic spill, click here. For an abundance of revealing articles from major media sources on government and corporate collusion and corruption, click here and here.
Contestants turn torturers in French TV experiment
2010-03-16, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's leading newspaper)
"The Game of Death" has all the trappings of a traditional television quiz show, with a roaring crowd and a glamorous and well-known hostess urging the players on under gaudy studio lights. But the contestants did not know they were taking part in an experiment to find out whether television could push them to outrageous lengths, and which has prompted comparisons with the atrocities of Nazi Germany. "We were amazed to find that 81 percent of the participants obeyed" the sadistic orders of the television presenter, said Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary for the state-owned France 2 channel. "They are not equipped to disobey," he added. The game: posing questions to another "player" and punishing him with up to 460 volts of electricity when he gets them wrong -- even until his cries of "Let me go!" fall silent and he appears to have died. Not knowing that the screaming victim is really an actor, the apparently reluctant contestants yield to the orders of the presenter and chants of "Punishment!" from a studio audience who also believed the game was real. Nick said 80 percent of the contestants went all the way, zapping the victim with the maximum 460 volts until he appeared to die. Out of 80 players, just 16 walked out. "When it decides to abuse its power, television can do anything to anybody," said Nick. "It has an absolutely terrifying power."
Note: For more on this powerful and disturbing phenomenon, click here.
Will You Be E-Mailing This Column? It’s Awesome
2010-02-09, New York Times
Do people prefer to spread good news or bad news? Would we rather scandalize or enlighten? Which stories do social creatures want to share, and why? Now some answers are emerging thanks to a rich new source of data: you, Dear Reader. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have intensively studied the New York Times list of most-e-mailed articles, checking it every 15 minutes for more than six months, analyzing the content of thousands of articles and controlling for factors like the placement in the paper or on the Web home page. According to the Penn researchers, Jonah Berger and Katherine A. Milkman, people preferred e-mailing articles with positive rather than negative themes, and they liked to send long articles on intellectually challenging topics. Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list. “Science kept doing better than we expected,” said Dr. Berger, a social psychologist and a professor of marketing at Penn’s Wharton School. “We anticipated that people would share articles with practical information about health or gadgets, and they did, but they also sent articles about paleontology and cosmology."
Ventura says MSNBC nixed his show for not supporting Iraq War
2009-11-30, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Conspiracy theorists awaiting Wednesday night's premiere of "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" might take interest in a curious comment Ventura made in the Los Angeles Times this weekend. Ventura ... told the paper that MSNBC cancelled his show "Jesse Ventura's America" in 2003 because he did not support the Iraq War. He said the network "in essence" paid him to be silent. "It was awful. I was basically silenced. When I came out of office, I was the hottest commodity out there. I was being groomed for a five day-a-week TV show by them. Then, all of a sudden, weird phone calls started happening: 'Is it true Jesse doesn't support the war in Iraq? My contract said I couldn't do any other cable TV or any news shows, and they honored and paid it for the duration of it. So in essence I had my silence purchased. Why do you think you didn't hear from me for three years? I was under contract. They wouldn't even use me as a consultant!"
Justice Dept. Asked For News Site's Visitor Lists
2009-11-10, CBS News
In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day. The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Indymedia.us Web site "not to disclose the existence of this request" unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization. Kristina Clair, a 34-year old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for Indymedia.us, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department's subpoena. The subpoena ... demanded "all IP traffic to and from www.indymedia.us" on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to "include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information," including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers' Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, [and] credit card numbers. Clair [called] the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which represented her at no cost. Making this investigation more mysterious is that Indymedia.us is an aggregation site, meaning articles that appear on it were published somewhere else first, and there's no hint about what sparked the criminal probe. Clair, the system administrator, says that no IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are recorded for Indymedia.us, and non-IP address logs are kept for a few weeks and then discarded. "This is the first time we've seen them try to get the IP address of everyone who visited a particular site," [EFF's Kevin] Bankston said. "That it was a news organization was an additional troubling fact that implicates First Amendment rights."
Note: For many reports from major media sources of growing government threats to civil liberties, click here.
Historic Broadcast of "9/11 Press For Truth"
2009-06-06, KBDI-TV (Colorado Public Television station)
Following the attacks of September 11th, a small group of grieving families waged a tenacious battle against those who sought to bury the truth about the event. In this documentary, six of them – including three of the famous 9/11 widows known as the "Jersey Girls" – tell the powerful story of how they took on the greatest powers in Washington, compelling lawmakers to launch an investigation that ultimately failed to answer most of their questions. The filmmakers collaborated with the media group Globalvision to stitch together overlooked news clips, buried stories, and government press conferences, revealing a pattern of official lies, deception, and spin. As a result, a very different picture of 9/11 emerges – one that raises new, and more pressing, questions. To mark the film's U.S. broadcast premiere, Executive Producer Kyle Hence, Director Ray Nowosielski, and family member Bob McIlvaine – who lost his son Bobby in the attacks on New York – will be in the KBDI studios to discuss the film throughout the evening. Additionally, volunteers from Colorado 911 Visibility will be on hand to answer phones.
Note: To watch this important, landmark 9/11 documentary, click here. This highly engaging, well researched film may be the best way yet to open the eyes of those who don't know about the major 9/11 cover-up.
Inspector at Pentagon Says Report Was Flawed
2009-05-06, New York Times
In a highly unusual reversal, the Defense Department’s inspector general’s office has withdrawn a report it issued in January exonerating a Pentagon public relations program that made extensive use of retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks. Donald M. Horstman, the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general for policy and oversight, said in a memorandum released on Tuesday that the report was so riddled with flaws and inaccuracies that none of its conclusions could be relied upon. In addition to repudiating its own report, the inspector general’s office took the additional step of removing the report from its Web site. The inspector general’s office began investigating the public relations program last year, in response to articles in The New York Times that exposed an extensive and largely hidden Pentagon campaign to transform network military analysts into “surrogates” and “message force multipliers” for the Bush administration. The articles also showed how military analysts with ties to defense contractors sometimes used their special access to seek advantage in the competition for contracts related to Iraq and Afghanistan. The report released in January took issue with the articles. [It] has been the subject of controversy, with some members of Congress calling it a “whitewash” marred by obvious factual errors. For example, the report erroneously listed many military analysts as having no ties whatsoever to defense contractors.
Note: The author of this article, David Barstow, won a 2009 Pulitzer prize for exposing military corruption, yet the press gave virtually no coverage to his prize.
Why does it seem that the media don't want us to know about military influence on the news we receive?
2009-04-24, Newsweek blog
We missed this story from earlier this week, but think it's still worth sharing. Glenn Greenwald over at Salon.com wrote an interesting column on Tuesday about the lack of cable news coverage related to New York Times journalist David Barstow's Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism. Barstow wrote two fascinating, deeply researched stories last year about how retired generals, acting as military analysts for cable channels, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to push their line on the war. He also discovered that the generals had, as the Pulitzer committee describes it "undisclosed ties to companies than benefited from the policies they defended." Greenwald notes that there was a virtual moratorium on discussing Barstow's prize on TV. Brian William at NBC just said that the NYT had won five awards, and CNN's write-up didn't even mention Barstow's name. You can read Greenwald's piece here.
Note: For lots more on major media cover-ups, click here.
New UFO Sighting Reported In Stephenville Texas
The truth may be out there, but, when it comes to UFO stories, it is sure hard to find. Conjecture breeds conspiracy theories. Any official denial can be labeled a cover-up. In the end, it often boils down to a he-said-she-said scenario. Such is the case in Stephenville, Texas, a small, rural community thrust into the spotlight after several unexplained disturbances in January. Though that spotlight has now faded, the town remains altered. Some members of the community want to move on; others cannot let go. And some, if you believe them, say that UFOs are still there. According to Angelia Joiner, the reporter who wrote the original UFO stories, there was another UFO sighting on Saturday. "If the military is testing a secret military device, why do they keep doing it here?" she asked me. "If it's not a secret why do they keep scaring the bejesus out of people?" Adding a further wrinkle to this story, Joiner was fired from The Empire-Tribune a week ago. She claims she had been told to back off the story and thinks the town's "upper crust" was "embarrassed" by all the attention. The Empire-Tribune has avoided comment, which of course only fans the flames of the conspiracy theories. For its part, the military has done itself no favors, first denying that it had any aircraft in the area, then flip-flopping a few days later -- after more witnesses came forward. A spokesperson blamed internal miscommunication for the mix-up. Others, including CNN's Larry King, have asked whether it wasn't a cover-up. But who can we believe? The truth remains unidentified.
Note: As revealed in this commentary, the courageous reporter, Angelia Joiner, who gave the Stephenville UFO story legs and led to more sales of her newspaper than ever before, has now been fired. To read highly revealing information about this bizarre twist, click here and here.
Bill Moyers talks with Congressman Dennis Kucinich
2008-01-04, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
BILL MOYERS: There's a big Democratic debate Saturday night in New Hampshire. Are you in that ABC debate? DENNIS KUCINICH: No, I'm not. [Yet] when you look at all the polls on the Internet I'm winning a number of them. MOYERS: Yeah, that August 22nd debate on ABC - you beat everybody. Obama by 5,000 or 6,000 votes. Clinton by 9,000 votes. And yet the mainstream media paid no attention to it, right? KUCINICH: Right. And I think that what's noteworthy is ... we have two cultures here. One which is the emerging culture of information technology that's Internet-based. And the other one is the more conventional TV technology which is coming to a clash. And I think they reflect some political trends in this country that maybe aren't getting too much attention. But they are going to have an impact. MOYERS: What rationale did ABC give you for not including you in Saturday night's debate? KUCINICH: Whatever their criteria was, they have no right to make the decision for the people of New Hampshire prior to the election being held. They have no right. The airwaves belong to the public. They don't belong to ABC. BILL MOYERS: What's the most important thing that people would have heard about you and your message if you were in the debate in New Hampshire? DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, first of all, I would have said that I'm the only real Democrat on the stage, that I reflect the mainstream of Democratic voters with aspirations for a full employment economy, healthcare for all, education for all, a new environmental approach ... carbon free, nuclear free. Ending the U.S. role in the world as an aggressor. Holding the [present] administration accountable. You know, the president and vice president ought to be impeached. And they should be held accountable for war crimes because we attacked a nation that did not attack us. Now, these are things that need to be said.
The new Jewish question
2007-02-11, The Observer (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
A furious row has been raging in the international Jewish community over the rights and wrongs of criticising Israel. At its centre is a British historian [Tony Judt] who accuses his fellow Jews in the US of stifling any debate about Israel. His opponents say his views give succour to anti-Semites. In an essay written by the Holocaust scholar Alvin Rosenfeld and published by the American Jewish Committee, Judt's views - and those of other 'progressive Jews' ... were expressly linked to anti-Semitism. That row was reported in the New York Times, giving it an unprecedented prominence, and since then the story has opened the floodgates of a debate that until now has been shrouded in fear. Americans have long been in the grip of a cultural taboo that is characterised by Judt as follows: 'All Jews are silenced by the requirement to be supportive of Israel, and all non-Jews are silenced by the fear of being thought anti-Semitic, and there is no conversation on the subject.' [A] new forum for dissent ... was launched in Britain last week by an eminent group. In launching its manifesto, Independent Jewish Voices has taken the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as an occasion to create 'a climate and a space in which Jews of different affiliations and persuasions can express their opinions about the actions of the Israeli government without being accused of disloyalty or ... self-hating.' One of its founding principles is: 'The battle against anti-Semitism is vital and is undermined whenever opposition to Israeli government policies is automatically branded as anti-Semitic.'
Exxon's 'outlandish' earnings spark furor
2007-02-02, Globe and Mail (One of Canada's Leading Newspapers)
The world's largest publicly owned oil company announced yesterday the largest corporate profit ever, but news of its near $40-billion (U.S.) windfall in 2006 sparked an angry backlash, coming on the eve of a major report blaming the use of fossil fuels for wreaking devastation on the planet. Exxon shares have risen by about 20 per cent in the past year. Exxon wasn't alone in unprecedented oil earnings. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, an Anglo-Dutch company, and U.S.-run Marathon Oil and Valero Energy, also posted best-ever annual results yesterday. And ConocoPhillips Co., also American, last week posted its highest profits. Profits at the five companies together totalled $91.1-billion -- in a year when drivers paid record prices for gasoline. Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have also urged Exxon to end its funding of organizations that deny the existence of -- or minimize the seriousness of -- human-made global warming. Scientists yesterday accused the conservative American Enterprise Institute, which receives funding from Exxon, of offering scientists up to $10,000 for articles that undercut a report to be released today from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Last month, the Union of Concerned Scientists ... said that Exxon has spent $16-million over the past 10 years financing organizations that deny the seriousness of climate change. Alden Meyer, a strategist with the group, compared Exxon's efforts to discredit the science of global warming to the tobacco companies' efforts to sow doubts about the link between smoking and lung cancer in order to protect their profits.
Note: Compare this Canadian article with the New York Times reporting of this record profit, or that of any other major U.S. newspaper. The U.S. press barely mentions that oil company gouging which took dollars from your pocket is what led to record profits. To understand why the U.S. press behaves in this way, click here.
Pentagon boosts 'media war' unit
2006-10-31, BBC News
The US defence department has set up a new unit to better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet. The Pentagon said the move would boost its ability to counter "inaccurate" news stories and exploit new media. The newly-established unit would use "new media" channels to push its message and "set the record straight", Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff said. A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit would "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to "correct the record". The unit would reportedly monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ "surrogates", or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.
The CIA-Contra-Crack Connection, 10 Years Later
2006-08-17, Los Angeles Times
Ten years ago today, one of the most controversial news articles of the 1990s quietly appeared on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News. Titled "Dark Alliance"...the three-part series by reporter Gary Webb linked the CIA and Nicaragua's Contras to the crack cocaine epidemic that ripped through South Los Angeles in the 1980s. Most of the nation's elite newspapers at first ignored the story. A public uproar, especially among urban African Americans, forced them to respond. What followed was one of the most bizarre, unseemly and ultimately tragic scandals in the annals of American journalism. Top news organizations closed ranks to debunk claims Webb never made, ridicule assertions that turned out to be true and ignore corroborating evidence when it came to light. The whole shameful cycle was repeated when Webb committed suicide in December 2004. At first, the Mercury News defended the series, but after nine months, Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos wrote a half-apologetic letter to readers that defended "Dark Alliance" while acknowledging obvious mistakes. Webb privately (and accurately) predicted the mea culpa would universally be misperceived as a total retraction, and he publicly accused the paper of cowardice. He resigned a few months later. Meanwhile, spurred on by Webb's story, the CIA conducted an internal investigation that acknowledged in March 1998 that the agency had covered up Contra drug trafficking for more than a decade. History will tell if Webb receives the credit he's due for prodding the CIA to acknowledge its shameful collaboration with drug dealers.
Note: Many thanks to the Los Angeles Times for the courage to report this story. For more on this incredibly revealing, yet very tragic case which reveals corruption in both the government and media at the highest levels: http://www.WantToKnow.info/mediacover-up#webb
Planted fake news stories on American TV
2006-05-29, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products. Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced...by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items. The FCC has declined to comment on the investigation but investigators from the commission's enforcement unit recently approached Ms Farsetta for a copy of her group's report. Among items provided by the Bush administration to news stations was one in which an Iraqi-American in Kansas City was seen saying "Thank you Bush. Thank you USA" in response to the 2003 fall of Baghdad. The footage was actually produced by the State Department, one of 20 federal agencies that have produced and distributed such items. The FCC was urged to act by a lobbying campaign organised by Free Press, another non-profit group that focuses on media policy. More than 25,000 people [have] written to the FCC about the VNRs.
