Project Censored - Page 5

Annual media watchdog list critiques coverage of whistleblowers and wealth gaps -- and the notion of journalistic objectivity


In her 2012 book, Occupy Money, Kennedy wrote that tradespeople, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers along the chain of production rely on credit. Her figures were initially drawn from the German economy, but Ellen Brown of the Web of Debt and Global Research said she found similar patterns in the US.

This "hidden interest" has sapped the growth of other industries, she said, lining the pockets of the financial sector.

So if interest is stagnating so many industries, why would journalists avoid the topic?

Few economists have echoed her views, and few experts emerged to back up her assertions. Notably, she's a professor in an architectural school, with no formal credentials in economics.

From her own website, she said she became an "expert" in economics "through her continuous research and scrutiny."

Without people in power pushing the topic, McChesney said that a mainstream journalist would be seen as going out on a limb.

"The reporters raise an issue the elites are not raising themselves, then you're ideological, have an axe to grind, sort of a hack," he said. "It makes journalism worthless on pretty important issues."

9. Icelanders Vote to Include Commons in Their Constitution

In 2012, Icelandic citizens voted in referendum to change the country's 1944 constitution. When asked, "In the new constitution, do you want natural resources that are not privately owned to be declared national property?" its citizens voted 81 percent in favor.

Project Censored says this is important for us to know, but in the end, US journalism is notably American-centric. Even the Nieman Watchdog, a foundation for journalism at Harvard University, issued a report in 2011 citing the lack of reporting on a war the US funneled over $4 trillion into over the past decade, not to mention the cost in human lives.

If we don't pay attention to our own wars, why exactly does Project Censored think we'd pay attention to Iceland?

"The constitutional reforms are a direct response to the nation's 2008 financial crash," Project Censored wrote, "when Iceland's unregulated banks borrowed more than the country's gross domestic product from international wholesale money markets."

Solutions-based journalism rears its head again, and the idea is that the US has much to learn from Iceland, but even Gladstone was dubious.

"Iceland is being undercovered, goddamnit! Where is our Iceland news?" she joked with us. "Certainly I agree with some of this list, Bradley Manning was covered badly, I was sad the tax haven story didn't get more coverage. But when has anyone cared about Iceland?"

10. A "Culture of Cruelty" along Mexico–US Border

The plight of Mexican border crossings usually involves three types of stories in US press: deaths in the stretch of desert beyond the border, the horrors of drug cartels, and heroic journeys of border crossings by sympathetic workers. But a report released a year ago by the organization No More Deaths snags the 10th spot for overlooked stories in Project Censored.

The report asserts that people arrested by Border Patrol while crossing were denied water and told to let their sick die. No More Deaths conducted more than 12,000 interviews to form the basis of its study in three Mexican cities: Nacos, Nogales and Agua Prieta. The report cites grossly ineffective oversight from the Department of Homeland Security. This has received some coverage, from Salon showcasing video of Border Patrol agents destroying jugs of water meant for crossers to a recent New York Times piece citing a lack of oversight for Border Patrol's excessive force.

The ACLU lobbied the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to call international attention to the plight of these border crossers at the hands of US law enforcement.

If ever an issue flew under the radar, this is it.


was part of the process to censor the real story?

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 01, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

"Manning's career was sacrificed for sending 700,000 classified documents about the Iraq war to WikiLeaks," writes Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez. "But the media coverage focused largely on Manning's trial and subsequent change in gender identity."

First, a factual correction: of the 734,885 documents Manning passed to WikiLeaks, not all were classified and many had nothing to do with Iraq.

More to the point, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the media focused on Manning instead of his leaks. Few of those disclosures had lasting newsworthiness. As Denver Nicks observes in his biography of Manning, "The administration and its cheerleaders sought to downplay the significance of the leaks by highlighting how benign they ultimately were, and they were right. … Taken on the whole, the logs were profoundly, troublingly boring, of interest primarily to journalists and historians." The Iraq War Logs, Nicks goes on, "confirmed the narrative of a complex and messy war that had been widely reported in the mainstream press. … For the most part the leaks merely confirmed what was already assumed or asserted."

Additionally, Manning's legal defense team during the lengthy pretrial and trial phases of his court-martial kept the focus on the accused, not on the substance of his leaks. This included Manning's gender identity conflict, which was introduced repeatedly into the proceedings by defense lawyers over the government's consistent objections that it wasn't relevant.

