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inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #0 of 28: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 30 Jun 06 11:24
    

Project Censored Director Peter Phillips is a busy man. During the past
decade he's published ten editions of "Censored: Media Democracy in Action."
As a professor at Sonoma State University, he teaches classes on the
sociology of power, of politics, of media, as well as courses on media
censorship. He writes op-ed pieces for independent media nationwide.

Peter's socio-political expertise has led him to be a guest on numerous
radio and television talk shows, including Talk of the Nation, Air America
and the Jim Hightower Show. His latest book, "Impeach the President: The
Case Against Bush and Cheney," is due for release this fall.

Leading the discussion with Peter is Steve Rhodes. Steve is a San Francisco-
based journalist and former online editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian
who covers media, culture, politics, and technology. His writing has
appeared in Extra!, MediaFile, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and
various alternative weeklies. One of his pieces for the Guardian, "Banned by
the NAB," received an honorable mention from Project Censored.

Welcome to Inkwell.vue, Peter and Steve! We're very happy to have you
joining us today!
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #1 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Mon 3 Jul 06 14:28
    
I am happy to participate. Below is a recent statment that I wrote as
an opening for discussion.

peter

Inflated Terrorism – Propaganda Lies

The Bush administration is paltering to the American public with
exaggerated misconceptions of worldwide terrorism to frighten us into
supporting a global police state. With seven hundred military bases and
a budget bigger than the rest of the world combined, the US military
has become the new supreme-power force repressing “terrorism”
everywhere.  

Vice President Dick Cheney’s keynote address at the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference March 7, 2006 is a
telling example of neo-conservative global dominance thought in the
current administration. Here are his exact words, “Israel, and the
United States, and all civilized nations will win the war on terror. To
prevail in this fight, we must understand the nature of the enemy. …as
America experienced on September 11th, 2001, the terrorist enemy is
brutal and heartless. This enemy wears no uniform, has no regard for
the rules of warfare, and is unconstrained by any standard of decency
or morality….The terrorists want to end all American and Western
influence in the Middle East. Their goal in that region is to seize
control of a country, so they have a base from which to launch attacks
and wage war against governments that do not meet their demands…
ultimately to establish a totalitarian empire that encompasses a region
from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South
Asia, all the way around to Indonesia."

Cheney claims that evil terrorists everywhere are plotting for the
ruin of “civilized” nations. In order to stop them we must militarily
control all the regions they are threatening in a permanent global war.
Cheney’s military empire, set to prevail over the totalitarian
terrorists, will inevitably expand global resistance to US domination.
Large coalitions of freedom fighters, fundamentalists, patriots,
religious zealots, nationalists, and ideologues of various beliefs will
emerge from within the regions the US occupies. 

Widespread resistance is exactly what is happening in Iraq. Le Monde
Diplomatique on May 2, 2006 described the Iraq insurgents — terrorists
to Cheney — as “armed opposition often divided into a set of wholly
independent categories which apparently do not have much in common. The
categories include the patriotic former army officers, the foreign
terrorists, the Sunni Arabs determined to regain power, the Muslims
opposed to any kind of foreign occupation, the tribal factions pursuing
their own specific vendettas, the die-hard Ba'athists - and the
"pissed-off" Iraqis (in coalition soldier jargon, POIs) who are simply
sick of the foreign forces occupying their country.”

For Cheney and other global dominance neo-conservatives, the terrorist
label is so broad that it can be applied to any individual, group, or
nation that resists US military occupations, US threats, or US
corporate interests anywhere in the world. In reality, the US military
is the world’s foremost totalitarian force. 

Three years ago I met a Dutch journalist, Willem Oltman, at the
International Campaign Against US Aggression on Iraq in Cairo, Egypt.
Oltman described his teen years during World War II in the Dutch
resistance movement. “The Nazi’s called us terrorists,” he exclaimed.
“Now as the US invades and occupies other countries you do the same
thing,” he added.  
 
Maintaining an US military global police force enriches defense
contractors and enflames resistance. There is no worldwide terrorism
threat other than the one we create when we make war on other peoples.
Addressing world poverty, sickness, and environmental issues will go
much further in preventing single acts of terrorism inside the United
States than any military actions we can muster. It is time to challenge
the neo-conservative global dominance agenda and stand up for human
rights and the traditional American values of grass-roots democracy,
due process, governmental transparency, and individual freedoms for
ourselves and the rest of the world.
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #2 of 28: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Mon 3 Jul 06 19:15
    

Peter, welcome and thanks for posting that.