The Bullying of the Press
2006-02-26, London Times
I reported on eight of the [Downing Street] memos while working at the Daily Telegraph in September 2004. I then moved to the Sunday Times, where I obtained the other two memos. Why did the US newspapers take so long to pick up on the story? The memos were so momentous in what they told us about how Bush and Blair went to war...that they surely had to be reported. They were not only “the smoking gun” that proved all the lies; they also proved the lack of planning for the aftermath; the fraudulent use of the UN to make the war legal; and...the way in which the allies began the war...months before they went to the UN or Congress to get backing for war. The memo actually says...that the Prime Minister agreed at Crawford in April 2002 to go to war, so the British needed to "create the conditions" which would make the war legal under international law. In the wake of 9/11, the US media were initially prevented from any criticism of the administration. Then when the need to criticize became unavoidable, they were cowed by administration claims that it helped the terrorists. There is something grotesque about Bush saying that his administration is setting “a forward strategy for freedom” around the world while it is attempting at the same time to bully the US press back into submission at home. I don’t for one moment believe it will succeed. But none of us can afford to be complacent.
Exposed: the secret corporate funding behind health research
2006-02-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Academics and the media have failed dismally to ask the crucial question of scientists' claims: who is paying you? In the 1990s, [Arise] was one of the world's most influential public-health groups. It described itself as "a worldwide association of eminent scientists who act as independent commentators". Its purpose ... was to show how "everyday pleasures, such as eating chocolate, smoking, drinking tea, coffee and alcohol, contribute to the quality of life". "Scientific studies show that enjoying the simple pleasures in life, without feeling guilty, can reduce stress and increase resistance to disease". Between September 1993 and March 1994 ... [Arise] generated 195 newspaper articles and radio and television interviews, in places such as the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the Independent, the Evening Standard, El País, La Repubblica, Rai and the BBC. In 1998 [tobacco] firms were obliged to place their internal documents in a public archive. Among them ... is a memo from ... Philip Morris - the world's largest tobacco company. The title is "Arise 1994-95 Activities and Funding". This showed that in the previous financial year Arise had received $373,400: ... over 99% - from Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, RJ Reynolds and Rothmans. The memo suggests Arise was run not by eminent scientists but by eminent tobacco companies. How much more science is being published in academic journals with undeclared interests like these? How many more media campaigns ... have been secretly funded and steered by corporations?
Note: If you want to understand how corporate interests secretly manipulate both scientific results and public perception, this excellent article is well worth reading.
Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11
2005-12-15, New York Times
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted. While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it said the N.S.A. eavesdropped without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time.
Note: The above quote is from page two of a ten-page article on the Times website. Isn't it interesting that the White House can keep vital news from being reported? See Media Information Center for more.
Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive
2005-12-11, New York Times
The media center in Fayetteville, N.C., would be the envy of any global communications company. The center is not part of a news organization, but a military operation, and [its] writers and producers are soldiers. The 1,200-strong psychological operations unit based at Fort Bragg turns out what its officers call "truthful messages" to support the United States government's objectives, though its commander acknowledges that those stories are one-sided and their American sponsorship is hidden. Army psychological operations units sometimes pay to deliver their message, offering television stations money to run unattributed segments. The United States does not ban the distribution of government propaganda overseas, as it does domestically. Typically, Lincoln [a company under government contractor] paid newspapers from $40 to $2,000 to run the articles as news articles or advertisements. More than 1,000 articles appeared in 12 to 15 Iraqi and Arab newspapers, according to Pentagon documents. The publications did not disclose that the articles were generated by the military.
Note: For an abundance of reliable information on major cover-ups around war, visit our War Information Center at http://www.WantToKnow.info/warinformation
Congressional Testimony Reveals Four Wargames on 9/11
CMK [Congresswoman Cythia McKinney]: Mr. Secretary, after the last Hearing, I thought that my office was promised a written response to my question regarding the four wargames on September 11th. I have not yet received that response. The question was ... whether or not the activities of the four wargames going on on September 11th actually impaired our ability to respond to the attacks. RM [Top Pentagon Chief, General Richard Myers]: The answer to the question is no, it did not impair our response, in fact General Eberhart who was in the command of the North American Aerospace Defense Command as he testified in front of the 9/11 Commission I believe - I believe he told them that it enhanced our ability to respond, given that NORAD didn't have the overall responsibility for responding to the attacks that day. That was an FAA responsibility. But they were two CPXs; there was one Department of Justice exercise that didn't have anything to do with the other three; and there was an actual operation ongoing because there was some Russian bomber activity up near Alaska. CMK: Who was in charge of managing those wargames? RM: The important thing to realize is that North American Aerospace Defense Command was responsible. These are command post exercises; what that means is that all the battle positions that are normally not filled are indeed filled; so it was an easy transition from an exercise into a real world situation. It actually enhanced the response; otherwise, it would take somewhere between 30 minutes and a couple of hours to fill those positions, those battle stations, with the right staff officers.
Note: For the full transcript of this testimony and more, click here. Why to this day have all media (other than C-SPAN) and the 9/11 Commission Report failed to inform the public that there were four wargames happening at the time of the 9/11 attacks? For possible answers, click here.
Garrett of 'Newsday' Rips Tribune Co. 'Greed' in Exit Memo
2005-03-01, Editor and Publisher (Leading Media Trade Publication)
Laurie Garrett, the prize-winning Newsday reporter, left the Melville, N.Y., paper Monday with a blistering memo to her colleagues that may provoke debate elsewhere in the newspaper industry. "The leaders of Times Mirror and Tribune have proven to be mirrors of a general trend in the media world: They serve their stockholders first, Wall St. second and somewhere far down the list comes service to newspaper readerships.” Garrett won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for her reporting on Ebola. She’s also won a Polk Award and a Peabody and was finalist for another Pulitzer in 1998. “The deterioration we experienced at Newsday was hardly unique," she wrote.. "All across America news organizations have been devoured by massive corporations, and allegiance to stockholders, the drive for higher share prices, and push for larger dividend returns trumps everything that the grunts in the newsrooms consider their missions. Honesty and tenacity ... seem to have taken backseats to the sort of 'snappy news', sensationalism, scandal-for-the-sake of scandal crap that sells. Profits: that's what it's all about now. This is terrible for democracy. I can attest to the horrible impact the deterioration of journalism has had on the national psyche. But giving up is not an option. There is too much at stake. Now is the time to think in imaginative ways. Opportunities for quality journalism are still there, though you may need to scratch new surfaces, open locked doors and nudge a few reticent editors to find them. Your readers desperately need for you to try, over and over again, to tell the stories, dig the dirt and bring them the news."
Note: If above link fails, click here.
Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange
2012-08-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Considering he made his name with the biggest leak of secret government documents in history, you might imagine there would be at least some residual concern for Julian Assange among those trading in the freedom of information business. But the virulence of British media hostility towards the WikiLeaks founder is now unrelenting. This is a man, after all, who has yet to be charged, let alone convicted, of anything. The ostensible reason for this venom is of course Assange's attempt to resist extradition to Sweden (and onward extradition to the US) over sexual assault allegations. But as the row over his embassy refuge has escalated into a major diplomatic stand-off, with the whole of South America piling in behind Ecuador, such posturing looks increasingly specious. Can anyone seriously believe the ... British government would have made its asinine threat to suspend the Ecuadorean embassy's diplomatic status and enter it by force, or that scores of police would have surrounded the building, swarming up and down the fire escape and guarding every window, if it was all about one man wanted for questioning over sex crime allegations in Stockholm? To get a grip on what is actually going on, rewind to WikiLeaks' explosive release of secret US military reports and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables two years ago. They disgorged devastating evidence of US war crimes and collusion with death squads in Iraq on an industrial scale, the machinations and lies of America's wars and allies, its illegal US spying on UN officials – as well as a compendium of official corruption and deceit across the world.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
Phone hacking: US authorities preparing to subpoena News Corp
2011-07-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The judicial screws are tightening on Rupert Murdoch's empire in America as the US justice department prepares to subpoena News Corporation in its investigation into whether the company broke anti-bribery and hacking laws on both sides of the Atlantic. The news that subpoenas are being drawn up, reported by News Corp's flagship newspaper the Wall Street Journal, comes a week after attorney general Eric Holder said he was launching a preliminary investigation into the media group as a result of the UK phone-hacking scandal. In addition, it has emerged that federal prosecutors have begun probing allegations that News Corp's advertising arm in the US hacked into a computer of a competitor as part of a campaign to crush its rival. News Corp also faces a possibly lengthy and costly federal probe into whether it broke anti-bribery laws as part of the illegal News of the World phone hacking in the UK. The company is potentially liable under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which bans US-based companies from profiting from bribery and corruption in other countries. News Corp is a US-based firm, its headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. FCPA experts have suggested that it could be brought under the auspices of the act because News of the World journalists bribed police officers in the UK in search of exclusive stories that in turn increased sales and generated profits.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
Another Top Police Official Resigns in British Scandal
2011-07-19, New York Times
The phone hacking scandal in Britain claimed another high-profile casualty on [July 18] when John Yates, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London, resigned his post. His departure comes a day after the country’s top police officer quit and Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, was arrested on suspicion of illegally intercepting phone calls and bribing the police. Such is the severity of the crisis swirling around the Murdoch empire and Britain’s public life that Prime Minister David Cameron cut short an African trip on Monday and, bowing to opposition pressure, called a special parliamentary session on Wednesday to debate the widening scandal. Mr. Murdoch, his son James and Ms. Brooks are set to testify before a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal on Tuesday. The home secretary, Theresa May, said on Monday that the country’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, a police oversight body that reports to her, would investigate possible corruption in the links between the police and journalists. Mr. Yates has been criticized for his decision not to reopen the investigation even though the police under his command possessed some 11,000 pages of largely unexamined evidence. “I’m not going to go down and look at bin bags,” Mr. Yates said.
Note: For lots more on media and government corruption click here and here.
Ads for Zestra women's arousal oil rejected
2010-11-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
When it comes to the bedroom, Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are all household words, thanks to TV, radio and Internet ads broadcasting information about erectile dysfunction around the clock, on all kinds of programming - even the Super Bowl. So when Rachel Braun Scherl, 45, a Stanford University business school graduate, co-founded Semprae Laboratories, which developed Zestra Essential Arousal Oils, a product described as a botanical aphrodisiac, she thought bringing its message to the airwaves would be a snap. Research had shown that tens of millions of American women had sexual difficulty and no products to remedy it. Scherl, 45, a married mother of two, and company co-founder Mary Jaensch, 58, a married mother of three, thought they had an answer for this unmet need, along with the cash to pay for ads on TV. In an apparent double standard, many networks and some websites have declined the company's ads; a few will air them during the daytime, and others only after midnight. "The most frequent answer we get is, 'We don't advertise your category,' " Scherl said. "To which we say, 'What is the category? Because if it's sexual enjoyment, you clearly cover that category. If it's female enjoyment, you clearly don't.' And when you ask for information as to what we would need to change so they would clear the ad for broadcast, they give you very little direction. ... And yet they have no problem showing ads for Viagra and other men's drugs. Why?"
Note: For highly informative reports from major media sources on health issues, click here.
Media destruction of ACORN
2009-09-24, MSNBC 'The Rachel Maddow Show'
MADDOW: Tonight, a dash of truth. Seriously rich corporate interests are out to paint ACORN as a vast left-wing conspiracy against the American way of life. You can look at ACORNâ€˜s primary political sin as theyâ€˜re trying to raise the minimum wage. ACORN has been caricatured by people, like Congressman King, as a corrupt, criminal enterprise that steals elections and turns a blind eye to prostitution. Thatâ€˜s the story line the mainstream media has latched on to, as well. What you might not know from all of the breathless ACORN damnation coverage is what ACORN actually does. They do things like advocating for a higher minimum wage. They do things like helping low-income families file their taxes. They do things like helping low-income families find jobs. And as we discovered most recently in the healthcare debate, when industries sense a threat to their profits, they go into kill mode. They create corporate-funded purportedly grassroots organizations to derail and destroy whomever they believe to be the source of that threat. Say youâ€˜re a company that doesnâ€˜t really want the minimum wage to be raised. But you also donâ€˜t want to be seen fighting ACORN yourself. What you do is you hire Richard Berman. And what you get is "RottenACORN.com," a grassroots-ish looking Web site dedicated to destroying ACORN. "RottenACORN.com" is run by something called the Employment Policies Institute, a nonprofit think-tank that happens to be run by Richard Berman, who also happens to be the man behind grassroots-ish Web sites like the anti-labor one, "UnionFacts.com." Also, "MercuryFacts.org." which assures people that there really isnâ€˜t that much mercury in that fish.
Note: A video of this segment is available at this link.
War Protests: Why No Coverage?
2007-10-30, Christian Science Monitor
Coordinated antiwar protests in at least 11 American cities this weekend raised anew an interesting question about the nature of news coverage: Are the media ignoring rallies against the Iraq war because of their low turnout or is the turnout dampened by the lack of news coverage? I find it unsettling that I even have to consider the question. That most Americans oppose the war in Iraq is well established. Poll after poll has found substantial discontent with a war that ranks as the preeminent issue in the presidential campaign. Given that context, it seems remarkable to me that in some of the 11 cities in which protests were held – Boston and New York, for example – major news outlets treated this "National Day of Action" as though it did not exist. As far as I can tell, neither The New York Times nor The Boston Globe had so much as a news brief about the march in the days leading up to it. The day after, The Times, at least in its national edition, totally ignored the thousands who marched in New York and the tens of thousands who marched nationwide. The Globe relegated the news of 10,000 spirited citizens (including me) marching through Boston's rain-dampened streets to a short piece deep inside its metro section. A single sentence noted the event's national context. As a former newspaper editor, I was most taken aback by the silence beforehand. Surely any march of widespread interest warrants a brief news item to let people know that the event is taking place and that they can participate. It's called "advancing the news," and it has a time-honored place in American newsrooms.
Note: For hard-hitting critiques by famous journalists of major-media censorship of important news, click here.
Inside Medicine: Some 'diseases' invented for profit
2007-05-26, Sacramento Bee (Sacramento's leading newspaper)
By Dr. Michael Wilkes. When is a disease really a disease? Young doctors in training work hard, and so do lots of other people. When people work 24 hours in a row ... the body feels tired. Is this fatigue an abnormal physiologic state requiring medication and treatment, or is it a normal part of belonging to the human race? If abnormal, then doctors and pharmaceutical companies argue that the fatigue requires treatment. If it is normal -- despite a movement to label it as an illness -- then post-work fatigue belongs to the growing phenomenon of disease-mongering. "Disease-mongering" ... is the process of trying to convince healthy people that they are sick, or people with minor problems that they have extremely worrisome symptoms. This is all in an attempt to sell treatments. Countless examples of disease-mongering are driven by the pharmaceutical industry's drive to sell drugs. Conditions such as female sexual dysfunction syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, toenail fungus, baldness and social anxiety disorder (a.k.a. shyness) are a few places where the medical community has stepped in, thereby turning normal or mild conditions into diseases for which medication is the treatment. Most pharmaceutical companies devote huge amounts of money to prevent, control and cure diseases. When their profits don't match corporate expectations, they invent "new" diseases to be cured by existing drugs. What happens to real diseases when [the media] are filled with information promoting disease mongering? Government funding for public health campaigns pales by comparison with the billions spent by pharmaceutical companies on disease mongering intended to increase the markets for their products.
