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Censorship

Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004 921

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the trust-no-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Project Censored has come out with its list of the most censored media stores of 2003-2004. Some of the gems are "Bush Administration Censors Science", "U.S. Develops Lethal New Viruses", "Media and Government Ignore Dwindling Oil Supplies" and "Reinstating the Draft"."
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Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004

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  • by Mateito (746185) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:28PM (#10171350) Homepage
    Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004

    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

    • by ScottGant (642590) <scott_gant&sbcglobal,netNOT> on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:20PM (#10171789) Homepage
      I'm reading through these, and they list the sources where the stories ran..and they did run...in various magazines, journals and newspapers.

      So how is this considered censored?

      censor
      n : a person who is authorized to read publications or correspondence
      or to watch theatrical performances and suppress in whole or in part anything
      considered obscene or politically unacceptable.
      v 1: forbid the public distribution of ( a movie or a newspaper)
      [syn: ban]
      2: subject to political, religious, or moral censorship; "This
      magazine is censored by the government"


      Now, if it were listed as "Important News Stories That Are Not Being Followed Through On"...then we got ourselves a list my friend.

      But the title alone makes it seem like the US government is pulling these stories and saying they can't be run at all...which isn't the case.

      From the Project Censored website their mission statement contains:

      From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media.

      Overlooked...you betcha. Under-reported...yes, I agree with that. Self-censored? I don't see that any of them were pulled here in the US...but perhaps they were in other countries? Reading through their list (the ones I could get to before it was Slashdotted) I couldn't find where the censorship fell other than just no mainstream media picking up on the stories.

      Interesting read though...after the Slashdot crowd leaves I'll be back reading it.

      • by mkro (644055) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:47PM (#10172014)
        Overlooked...you betcha. Under-reported...yes, I agree with that. Self-censored? I don't see that any of them were pulled here in the US...but perhaps they were in other countries? Reading through their list (the ones I could get to before it was Slashdotted) I couldn't find where the censorship fell other than just no mainstream media picking up on the stories.

        Listen, self censorship is not about anything being "pulled". It is about rather avoiding going into one case because of fear of the consequences. It is not a black and white issue. It can be fear of having your family shot or it could be fear of being called "unpatriotic" and having your boss yell at you. Evil dictatorships does very little censoring by going into radio stations with soldiers and shooting people. The main censorship is letting them know it CAN happen, and by that let them regulate themselves.
        And of course this happens on different scales, from threats of violence to threats of uncomfy. Just ask the Dixie Chicks. They were smacked down so hard I'm sure other artists were discouraged from pulling a similar stunt.
        • by Impotent_Emperor (681409) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:53PM (#10172055)
          I think the Dixie Chicks are a bad example. They said things people didn't like and were boycotted. Of course, they didn't like being boycotted, but it is the rights of consumers (and radio stations) to not buy (in the case of radio stations, air) things. It's a bit different than the government threatening the Dixie Chicks to shut up.
          • by kaalamaadan (639250) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:32PM (#10172339) Journal
            Not necessarily so. You are assuming that the only way to censor a concept is by the govt. to impose sanctions. The so called "majority public opinion" is also a great chimera. Were the Dixie Chicks opposed by the vast majority or by a vociferous minority? Was Disney's decision not to release Fahrenheit 9/11 not an act of censorship? Corporate Censorship is another diabolical form of govt. censorship. ``Profit'' is no more holier than ``the party line''.
            • by bofkentucky (555107) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ykcutnekfob.> on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:44PM (#10172856) Homepage Journal
              Corporate and private censorship are protected, the First Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) is a series of restrictions on Government (congress shall make no act...) acting against the people. The Dixie Chicks had a choice, they could have taken the "Toby Keith, GWB is teh l33t" track and sold millions of copies of their CD. They decided to voice a different opinion and people didn't buy the damned CD and/or destroyed the copies they had already bought. I (and the Dixie Chicks) have the right to freedom of expression, we both have to live with the consequences, so deal with it.
          • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:37PM (#10172381) Homepage
            That's a good point. Censorship, I believe by definition, is something that has to be done by a government or a large organization (like a church). If nobody buys your crappy book about aliens killing Kennedy, it's not being censored, just unappreciated.

            So one of the Dixie Chicks made some short, and not very venemous comments, about Bush. The story would have died except for the fact that country radio stations repeatedly publicised the comments and aired tons of recorded phone calls trashing the Dixie Chicks as unpatriotic commies. Many of those stations are owned by Clear Channel, which is a huge supporter of the Bush administration.

            -B
            • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:47PM (#10172433) Homepage

              has to be done by a government or a large organization (like a church).

              True. Now explain to me how Clear Channel doesn't count as a big organization.
            • by Dashing Leech (688077) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:28PM (#10172740)
              Censorship, I believe by definition, is something that has to be done by a government or a large organization

              Nope. Those are just the ones people are most pissed about. From Merriam-Webster:

              censor: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable

              Censoring is not inherently bad. For instance, when parents don't let their children watch certain shows or movies they are censoring. What annoys people most is when adults are censored from things that they have a right to hear or see, which generally can only be done by government or large corporations. Making something unavailable or unobtainable is effectively equivalent to the removal of the right to obtain it. The flip-side to censorship is a boycott where people refuse to obtain something that is available because of some offense to the product or company.

              If nobody buys your crappy book about aliens killing Kennedy, it's not being censored, just unappreciated.

              That's different than what happened to the Dixie Chicks. Radio stations stopped playing their material because of their beliefs, not because they didn't like the music.

        • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:55PM (#10172073)
          Oh, like how someone has to watch what they say on /. so they don't get modded down?

