Lying Media Bastards

September 23, 2005

Project Censored 2005

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Project Censored has released its list of the “Top 25 Censored Stories” of 2004-2005.

Every year, the folks at Project Censored comb the news media for important stories, and at year’s end, figure out which stories were the most important that received little or no coverage in the mainstream media. These stories are rarely “censored” in the usual sense of the word, but for whatever reason, they were reported in the “alternative” press, and rarely anywhere else.

I’ve seen criticism which wonders whether or not Project Censored is a good idea, as it sort of revels in the impotence of alternative journalism. “Look at all this great reporting we did that no one read! Yaaaay!!” And they’ve got a point. Bottom line though, I look at the yearly Project Censored reports as a list of important news stories, period. So let’s look at it. Or just read em all on your own here.

#1 Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open Government
The Bush Administration has made it harder to gain information about government and law enforcement by stymying Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, expanding the limits of what can be deemed classified, and even legally contesting Congress’ right to see what the federal government is up to.

#2 Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Deathtoll
The US has laid siege to the Iraqi city of Fallujah twice in 2 years, resulting in the deaths of thousands, the homelessness of far more, and the destruction of one-third of the city’s buildings.
In addition, the press does not seem to attempting to count the number of Iraqi civilian casualties in the war. The best guess seems to be between 17,000 and 100,000.

#3 Another Year of Distorted Election Coverage
Allegations that the voting in the 2004 presidential election was tampered with, or systematically skewed in racist/classist ways, got little to no coverage in the mainstream media, and was dismissed as conspiracy theory or partisanship, even in cases when there was evidence.

#4 Surveillance Society Quietly Moves In
Increased funding, broader powers, and looser restrictions for intelligence agencies. And just when new computer surveillance were starting to sound too scarily like something out of The Matrix, the Pentagon proposed a new program called The MATRIX (Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange). Do these guys have their irony glands surgically removed once they get the job?

#5 U.S. Uses Tsunami to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia
I was skeptical about this one at first, but it does seem that in the wake of the Asian tsunami, the US re-opened an old military base in Thailand, restarted military cooperation with Thailand and the Philippines, is looking to restart military training exercises with Indonesia, and spied on Chinese shipping lanes.

#6 The Real Oil for Food Scam
Conservatives pushes this “oil for food scandal” as a means of discrediting the UN. But in the fine print, the US was a part of the UN which did the approving of all of Iraq’s purchases with this oil/food money, so seems as culpable as everyone else.

#7 Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood
2004 was the deadliest year for journalists since journalists started keeping record of their own fatality rates. Most of this comes from the Iraq war.

#8 Iraqi Farmers Threatened By Bremer’s Mandates
One of the most despicable efforts of the biotech industry is the movement to turn seeds into software. You can buy their genetically engineered seeds to grow crops, but if you try to save some of your crop to plant the next season’s harvest, then you’re a software pirate, illegally copying their intellectual property. No, I’m not kidding. Save seeds and you’re a criminal.

Apparently before the US handed sovereignty over to it’s Iraqi puppets, the US enacted laws to make that biotech dream come true.

#9 Iran’s New Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency
One of the things that keeps the US dollar strong is that oil is bought and sold in US dollars worldwide. But this year Iran made a break with tradition, and is accepting Euros for oil. Uh oh.

#10 Mountaintop Removal Threatens Ecosystem and Economy
Among coal miners, it’s all the rage these days to simply blow up the top of a mountain to get to the creamy coal nougat center. This fucks up local ecosystems and the human communities that have to live in them.

And there are 15 more to go. Go read em.

Posted by Jake on September 23, 2005 12:02 am

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