Note: For more reliable information about major corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
Journalists: U.S. military deleted photos of attack
2007-03-05, CNN News
Afghan journalists covering the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack ... said U.S. troops deleted their photos and video and warned them not to publish or air any images of U.S. troops or a car where three Afghans were shot to death. A freelance photographer working for The Associated Press and a cameraman working for AP Television News said a U.S. soldier deleted their photos and video showing a four-wheel drive vehicle in which three people were shot to death. The photographer, Rahmat Gul, said witnesses at the scene told him the three had been shot to death by U.S. forces fleeing the attack. "When I went near the four-wheel drive, I saw the Americans taking pictures of the same car, so I started taking pictures," Gul said. "Two soldiers with a translator came and said, 'Why are you taking pictures?."' It wasn't clear why the accredited journalists would need permission to take photos of a civilian car on a public highway. The American ... warned him that he did not want to see any AP photos published anywhere. The American also raised his fist in anger as if he were going to hit him, but he did not strike, Gul said. Taqiullah Taqi, a reporter for Afghanistan's largest television station, Tolo TV, said Americans were using abusive language. "They said, 'Delete them, or we will delete you,"' Taqi said. A freelance cameraman for AP Television News said ... a U.S. officer told him that he could not go any closer to the scene but that he could shoot footage. The cameraman asked not to be named for his own safety. As he was filming, he said, a U.S. soldier and translator "ordered us not to move." The cameraman said they were very angry and deleted any footage that included the Americans.
Note: Why is this kind of media censorship not being more widely reported? For more, click here.
Click Here for Conspiracy
2006-08-00, Vanity Fair August 2006 Issue
Nine-eleven conspiracy theories have been circulating for years, producing millions of Web links, scores of books, and a nationwide collection of doubters known as the "9/11 Truth" movement. For those who can't find information about the alleged cover-up on the nightly news, there is Loose Change, a documentary about 9/11. Since it appeared on the Web in April 2005, the 80-minute film has been climbing up and down Google Video's "Top 100," rising to No. 1 this May, with at least 10 million viewings. It's safe to say that, if it were a theatrical release, Loose Change would be one of the most popular—and incendiary—movies in the country right now. Most of what we see on-screen during Loose Change are actually news reports from mainstream-media outlets like CBS News, Newsweek, CNN, the Associated Press, even Fox News. Loose Change is an investigation into the official story of 9/11 as told by The 9/11 Commission Report. Why were the black boxes from American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 never found, when the passport of one of Flight 11's alleged hijackers, Satam Al Suqami, turned up unscathed a few blocks from the World Trade Center? Hani Hanjour, one of the alleged hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, had trouble controlling and landing a single-engine Cessna 172 when he did test runs. Yet according to the official version of events, if Hani Hanjour had been the pilot he would have had to execute a perfect 330-degree turn at 530 miles per hour, descending 7,000 feet in two and a half minutes, in order to crash Flight 77, a Boeing 757, into the Pentagon.
Note: To watch this incredibly revealing documentary free online, click here.
Don't Turn Us Into Poodles
2006-07-04, New York Times
Journalists regularly hold back information for national security reasons; I recently withheld information at the request of the intelligence community. The one thing worse than a press that is "out of control" is one that is under control. Anybody who has lived in a Communist country knows that. Just consider what would happen if the news media as a whole were as docile to the administration as Fox News or The Wall Street Journal editorial page. When I was covering the war in Iraq, we reporters would sometimes tune to Fox News and watch, mystified, as it purported to describe how Iraqis loved Americans. Such coverage...misled conservatives about Iraq from the beginning. The real victims of Fox News weren't the liberals it attacked but the conservatives who believed it. Historically, we in the press have done more damage to our nation by withholding secret information than by publishing it. One example was this newspaper's withholding details of the plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion. President Kennedy himself suggested that the U.S. would have been better served if The Times had published the full story and derailed the invasion. Then there were the C.I.A. abuses that journalists kept mum about until they spilled over and prompted the Church Committee investigation in the 1970's. In the run-up to the Iraq war, the press...was too credulous about claims that Iraq possessed large amounts of W.M.D. In each of these cases...we failed in our watchdog role, and we failed our country. So be very wary of Mr. Bush's effort to tame the press. Watchdogs can be mean, dumb and obnoxious, but it would be even more dangerous to trade them in for lap dogs.
Kicked out of Gitmo
2006-06-18, Los Angeles Times
Covering Guantanamo means wrangling with...logistics so nonsensical that they turn two hours of reporting into an 18-hour day...with hostile escorts who seem to think you're in league with Al Qaeda...a Pentagon power play that muzzles already reluctant sources and an unceremonious expulsion to Miami on a military plane, safety-belted onto whatever seat is available. In this case, that seat was the toilet. I ended up on that plane, on that seat, because...the only three newspaper reporters who managed to surmount Pentagon obstacles to covering the first deaths at Guantanamo were ordered off the base. When unexpected news breaks, like the suicides, the Pentagon's knee-jerk reflex to thwart coverage reminds me of how Communist officials used to organize Cold War-era propaganda trips for Moscow correspondents but then pull the plug when embarrassing realities intruded. What little we learn often comes to light by accident. During my first visit in January 2005...I asked...if the facility had ever been at or near capacity. "Only during the mass-hanging incident," the Navy doctor replied, provoking audible gasps and horrified expressions among the public affairs minders...none of whom were particularly pleased with the disclosure that 23 prisoners had attempted simultaneously to hang themselves with torn bed sheets in late 2003. Under ground rules we must agree to if we want access to the base, journalists may not have any contact with detainees, who are removed from sight at all but one camp during media tours.
CIA Gave Iran Bomb Plans, Book Says
2006-01-04, Los Angeles Times
In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them. But the Iranians were tipped to the scheme by the Russian defector hired by the CIA to deliver the plans and may have gleaned scientific information useful for designing a bomb, writes New York Times reporter James Risen in "State of War." Two nuclear weapons experts...added that a deliberate flaw in the plans could have been easily found by the Iranians. The New York Times delayed for a year publication of its article on the NSA's domestic spying, in part because of personal requests from the president. Critics have questioned whether the paper could have published the information before last year's presidential election if it had decided against a delay. Newspaper officials have refused to comment on reasons for the delay or on the exact timing. Top New York Times officials also refused to publish a news article about the reported CIA plot to give intentionally flawed nuclear plans to Iran, according to a person briefed on the newspaper's conversations by one of the participants. That person said the New York Times withheld publication at the request of the White House and former CIA Director George J. Tenet.
A Slap in the Face
2005-04-12, New York Times
In short, the climate for freedom of the press in the U.S. feels more ominous than it has for decades. One appropriate response is to protest vociferously and seek the passage of a federal shield law for journalists. But it's also crucial for us to reflect on why this is happening now - and a major reason, I think, is that we in the news media are widely perceived as arrogant, out of touch and untrustworthy. A recent report from the Pew Research Center, "Trends 2005," is painful to read. The report says that 45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing in their daily newspapers, up from 16 percent two decades ago. it's a rare news organization that is trusted by more than one-third of the people in either party: the one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on is that the news media are not trustworthy.
What really happened in Florida?
2001-02-16, BBC News
We are coming into Tallahassee. A very expensive contract between Governor Jeb [Bush]'s division of elections and a private company named DBT...accidentally wiped off the voter rolls thousands of Democratic voters. [We're on the] 18th floor division of elections. We have come to ask Mr Clayton Roberts, the director, a few questions. "It says here in the contract that the verification is supposed to be done by DBT. That you paid them $4 million. It could look to others don't you think that you paid $4 million to purchase this election for the Republican party. 95% wrong on the felon list. Mr Roberts, could you answer the question regarding the contract?" Instead, Mr Roberts called out State troopers. The difficult questions are: Did Governor Jeb Bush, his Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and her Director of Elections, Clayton Roberts, know they had wrongly barred 22,000 black, Democrat voters before the elections? After the elections did they use their powers to prevent the count of 20,000 votes for the Democrats? CAMPAIGNER: "Were people taken out of polls and stopped from voting? Yes, I think that was not right." Altogether, it looks like this cost the Democrats about 22,000 votes in Florida, which George Bush won by only 537 votes. In all, Palm Beach voting machines misread 27,000 ballots. Jeb Bush's Secretary of State, Katharine Harris, stopped them counting these votes by hand.
Note: You can watch a video of this and much more fascinating information at the BBC link above. To read a brief summary of BBC reporter Greg Palast's coverage of the 2000 election results in Floriday, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/massmedia#palast. And why wasn't this incredibly vital information reported in any of the American media?
Networks, AP cancel exit polls in 19 states
2012-10-04, Washington Post blog
Breaking from two decades of tradition, this year’s election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections, according to multiple people involved in the planning. The decision by the National Election Pool — a joint venture of the major television networks and The Associated Press — is sure to cause some pain to election watchers across the country. Voters in the excluded states will still be interviewed as part of a national exit poll, but state-level estimates of the partisan, age or racial makeups of electorates won’t be available as they have been since 1992. The lack of data may hamper election night analyses in some states, and it will almost certainly limit post-election research for years to come. Here is a list of the states that will be excluded from coverage: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Note: How sad that the one poll considered to be the most reliable is being cancelled in 19 states. This opens the door wide to elections manipulation. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the flawed electoral system in the US, click here.
Study linking GM maize to cancer must be taken seriously by regulators
2012-09-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
For seven years [Professor Gilles-Eric SÃ©ralini, professor of molecular biology at Caen university in France] and his team have questioned the safety standards applied to varieties of GM maize and tried to re-analyse industry-funded studies presented to governments. Last week, Seralini brought the whole scientific and corporate establishment crashing down on his head. In a peer-reviewed US journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, he reported the results of a â‚¬3.2m study. Fed a diet of Monsanto's Roundup-tolerant GM maize NK603 for two years, or exposed to Roundup over the same period, rats developed higher levels of cancers and died earlier than controls. But barely had the paper surfaced than it was attracting heavyweight academic criticism. Commentators variously claimed the study to be "biased", "poorly performed", "bogus", "fraudulent", "sub-standard", "sloppy agenda-based science", "inadequate" and "unsatisfactory". SÃ©ralini and his scientists were labelled "crafty activists" and "anti-science". It was a triumph for the scientific and corporate establishment which has used similar tactics to crush other scientists like Arpad Pusztai of the Rowett Institute in Scotland, who was sacked after his research suggested GM potatoes damaged the stomach lining and immune system of rats, and David Quist and Ignacio Chapela, who studied the flow of genes from illegally planted GM maize to Mexican wild maize.
Note: For a powerful summary of the risks to health from GMO foods including the story of the above-mentioned Arpad Pusztai, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMOs, click here. For a powerful 13-minute video revealing the disturbing results of the first long-term scientific study on GMOs showing how they greatly increased cancer incidence in rats, click here.
Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
2010-11-14, Washington Post
We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly - individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable. The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's oft-quoted observation that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts," seems almost quaint in an environment that flaunts opinions as though they were facts. And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose. Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be.
Note: Ted Koppel, who was managing editor of ABC's "Nightline" from 1980 to 2005, is a contributing analyst for "BBC World News America."
A Vision of Iceland as a Haven for Journalists
2010-02-22, New York Times
Iceland, where the journalists run free. Iceland is considering a new vision: to become a haven for journalists and publishers by offering some of the most aggressive protections for free speech and investigative journalism in the world. The proposal, the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, combines in a single piece of legislation provisions from around the world: whistle-blower laws and rules about Internet providers from the United States; source protection laws from Belgium; freedom of information laws from Estonia and Scotland, among others; and New York State’s law to counteract “libel tourism,” the practice of suing in courts, like Britain’s, where journalists have the hardest time prevailing. “We would become the inverse of a tax haven,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Parliament and a sponsor of the initiative. “They are trying to make everything opaque. We are trying to make it transparent.” For many observers, this legislation represents a direct reversal of recent Icelandic history. Secret dealings by a few banks in Iceland, combined with a lack of regulation and oversight, led to calamitous debts that were nine times the gross domestic product. In response, Iceland would institutionalize the most aggressive sunshine laws possible.
Mancow Waterboarded, Admits It's Torture
2009-05-22, NBC Chicago
Shock jocks shock. And so it went Friday morning when WLS radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller decided to subject himself to the controversial practice of waterboarding live on his show.
Mancow decided to tackle the divisive issue head on -- actually it was head down, while restrained and reclining. "I want to find out if it's torture," Mancow told his listeners Friday morning, adding that he hoped his on-air test would help prove that waterboarding did not, in fact, constitute torture. At about 8:40 a.m., he entered a small storage room next to his studio. "The average person can take this for 14 seconds," Marine Sergeant Clay South answered, adding, "He's going to wiggle, he's going to scream, he's going to wish he never did this." With a Chicago Fire Department paramedic on hand, Mancow was placed on a 7-foot long table, his legs were elevated, and his feet were tied up. Turns out the stunt wasn't so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds. "It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."
Note: Click on the link above to watch a video of Mancow being waterboarded.
Michael Moore blasts Bush over federal probe
2007-05-11, MSNBC/Associated Press
Filmmaker Michael Moore has asked the Bush administration to call off an investigation of his trip to Cuba to get treatment for ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers for a segment in his upcoming health-care expose, “Sicko.” Moore, who made the hit documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” ... said in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Friday that the White House may have opened the investigation for political reasons. “For five and a half years, the Bush administration has ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community,” Moore said in the letter. “I understand why the Bush administration is coming after me — I have tried to help the very people they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to hide.” Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co. is releasing “Sicko,” told The Associated Press the movie is a “healing film” that could bring opponents together over the ills of America’s health-care system. “This time, we didn’t want the fight, because the movie unites both sides,” Weinstein said. “We’ve shown the movie to Republicans. Both sides of the bench love the film." Moore won an Academy Award for best documentary with his 2002 gun-control film “Bowling for Columbine” and scolded Bush in his Oscar acceptance speech as the war in Iraq was just getting under way. The investigation has given master promoter Moore another jolt of publicity just before the release of one of his films.
Note: WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks was hit with a $7,500 fine for a 10-day vacation to Cuba in 1999. For some strange reason, his was the first Cuba travel case prosecuted. He has taken it to court, where the case is still undecided. For more, including a link to a Los Angeles Times article on his case, click here.
Public interest in news topics beyond control of mainstream media
2006-06-09, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (One of Seattle's two leading newspapers)
The blogosphere has been abuzz. But in the days since Rolling Stone magazine published a long piece that accused Republicans of widespread and intentional cheating that affected the outcome of the last presidential election, the silence in America's establishment media has been deafening. In terms of bad news judgment, this could turn out to be the 2006 equivalent of the infamous "Downing Street memo," the London Times story that was initially greeted by the U.S. media with a collective yawn. Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Rolling Stone mega-essay is titled "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" While Kennedy's article perhaps gives far too much weight to suspicious discrepancies between exit polls and the final election outcome, it meticulously asserts and documents questionable methods of purging voter rolls, intentionally created long lines at Democratic polling places, court-defying practices regarding registrations and provisional ballots, a phony terrorist alert on Election Day and final tallies in some counties and precincts that...simply don't make sense. Three Cleveland-area election officials have been indicted for illegally rigging the recount. Kennedy's 11,000-word article was Rolling Stone's cover story. But for the most part, national and regional newspapers, the major networks and news services have behaved as if the article was never published. But Kennedy's article is not just old news rehashed. Its 11,000 words, not counting the 208 footnotes, most of which contain Web addresses for links to source information.