          Like shit, if someone says something bad about the Unions or Socialism or Windows, or Macs or pick one, you can get smacked down so hard as to be discouraged from pulling a similar stunt.

          Actually, censorship is something pulled at an offical level, so I have to agree with the other poster that these stories aren't censored, but were underreported.

          http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=censors hi p
          The act, process, or practice of censoring.
          The office or authority of a Roman censor

          http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dicti on ary&va=censor&x=15&y=15
          One who supervises conduct and morals: as a : an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter b : an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful
      • by gujo-odori (473191) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:32PM (#10172340)
        Not only is overlooked != censorship, at least some of them were probably overlooked on the basis of being factually inaccurate to the point of consituting a flat-out lie. For example:

        "Most American weapons (missiles, smart bombs, dumb bombs, bullets, tank shells, cruise missiles, etc.) contain high amounts of radioactive uranium."

        This is patently false. The *only* weapons that contain depleted uranium are some (but not all) anti-tank weapons. These included the 40 mm shells fired by the cannon on the A-10, and some anti-tank rounds fired by tanks (but again, not all. HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) and sabot rounds do not contain depleted uranium).

        No bullets contain depleted Uranium. Most tank shells do not. No missiles contain depleted uranium. Smart bombs do not contain depleted uranium. Bunker buster bombs do not contain depleted uranium. No dumb bombs contain depleted uranium.

        Bullets are for use against personnel and non-armored vehicles. Even if there were enough DU available for use in bullets and it were not cost-prohibitive to make them, that would not be an effective use of DU.

        Bombs, whether dumb or smart, are not anti-armor weapons, and in those instances that they are used on tanks, they depend upon their high-explosive capability. Bunker busters penetrate bunkers by being very large and heavy, with a thick, hardened casing filled with a lot of HE.

        General-purpose air-to-surface missiles are all high-explosive, so are cruise missiles. A cruise missile that is carrying radioactive material isn't carrying DU; it's a nuke. Air-to-surface anti-tank missiles carry HEAT warheads.
        Surface-to-surface anti-tank missiles also carry HEAT warheads.

        If the level of "journalism" (if I can call "making things up" journalism) in any of the other articles is anything like that one, it's pretty obvious why these articles were not picked up by the mainstream press. It's because they are blatant lies.
        • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:53AM (#10174584) Homepage
          "Professor Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon's depleted uranium project -- a former professor of environmental science at Jacksonville University and onetime US army colonel who was tasked by the US department of defense with the post-first Gulf war depleted uranium desert clean-up -- said use of DU was a 'war crime'."

          This is why the story is censored. Period.

          Also, there is much speculation that bunker buster bombs have been upgraded with DU to make them more effective - since the alternative is tungsten which supposedly is less effective for various reasons than DU. The Pentagon, of course, is NOT saying what is being used or considered for use in bunker buster bombs.

      • by b17bmbr (608864) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:35PM (#10172368)
        I'm an SSU grad ('91). Carl Jensen is a little paranoid and conspiratorial. Everything is black hat stuff. Problem is, he did some good things for a while, and starting reading the press clippings, then lost it. I had one class with him, and even then, he was going on and on about the media (which oddly enough is controlled by his lefty buddies) being a tool of the gov't. Like the MSM ws ever in the tank for Reagan/Bush, et al. Please. How about Evan Thomas' claim the media is for Kerry and it gives him 15 points.
      • by shanen (462549) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:56PM (#10172929) Homepage Journal
        Project Censored regards them as censored if the story receives signficantly less public coverage than the importance of the story merits. They are especially interested in stories that the regular media drop because they expose the bias of the mass media themselves. Yes, anyone can publish anything on the Web, but lot's of it is effectively censored by being ignored, even when it's the ugly truth. Or especially when...

        Just picking a random example off the list, Cheney's handling of the "national" energy policy is extremely important, but has received very little coverage. Even if you regard his behavior as reasonable, the degree of corporate influence is an important public concern.

        However, I think that his "arguments" are fatally flawed. Cheney is supposed to be serving the public, and any "advice" that can only be provided if it's source is concealed from the public is surely NOT in the public interest. If it WAS in the public interest, the source would not be afraid of exposure in the first place.

        In the extreme case, Cheney seems to be arguing that America is no longer a democratic republic or republican democracy, but a kind of sanctioned-by-50%-of-the-voters corporate-owned dictatorship. I'd wager you haven't seen much consideration of THAT story on Fox "News".

    • by cammoblammo (774120) <cammoblammo.gmail@com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:03PM (#10172133)
      Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

      The site was /.ed when I tried to look at it. Or was it...?

    • by Palmzombie (552666) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:55PM (#10172501)
      The project Censored site it nothing more than a compilation of stories which have been reported as censored by people who haven't a clue about what they are talking about. Let take for example a story about the "Radiation Poisoning" of the Afganastani people, and are that is my studied, both undergraduate and graduate, and professionally certified area of expertise. This story is filled with "Junk science" that every peer reviewed journal has discredited. They claimed the same nonsense in Bosnia due to our use of depleted uranium, and these were all found to be false. Depleted uranium is just that "depleted" it cannot become "non-depleted" and its presence does not cause levels of "non-depleted" uranium in the population. I've seen the studies, the data, and have had close friends sent on missions to take samples, perform laboratory analysis, and draw scientific conclusions. None of which agree with the pseudo science spawned by the activists who do not follow chain of custody sample collection and perform substandard laboratory analysis. These stories are hardly "censored" in fact the study of this data is out in the public forum, its just that the people trying to prove their point of radiation poisoning have been entirely discredited in the scientfic arena. The solution? Claim "censorship" and a coverup to draw media attention because you can't prove your point with science. So revert to inuendo and distortion. So very sad.
      • by Mac Degger (576336) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:02AM (#10176445) Journal
        That's a very intereting statement, especially when looked at in conjunction with the fact that hundreds of scientists, including 20 Nobel laureats, say that the current government is falsifying data and stacking the panels which come up with the data with political appointees.

