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Kevin Shelley's Resignation &
Networks Refuse "Controversial" Ads
Feb. 7, 2005
Dear friends,

The corporations who control the media powerfully shape public opinion. The below New York Times article describes how four major TV networks refused to run "controversial" advertisements opposing the limitation of rewards in medical malpractice lawsuits. Both through limiting advertisements and through biased reporting on critical issues, corporate ownership of the media can sway public opinion to promote their own agenda. See for numerous stories by award-winning reporters detailing blatant media manipulation and censoring.

Another important example of which few people are aware is the recent media targeting of California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. In May of 2004, Shelley called for a criminal investigation of voting machine behemoth Diebold because the company had lied to state officials. "There was a wholesale breakdown in the [primary] election last March," he said. "Untold thousands of individuals were turned away and denied their right to vote because the voting equipment couldn't start." So many of the machines malfunctioned or ran unapproved software that Shelley took the extraordinary step of decertifying them. (See CBS report on this at ).

In early August, (click here and scroll down about 3/4 of the page to see the SF Chronicle's timeline and accusations), this man who should have been a hero for championing electronic voting machines which are fully accountable, instead became the target of a brutal media campaign accusing him of allegations which could be applied to many politicians. He recently resigned as a result of the almost continual barrage of negative headline stories in the California media. Is it possible that powerful Diebold and the money interests behind them wanted to teach Shelley and others a lesson? Could they have wielded their influence to manipulate his departure? Read the summary at to see just how much power Diebold holds. Please help to play the role at which the media is sadly failing by spreading this message.

With very best wishes,
Fred Burks for

4 Networks Reject Ad Opposing Bush on Lawsuits

Published: February 1, 2005

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 - 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 group wanted to run the spots just before Mr. Bush's State of the Union address on Wednesday. But networks said the advertisement violated their standards for advertising on controversial issues.

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." [Editorial Note: Doesn't the media promote controversy and sensationalism on other topics?]

As a general rule, the policy says, "time will not be sold on NBC Network facilities for the presentation of views on controversial issues." The policy does not apply to candidates for public office in election years.

ABC, CBS and the Fox Broadcasting Company said they had also turned down the advertisement.

But CNN plans to run the advertisement.

"We will be running the ad this week," said Jennifer Toner, a spokeswoman for CNN advertising sales, a unit of Time Warner. "It cleared our internal vetting process. We accept advocacy advertising. Our viewers understand that such ads may have a slant."

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. In the television advertisement, Dylan Malone of Everett, Wash., says his son Ian suffered severe brain damage at birth, as a result of "medical errors," and died before his fifth birthday.

"President Bush is siding with the insurance, H.M.O. and drug companies, trying to end what they call frivolous lawsuits, while 100,000 Americans like Ian die each year because of medical errors," Mr. Malone says in the spot. "Mr. President, let's fix the health care mess, but please stop blaming the victims. My son's life was not frivolous."

In an interview, Mr. Malone said that he had received more than $1 million in a settlement with a clinic where his son was born. But, he said, much of the money was used to care for the child, who died last May.

Business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the United States Chamber of Commerce, plan media and lobbying campaigns in support of Mr. Bush's proposals on civil litigation.

For other reliable, revealing articles on the media cover-up:

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