Note: To read Kennedy's detailed allegations on the Rolling Stone website:
When sluggishness isn't OK
2005-09-04, Chicago Tribune
E-mailers sent me copies of two news photos that revealed an apparent double standard regarding black and white flood victims in New Orleans. One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for The Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. In the other, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a similarly light-skinned woman also waded through chest-deep water after "finding" goods that included bread and soda in a local grocery store, according to the caption. Apparently, quipped a cynical blogger at Daily Kos, "It's not looting if you're white."
Note: For both photos and more on this disturbing story, click here.
Solar Challenge Finishes in Calgary
2005-07-28, Detroit News/CBS/Open Source Energy Network
U of Michigan takes prize, finishing the 2500-mile course in 54 hours. Fourteen of the twenty entrants completed the race. The last to cross the finish line (Kansas State U) came in 12.5 hours after the winner. The ten-day solar car race from Austin to Calgary came to a successful finish yesterday. The University of Michigan's Momentum placed first, completing a few seconds under 54 hours. They also set a record by averaging 46.2 mph in this, the world's longest solar car race. The University of Minnesota's Borealis III came in second, trailing by 12 minutes. MIT's Tesseract came in third. Canada's leading team, the University of Waterloo, came in fifth with their Midnight Sun. Fourteen cars went all the way to the finish line, with the last to cross being Kansas State University's Paragon on its maiden race, at 87.5 hours, a little over 12 hours after the winner.
Note: A solar powered car averaged 46.2 mph in over a 2,500 mile course! Why isn't this making mainstream news headlines? I invite you to do a Google news search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this event at all. The few who do somehow fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not covering these incredible breakthroughs?
Fallout from Dean's scream on news networks
2004-02-09, ABC News/Associated Press
It probably means little now to Howard Dean, but CNN's top executive believes his network overplayed the infamous clip of Dean's "scream" after the Iowa caucuses. "It was a big story, but the challenge in a 24-hour news network is that you try to keep all of your different viewers throughout the day informed without overdoing it," said Princell Hair, CNN's general manager. The media explosion turned the former Democratic presidential front-runner into a punch line and arguably hastened his campaign's free fall. It's also an instructive look at how television news and entertainment works today. "It was totally unfair," said Joe Trippi, who lost his job as Dean's campaign manager in the fallout. Trippi accepts that the footage was newsworthy, but he figured it was a one-day story. Instead, CNN cable and broadcast news networks aired Dean's Iowa exclamation 633 times — and that doesn't include local news or talk shows — in the four days after it was made. "It shouldn't be an anvil that you keep hammering to destroy his candidacy," Trippi said. The cable news networks ran and reran the video. They analyzed it. They ran footage of the late-night comedians joking about it. They played the instant Internet songs that sampled Dean's shout. Virtually overnight, the "I Have a Scream" speech became legend. It took on such a life, said Paul Slavin, senior vice president of ABC News, that "the amount of attention it was receiving necessitated more attention." Neither Slavin nor Mark Lukasiewicz, NBC News executive producer in charge of political coverage, believe the coverage was overdone. Roger Ailes, Fox News chairman, told ABC News it was "overplayed a bit."
Note: If the above link fails, click here for the full article and more.
After Struggle on Detainees, Obama Signs Defense Bill
2012-01-01, New York Times
President Obama, after objecting to provisions of a military spending bill that would have forced him to try terrorism suspects in military courts ... signed the bill on [New Year's Eve]. The White House had said that the legislation could lead to an improper military role in overseeing detention and court proceedings and could infringe on the president’s authority in dealing with terrorism suspects. But it said that Mr. Obama could interpret the statute in a way that would preserve his authority. The president, for example, said that he would never authorize the indefinite military detention of American citizens, because “doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.” He also said he would reject a “rigid across-the-board requirement” that suspects be tried in military courts rather than civilian courts. Congress dropped a provision in the House version of the bill that would have banned using civilian courts to prosecute those suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda. It also dropped a new authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda and its allies. Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, still oppose the law, in part because of its authorization of military detention camps overseas.
Note: This New York Times article amazingly fails to mention that civil liberties groups oppose this law primarily because it eliminates habeus corpus, Posse Comitatus and Bill of Rights protections, and enables the military to arrest and imprison American citizens on American soil and subject them to military tribunals without due judicial process. These protections are what Pres. Obama was referring to when he mentioned "our most important traditions and values as a nation." Is his statement that he will not use the new powers the law gives him sufficiently reassuring?
Japan disaster shows U.S. journalists unprepared
2011-03-18, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
If any institution needs to get back to basics and refocus on what it takes to survive a disaster - or report on it with integrity - it's the cable news business. The triple threat in Japan - earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactors in peril - is clearly demonstrating how reporters and anchors are bungling the basics and how the producers and executives in charge of them have fallen woefully short of leadership. Yes, the visuals were riveting and horrific, but context was lacking. Covering this trilogy of terror in Japan really underscores how much better prepared reporters and anchors need to be. The incessantly simplistic and embarrassing questions need to stop. It's a shame that going online to watch videos from NHK, BBC and Al Jazeera English was far and away the best option for Americans.
'Code Orange' for press freedom
2007-07-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The arguments against a federal shield law might be frightening if they were not so ludicrous.
There are two ways to reassure yourself that legislation to allow journalists to protect the identity of confidential sources will not be exploited by terrorists, thugs, identity thieves, sleazy sleuths and anarchists who expose trade secrets.
One is to look at the experience of 49 state laws that grant varying levels of protection for journalists using anonymous sources.
The other is to read the bill.
"The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007,'' sponsored by Reps. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Rick Boucher, D-Va., does not provide an absolute right for journalists to protect their sources. Under their HR2102, a journalist could be forced by the courts to reveal his or her source if the disclosure involved:
-- A threat to national security.
-- A threat of imminent death or significant [bodily] harm to a person.
-- A trade secret of significant value.
-- Personal financial or health information.
[The] Justice Department, which has wielded subpoenas and threats of jail time against journalists in pursuing government leaks, has never liked the idea of a shield law. So it was hardly a surprise when it recently testified against HR2102. What was eye-poppingly outrageous was a Justice official's straight-faced attempt to suggest that criminals or terrorists would invoke the bill's protection for journalists to thwart prosecutors.
"Totally absurd," House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., said of the terrorism argument. However, the dangers that overzealous prosecutors pose to a free and independent press that Pence calls "essential to an informed" electorate are very real and growing. As Pence put it, "there may never be another Deep Throat" if whistle-blowers become worried that journalists cannot keep a promise of confidentiality.
Planted PR Stories Not News to Military
2005-12-18, Los Angeles Times
U.S. military officials in Iraq were fully aware that a Pentagon contractor regularly paid Iraqi newspapers to publish positive stories about the war, and made it clear that none of the stories should be traced to the United States, according to several current and former employees of Lincoln Group, the Washington-based contractor. In contrast to assertions by military officials in Baghdad and Washington, interviews and Lincoln Group documents show that the information campaign waged over the last year was designed to cloak any connection to the U.S. military. "In clandestine parlance, Lincoln Group was a 'cutout' -- a third party -- that would provide the military with plausible deniability," said a former Lincoln Group employee. A number of workers who carried out Lincoln Group's offensive, including a $20-million two-month contract to influence public opinion in Iraq...describe a campaign that was unnecessarily costly, poorly run and largely ineffective at improving America's image in Iraq. Lincoln Group...had little public relations or communications experience when it won its first psychological operations contract last year. Yet it has become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the information war, and now has 20 Pentagon contracts.
McKinney reopens 9/11
2005-07-23, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta's leading newspaper)
McKinney led a Capitol Hill hearing Friday on whether the Bush administration
was involved in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "What we are
doing is asking the unanswered questions of the 9/11 families," McKinney,
a DeKalb County Democrat...said during the proceedings. The eight-hour
hearing, timed to mark the first anniversary of the release of the Sept. 11
commission's report on the attacks, drew dozens of contrarians and conspiracy
theorists who suggest President Bush purposely ignored warnings or may even
have had a hand in the attack — claims participants said the commission ignored.
"Congresswoman McKinney is viewed as a contrarian," panelist Melvin
Goodman, a former CIA official, said. "And I hope someday her views will
be considered conventional wisdom."
Other than this article and C-SPAN (see below), no major media covered this
important event. C-SPAN 2 eventually aired the hearing on August 31, 2005 at 8 PM. Many thanks to C-SPAN for being the only media
outlet that consistently reports on 9/11 information that should be making
headlines in all major media.
4 Networks Reject Ad Opposing Bush on Lawsuits
2005-02-01, New York Times
An advocacy group, USAction, said on Monday that four television networks had turned down its request to run an advertisement opposing President Bush's effort to clamp down on medical malpractice lawsuits. The NBC Universal Television Network, owned by General Electric, told the group, "We are sorry that we cannot accept your ad based on our network policy regarding controversial issue advertising." ABC, CBS and the Fox Broadcasting Company said they had also turned down the advertisement. Mr. Bush has proposed strict limits on medical malpractice litigation, including caps on damages for pain and suffering, as part of a campaign for sweeping changes in the nation's civil justice system.
Note: Doesn't the media promote controversy and sensationalism on other topics? To understand how the media stops key news from reaching the public, click here.
Who decides who'll be allowed on TV debates?
2008-01-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The Nevada Supreme Court's ruling allowing a cable network to exclude Rep. Dennis Kucinich from a Democratic presidential debate was barely a blip on the media radar screen. But in the long term, the court decision might prove to be [very] significant. It constituted the strongest judicial statement yet of news organizations' near-absolute power to control participation in pre-election forums. Kucinich, the Ohio congressman who polls in the low single digits but has a fervent following among his party's anti-war base, [charged] that the cable channel had promised to let him in when he met its standards, then abruptly changed those standards to keep him out. MSNBC said initially that the debate was open to Democrats who placed in the top four in a national poll. It invited Kucinich on Jan. 9 after a Gallup Poll a few days earlier ranked him fourth. But two days later, after New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson dropped out of the race, the channel narrowed its criteria to the top three candidates and withdrew Kucinich's invitation. The day before the debate, a Nevada judge ordered MSNBC to let Kucinich participate, saying the cable operator had entered into a binding contract that it couldn't rescind once the candidate accepted. The state's high court quickly granted review and, an hour before the debate, ruled 7-0 in the cable channel's favor. The bottom line: Debates, the public's sole opportunity to see competing candidates in a neutral setting, are the prerogative of the sponsoring organizations - typically, these days, the news media - which set the criteria and have free rein to alter them.
Note: For a summary of reliable reports on major problems with the electoral process, click here.
Dan Ellsberg: Sibel Edmonds case
Bradblog has been chasing the story about former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds' offer to 'tell all.' [Daniel] Ellsberg says: "I'd say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers. From what [Edmonds] has to tell, it has a major difference from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and may involve impeachable offenses. And I don't necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn't be surprised if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive Branch may be impeached as well. There will be phone calls going out to the media saying 'don't even think of touching [Edmonds' case], you will be prosecuted for violating national security.'" [Edmonds] said: "The media called from Japan and France and Belgium and Germany and Canada and from all over the world. I'm getting contact from all over the world, but not from here." More Ellsberg: "I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to 'How do we deal with Sibel?' The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn't get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to the government and they would be told 'don't touch this, it's communications intelligence.' As long as they hold a united front on this, they don't run the risk of being shamed." [Edmonds:] "I will name the name of major publications who know the story, and have been sitting on it --- almost a year and a half."
"How do you know they have the story?," we asked. "I know they have it because people from the FBI have come in and given it to them. They've given them the documents and specific case-numbers on my case."
Note: Though this is not from one of our normal reliable sources, Dan Ellsberg is a highly respected whistleblower who has received an abundance of major media coverage over the years. As the mainstream media are clearly and consciously ignoring this story, we felt it deserved to be posted, even though we don't have a major media source to back it up. For lots more reliable information on this courageous woman, click here.
U.S. corporations are sitting on huge stockpiles of cash
2006-05-28, Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Associated Press
Imagine the dilemma of having so much cash in your bank account that you didn't know what to do with it. This pipe dream for the average American is now reality for the country's biggest corporations. The industrial companies that make up the Standard & Poor's 500 index...have a staggering $643 billion in cash and equivalents. "We're in a time that is out of whack with all historical numbers," said Howard Silverblatt, equity market analyst at Standard & Poor's. "People are demanding why corporations need so much cash, what are they going to do with it?" Companies began propping up their reserves through 16 straight quarters of double-digit profit growth. Leading the pack with the most cash is Exxon Mobil Corp., which has about $36.55 billion on its balance sheet. That amount is nearly equal to its 2005 profit of $36.13 billion, the highest ever for a U.S. company. Some results of the cash riches: An unprecedented $500 billion of stock buybacks. Last year, ExxonMobil spent $18.2 billion buying its shares. One of the biggest avenues in which companies have spent this excess money has been through mergers and acquisitions. Some 75.4 percent of all deals under $1 billion so far this year were done purely with cash.
Note: A Google search reveals that though this Associated Press article was widely picked up by medium-sized newspapers in the U.S., none of the top 10 papers picked it up. The Seattle newspaper above also removed the word "huge" from the title after it was published. $36 billion means that more than $100 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. went into ExxonMobil profits last year, and another $100 for each person went into their cash reserves. If ExxonMobil and other oil companies have so much extra cash, why are gas prices so high? It's also quite interesting that the advertisements of these mega-corporations continually invite us to go into debt buying their products, while their profits and cash reserves grow ever higher.
Top 10 Censored News Stories of 2005 Published by University Research Team
2006-01-27, Project Censored/WantToKnow.info
Project Censored specializes in covering the top news stories which were either ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of nearly 200 university faculty, students, and community experts who review about 1,000 news story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources, and national significance. The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. The results are published each year in an excellent book available for purchase at their website, amazon.com, and most major book stores.
White House Erodes Open Government
2. Media Coverage on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Death Toll
3. Distorted Election Coverage
4. Surveillance Society Quietly Moves In
5. U.S. Uses Tsunami to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia
6. The Real Oil for Food Scam
7. Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood
8. Iraqi Farmers Threatened By US Mandates
9. Iran’s New Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency
10. Mountaintop Removal Threatens Ecosystem and Economy
Emotional Rather blasts 'new journalism order'
2005-09-19, ABC News
Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Monday that there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career. Rather famously tangled with President Nixon and his aides during the Watergate years while Rather was a hard-charging White House correspondent. He said that in the intervening years, politicians "of every persuasion" had gotten better at applying pressure on the conglomerates that own the broadcast networks. He called it a "new journalism order." He said this pressure -- along with the "dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage, the advent of 24-hour cable competition and the chase for ratings and demographics -- has taken its toll on the news business. "All of this creates a bigger atmosphere of fear in newsrooms," Rather said.