        This:

        "Depleted uranium is just that "depleted" it cannot become "non-depleted" and its presence does not cause levels of "non-depleted" uranium in the population"

        is just a bogus statement. It doesn't refute anything, and is actually selfnegating...and really tells me that you know shit about science, let alone the science behind nuclear physics. Shooting depleted uranium shells /does/ increase the levels of depleted uranium in the population...and that leads to radioactive poisoning due to the fact that the DU does not burn up entirely during use. And, not so oddly enough, Gulf War Syndrome looks suspiciously like low level radiation poisoning.
  • by Metallic Matty (579124) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:30PM (#10171359)
    Go **** ******* you *******.

    This content added to avoid "lameness."
  • by rehabdoll (221029) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:31PM (#10171369) Homepage
    And thanks to slashdot, they are still censored.
    • Re:still censored.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:56PM (#10171582)
      Don't forget Coral! [nyu.edu] Just add .nyud.net:8090 onto any domain name, and use the cached web-page, just like this:

      http://www.projectcensored.org.nyud.net:8090/publi cations/2005/index.html [nyud.net]
  • Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cerberus4696 (765520) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:31PM (#10171371)
    ...how all of these 'censored' stories reflect a left-leaning viewpoint.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by I confirm I'm not a (720413) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:39PM (#10171421) Journal

      ...how all of these 'censored' stories reflect a left-leaning viewpoint.

      It's not that interesting. Power right now rests with the right; stories with a right-wing slant are promoted, left-leaning stories demoted or censored. The time to complain about a left-wing slant in when power rests with the left.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by caluml (551744) <slashdot@NOsPam.spamgoeshere.calum.org> on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:49PM (#10171511) Homepage
      Because most of the main US media outlets are, at least from what I see in the UK, terribly right wing?
  • Here's the list (Score:5, Informative)

    by wolenczak (517857) <paco@cBOHRotera.org minus physicist> on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:31PM (#10171373) Homepage
    #1: Wealth Inequality in 21st Century Threatens Economy and Democracy
    #2: Ashcroft vs. the Human Rights Law that Hold Corporations Accountable
    #3: Bush Administration Censors Science
    #4: High Levels of Uranium Found in Troops and Civilians
    #5: The Wholesale Giveaway of Our Natural Resources
    #6: The Sale of Electoral Politics
    #7: Conservative Organization Drives Judicial Appointments
    #8: Cheney's Energy Task Force and The Energy Policy
    #9: Widow Brings RICO Case Against U.S. government for 9/11
    #10: New Nuke Plants: Taxpayers Support, Industry Profits
    #11: The Media Can Legally Lie
    #12: The Destabilization of Haiti
    #13: Schwarzenegger Met with Enron's Ken Lay Years Before the California Recall
    #14: New Bill Threatens Intellectual Freedom in Area Studies
    #15: U.S. Develops Lethal New Viruses
    #16: Law Enforcement Agencies Spy on Innocent Citizens
    #17: U.S. Government Represses Labor Unions in Iraq in Quest for Business Privatization
    #18: Media and Government Ignore Dwindling Oil Supplies
    #19: Global Food Cartel Fast Becoming hte World's Supermarket
    #20: Extreme Weather Prompts New Warning from UN
    #21: Forcing a World Market for GMOs
    #22: Censoring Iraq
    #23: Brazil Holds Back in FTAA Talks, But Provides Little Comfort for the Poor of South America
    #24: Reinstating the Draft
    #25: Wal-Mart Brings Inequality and Low Prices to the World
    • Re:Here's the list (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FFFish (7567) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:43PM (#10171453) Homepage
      Top 25 US Stories not reported by the US media. Some other nations media may well have covered this stuff.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:32PM (#10171375)
    I'm an avid progressive, and I identify with many of the issues presented in this list ... but all of these articles should be taken with a grain of salt.
    Many of the articles come from seriously left-leaning rags. BuzzFlash [buzzflash.com], for example, is hyperliberal, and the editorials are often kind of tin-foil hat. Oneworld.net, "Organic Consumer" ... these are all good sources of information, but you've got to keep a close eye on what you're reading, and sift through the editorializing to get to the facts.

    Just my 3.14...

    -- m.Operandi
    • by microbox (704317) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:45PM (#10171996)
      I'd draw your attention to The Media can Leagally Lie [projectcensored.org]

      I've followed a bit of this already; I've even seen interviews with the people involved with the case.

      In summary:
      The milk in the US contains a chemical additive that is cancer causing. That chemical is produced by Monsanto. The FDA tested a few rats and rubber stamped to drug. It causes distress and health problems in many cows. There is hard evidence that Monsanto knew there was problems with the drug before they even sent it for testing at the FDA. FOX suppressed the story (presumably on behalf of Monsanto) using various different sleazy tactics. The investigative reporters in question refused to sign a NDA, and were later fired after about 80 rewrites of the story. The story was rewritten with lawyers present, not scientists. The pretence was that the story should be balanced. The Monsanto lawyers objected to terms like "carcinogenic", preferring more balanced terms such as "may cause health problems".

      The reporters won their court case, to find it over turned at appeal. The reason was that lying isn't a crime, and the whistle blower act only protects employees from business asking them to commit a crime. FOX immediately said that they were 'vindicated', but left out the part about lying.

