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
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.