BBC says sorry to Israel
2005-03-12, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
The BBC has bowed to an Israeli demand for a written apology from its deputy bureau chief in Jerusalem, Simon Wilson, who was barred from the country for failing to submit for censorship an interview with the nuclear whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu. The climbdown has angered some BBC journalists, who say it will compromise their work in Israel. Mr Wilson was allowed to return to Israel on Thursday after signing a letter to the government acknowledging that he defied the law by ignoring demands from the security service and military censors to view tapes of an interview with Mr Vanunu after he was released from 19 years in prison last year. The agreement was to have remained confidential, but the BBC unintentionally posted details on its website before removing them a few hours later. Officials of Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, demanded a letter of apology and a promise not to re-offend when the authorities refused to extend Mr Wilson's work permit at the end of last year and barred him from re-entering Israel. At the time, the BBC said it could not meet such a demand. The BBC website said Mr Wilson had now acknowledged to the Israeli government that he was in the wrong. "He confirms that after the Vanunu interview he was contacted by the censors and was asked to give them the tapes. He did not do so. He regrets the difficulties this caused," the BBC statement said.
How ‘Mother Jones’ Turned Itself Into an Online ‘Secret Tape’ Factory
First there was the hidden video of Mitt Romney criticizing the 47 percent. Next came the surreptitious recording of Senator Mitch McConnell's aides mocking Ashley Judd. And then, on the morning of April 25, Mother Jones completed the hat trick, publishing a secret video of GOP consultant Frank Luntz calling Rush Limbaugh “really problematic” for the Republican party. How did Mother Jones position itself as the go-to destination for secretive political recordings? The website for Mother Jones, like a lot of news sites these days, has an area soliciting tips from would-be sources. “Got a scoop?” it reads. “Send our team of investigative reporters a note.” The “47 percent” video did not come through the tip box. But its publication ... has since resulted in a slew of new material coming through the magazine’s website. This week’s video—in which GOP consultant Luntz explains to a group of University of Pennsylvania students his theory on how talk-radio power brokers Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin are hurting the Republican party—first came to Mother Jones’s attention through the website.
What would the Koch brothers do to the Los Angeles Times?
2013-04-23, Washington Post
The [Los Angeles Times] is one of the eight daily newspapers now owned by the creditors who took control of the Tribune Co. after real estate wheeler-dealer Sam Zell drove it into bankruptcy. The Tribune board members whom the creditors selected want to unload the papers in favor of more money-making ventures. Right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch are looking to buy all eight papers. The Koch boys, whose oil-and-gas-based fortune places them just behind Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison as the wealthiest Americans, have been among the chief donors to the tea party wing of the Republican Party. Their political funding vehicle, Americans for Prosperity, ranked with casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson among the largest funders of right-wing causes and candidates in 2012. Their purchase offer [comes] complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology. The staffs at [the Tribune Co.] papers fear that, once Kochified, the papers would quickly turn into print versions of Fox News. A recent informal poll that one L.A. Times writer conducted of his colleagues showed that almost all planned to exit if the Kochs took control (and that included sportswriters and arts writers). Those who stayed would have to grapple with how to cover politics and elections in which their paper’s owners played a leading role. It’s also unclear who in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s most liberal cities, would actually want to read such a paper, but then the Kochs don’t appear to view this as a money-making venture.
WJLA-TV fires veteran anchor Doug McKelway, cites insubordination, misconduct
2010-09-17, Washington Post
WJLA-TV has fired veteran anchorman Doug McKelway for a verbal confrontation this summer with the station's news director that came after McKelway broadcast a sharply worded live report about congressional Democrats and President Obama. McKelway was placed on indefinite suspension in late July after his run-in with ABC7's news director and general manager, Bill Lord. In a letter to McKelway this week, the station said it was terminating his contract immediately, citing insubordination and misconduct. Amid the ongoing BP oil spill in July, McKelway covered a Capitol Hill demonstration by environmental groups protesting the influence of oil-industry contributions to members of Congress. In his piece, McKelway said the sparsely attended event attracted protesters "largely representing far-left environmental groups." He went on to say the protest "may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP." Lord took exception to McKelway's reporting and asked to meet with him, according to several station sources who were granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive personnel matter. A shouting match between the two men ensued, leading to McKelway's suspension, sources said.
A Filmmaker’s Quest for Journalistic Protection
2010-05-08, New York Times
A case about pollution, big business and the movies has reopened longstanding debates about who is a journalist and how far parties to a lawsuit can reach when seeking ammunition for their side. The case involves a documentary, “Crude,” that tells the story of a long-running legal battle in which Ecuadorean plaintiffs are suing Chevron over the pollution of the Amazon rain forest. As part of its defense, Chevron demanded 600 hours of outtake footage from “Crude,” saying it could help the company show corruption and misconduct by the plaintiffs. The filmmaker argued that his work was protected by journalist privilege, which protects reporters and others in the newsgathering business from being compelled to reveal confidential sources or divulge confidential material. On [May 6], Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in New York granted the request for the subpoena. The judge’s decision sparked outrage among documentary filmmakers, who said it endangered their form of journalism. The filmmaker Michael Moore said the decision could have “a chilling effect.” “If something like this is upheld, the next whistle-blower at the next corporation is going to think twice about showing me some documents if that information has to be turned over to the corporation that they’re working for,” Mr. Moore said.
Note: For lots more from reliable souces on government corruption and collusion with industries it is supposed to be regulating, click here.
US frees Iraqi photographer held for 17 months
2010-02-10, BBC News
American forces in Iraq have released an Iraqi freelance photographer held in detention for 17 months without charge. Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, who worked for Reuters, was arrested in September 2008 in a dawn raid on his home. The US said the photographer was a "security threat", but all evidence against him was classified secret. An Iraqi court had ruled in December 2008 that there was no case against him and that he must be released, but the US military refused. The US military has detained a number of Iraqi journalists working for international news organisations, but none have been convicted. It has been criticised by press freedom organisations such as Reporters Without Borders.
Note: So the U.S. can detain someone without any publicly-stated reason merely on suspicion of being a security threat? Sounds like something a police state would do. And why isn't this even being seriously questioned in the media?
Doubts emerge about 'daring' rescue
2008-07-04, Times of London
The former Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt returned to what she called her "other family" in France today as doubt was cast on the apparently daring rescue that won her freedom. While she was still in the air, the Swiss radio station RSR broadcast a report questioning the official version of the operation to free Ms Betancourt and 14 other hostages -- saying that money, not cunning, had clinched their freedom. RSR said that the 15 hostages "were in reality ransomed for a high price, and the whole operation afterwards was a set-up". Citing a source "close to the events, reliable and tested many times in recent years", it said that the United States -- which had three citizens among those freed -- was behind the deal and put the price at $20 million. The Colombian Foreign Ministry furiously denied the allegations, with a spokesman calling them "completely false." He added: "They are lies". General Freddy Padilla, head of the Colombian military, categorically denied they had paid "a single peso" to Farc. The French Foreign Ministry denied any involvement in any deal. The US has not responded to the [allegations].
Kucinich Seeks NH Dem Vote Recount
2008-01-11, MSNBC/Associated Press
Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, said Thursday he wants a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party's contest were counted. The Ohio congressman cited "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of Tuesday results. In a letter dated Thursday, Kucinich said he does not expect significant changes in his vote total, but wants assurance that "100 percent of the voters had 100 percent of their votes counted." Kucinich alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Sen. Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also noted the difference between pre-election polls, which indicated Obama would win, and Clinton's triumph by a 39 percent to 37 percent margin. [Deputy Secretary of State David] Scanlon said his office had received several phone calls since Tuesday, mostly from outside the state, questioning the results. New Hampshire's voting machines are not linked in any way, which Scanlon says reduces the likelihood of tampering with results on a statewide level. Also, the results can be checked against paper ballots. "I think people from out of state don't completely understand how our process works and they compare it to the system that might exist in Florida or Ohio, where they have had serious problems," he said. "Perhaps the best thing that could happen for us is to have a recount to show the people that ... the votes that were cast on election day were accurately reflected in the results."
Note: Except for this sparsely reported AP story, why didn't any media articles raise the question of voting machine manipulation? The SF Chronicle pointed out, "Pollster Mervin Field, a dean of American polling who has been measuring public opinion for more than six decades, notes that seven public and two private polls all reported on ... the day before the election that Obama was ahead of Clinton anywhere from 9 to 11 points." MSNBC's Chris Matthews stated: "Even our own exit polls, taken as people came out of voting, showed [Obama] ahead. So what's going on here?" For lots more on voting manipulation, click here.
The terrorists who aren't in the news
On Sept. 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks that devastated our nation, a man crashed his car into a building in Davenport, Iowa, hoping to blow it up and kill himself in the fire. No national newspaper, magazine or network newscast reported this attempted suicide bombing, though an AP wire story was available. Cable news (save for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann) was silent about this latest act of terrorism in America. Had the criminal, David McMenemy, been Arab or Muslim, this would have been headline news for weeks. But since his target was the Edgerton Women's Health Center...media have not called this terrorism - even after three decades of extreme violence by anti-abortion fanatics. Abortion providers and activists received 77 letters threatening anthrax attacks before 9/11, yet the media never considered anthrax threats as terrorism until after 9/11, when such letters were delivered to journalists' offices and members of Congress. Is McMenemy a lone nutcase, or a member of that network of violent extremists? We don't know, because journalists haven't investigated. Nor have they reported that just last year, nearly one in five abortion clinics experienced gunfire, arson, bombings, chemical attacks, assaults, stalking, death threats and blockades. The feds have taken over McMenemy's case, charging him with arson against a business affecting interstate commerce. Yet as of Oct. 5, no news outlet on Nexis reported this, despite a second AP story. As we continue national debates on how to keep America safe from terrorism, journalists do us...no good pretending that the threats come only from radical Muslims outside our borders.
Note: MSNBC's prime time news anchor Keith Olbermann recently received a threatening letter with white powder, yet this received virtually no coverage. Could it be because Olbermann has been quite critical of the current administration lately? For one of the very few articles on this, click here. For MSNBC article, click here
Disturbing 9/11 film is work of Hoosier
2006-09-07, Indianapolis Star
Familiar, disturbing images from five years ago flash by in "9/11: Press for Truth." But the 86-minute documentary, directed by Ray Nowosielski of Indianapolis, also asks what warnings top government officials received before the terrorist attacks, and why so many questions remain unanswered. The limited-run movie, opening in 27 cities, premieres tonight in Manhattan. It will show in Indianapolis Friday through Monday. Nowosielski, 25, and co-producer John Duffy got the idea for the movie in 2003, during their last semester of film school at Columbia College Chicago. It was there they learned of Paul Thompson's "The Complete 9/11 Timeline," and went online to read the researcher's compilation detailing the events surrounding that fateful day. "We ended up reading until the sun came up," said Nowosielski, who recently opened a Massachusetts Avenue office. Nowosielski said he double-checked whatever they used. "We did everything we could" to ensure accuracy. The documentary prominently features Thompson; Bob McIlvaine, whose son died in the World Trade Center attack; and several 9/11 widows who became known as "the Jersey Girls." McIlvaine, after screening a rough version of the film, sent Nowosielski an e-mail signed "Forever grateful," thanking the filmmakers and saying, "Every high school, college and university should have a copy of this documentary."
Note: Don't miss this amazing, moving 9/11 documentary (86 minutes) now available for free viewing on Google video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1016720641536424083. The film is also available for purchase at http://cooperativeresearch.org/911_press_for_truth.html.
Failures of Imagination
2006-09-01, September/October 2006 Issue Columbia Journalism Review
It was early December 2002. [Carlotta] Gall, the Afghanistan correspondent for The New York Times, had just seen a press release from the U.S. military announcing the death of a prisoner at its Bagram Air Base. Soon thereafter the military issued a second release about another detainee death at Bagram. Gall: “I just wanted to know more. And I came up against a blank wall." The body of one of the detainees had been returned, a young taxi driver known as Dilawar. Gall met with Dilawar’s family, and his brother handed Gall a death certificate...that the military had issued. “It said, ‘homicide.’ The press release announcing Dilawar’s death stated...heart attack, a conclusion repeated by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. But the death certificate, the authenticity of which the military later confirmed to Gall, stated that Dilawar — who was just twenty-two years old — died as a result of “blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease.” Gall filed a story. It sat for a month. “I very rarely have to wait long for a story to run.” Gall’s story...had been at the center of an editorial fight. Roger Cohen, then the Times’s foreign editor: “I pitched it, I don’t know, four times at page-one meetings, with increasing urgency and frustration. My single greatest frustration as foreign editor was my inability to get that story on page one.” The story ran on page fourteen under the headline "U.S.Military Investigating Death of Afghan in Custody." The Times also reported that officers who had overseen the Bagram prison at the time were promoted; another, who had lied to investigators, was transferred to help oversee interrogations at Abu Ghraib and awarded a Bronze Star.
Note: Why does it take a university journal to ask the hard questions? Again and again, news that should be front-page headlines is buried on insignificant pages or not reported at all. This key article from one of the most respected schools of journalism in the world tells it all about the unreported and underreported violent abuse of prisoners condoned by elements of the U.S. military. Don't miss reading this most powerful story in its entirety.
Times Blocks Article to U.K. Web Readers
2006-08-29, ABC News/Associated Press
The New York Times' Web site is blocking British readers from a news article detailing the investigation into the recent airline terror plot. "We had clear legal advice that publication in the U.K. might run afoul of their law," Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty said Tuesday. "It's a country that doesn't have the First Amendment, but it does have the free press. We felt we should respect their country's law." Visitors who click on a link to the article, published Monday, instead got a notice explaining that British law "prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial." The blocked article reveals evidence authorities have in the alleged plot to use liquid explosives to down U.S. airliners over the Atlantic. The Times also blocked U.K. access to an audio summary of the top Times stories, which included the article in question. British readers could find excerpts posted on Web journals and other unblocked sites. In fact, the Daily Mail of London published an article on the case, attributing details to the Times. The Times also is keeping the article out of printed editions published in the U.K. or mailed to U.K. subscribers.
Note: To see the blocked article, click here. The more likely reason for blocking the article is that it makes clear that the threat was significantly exaggerated by authorities and that experts on the case were unsure "whether any of the suspects was technically capable of assembling and detonating liquid explosives." Clearly, there are those who want to keep us in fear in order to gain ever greater control.
The blog in the corporate machine
2006-02-09, The Economist
They have always had their critics, but corporations are having an especially hard time making friends of late. Scandals at Enron and WorldCom destroyed thousands of employees' livelihoods, raised hackles about bosses' pay and cast doubt on the reliability of companies' accounts. Big companies such as McDonald's and Wal-Mart have found themselves the targets of scathing films. Labour groups and environmental activists are finding new ways to co-ordinate their attacks on business. But those are just the enemies that companies can see. Even more troubling for many managers is dealing with their critics online -- because, in the ether, they have little idea who the attackers are. One of the main reasons that executives find bloggers so very challenging is because, unlike other 'stakeholders', they rarely belong to well-organised groups. That makes them harder to identify, appease and control. When a company is dealing directly with a labour union or an environmental outfit, its top brass often take the easy route, by co-opting the leaders or paying some sort of Danegeld. Until a couple of decades ago, that meant doling out generous union contracts and sticking shareholders, taxpayers or consumers with the bill. Increasingly, companies are learning that the best defence against these attacks is to take blogs seriously and fix rapidly whatever problems they turn up.