      The milk is being drunk all over the US, and is being served to children at schools.

      Many of the articles come from seriously left-leaning rags

      And just about every major player in the media market will sell you any news so long as it doesn't hurt the corporate agenda.

      It's likely that we'll never require samizdat [wikipedia.org] in this country, but we all require tin-foil hats
  • by Viscount9 (612677) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:32PM (#10171379)
    Oh my god lobbying groups - conservative ones! - are influcing judicial appointments!

    Holy shit Batman!

    I am sure during the Clinton years it would be: Baby Killer Lobbying Groups Influence Judicial Appointments!

    Well, probably not, since these lists are pretty left in their bias.

    Everyone once in awhile, the list does have very interesting info. But this is just like reading something from MoveOn.org.

    Anyone who follows the news beyond CNN, would know this and wouldnt be too alarmed by these "censored" stories.

  • Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Erwos (553607) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:33PM (#10171381)
    The problem I have is more that "censored" implies that the government went through with a pair of scissors and yanked out the offending stories. Not being widely covered is not really the same thing as being censored.

    Also, the site seems to be heavily Democratic in orientation. This could be a result of the more left-leaning college students who compile it, I suppose. But I wouldn't take the whole thing as a simple, unbiased academic exercise. Their commentary on the draft, for instance, reeks of a rather lop-sided view of the issue.

    -Erwos
    • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jilles (20976) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:59PM (#10171599) Homepage
      Actually there is a lot of 'soft' censoring going on where mass media do not report or downplay facts that might harm political interests. Stuff gets labeled unpatriotic; foxnews estimates several tens of thousands demonstraters hit the streets in new york when other newssources are reporting several hundreds of thousands; CNN literally quoting some defense department monkey (50 terrorists have died, no mention of the dozens of civilians that were in the area). That sort of thing.

      Frequently, the facts are picked up by mass media anyway after they've been exposed sufficiently by other media. But very often facts are succesfully hidden/misrepresented. Photos from dead US soldiers are rare. On a few occasions such photos made frontpage news but considering the amount of casualties there have actually been few of these reports. The US government discourages such reports and the media comply.

      A disturbing recent trend is to label anything out of line with the republican party's vision as unpatriotic and liberal. The latter used to be a compliment but somehow the reality distortion field that covers the US nowadays has turned this into something evil. It's really amusing to watch the 'land of the free' become scared of 'liberal' opinions. The US is 'at war with terrorism' and anybody who says otherwise is a dangerous leftwing extremist.
    • Censored or ignored? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:28PM (#10171860) Journal
      Not being widely covered is not really the same thing as being censored.
      Exactly. A good example is the whole software patent thing in Europe, and more specifically the Netherlands. We've had everything from lobbyists and manipulations to ministers lieing to parliament, but.... it wasn't about healthcare, immigrants or terrorist blowing stuff up, so the media weren't interested.
  • by usurper_ii (306966) <eyes0nlyNO@SPAMquest4.org> on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:34PM (#10171388) Homepage
    While I don't think it is going to happen, I thought this was a really interesting article on the draft issue...and it came out of the Family Circle of all places. If my wife hadn't had it laying around, I would have probably never even heard about this. -- Usurper_ii

    Could your child be drafted?
    by Jan Goodwin

    High-school seniors have a lot on their minds these days--applying to
    college, getting accepted, finding the funds to pay for it, then worrying
    about whether they can get a job once they graduate. One thing they hadn't
    counted on, however, was being drafted into the military when they turn 18.

    There hasn't been a draft in the United States since 1973, but indications
    are strong that next year that may change. And for the first time, young
    women as well as men can expect to be called.

    Why a return to the draft? Because our troops (stationed in two-thirds of
    the world's countries) are spread so thinly, and because high casualty rates
    in Iraq and Afghanistan have dramatically reduced recruitment and
    reenlist-ment levels. A poll taken last year by Stars and Stripes, a
    Pentagon-funded newspaper for service personnel, found that 49 percent of
    respondents were not planning to reenlist.

    According to retired U.S. Army Colonel David Hackworth, a military analyst
    and one of the most decorated officers in the army, the U.S. military is now
    so shorthanded that a whopping 40 percent of the 135,000 troops being
    rotated into Iraq are National Guard members and reservists. Adds
    Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY); '"We haven't called up this level of
    reservists since the Korean War."

    What's more, if House and Senate bills HR163 and S89 pass, the loophole 'of
    college, used by many to avoid serving in Vietnam, will be closed next time
    around. All men and women ages 18 to 26 would be eligible for induction once
    they have completed high school. Further, the Smart Border Declaration,
    signed by Canadian and U.S. officials in December 2001, should keep would-be
    draft dodgers in this country.

    Congressman Rangel, author of the House bill, which is now before the Armed
    Services Committee (Ernest Hollings [D-SC] authored the Senate version),
    explains that the Administration's commitment to a prolonged presence in the
    Middle East, the prospect of additional military interventions, and the fact
    that "half of Guards and reservists say they have no intention to stay in"
    are strong indicators that "ultimately we will run out of bodies."

    "We shouldn't need a draft," says Rangel, "but now that we've been involved
    in a war, the patriotic thing is shared sacrifice. Currently, the rich get a
    tax cut, and the poor get a chance to make the ultimate sacrifice."

    Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), addressing the Senate Foreign Relations
    Committee in April, concurred. "Why shouldn't we ask all our citizens to
    bear some responsibility and pay some price?'" he said.

    Feeling a Draft?