Considering its lack of ongoing significance and dearth of fresh developments, the Manning case was covered more than adequately by news organizations worldwide. If journalism is the first draft of history, then naturally once that draft is finished, journalists move on to other stories and leave the final telling to historians. And leave the second-guessing, it seems, to Project Censored.

Posted by Alan Kurtz on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

I think releasing state secrets is OK in general.

The people who made the big deal about Manning's private life were; Manning, his lawyers, idiotic liberals... you know, like the ones you find writing at SFBG.

Manning's sexual identity was a huge issue for SF progressobots, you know the hysterics around the pride parade?

Now it's not an issue when they progressives were in hysterics over it?

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

If banks were required to accrue operation equity (retained interest payments) equivalent to about 35-40%, appended with binding regulatory policies, then obfuscated hyperinflation, equivalent to approximately 300% of GDP, might be relieved instead of waiting for crisis, translated economic shock.

Posted by Awayneramsey on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

What was that incoherent drivel?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

Basically what he's saying, is that if banks/lenders were required to keep a lot more real cash on hand to sufficiently protect against losses on loans that they have given out, then economic bubbles would be far less likely to grow too large and go haywire, to then collapse the global economic system. This is because defaults on loans, mortgages, and other credit debt could more easily and quickly be covered by that better store of cash on hand.

Currently banks/lenders can lend out at least 10 times more money than they keep on hand; and often they manage to crazily lend out orders of magnitude more (the latter which is totally insane and amounts to out-of-control mass counterfeiting using the computer hard drives of banks as virtual printing presses that endlessly churn out worthless 'money' in the form of new debt).

So what guest is getting at, is that if banks/lenders were required to back each dollar that they lend with at least 35 to 40 cents in their own holdings, the economy would be a lot less crazy and probably not fall apart every few decades or so.

Personally, I don't agree, because we are reaching the end of the viability of -any- economic system based on perpetual growth and new money/interest creation. Even far more sensible money lending for interest is now doomed, to both fail economically, and to trash the planet environmentally.

We need to end interest based money creation.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

@ Eric Brooks: Relevant to your last paragraph, Kozul-Wright and Vos (forgot their first names) agree with you, and I with some reservation, but financial institutions should begin somewhere to begin to stop the pressure. Thank you, too, for the economic lingo. Much of my economic-speak was derived from "The Banker's New Clothes" by Anat Admati. If I recall, she is an instructor at Stanford University.

Posted by Awayneramsey on Oct. 03, 2013 @ 9:00 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2013 @ 9:53 am

It is actually completely crazy that we allow private profiteers to run our banking, money, and financing system. That is a recipe for out-of-control abuse of the economy.

These functions should all be managed by local, state and national governments, at no interest; and perhaps by some nonprofit co-ops and credit unions (likewise at little or no interest).

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 03, 2013 @ 10:07 am

Eric, some of ideas are so damn plain crazy that I wonder if you really here as a right-wing mole to discredit the left.

Even socialist countries don't run with just one State-owned Bank. The lack of competition almost ensures bad service. Imagine if making a withdrawal was a bureaucratic nightmare like trying to pull a permit at DBI?

But there is nothing to stop you setting up a co-operative bank or a credit union, so what are you waiting for. Everyone can have free money in the socialist nirvana that would be Eric's Bank.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2013 @ 10:34 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 03, 2013 @ 10:49 am

Very interesting article about the uncovered issues by corporate journalists. While not a journalist by training, it became evident to me that the information being provided to us is filtered and then passed along. If you look locally at what is going on, there are corporate owned media companies set up to extract information that belongs to the community and then packages it, and sells it back to us. As our constitution dictated, this free press is essential to hold together our democracy by seeking and reporting on objective truths. An informed citizenry is essential to a fully functioning democracy.

However, monied interests figured out that if they controlled the information, they could also dictate how the story was being told. If you look at the issues covered in this article, all of them could have been prevented had the press been doing their job.

It's obvious to me as an entrepreneur and student of change - it is impossible for an industry where 90% of the firms are owned by 6 parent companies have the willingness to change. It's not in their best interest since they are part of the problem. Most of the 6 parent companies have substantial loans from the large financial institutions given a pass since 2008. The financiers and military industrial complex run this country. The Fed is controlled by them - not by the government. The last president that tried to end our dependency on the Federal Reserve was JFK. Can you say grassy knoll?

There was a great video on CNBC recently where they invited a Salon journalist who tried to hold Jamie Dimon accountable for all the fraud being committed at JP Morgan Chase. The two on-air mouthpieces and one call in guest went directly into apology mode and disgust about his fact finding and holding someone like Jamie Dimon accountable. Check out the article and the video:

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