Bush Presses Editors on Security
2005-12-26, Washington Post
President Bush has been summoning newspaper editors lately in an effort to prevent publication of stories he considers damaging to national security. The efforts have failed, but the rare White House sessions with the executive editors of The Washington Post and New York Times are an indication of how seriously the president takes the recent reporting that has raised questions about the administration's anti-terror tactics. Leonard Downie Jr., The Post's executive editor, would not confirm the meeting with Bush before publishing reporter Dana Priest's Nov. 2 article disclosing the existence of secret CIA prisons. Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, would not confirm that he, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman had an Oval Office sit-down with the president on Dec. 5, 11 days before reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau revealed that Bush had authorized eavesdropping on Americans and others within the United States without court orders. But the meetings were confirmed by sources who have been briefed on them but are not authorized to comment because both sides had agreed to keep the sessions off the record. After Bush's meeting with the Times executives...the president assailed the paper's piece on domestic spying, calling the leak of classified information "shameful." "The decision to hold the story last year was mine," [New York Times Executive Editor] Keller says. "The decision to run the story last week was mine. I'm comfortable with both decisions."
Note: This excellent article shows why the alternative media is becoming increasingly important for those who want to know what is happening behind the scenes. It goes on to describe numerous cases where reporters were paid significant sums to write favorable articles for clients and then takes on the topic of child prostitution rings. It easily could have been three separate, information-packed articles.
Media Shrug Off Mass Movement Against War
2005-09-28, Media Channel
Hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country protested the Iraq War on the weekend of September 24-25, with the largest demonstration bringing between 100,000 and 300,000 to Washington, D.C. on Saturday. But if you relied on television for your news, you'd hardly know the protests happened at all. According to the Nexis news database, the only mention on the network newscasts that Saturday came on the NBC Nightly News, where the massive march received all of 87 words. CNN anchor Aaron Brown offered an interesting explanation (9/24/05): "There was a huge 100,000 people [march] in Washington protesting the war in Iraq today, and I...feel like I've heard from all 100,000 upset that they did not get any coverage, and it's true they didn't get any coverage."
Note: See also Detroit News blog on this topic: http://info.detnews.com/weblog/index.cfm?blogid=5304
U.S. agency blocks photos of New Orleans dead
The U.S. government
agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it
does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered
from the flooded New Orleans area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency,
heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane,
rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out
to search for storm victims. "We have requested that no photographs
of the deceased be made by the media," the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed
response to a Reuters inquiry.
Though a Washington Post article mentioned this news a couple
days later, no
major media picked up this important Reuters story.
Over 70 Million American Adults Support New 9/11 Investigation
2006-05-22, Yahoo! News/PRWeb
A new Zogby poll reveals that less than half of the American public trusts the official 9/11 story or believes the attacks were adequately investigated. The poll is the first scientific survey of Americans' belief in a 9/11 cover up. Poll results indicate 42% believe there has indeed been a cover up. 45% think "Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success." According to Janice Matthews, executive director of 911truth.org, "These results are both heartening and frankly quite amazing, given the mainstream media's ongoing refusal to cover the most critical questions of that day. The collapse of WTC 7...was not even mentioned by the 9/11 Commission and has seldom been reported in the media. [The poll showed that] only 52% had known about it, but over 70% of this group believe it should have been investigated. 911truth.org is a coalition of researchers, journalists and victim family members working to expose and answer the hundreds of still unresolved questions concerning 9/11, especially the nearly 400 questions that the Family Steering Committee filed with the 9/11 Commission. Initially welcomed by the commissioners as their "road map"...the Commission ultimately ignored 80% of these issues. The victim families' most incisive questions remain unaddressed to this day.
Note: Zogby is a higly respected polling agency used by many major media organizations. Why did the media largely ignore the results of this astounding poll? A previous Zogby poll showed that half of New Yorkers believe US leaders had foreknowledge of the impending 9-11 attacks and 'consciously failed' to act. The highly revealing 9/11 documentary "Loose Change" has at times been ranked the #1 most popular of the many thousands of videos available on Google. In spite of the virtual media blackout, an ever increasing number of people are willing to ask the hard questions.
Top Journalists Prevented From Reporting Major News Stories
2006-05-07, Book - Into the Buzzsaw by Emmy Award Winning Kristina Borjesson
"The story was developing a momentum of its own, despite a virtual news blackout from the major media. Ultimately, public pressure forced the national newspapers into the fray. The Washington Post, the NY Times, and the LA Times published stories, but spent little time exploring the CIA's activities. Instead, my reporting became the focus. It was remarkable [my editor] Ceppos wrote, that the four Post reporters assigned to debunk the series "could not find a single significant factual error." A few months later, the Mercury News [due to intense CIA pressure] backed away from the story, publishing a long column by Ceppos apologizing for "shortcomings." The NY Times hailed Ceppos for "setting a brave new standard," and splashed his apology on their front page." (click
-- Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Webb, excerpted from landmark book Into The Buzzsaw
CNN Raises Serious Questions About 9/11 Over Several Days
[March 22] HAMMER: A Charlie Sheen shocker. Tonight, the actor`s stunning statements on 9/11. Maybe the airplanes did not take down the Twin Towers. And maybe the government is covering it all up. SHEEN: The more you look at stuff, especially specific incidents, specific events in and around the fateful day, it just -- it just raises a lot of questions.
HAMMER: Charlie Sheen, star of CBS`s successful sitcom, "Two and a Half Men", says point blank, 9/11, the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, this is all a cover up. [March 23] It's been pretty hard to believe the response we got today to the incredible story Showbiz Tonight broke last night, after Charlie Sheens' startling claims that the government may be covering up what really happened on 9/11. So many emails coming in...we've been really overwhelmed today. Between the emails, the blogs, the websites -- everybody is writing and talking about it. [March 27] HAMMER: Over the weekend I had the opportunity to sit down with Sharon stone. She commended Charlie Sheen for having the guts to speak his mind. SHARON STONE: I think you have to be brave enough to say how you feel and stand in the face of authority and say it. That`s why we have freedom of speech. HAMMER: Responses at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT absolutely overwhelming. The e-mails continue to flood in. They were coming in all weekend long. We were asking the question; do you agree there is a government cover-up of 9/11? More than 53,000 of you voted in our online poll. Eighty-three percent of you agreed and said yes; 17 percent of you said no.
Not to See the Fallen Is No Favor
2007-05-28, New York Times
While troop numbers are surging, the media that cover them are leaking away, worn out by the danger and expense of covering a war that refuses to end. Many of the journalists who are in Iraq have been backed into fortified corners, rarely venturing out to see what soldiers confront. And the remaining journalists who are embedded with the troops in Iraq — the number dropped to 92 in May from 126 in April — are risking more and more for less and less. Since last year, the military’s embedding rules require that journalists obtain a signed consent from a wounded soldier before the image can be published. Images that put a face on the dead, that make them identifiable, are simply prohibited. Ashley Gilbertson, a veteran freelance photographer who has been to Iraq seven times ... said the policy, as enforced, is coercive and unworkable. “They are not letting us cover the reality of war,” he added. “I think this has got little to do with the families or the soldiers and everything to do with politics.” Until last year, no permission was required to publish photographs of the wounded, but families had to be notified of the soldier’s injury first. Now, not only is permission required, but any image of casualties that shows a recognizable name or unit is off-limits. And memorials for the fallen in Iraq can no longer be shown, even when the unit in question invites coverage. James Glanz, a Baghdad correspondent ... for The New York Times ... said that “This tiny remaining corps of reporters becomes a greater and greater problem for the military brass because we are the only people preventing them from telling the story the way they want it told.”
Journalist in legal battle with military
2007-01-05, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The questions from the civilian spokesman at Fort Lewis started sounding suspicious to Sarah Olson. He had called to ask the Oakland freelance journalist about the accuracy of quotes in her story about Lt. Ehren Watada, which had appeared on the liberal Web site Truthout.org. As the telephone conversation progressed, Olson realized that the military was using her to fortify its case against Watada, whom it was prosecuting as the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. While Watada faces a court-martial next month for conduct unbecoming an officer, the U.S. military pursues Olson. Last month, military prosecutors subpoenaed the 31-year-old writer and radio journalist, asking her to appear at his court-martial, scheduled to begin next month, to verify what Watada said. If Olson doesn't testify, she faces six months in jail or a $500 fine and a felony charge for a story she was paid $300 to write. Olson doesn't want to be part of a legal action that she believes limits someone's free speech. She came to journalism six years ago ... hoping to create more places for dissenting or seldom-heard voices, not fewer. "Journalists should not be asked to participate in the prosecution of political speech," Olson said. [She] isn't being asked to reveal unpublished work. "What I don't understand is why they (prosecutors) can't get this information digitally," said Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice. Olson doesn't have a problem with journalists testifying in court. She doesn't want journalists to be coerced to testify in cases that could limit free speech.
Note: Truthout.org is one of the main sources of our information. Interesting that one of their reporters should be targeted in this way. For stories by 20 award-winning journalists on how the media is controlled, click here.
Ron Paul Leaps Past Bachmann in Latest Poll
2011-08-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Ignored by the media and dismissed by the Republican Party in general, liberty-minded Congressman Ron Paul leaped into third place today in the Gallup Presidential Nomination preference poll. Paul jumped over Michele Bachmann, relegating her to fourth-place in the current poll. Apparently the American people are starting to take notice, too. According to the most recent Rasmussen survey of likely voters, Ron Paul is a mere one point behind President Obama in a head-to-head matchup - a better result than any of the other GOP contenders received. This is despite the media blackout around Ron Paul's campaign, and despite the media's insistence that Ron Paul can't beat Obama. This poll suggests he can.
Note: We have seen a consistent and systematic campaign to block news reportage of candidates who are exposing the deeper political agenda like Congress members Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. For how the media is controlled to make this happen, click here.
A call to investigate the 2004 election
2006-06-26, Boston Globe
Nov. 2, 2004...the exit polls were predicting a victory for Senator John Kerry. But the counts that were being reported on TV bore little resemblance to the exit poll projections. In key state after state, tallies differed significantly from the projections. In every case, that shift favored President George W. Bush. Nationwide, exit polls projected a 51 to 48 percent Kerry victory, the mirror image of Bush's 51 to 48 percent win. The discrepancy [was] beyond the statistical margin of error. The media largely ignored this exit poll discrepancy. In Ohio, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio co-chairman of the 2004 Bush/Cheney Campaign...used the power of his office to affect turnout and thwart voters in heavily Democratic areas. Vote suppression and electoral irregularities in Ohio have been documented. In the words of DNC Chairman Howard Dean: "More than a quarter of all Ohio voters reported problems with their voting experience." 64 percent of Americans voted on direct recorded electronic voting machines or optical-scan systems. According to a September 2005 General Accountability Office investigation, such systems contained flaws that "could allow unauthorized personnel to disrupt operations or modify data and programs that are critical to...the integrity of the voting process." The report also indicated that for rural and small-town precincts...the difference between the exit poll results and the official count is three times greater in precincts where voters used machines than in precincts using paper ballots alone.
Court Upholds Ban on Talking to Reporters
2006-02-15, New York Times
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland did not violate the First Amendment rights of two Baltimore Sun reporters by prohibiting state employees from talking to them, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ruled yesterday. In November 2004, the governor's press office issued a directive instructing every employee of the state's executive branch not to speak to David Nitkin, a political reporter at The Sun, or Michael Olesker, a columnist who has since left the paper. "Do not return calls or comply with any requests," the directive said. The reason for the ban, it explained, was that the two reporters "are failing to objectively report on any issue dealing with" the governor's administration. In a radio appearance, Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, said the ban was "meant to have a chilling effect" on the reporters.
Reuters says US troops obstruct reporting of Iraq
The conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war reaching the American public, Reuters said on Wednesday. Reuters said U.S. forces were limiting the ability of independent journalists to operate. At least 66 journalists and media workers, most of them Iraqis, have been killed in the Iraq conflict since March 2003. U.S. Forces acknowledge killing three Reuters journalists. But the military say the soldiers were justified in opening fire. Reuters believes a fourth journalist working for the agency, who died in Ramadi last year, was killed by a U.S. sniper.
Hurricane Katrina - Our Experiences
2005-09-06, TruthOut/EMS Network
On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources...and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible... Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway. As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. A few of us...managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River... Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up...aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the f... freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water. The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans.
Note: Though this and other stunning accounts spread widely over the Internet and alternative news services, no major media would report this highly newsworthy account by to emergency medics caught in the disaster.
Opinion split over 9/11 report
2006-05-28, The Times Herald (a small Pennsylvania newspaper)
More than 40 percent of Americans believe that the 9/11 Commission Report that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is a cover-up, according to a recent poll. And nearly half surveyed said the attacks should be reinvestigated. In May, a Zogby International poll of adults found that 42 percent of adults polled believe the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission "concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence" that contradicts the official explanation of the attacks. The Zogby poll was sponsored by a leading activist group, 911 Truth.org, which is highly skeptical of the official report published in July 2004. "With half the country believing as we do, (the poll) is some form of vindication," said Jonathan Gold, a former member of 911 Truth's steering committee.
Gold, who lives in Plymouth Meeting, complained that major media has ignored the truth movement. "The media is not covering that fact that 45 percent of voting Americans believe we should have another investigation," he said. "It deserves attention."
Note: Small newspapers like this are rarely included in these summaries, but as only the Washington Post and Yahoo! News covered this key poll, this article is included here. Though the Yahoo! article was balanced, the Post article claimed that the poll (done by one of the most respected polling agencies in the world) was complete bunk. The Times Herald actually ran this on their front page! For lots more, see http://www.wantToKnow.info/911information
MTV's 'Spiritual Windows' mix faith with rock 'n' roll
2006-03-11, Chicago Sun-Times
It was about 10 seconds long and showed gondoliers rowing in the canals of Venice, Italy, while a Latin-sounding man's voice said: "Your heart is where your treasure is, and you must find your treasure in order to make sense of everything." And then more words appeared on the screen: "Everyday grace: MTV." In late January, MTV, the arbiter of all things hip, quietly launched a campaign of 24 of these little films. They call the campaign "Spiritual Windows." "We wanted to create little, short moments, almost breaths of peace, for the channel," Kevin Mackall, the...senior vice president of on-air promos for MTV explained. "There's a genuine appetite for spirituality these days." According to a little-known poll...53 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said "religion" was "extremely important" or "very important" to their daily lives. Only 14 percent said religion wasn't important to them at all. One spot, with the tag line "Consume mindfully," shows a Tibetan nun hauling two plastic garbage bags to the curb in front of her Buddhist temple. Then there's "Everyone," with a Chinese dragon dancing...accompanied by a voice-over that says, "We need other human beings to be human." And one of the longer spots...shows the sun setting over a pyramid in Egypt as the Brazilian magical realist author Paulo Coelho's voice announces, "The desert will give you an understanding of the world. How do I immerse myself in the desert? Listen to your heart." Mackall...insists the "Spiritual Windows" are no gimmick. "It really, truly is answering a call from our audience," he said. "Hopefully it's a first step into some other content like this."
Fury over gagging threat 'to spare Bush's blushes'
2005-11-24, London Times
The Attorney-General was accused last night of using the Official Secrets Act “big stick” to gag newspapers in an attempt to save President Bush from further embarrassment over Iraq. Lord Goldsmith threatened newspapers on Tuesday with prosecution under the Act if they published details from a record of a conversation between Mr Bush and Tony Blair from April last year, when the President is alleged to have suggested bombing al-Jazeera, the Arabic television network. A record of the conversation was leaked by a Cabinet Office official to the researcher of an MP, and details appeared in a newspaper this week.