    The Administration denies that a draft is in the works. Secretary of Defense
    Donald Rumsfeld has stated: "We're not going to reimplement a draft. There
    is no need for it. The disadvantages of using compulsion to bring into the
    armed forces the men and women needed are notable."

    But, says Ron Paul, M.D., an eight-term Republican congressman from Texas
    and a former Air Force surgeon, '"You don't listen to what they say, you
    watch what they do. The Administration says no, but what we've gotten from
    the Pentagon and elsewhere is yes."

    One sign of that, says Rick Jahnkow, program coordinator of the nonprofit
    Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, was that last fall
    "[Presidential adviser] Karl Rove polled Republican members of Congress on
    how they felt about the draft. They said they'd support the President."

    "This is not surprising," comments Dr. Paul, who sits on the International
    Relations Committee and was one of only six Republican congressmen who vote
    • by praksys (246544) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:56PM (#10171579) Homepage
      It is worth noting several things:

      (1) Every branch of the military is meeting or exceeding recruitment and re-enlistment goals (unlike in the 1990s).
      (2) The all volunteer military used to be twice the size it is now (prior to cuts at the end of the cold war), so there is every reason to think that the military could double in size without a draft.
      (3) The politicians warning of a return of the draft are in fact the sponsors of the bills that would bring back the draft. In other words the *only* people showing an interest in the draft are opponents of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
      (4) And (3) is no surprise because most of the opposition to the Vietnam war was really opposition to the draft. The last thing that the Bush administration wants is to bring back the draft.

      Opponents of these wars think that if the draft is brought back then opposition to the wars will grow. Which in turn is why the Bush administration has no interest in the draft whatsoever. In fact Donald Rumsfeld resisted an expansion of the military by a mere 30,000 volunteer troops. The idea that he would want to expand the military with hundreds of thousands of conscripts is nonsense.
      • by BeBoxer (14448) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:14PM (#10172214)
        (1) Every branch of the military is meeting or exceeding recruitment and re-enlistment goals (unlike in the 1990s).

        Do you have any reference for that? Because I can find plenty saying the opposite. And in fact detailing the "stop-loss" orders being used to keep current troops in past their obligations.
        • by praksys (246544) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:04PM (#10172584) Homepage
          Sure. Here [cnn.com] is a CNN article on the shortfalls in the 1990s. Here are some articles on recruiting for 2002 [military.com], 2003 [army.mil] and 2004 [messenger-inquirer.com].

          The concerns about recruiting and reenlistment have all been based on opinion polls that predicted that shortfalls would arise. So far there is no sign of those shortfalls actually arising. I guess the polls are not reliable predictors of what people will actually do.

          As for the stop-loss orders, this [opinionjournal.com] is reasonably informative. The orders only apply to units that are deployed, so they make no difference to the task of meeting yearly recruitment and reenlistment goals.
  • In other words.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by damiangerous (218679) <1ndt7174ekq80001@sneakemail.com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:37PM (#10171414)
    "Things that didn't get as much attention as we think they should." According to their About Us page [projectcensored.org] this is just:

    "an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media."

    This is a total non-story posed in a dishonestly sensationalistic fashion.

    • by Angry Toad (314562) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:53PM (#10171544)
      Project Censored has been around for a long time now. They're hardly sensationalistic - especially when one considers that they rarely get any attention at all from the media. They're left-leaning, sure. They've never pretended any differently.

      However, at least they're willing to provide links and references. One rarely sees that much from the right wing crazies who like to smear the work of groups like this.
  • by wired_parrot (768394) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:38PM (#10171416)

    A more appropriate title for this list would have been the 25 most ignored or underreported new stories. I agree that most of the stories mentioned were underreported in the media, they were not censored. Proof being the various references and links shown in each article.

  • Censored, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alaren (682568) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:40PM (#10171429)

    Well, I applaud the effort to get out the good word on stories that probably should have seen a little better coverage.

    But isn't it a little alarmist to call this "Project Censored?" The site says that these are "25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media."

    I understand that censorship does not need to originate with the government, and that powerful media conglomorates can create de facto censorship through what they choose to report.

    But even this site is choosing a mere 25 stories. How do these 25 get picked? Well, presumably they represent the gap between what big media thinks is "newsworthy" and what this group at Sonoma State thinks is "newsworthy."

    That such a gap exists should not be surprising. But when the people on this committee "rank [the stories] in order of importance," they discard hundreds of submissions--and ar thus doing the exact same thing as big media: picking what they think people need to (and, consequently, don't need to) hear.

    Good read? Yeah. "Preject Censored?" Not so much.

    Free flatscreen monitors [freeflatscreens.com]. No hoax [freeflatscreenproof.com].

  • Project Whine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:51PM (#10171526) Homepage
    The compilers of the list should consider the possibility that, instead of censorship, the press and the public are just not that interested in the stories and issues that the list makers think are important. Activists often suffer from the delusion that the public would support their cause if they only knew the facts.
  • by ColourlessGreenIdeas (711076) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:52PM (#10171538)
    This post has been removed in the interests of national security. We thank you for your cooperation.
  • Bush & Coke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrentL (761772) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:54PM (#10171550) Homepage
    Wonder if this [mirror.co.uk] story will get covered by the American press. The factual basis seems much more sound than the Swift Boat Liars.
  • by leandrod (17766) <l.dutras@org> on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:59PM (#10171598) Homepage Journal
    Someone said we should judge a newspaper by the quality of their stories on some subject we know well.

    These are US stories, but one of them touches my own homecountry, Brazil. The story is so ridiculously, childishly, radically leftist - to the point of gross partidarism and distortion of reality, including the promotion of a radical, violent group like MST who wants to overthrow a constitutional, democratically-elected government and estabilish a marxist dictatorship - that it readily discredits the whole list as hate-promoting trash.
  • -1 Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:59PM (#10171600)
    Wow, this is has to be one of the most biased flamebait articles I have ever seen posted on Slashdot. These so-called "Censored" stories are no better than one organization's personal opinion pieces of what they believe is wrong in the world with little or no evidence of censoring by the media or even evidence of their opinions.

    Take "Wealth Inequality in 21st Century Threatens Economy and Democracy". It is filled with zero-sum fallacies and very little hard evidence to back up their facts. Blaming Africa's troubles on other's countries successes makes about as much sense as your mother telling you to eat your veggies because people are starving in China. No mention is made of such factors as the continual warfare that plagues much of the African continent. In addition statements such as "As rich countries, strip poorer countries of their natural resources in an attempt to re-stabilize their own, the people of poor countries become increasingly desperate." are presented with absolutely no supporting evidence.

    Going to some others: "#7: Conservative Organization Drives Judicial Appointments" Hmm, as if the ACLU, NOW, and NARAL have no affect on the Democrat's choice of Judicial Appointments.

    "The Media Can Legally Lie" This one seems most hypocritical. Seems that Fox editors wanted some reporters to include some statements from the "Monsanto Corporation" in a story that was negative towards them. The reporters refused and were fired. The statements may or may not have been false, but isn't that for the people watching the story to decide? Isn't not including them censorship?

    We also have the conflicting "Media and Government Ignore Dwindling Oil Supplies" and "New Nuke Plants: Taxpayers Support, Industry Profits". So if oil supplies are dwindling don't we want the government to encourage new forms of energy? Seems like pretty luddite thinking to me.

    Oh well, what can you do.

    Brian

    PS Glad I got some karma to burn cause I'm probably going to get killed for this post. I would prefer people actually respond rather than mod down, but I know they won't
    • Re:-1 Flamebait (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PixelScuba (686633)

      You will admit that these are stories that are ignored right? I hear all the other sides to these stories on TV and Primetime News "War in Iraq Going Good" "Iraqi's enjoying newfound freedoms". These are the opposite side of the spectrum as the stories listed in this article. And as we all know, the truth lies somewhere inbetween.

      I remember two years ago. I was away at college and whenever I came back to visit for holidays he was always spouting about stories like, "Iraq has no Weapons of Mass Destruc

    • Re:-1 Flamebait (Score:5, Informative)

      by BeBoxer (14448) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#10172386)
      Seems that Fox editors wanted some reporters to include some statements from the "Monsanto Corporation" in a story that was negative towards them. The reporters refused and were fired. The statements may or may not have been false, but isn't that for the people watching the story to decide? Isn't not including them censorship?

      Did you read the article? Let me refresh your memory:

      she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) "a false, distorted or slanted story" about the widespread use of BGH in dairy cows.

      Catch that part about "in the jury's words"? Note the use of quotation marks? Do you still think the statements "may or may not have been false"? Still not convinced? Here's another refresher from the story:

      Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre?s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.
  • Noam Chomsky Plug (Score:3, Informative)

    by gilgongo (57446) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:17PM (#10171768) Homepage Journal
    If you've not read the book, or (for the impatient) seen the film of Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent" - his analysis of how the media works in modern democracies - then you would do well to seek it out.

    Lots of people here are talking about the media and whether it's "left" or "right." Chomsky's analysis makes some interesting points about media coverage of a number of issues over the past 30 years or so, and how the media's function in a democracy is to dictate the terms of reference, boundaries and, ultimately, what is left and right in most contexts. It says some other stuff as well of course. The film in particular is very good.

  • Hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by TiKwanLeep (749300) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:25PM (#10171827)
    I dont see Kobe Bryant or Laci Peterson on that list. Oh wait...
  • by reallocate (142797) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:45PM (#10172001)
    I went to projectcensored.org looking for their definition of "censored" and the criteria they use to determine "most censored". I found neither.

    In my book, you aren't being censored when an editor turns down your story. You aren't being censored when your story is cut from the final edition to make room for the piece about an explosion in a local church.

    If the Ministry of Information orders you not to write that story, that's censorshp. Ditto if the orders come from your corporate headquarters.

    Projectcensored says it tracks the news from "independent" sources (not that these sources are listed on their site), but neglects to tell us about the political agendas of any of those sources. (Of course, the word "independent" is usually, and incorrectly, construed to mean "impartial".) An organization might be "independent" of outside financing, but it will lack credibility as an "independent" source if its purpose is to foster a political agenda. In any case, with a personality like Noam Chomsky helping them spot "censorship", claims of "independence" evaporate.

  • by porkchop_d_clown (39923) <mwheinz@m e . c om> on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:21PM (#10172265) Homepage
    Even Mother Jones has asked that Project Censored be put out of our misery [motherjones.com].
  • by rainer_d (115765) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:28PM (#10172319) Homepage
    I've got a question:

    How biased (if at all) is the coverage of US- and world-affairs in the USA ?

    I must admit that I don't watch TV anymore here in Germany because the quality has deteriorated to a point where it's only marginally funny anymore.
    But the news and reports about foreign affairs (Western- and Eastern Europe, All of America, Asia, Africa and Australia) is still quite good and balanced. At least, in the state-owned channels.

    Anyway...
    I'll take the DU (Depleted Uranium) story as an example. This has been known (or, lacking an offical acknowledgemend, "suspected") here for several years. It has been reported repeatedly and, after Gulf War 1, led to a significant public outcry when it became obvious that these weapons had been deposited also on the territory of our beloved Federal Republic.