Religious book points 9/11 finger at Bush
2006-09-01, Indianapolis Star/Associated Press
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has tumbled into a new dispute over the Sept. 11 attacks of five years ago. Its Presbyterian Publishing Corp. has issued "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11" (Westminster John Knox), containing perhaps the most incendiary accusations leveled by a writer for a mainline Protestant book house. Author David Ray Griffin tells of concluding that "the Bush-Cheney administration had orchestrated 9/11 in order to promote this (American) empire under the pretext of the so-called war on terror." Griffin has solid mainline credentials. He's an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and recently retired after a long teaching career at the United Methodists' Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology. Such a massive cover-up is possible, he explains, because people don't want to believe high officials would "launch an attack on their own citizens." Griffin also asserts claims about "abundant evidence" of Bush administration orchestration of 9/11 in a separate anthology from Westminster and also did so in two previous books for a small secular publisher. He also has spoken to campus and church groups.
He's a member of "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" along with Kevin Barrett, a Muslim instructor at the University of Wisconsin who is under fire for making similar accusations. The publisher's publicity contends that Griffin "applies Jesus' teachings to the current political administration" and puts forth "an abundance of evidence and disturbing questions that implicate the Bush administration."
Note: The article also tries to tear down Prof. Griffin. It is interesting to note that none of the top U.S. papers picked up this important Associated Press article.
Despite Budgets, Some Newsrooms Persist in Costly Fight for Records
2010-02-15, New York Times
Last fall Hearst, the big media company that owns newspapers, magazines and television stations, filed a lawsuit against the Texas governor’s office, seeking access to a clemency report in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 but whose guilt is now in doubt. It is the sort of case — Mr. Willingham may have been innocent, but there is no way of saving him now — that one might not expect to be taken up by a news organization amid a wrenching economic downturn that has forced a trimming of journalistic resources across the industry. But [some] big companies, like Hearst and The Associated Press, have been quietly ramping up their legal efforts, by doing more of the work in-house — and saving costs by not hiring outside lawyers — and being more aggressive in states where they can recoup legal fees and at the federal level, which also allows plaintiffs in such access cases to sue for legal fees when they win. At Hearst, the company’s top lawyer says it has never had more First Amendment lawsuits in courtrooms around the country than it does now. “I think we’d be the only media company that would say that we’re at an all-time high with the number of access cases we’re bringing,” said Eve Burton, vice president and general counsel at Hearst.
Waiting for the internet meltdown
2008-07-06, The Sunday Times (London)
The end of the internet is nigh - and in less than three years, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The problem is that the world is running out of internet addresses. More than 85% of the available addresses have already been allocated and the OECD predicts we will have run out completely by early 2011. These aren’t the normal web addresses you type into your browser’s window, and which were recently freed up by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Beneath these commonsense names lie numerical internet protocol (IP) addresses that denote individual devices connected to the internet. These form the foundation for all online communications, from e-mail and web pages to voice chat and streaming video. When the current IP address scheme was introduced in 1981 there were fewer than 500 computers connected to the internet. Its founders could be forgiven for thinking that allowing for a potential 4 billion would last for ever. However, less than 30 years later we’re rapidly running out. Every day thousands of new devices ranging from massive web servers down to individual mobile phones go online and gobble up more combinations and permutations. “Shortages are already acute in some regions,” says the OECD. “The situation is critical for the future of the internet economy.” As addresses run dry we will all feel the pinch: internet speeds will drop and new connections and services (such as internet phone calling) will either be expensive or simply impossible to obtain.
Ex-defence minister joins search for aliens
2007-10-27, Toronto Star (Toronto's leading newspaper)
Victor Viggiani has one of the toughest jobs in the universe. The retired elementary school principal spends his time lobbying reporters to blow a massive government cover-up wide open and reveal that extra-terrestrials have been visiting our planet for years. "I have no intention of convincing anybody of anything," said Viggiani, 59, director of media relations for Exopolitics Toronto, a non-profit educational group pushing for full disclosure of the truth about off-world beings. "What I do is point them to the evidence." Exopolitics is a field of study that has moved far beyond the question of whether we are alone in the universe. Its supporters believe there is enough evidence out there that they can state as fact that a) intelligent, sentient, ethical extra-terrestrials exist; b) they have made contact; and c) they probably have [many] lessons to teach us about sustainable energy sources and countless other matters of global importance. Viggiani [has] found [a] champion in Paul Hellyer, who was federal defence minister in Lester B. Pearson's cabinet. "I think the significance – and they are probably exaggerating it – but the significance is that I'm the first person of cabinet rank in the G8 to have come out openly and unequivocally and said the extra-terrestrial presence is real," said Hellyer. Stephen Bassett, executive director of the Paradigm Research Group in Washington, D.C., said the dearth of serious coverage has [him] suspecting whether publishers and national security forces are working together to keep things quiet. "The failure of the major media in the United States to cover the ET issue is one of the great failures of all journalism," he said.
Note: For powerful accounts of UFO sightings reported now and again by reliable sources, click here.
Spies Prep Reporters on Protecting Secrets
2007-09-27, New York Sun
Frustrated by press leaks about its most sensitive electronic surveillance work, the secretive National Security Agency convened an unprecedented series of off-the-record "seminars" in recent years to teach reporters about the damage caused by such leaks and to discourage reporting that could interfere with the agency's mission to spy on America's enemies. The half-day classes featured high-ranking NSA officials highlighting objectionable passages in published stories and offering "an innocuous rewrite" that officials said maintained the "overall thrust" of the articles but omitted details that could disclose the agency's techniques, according to course outlines obtained by The New York Sun. Dubbed "SIGINT 101," using the NSA's shorthand for signals intelligence, the seminar was presented "a handful of times" between approximately 2002 and 2004. The syllabi make clear that the sessions, which took place at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., were conceived of ... as part of a campaign to limit the damage caused by leaks of sensitive intelligence. During one sensitive discussion, journalists were to be told they could not take any notes. The exact substitutions of language that the NSA proposed were deleted from the syllabi released to the Sun under the Freedom of Information Act. In 2005, following the publication of a New York Times story on a secret program for warrantless wiretapping ... Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss crusaded against leaks at the CIA and later told a Senate committee that he hoped reporters would be called before grand juries to identify their sources. Attorney General Gonzales also discussed the "possibility" of prosecuting journalists who wrote stories based on leaked intelligence. The syllabi, which are marked as drafts, list presenters including the director of the NSA at the time, General Michael Hayden, [now director of the CIA].
Media ownership study ordered destroyed
2006-09-14, MSNBC/Associated Press
The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage. Adam Candeub, now a law professor at Michigan State University, said senior managers at the agency ordered that "every last piece" of the report be destroyed. "The whole project was just stopped - end of discussion," he said. Candeub was a lawyer in the FCC's Media Bureau at the time the report was written and communicated frequently with its authors, he said. The report, written by two economists in the FCC's Media Bureau, analyzed a database of 4,078 individual news stories broadcast in 1998. The analysis showed local ownership of television stations adds almost five and one-half minutes of total news to broadcasts and more than three minutes of "on-location" news. The conclusion is at odds with FCC arguments made when it voted in 2003 to increase the number of television stations a company could own in a single market. It was part of a broader decision liberalizing ownership rules. At that time, the agency pointed to evidence that "commonly owned television stations are more likely to carry local news than other stations."
Note: For an excellent two-page summary of media censorship, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/mediacover-up
The war on free press
2006-05-24, Boston Globe
JOURNALISTS. Our attorney general is coming for us. On Sunday, Alberto Gonzales told ABC's "This Week" that he would consider prosecuting reporters who get their hands on classified information and break news about President Bush's terrorist surveillance program. "There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility. We have an obligation to enforce those laws." Asked...if The New York Times should be prosecuted for its initial story on government surveillance without warrants, Gonzales said, "We are engaged now in an investigation about what would be the appropriate course of action." This is the same administration that...has already set the presidential record in claiming the authority to circumvent the law in more than 750 cases. Gonzales...issued the infamous "torture memo" that advised President Bush to throw the Geneva Convention into the trash can for detainees in the war on terror. Gonzales...helped the administration block and drag its feet on the release of presidential papers from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Gonzales helped to withhold or delay highly classified documents from the president's own 9/11 Commission and from...the energy task force of Vice President Dick Cheney. The actions of Gonzales show how little the Bush administration promotes the rights of the press. With every pronouncement, freedom is disappearing, in incremental steps.
"Double Crystal Fusion" Could Pave the Way for Portable Device
2006-02-13, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a tabletop accelerator that produces nuclear fusion at room temperature, providing confirmation of an earlier experiment conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The device, which uses two opposing crystals to generate a powerful electric field, could potentially lead to a portable, battery-operated neutron generator for a variety of applications, from non-destructive testing to detecting explosives and scanning luggage at airports. The device is essentially a tabletop particle accelerator. At its heart are two opposing “pyroelectric” crystals that create a strong electric field when heated or cooled. The device is filled with deuterium gas — a more massive cousin of hydrogen with an extra neutron in its nucleus. The electric field rips electrons from the gas, creating deuterium ions and accelerating them into a deuterium target on one of the crystals. When the particles smash into the target, neutrons are emitted, which is the telltale sign that nuclear fusion has occurred. The new study also verified the fundamental physics behind the original experiment. This suggests that pyroelectric crystals are in fact a viable means of producing nuclear fusion, and that commercial applications may be closer than originally thought.
Note: Why was this fascinating news not reported in the major media? For more, see our New Energy Information Center at http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergyinformation
Judge dismisses New York Times libel suit
2007-01-12, MSNBC News/Associate Press
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a libel lawsuit filed against The New York Times by a former Army scientist once identified as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton in Alexandria dismissed the case a week after lawyers for the Times argued that Steven Hatfill should be considered a public figure under libel law, which makes it much more difficult for a public figure to win a judgment than a private citizen. The judge did not explain his ruling in the order issued Friday. Hatfill had claimed that a series of columns falsely implicated him as the culprit in the anthrax attacks. Kristof said all along that he never intended to accuse Hatfill but simply wanted to prod a dawdling FBI investigation. He initially referred to Hatfill in his columns only as “Mr. X,” and identified him by name only after Hatfill held a news conference to denounce rumors that had been swirling around him. Hatfill argued that the columns contained enough information about him that people could deduce his identity. Five people were killed and 17 sickened by anthrax that had been mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The case remains unsolved.
Note: There is much more here than meets the eye. This article fails to mention some key facts. As reported by the highly respected Federation of American Scientists, "the New York Times invoked the 'state secrets' doctrine last month in a motion to dismiss the libel suit brought against it by Steven J. Hatfill." What secrets would be divulged? Could this have anything to do with the many microbiologists who were murdered or died under mysterious circumstances within months of the anthrax scares? For more, click here.
Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC
2005-09-03, Washington Post
NBC's levee broke
and Kanye West flooded through with a tear about the federal response in New
Orleans during the network's live concert fundraiser for victims of Hurricane
Katrina. The rapper was among the celebs and singers participating in the one-hour
special, produced by NBC News. West was not scheduled to perform; he was one
of the blah, blah, blahers, who would read from scripts prepared by the network.
West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it
says, "They're looting." You see a white family, it says, "They're
looking for food." And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal
help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about
it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because
it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation,
so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest
amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my
people down there. Parent company NBC Universal said in a statement, "Kanye
West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his
opinions in no way represent the views of the networks." West's comments
would be cut from the West Coast feed, an NBC spokeswoman told The TV Column.
Public Broadcasting Targeted By House
2005-06-10, Washington Post
A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government's financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children's educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster." In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which passes federal funds to public broadcasters -- starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million. In all, the cuts would represent the most drastic cutback of public broadcasting since Congress created the nonprofit CPB in 1967. The CPB funds are particularly important for small TV and radio stations and account for about 15 percent of the public broadcasting industry's total revenue.
For Twitter, Iowa GOP caucuses to test its impact
2011-12-29, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican running for president, has something that his rivals in the Iowa caucus don't have: a positive image on social media. While Paul gets less mainstream media coverage than nearly any other candidate, he gets far more positive mentions on Twitter and blogs than any of his GOP rivals, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That's saying something, as the study found that political commentary on the microblogging service, based in San Francisco, is harsher and generally more negative than on other media platforms. Along with Barack Obama, Paul had one of the strongest online presences during the last presidential campaign. But little of that translated into votes during Paul's campaign four years ago. One reason for Paul's positive social media profile may be that he gets so little mainstream media coverage, said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Only former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum receives less traditional media coverage. "The mainstream media doesn't deem them to [be] viable candidates, so they don't get as intense [a] vetting process as the others," Jurkowitz said.
Note: As mentioned in the article above, Ron Paul has been largely ignored by the media. This is likely at least partly due to his strong advocacy of abolition of the Federal Reserve. For a rare media interview presenting Ron Paul in a positive light, see him on the Jay Leno show at this link.
The War Endures, but Where’s the Media?
2008-03-24, New York Times
Five years later, the United States remains at war in Iraq, but there are days when it would be hard to tell from a quick look at television news, newspapers and the Internet. Media attention on Iraq began to wane after the first months of fighting, but as recently as the middle of last year, it was still the most-covered topic. Since then, Iraq coverage by major American news sources has plummeted, to about one-fifth of what it was last summer, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The drop in coverage parallels ... a decline in public interest. Surveys by the Pew Research Center show that more than 50 percent of Americans said they followed events in Iraq “very closely” in the months just before and after the war began, but that slid to an average of 40 percent in 2006, and has been running below 30 percent since last fall. The three broadcast networks’ nightly newscasts devoted more than 4,100 minutes to Iraq in 2003 and 3,000 in 2004, before leveling off at about 2,000 a year, according to Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the broadcasts and posts detailed breakdowns at tyndallreport.com. And by the last months of 2007, he said, the broadcasts were spending half as much time on Iraq as earlier in the year. Since the start of last year, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a part of the nonprofit Pew Research Center, has tracked reporting by several dozen major newspapers, cable stations, broadcast television networks, Web sites and radio programs. Iraq accounted for 18 percent of their prominent news coverage in the first nine months of 2007, but only 9 percent in the following three months, and 3 percent so far this year. And reporting on events in Iraq has fallen by more than two-thirds from a year ago.
Note: For a powerful summary of major media censorship, click here.
Olbermann: Threatening letter no joke
The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, The New York Post, may have just impeded an FBI investigation into terroristic threats. I know this because I was a recipient. The Bureau asked us not to report any of the details so that the person or persons responsible would not know any of the threats had been received by any of the targets -- and we of course complied. I still cannot confirm many of the specifics -- again in order to make the jobs of the FBI and the New York Police Department a little easier. But I find it necessary to respond to the genuinely shocking tone with which Murdoch's paper reported the event, and the string of factual errors they made either through negligence or a premeditated disregard for the truth. “Powder Puff Spooks Keith," reads the headline. The article then gives the details of the event which we were asked not to divulge. Also, a New York Post reporter attempted to gain access to me by falsely identifying herself as a friend of mine. And, most relevantly, the New York Post never called NBC News or MSNBC seeking any comment. They would have been told that the FBI had requested we try to keep this quiet. But of course that would have interfered with the New York Post making fun of a terror threat. It's almost melodramatic to ask why the New York Post would choose the side of domestic terrorism, rather than choose the side of the FBI. It's interesting too that Murdoch's paper was able to get a jump on this story so quickly -- nearly as quickly, as if they'd known it was coming.
Note: MSNBC's prime time news anchor Keith Olbermann is one of the very few in the media who have had the courage to report some of the major cover-ups going on with elections, 9/11 and more. Isn't it interesting that he would be the target of an anthrax threat and that no media made a serious attempt to report any of this?
Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites
2006-09-26, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s top newspapers)
China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices. The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran. Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon's annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat. "After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line," Defense News said. The document said that China could blind American satellites with a ground-based laser firing a beam of light to prevent spy photography as they pass over China. According to senior American officials: "China not only has the capability, but has exercised it." American satellites like the giant Keyhole craft have come under attack "several times" in recent years.
Note: Why are so few major media picking up this important news? A Google news search shows that the New York Sun is the only major media to have reported this news in the U.S.
Lawmaker Wants Feds to Probe N.Y. Times
2006-06-26, CBS News/Associated Press
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists. Rep. Peter King cited The New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records. "We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press. When the paper chose to publish the story, it quoted the executive editor, Bill Keller, as saying editors had listened closely to the government's arguments for withholding the information, but "remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data...is a matter of public interest." After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Treasury officials obtained access to a vast database [which] handles financial message traffic from thousands of financial institutions in more than 200 countries. Gonzales said last month that he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security. He also said the government would not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation. He said the First Amendment right of a free press should not be absolute when it comes to national security.
Note: The top secret Pentagon Papers released by the New York Times in 1971 were pivotal in exposing the manipulations of the military-industrial complex with regards to the Vietnam War. National security was invoked to try to stop their publication. National security is being used and abused now to keep these same manipulations from being exposed. For a powerful two-page summary written by a highly decorated U.S. general on abuse of national security, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/warcoverup
Martin Luther King shooting tapes released online
2006-04-05, London Times
Thirty-eight years after he was assassinated on a motel balcony, photographs, recordings and police files that describe the death of Martin Luther King Jr. have been placed on the internet. On yesterday's anniversary of Dr King's death, the Shelby County Register’s office in Memphis, Tennessee, made available hours of tapes, including hurried police calls from the scene of the crime, hundreds of photographs and thousands of pages of files and transcripts of the trial of James Earl Ray, the man found guilty of the shooting. Dr King was...in the city, and under police surveillance, trying to lead a peaceful protest of sanitation workers. The subsequent hour of calls, edited to 18 minutes on the website, show the rapid pace of events that later became the US Government's case against Ray, who first admitted shooting Dr King before recanting and insisting for the rest of his life, with the support of the King family, that he was framed for the crime. Ray...died in jail in 1998 after four investigations, including a review by the Department of Justice, failed to find evidence to support a theory that Dr King was shot on the orders of a Memphis bar-owner.
Note: This article fails to mention a key fact. At a 1999 court trial held in Memphis, the family of Rev. King accused elements of the U.S. government of complicity in King's death. After one month of hearings from 70 witnesses, a jury composed of six white and six black jurors took only one hour to find the U.S. government, the state of Tennessee, the city of Memphis, the Memphis police, and several individuals guilty of murdering King. Yet the mainstream media completely boycotted this trial. Thankfully, CBC (Canada's PBS) gave it some coverage. To see a six-minute CBC clip of this highly revealing trial, click here.
Brits sent 400,000 meals but U.S. didn't use them
2005-10-14, San Francisco Chronicle/Washington Post
In the early days of September, as military helicopters plucked desperate New Orleanians from rooftops and Red Cross shelters swelled with the displaced, nearly 400,000 packaged meals landed on a tarmac at Little Rock Air Force Base and were whisked by tractor-trailer to Louisiana. But most of the $5.3 million worth of food never reached the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Instead, because of fears about mad cow disease and a long-standing ban on British beef, the rations routinely consumed by British soldiers have sat stacked in an Arkansas warehouse. Now, with some of the food set to expire in early 2006 and U.S. taxpayers spending $16,000 a month to store the meals, the State Department is quietly looking for a needy country to take them. No fewer than six federal agencies or departments had a role in accepting, distributing and rejecting the food.
Note: This unbelievable news was first reported by the London Times and WantToKnow.info a month prior to this recent article. Why didn't the US press report it back then?
The President's 'Pit Bull'
2005-10-04, Los Angeles Times
After they left Texas for Washington following the 2000 presidential election, Miers assumed such an insider role that in 2001 it was she who handed Bush the crucial "presidential daily briefing" hinting at terrorist plots against America just a month before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Note: No other major media reported this significant fact on the topic of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. The respected Editor and Publisher had this to say: "On its front page Tuesday, The New York Times published a photo of new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers going over a briefing paper with President George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch 'in August 2001,' the caption reads. USA Today and the Boston Globe carried the photo labeled simply '2001,' but many other newspapers ran the picture in print or on the Web with a more precise date: Aug. 6, 2001. The PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing] was headed 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,' and notes, among other things, FBI information indicating 'patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks.' " For the entire article, click here.
Fiscal Year 2005 U.S. Government Financial Statement
2006-03-01, Government Accountability Office
For the ninth consecutive year, certain material weaknesses in internal control and in selected accounting and financial reporting practices resulted in conditions that continued to prevent GAO from being able to provide the Congress and American people an opinion as to whether the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government are fairly stated in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Until the problems discussed in GAO's audit report on the U.S. government's consolidated financial statements are adequately addressed, they will...hinder the federal government from having reliable financial information to operate in an economical, efficient, and effective manner. The cost to operate the federal government--increased to $760 billion in fiscal year 2005 from $616 billion in fiscal year 2004. This represents an increase of about $144 billion or 23 percent. The federal government's gross debt was about $8 trillion as of September 30, 2005. The federal government's fiscal exposures now total more than $46 trillion, representing close to four times gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal year 2005 and up from about $20 trillion...in 2000.
Note: For the full 20-page GAO report on the sad state of U.S. government finances, click here. For the text-only version,
click here. The GAO is one of the few branches of government which works hard to prevent corruption. Why didn't this devastating report get any press coverage? Why does the media fail to inform the public that the Pentagon cannot account for literally trillions of dollars? (see CBS article on this) For possible answers, see our highly informative mass media summary.
Media to Challenge Publication Ban in Canadian Terrorism Cases
2006-06-26, ABC News/Associated Press
Four media organizations asked a judge on Monday to hear arguments on overturning a media blackout in the cases of the suspects charged with plotting to bomb buildings in southern Ontario. The Associated Press, the New York Times, the Toronto Star and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are challenging a publication ban a judge has imposed on courtroom proceedings for the 17 suspects arrested in the alleged plot. Police announced June 2 that authorities had foiled a terrorist plot, saying the men had obtained three tons of ammonium nitrate, three times what was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. Officials have alleged that the suspects were inspired by al-Qaida, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, has named Canada as one of the top five countries to be attacked. Canada's Criminal Code allows judges to institute bans against publishing details from court hearings in an effort to protect the suspect's right to a fair trial.
Note: As with 9/11 and other recent terror acts, there are many problems with the official story here, yet the judge is trying to keep this information from the public supposedly "to protect the suspect's right to a fair trial."
House overwhelmingly backs Israel in vote
2006-07-20, Houston Chronicle/Associated Press
The House, displaying a foreign affairs solidarity lacking on issues like Iraq, voted overwhelmingly Thursday to support Israel in its confrontation with Hezbollah guerrillas. The resolution, which was passed on a 410-8 vote, also condemns enemies of the Jewish state. House Republican leader John Boehner cited Israel's "unique relationship" with the United States as a reason for his colleagues to swiftly go on record supporting Israel in the latest flare-up of violence in the Mideast. Yet as Republican and Democratic leaders rally behind the measure in rare bipartisan fashion, a handful of lawmakers have quietly expressed reservations that the resolution was too much the result of a powerful lobbying force and attempts to court Jewish voters.
Note: It's interesting to note that very few major media picked up this revealing story.
Engineers Create Vehicle that Travels from Vancouver to Halifax on a Gallon of Gas
A team of engineering students from The University of British Columbia has built a vehicle so efficient that it could travel from Vancouver to Halifax on a gallon of gasoline. The futuristic-looking, single-occupancy vehicle won top prize at a recent international competition, marking the UBC team's fourth win in as many years. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage Competition took place June 9 in Marshall, Michigan. Forty teams from Canada, the U.S. and India competed in designing and building the most fuel-efficient vehicle. 'We achieved this level of efficiency by optimizing many aspects of the vehicle design, including: aerodynamics, light-weight construction, a small displacement engine (54 cc), and conservative driving habits,' says Team Captain Kevin Li. The UBC design...achieved 3,145 miles per US gallon. Supermileage...is an annual student competition that challenges students to design, build, and drive a single person vehicle (powered solely by a gasoline engine) to achieve the best fuel mileage possible. The vehicle must be powered by only an internal combustion engine, with no assistance from electric motors or human propulsion.
Note: Why don't we see articles like this in the mainstream media? Even if this vehicle is ultra lightweight and has a top speed of only 30 mph, why can't we design heavier, faster cars which get just 10% of what this car got? For answers to this question, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/050711carmileageaveragempg
'Deep Throat' Reportedly Comes Forward
A former FBI official claims he was "Deep Throat," the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, his family said Tuesday. W. Mark Felt, 91, was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s. His identity was revealed Tuesday by Vanity Fair magazine, and family members said they believe his account is true.
Note: What they failed to investigate is the strong possibility that "Deep Throat" made his revelations on orders from Henry Kissinger. Kissinger (Nixon's Secretary of State) and Nixon are reported to have formed a tenuous alliance to eliminate J. Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI for almost 50 years. Until his death in May of 1972, Hoover had been arguably the most powerful man in the country for many years. With Hoover out of the way, in June 1972 Kissinger arranged to have Nixon pushed out by setting up the Watergate disclosures through "Deep Throat," according to a well researched book by Leonard Horowitz, Emerging Viruses. Kissinger remains powerful to this day, as evidenced by the personal experience of website founder Fred Burks, who worked as a top US State Department interpreter. See also, excellent article in Slate.
US now ranks 53rd in World Press Freedom Index
2006-10-27, Christian Science Monitor
The news media advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders released their fifth annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index this week. It shows that the United States has dropped 9 places since last year, and is now ranked 53rd, alongside Botswana, Croatia and Tonga. The authors of the report say that the steady erosion of press freedom in countries like the US, France and Japan (two other countries that slipped significantly on the index) is "very alarming." The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of "national security" to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his "war on terrorism." The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognize the media's right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism. Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj...has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the organization bases the index on responses to 50 questions about press freedom asked of journalists, free press organizations, researchers, human rights activists and others.
Note: It is quite interesting that the Washington Post article fails to mention the low ranking of the U.S. in the title of its article and only mentions the #53 rank in the second half of their article on the subject.
Five myths about war and terrorism
2006-11-01, Ode Magazine (Wonderfully inspiring magazine), Nov. 2006 Issue
If we believe what we see in the media, the world is on fire. The impression we get is that conflicts are increasing all around the globe while the stockpile of deadly weapons constantly expands. All this is very troubling—and quite untrue. The exhaustive Human Security Report offers a very different picture of our world. The 2005 report finds clear evidence that the world is becoming a more peaceful place. Myth 1: War is spreading. Yes, the number of armed conflicts increased sharply after World War II, but has just as sharply declined since 1991. In the last 15 years...the number of armed conflicts and wars actually fell at least 40 percent. The number of genocides and political murders declined by no less than 80 percent. In 1950, the average conflict claimed the lives of 38,000 people, while in 2002 that figure was 600, a decline of 98 percent. Myth 2: The weapons arsenal is increasing. International arms trade fell 33 percent between 1990 and 2000, and as a percentage of the value of the world economy, defence spending declined from 4.2 to 2.7 percent. Myth 3: Civilians are the vast majority of war victims. In the most recent wars, civilians account for somewhere between 30 and 60 percent of deaths. Myth 4: Women are the primary victims of war. War continues to be waged by men, against men. Ninety percent of the victims are men. Myth 5: Terrorism is the biggest threat in the world. Over the past 30 years, an average of slightly less than 3,000 people have died at the hands of terrorists each year. The chance of being a victim of terrorism remains exceptionally small. Between alleged and real threats, there is often little correlation.
US rice farmers sue Bayer CropScience over GM rice
Rice farmers in Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and California have sued Bayer CropScience, alleging its genetically modified rice has contaminated the crop. The farmers alleged that the unit of Germany's Bayer AG
failed to prevent its genetically modified rice, which has not been approved for human consumption, from entering the food chain. As a result, they said, Japan and the European Union have placed strict limits on U.S. rice imports and U.S. rice prices have dropped dramatically. U.S. agriculture and food safety authorities learned on July 31 that Bayer's unapproved rice had been found in commercial bins in Arkansas and Missouri. While the United States is a small rice grower, it is one of the world's largest exporters, sending half of its crop to foreign buyers. Japan, the largest importer of U.S. rice, suspended imports of U.S. long-grain rice a week ago. U.S. rice growers are responsible for about 12 percent of world rice trade.
Note: Why did no major media report this important story in the U.S.? Only the Christian Science Monitor mentioned it. The media rarely reports anything negative about genetically modified food. To learn about the dangers of GMOs in the food you eat: http://www.WantToKnow.info/deception10pg
Former CNN anchor says serious news at risk
2006-01-26, Palm Beach Daily News
"Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news," said Aaron Brown, whose four-year period as anchor of CNN's NewsNight ended in November, when network executives gave his job to Anderson Cooper in a bid to push the show's ratings closer to front-runner Fox News. "Television is the most perfect democracy," Brown said. "You sit there with your remote control and vote." The remotes click to another channel when serious news airs, but when the media covers the scandals surrounding Laci Peterson, the Runaway Bride or Michael Jackson, "there are no clicks then." With the departure from the screen of the "titans" -- Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather -- who "resisted the temptations of their bosses to go for the ratings grab, it will be years before an anchorman or anchorwoman will have the clout to fight these battles," he said. He's shocked "by how unkind our world has become." E-mail and talk radio appear to have given people the license to say anything, regardless of how cruel or false it may be. Many Americans on the left and the right aren't interested in the truth, but simply want news that confirms their viewpoints, he said.
Conspiracy theories propel AM radio show into Top 10
2006-11-12, San Francisco Chronicle
There was a time when "Coast to Coast AM," the late-night syndicated talk radio show dedicated to paranormal activities and political conspiracies, didn't get much respect. That all changed when millions from the mainstream met up with the after-midnight fringe folks to make "Coast to Coast AM" a top-rated radio show. George Noory...has hosted the program on weeknights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. PST full time since 2003. The show...was taking calls about Sept. 11 conspiracy theories just two weeks after the terrorist attacks. "Coast to Coast AM"...can now reach upward of 3 million listeners through 500 stations each week. "There's absolutely a growing conspiracy climate," said Noory. "People are tired of being misled and confused from taking information directly from a government official." Noory, 56, took over "Coast to Coast AM" when the show's founder, Art Bell, retired. Bell, who has come in and out of retirement several times over the years, now hosts the program on weekends from his new home in the Philippines. Judging by the 300-plus phone calls and 1,000 e-mails the show receives on an average night...listeners include liberals, conservatives, senior citizens in San Francisco, college students in South Carolina and even soldiers in Iraq. Talkers magazine, the trade publication that tracks radio ratings, has Noory in the top 10 of its "Top Talk Radio Audiences," alongside Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly [and] Sean Hannity. "Coast to Coast" has on occasion scooped major media outlets like the New York Times and CNN, according to Noory. "We broke the story on the Dubai ports," said Noory. "We broke the story on SARS, and we were the first to report on the bird flu pandemic."