    On the other hand, the ministery of defense here is playing every dirty trick in the book to keep a scandal of its own under the hood:
    in the 60s and 70s a lot of radar-technicans got really high doses of radiation from military radar-gear, because it had to be repaired without appropriate protection. The "problem" is that these people (those few that are still alive are sometimes real living cancer-labs) want a compensation for their sufferings and the ministery is trying everything to delay the law-suits, hoping secretly for a "biological solution" of the cases...not totally unlike the DU-scandal...
    This is publicly known, has been briefly covered but doesn't raise public outcry or turmoil, nor is any politician threatend in his job.

    Also, when viewing the US from here, there may be still some Anti-American sentiments here, that are partly founded in history (remember, the Eastern part of this country has been Socialist and Anti-Capitalist until 15, 16 years ago?) and partly because of big differences in mentality (patriotism is almost a cuss here).

    So, whenever Mr Bush Jun. says something funny or makes a funny face, it's a sure giveaway that it can be seen here on TV. The same when he alienates yet another (then former) ally.

    When editors, journalists etc. "make the news" how big is the pressure (if any) to not mention certain facts at all, so that some stories seemingly never hit the headlines in the country where it would matter most ?
    Or is it just a "McCarthy-esk"-climate, where everybody just fears that he might be "on a list" ?

    Michael Moore mentions, in the foreword to the British edition of his "Stupid White Men"-"novel" that his publisher tried everything to keep the book out of the stores, because it didn't seem "appropriate" at the time.

    Is this still representative of the climate for publishing books and information in the US ?

    I'm afraid I don't have an unbiased view of the US myself, because I read this Topic (YRO) way to often ...it's probably also not a good and representative audience to ask ;-)

    cheers,
    Rainer
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:39PM (#10172390)
    This story is so far under the radar, it's invisible. London's Financial Times ran a front-page story about the United States having a secret relationship with one of the world's most notrious arms smugglers - do a Google search on this guy and you'll see he's into *everything* and called the "Merchant of Death" - well, the US has been protecting him and his interests:

    Source:
    http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename= FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&cid=1083180541131&p=10142 32938216

    http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/08/03/italy .t error/index.html

    http://www.nisat.org/blackmarket/europe/Central_ Eu rope/belgium/2002.02.27-Russian%20Daily%20on%20All eged%20Arms%20Dealer%20Victor%20Bout.html

    Background on Victor Bout - trafficker now being protected by the US:
    http://www.ruudleeuw.com/vbout2.htm
    http://w ww.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0202/23/smn.02.html
    http://www.namebase.org/xbor/Victor-Bout.html

    US seeks to protect weapons trafficker

    By Mark Turner at the United Nations, and Mark Huband and Andrew Parker in London
    Published: May 16 2004 21:56 | Last Updated: May 16 2004 21:56

    The US is pressing for a notorious arms trafficker allegedly involved in supplying coalition forces in Iraq to be omitted from planned United Nations sanctions, in defiance of French demands.

    Washington has UK support in resisting French efforts to freeze the assets of Victor Bout, once described by a UK minister as a "merchant of death" for his role as a leading arms supplier to rebel and government forces in several African conflicts, including Liberia.

    The UN is considering who should be on a list of individuals whose assets will be frozen because of their involvement with the ousted regime of Charles Taylor, the Liberian leader overthrown last year.

    Western diplomats say they have been told of reports that an air freight company associated with Mr Bout, who is subject to a UN travel ban because of his activities in Liberia, may be involved in supplying US forces in Iraq and that the US may be "recycling" his extensive cargo network.

    In 2000, Peter Hain, then British foreign office minister responsible for Africa, described Mr Bout as "the chief sanctions-buster and . . . a merchant of death who owns air companies that ferry in arms" for rebels in Angola and Sierra Leone.

    A former UN official familiar with the sanctions process said he had also heard of Mr Bout's Iraq connection. The ex-official said he had been told by a reliable source about a month ago that "the American defence forces are using Victor's planes for their logistics".

    A senior western diplomat close to the UN negotiations said: "We are disgusted that Bout won't be on the list, even though he is the principal arms dealer in the region. If we want peace in that region [of West Africa], it seems evident that he should be on that list."

    Another senior diplomat close to the UN discussions said on Sunday that the UK had originally included Mr Bout's name on its preliminary list of individuals to be targeted. The diplomat said US officials then told their British counterparts they did not want Mr Bout included because he was "being used in Iraq".

    Mr Bout's name then did not appear on a subsequent UK list.

    The US claims Mr Bout's activities should be dealt with in separate UN measures addressing the role of arms dealers. However, a former UN investigator on Sunday doubted that Mr Bout was playing a significant role in Iraq.

    US and British officials at the UN deny any knowledge of Mr Bout's alleged activities in Iraq. A UK official said: "We have supported in the past and continue to support international efforts to end Mr Bout's illegal activities," noting that he was subject to a travel ban and an international arrest warrant.

    A UN Security Council resolution in March said the assets of Mr Taylor, his immedia
  • Censored by whom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Millennium (2451) on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:42PM (#10172400) Homepage
    Are these censored, or were they simply not picked up the outlets which the writers had wanted so desperately to appear in?

    There is a huge difference. I read several of the aforementioned articles during their original runs. No laws were passed banning them, and the US government never made any attempt to stop their runs. Therefore, no censorship.

    True censorship exists in this world. It seems to me, however, that this list is nothing more than a couple of authors whining about their stories not running as widely as they had wanted.
  • by Performer Guy (69820) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:29PM (#10172757)
    So anyone can write hysterical nonsense now and if it isn't published they can claim censorship, even if their assertions were completely baseless?

    The owners of publications have always hade the ability to edit content, that does not equate to censorship, it is their own filter to eliminate hysterical crap. It's how they work without moderators slashdot.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Monday September 06, 2004 @07:43PM (#10172849) Journal
    One actively supports the interests of the super-rich who run the corporations that permit Americans to live the wasteful ignorant lives they cling to with violent desperation, or not.

    It boils down to class, and class warfare. It always has and always will. Marx was wrong about prescriptions, but his analysis was spot on 150 years ago, and it's still dead accurate.

    Some things are different: events are certainly moving on a deeper and larger scale than the capitalists could possibly muster in 1870, but the structure has remained the same: there are a very few people on top and a lot of people on the bottom. The globalisation of wealth has made entire nations part of the "top" and entire continents part of the "bottom" - and you know who's getting fucked.

    "Conservatives" (especially those of the more recent "neocon" variety, who are little more than penny ante fascists) are people who have internalised the false consciousness machine of contemporary capitalist culture to such a degree that they cheerfully support the plutocrats who enslave them. In fact, their culturally instilled cranio-rectal inversion is so complete, they don't see themselves as being willing participants in their own self enslavement - they see themselves as supporters of "freedom and liberty".

    Meanwhile, the powers that be are re-aligning the economies into Orwellian superstates. The Europeans are doing it through an opt-in confederacy (EU), the Americans are doing it with their typically murderously belligerent policy of co-option, destruction and subordination (from Wounded Knee to Baghdad) and forming Oceania by way of NAFTA. East Asia is forming more slowly, as is typical of the Chinese Empire.

    The great battle will be between a collapsing Oceania and a rising EastAsia. Eurasia will sit on the sidelines and watch the two destroy each other, and then move in to scoop up what's left.

    This isn't tinfoil hat theory. this is stuff that has been documented over and over and over.

    here [ic.gc.ca]

    Here [msn.com]

    and HERE. [fas.org]

    Now, if you have any sense: ORGANISE A COHERENT RESISTANCE AND GET A PLACE AT THE TABLE OF OCEANIA. Prevent the disaster. If the neocon agenda goes on by its own logic, there will be an eventual war between EastAsia and Oceania. It will be fought through terror proxies first, then localised wars and rebeliions at the periphery. The results will be millions dead so the rich bastards running the American State can stay rich and the powerful shitbags running the Chinese Gov stay in power.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. Or don't: just pretend it isn't happening and surrender your children to be cannon fodder in some far off oil rich country for the sake of Exxon, Halliburton, and Walmart.

    RS

  • by Hangtime (19526) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:18PM (#10174099) Homepage
    Wal-Mart...to many it is a pariah, a sadist, something to be scorned and looked down upon. For others, it quite simply the place where they buy everything because its cheap. Let's look at the article's points

    Wal-Mart opposition overseas has been from unions (over low pay)

    Wal-Mart has always been anti-union. There has only been one successful union organization I believe (butchers in one of the stores) and Wal-Mart turned around, fired them all, and started buying beef from a distributor. Wal-Mart doesn't apologize for it and most other grocery stores if they had their druthers would probably do the same. Wal-Mart just ensured that this didn't happen early on and it is not at point in its promience and power that no union can organize it.

    Local regulators (over predatory pricing)

    Wal-Mart basically puts the clamp on you when your a supplier because they are the toughest customer in the world. In fact, there are many businesses that will not deal with Wal-Mart because they do not want to go through the pain of readying themselves to meet Wal-Mart's demands and becoming beholden to what will become their largest customer if successful in a region trial. You do not have to choose to do so, but people see the number of SKUs you can sell to them and go for it. Wal-Mart, in turn, will demand 180 day payment, return of all unsold items, only pay for those items that have actually been sold to a customer, a set delivery time and quantity (if you miss either one of these your basically thrown out as a supplier, no chance ever again to redeem yourself), and a 5% reduction in cost to Wal-Mart each year. Wal-Mart in turn passes this back to the consumer. When someone would ask Sam Walton to do a coupon or a special offer, he would tell them take the amount we would spend on it and drop the price by that much. In the end its the difference between a consumer spending $120 - $130 versus spending $100 at Wal-Mart.

    and small businesses that face financial ruin....In the U.K, Wal-Mart's takeover of Asda has had a devastating effect. Award-wining food journalist Joanna Blythman's new book called "Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets" published May 2004 outlines how: "I learned that UK supermarkets now jump to the tune of our second largest chain, Asda. Since 1999 when it was taken over by the biggest retailer in the world, the U.S. chain Wal-Mart, Asda's strategy of 'Every Day Low Pricing', has triggered a supermarket price war in which chains without buying muscle are disadvantaged...Every week in the UK, 50 specialist shops like butchers and bakers are closing and one farmer or farm worker commits suicide. We enter a race to the bottom where everyone loses, especially the consumer.

    Wal-Mart never put any small Mom and Pop out-of-business, you and I did. Those butchers and bakers aren't closing because they have customers, they're closing because you and I and the rest of the people you know find the same staples of their lives at Wal-Mart for far cheaper.

    Final thought, seven cents of every dollar spent in America is spent at Wal-Mart. Think about that for a moment, scary isn't it. However, when you goto Wal-Mart do you think about the fact your going to a store that makes more money then probably half the nations on the planet. No, you think about cheap prices. Sam Walton found it was more profitable to serve 95% of the population well then to only serve 5% and the in the process made just about every company in America and abroad that deals with Wal-Mart better in the process. While Wal-Mart does put the squeeze on its producers and ends up squeezing the inefficiences out of the supply chain below it because every year you and I will expect prices to fall on a product at Wal-Mart.

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