 I'm sure there will be a lot to discuss in the issues you raise
as well as the work Project Censored does.

 The site is

http://www.projectcensored.org

 There is a pdf of their spring newsletter which gives some history and a
list of the top stories since the project started in 1976.

 The latest list is at

http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2006/index.htm

 Project Censored also publishes a book each year with even more
information.  The latest is Censored 2006.

 There are lists from 1996 and 1999 - 2005 at

http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/index.htm
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #3 of 28: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 5 Jul 06 10:04
    

(Note: offsite readers with questions or comments may send them to
<inkwell@well.com> to have them added to the conversation)
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #4 of 28: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Wed 5 Jul 06 10:39
    
Peter, a couple of questions to start things off.

What do you think Project Censored has been able to accomplish over
the past 30 years?

What impact has the internet had in helping to get stories recognized
by Project Censored wider exposure?

And I'll come back to your opening statement soon.
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #5 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Wed 5 Jul 06 13:31
    
Number one:  we have trained over 1,500 students in critical news
analysis.  

Number two:  we have documented the historical patterns of corporate
media's failure to cover important news stories. 

Number three: we have chronicled the consolidation of media into ten
major corporations —from 50 when we started 30 years ago —  and
presented case after case of media bias and the ignoring of powerful
people in both public and private bureaucracies who are the
undemocratic decision makers in our society and the world.

Number four: we have helped expand the media democracy movement
worldwide through the release of our annual list of censored news
stories that makes millions of people aware of the continuing abuses of
truth by the corporate media. 


 The internet has expaned our ability to reach millions people
worldwide with the stories not covered.  We have approximately 30,000
hits a day on our website. the news stories are translated into a dozen
languages and posted in countries all over the world. 

In the past ten years we have been able to increasingly directly link
our stories to the original sources directly on-line giving people
immediate access to important news stories.
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #6 of 28: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 5 Jul 06 13:54
    
Only ten corporations do most of the news!?  In the US I presume and not
the whole world?  Either way, wow.

What are they?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #7 of 28: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Wed 5 Jul 06 14:33
    


There is a great video on this topic: Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing
Consent.
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #8 of 28: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Wed 5 Jul 06 15:44
    

 Yeah, Manufacturing Consent is still one of the best films about
media.

When the first edition of Ben Bagdikian's the Media Monopoly came out
in 1983, he wrote that 50 companies controlled half or more of the
media business in the US.  This was an early update from 1987 when the
second edition came out

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1498

 Media companies have become more global over the years.  The seventh
edition came out in 2004.  There is more at

http://www.benbagdikian.com

and this site

http://www.corporations.org/media/

CJR has a site on ownership

http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/

This is a chart from 2001

http://www.mediachannel.org/ownership/chart.shtml



 The Nation also just published a 10 year follow-up to their National
Entertainment State special issue

http://www.thenation.com/issue/20060703

 Peter, that is impressive work.

 It does seem that since Project Censored started, people have become
more aware of media issues.

What have some of the students who've been trained by Project Censored
gone on to do?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #9 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Wed 5 Jul 06 18:05
    

Our link on media consolidation on our website. 

http://www.projectcensored.org/newsflash/C2006_chap6.pdf


Our students go on after graduatation to do eveything regular student
do, but some are working in independent media.  One of our former
students won an award in last years book. 
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #10 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Wed 5 Jul 06 18:08
    
I highly recommend Manufacturng Consent", it is still a very relevent
movie.

I wrote this piece just about a year ago. 

Incomplete News Undermines US Values
By Peter Phillips

Dozens were kidnapped by roving gangs off the streets of their
hometowns, disappeared from families, hooded, chained, repeatedly
interrogated, incarcerated for years in military prisons, and then told
it was all a mistake. Did this happen in Stalinist Russia, some South
American military dictatorship, Apartheid South Africa? No, the gangs
were special forces of the US Government operating with approval from
the highest levels of the Pentagon, the victims Afghan civilians
recently released from the Guantanamo military prison camp in Cuba. 

The New York Times published an article April 20 reporting how 17
innocent Afghans were recently freed from Guantanamo prison after three
and half years. "Several of the Afghans said in interviews that they
had been told by American officers that they were being freed because
they were innocent of any crime," the article reported. "The men would
be given new clothes, turbans and travel money and allowed to go home,"
the paper disclosed.

Prior to the release of the Guantanamo prisoners last Fall, Seymour
Hersh fully exposed the US's worldwide abuse of power and violation of
human right in articles published in the Guardian and New Yorker. Hersh
documented that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, with approval
from the White House, had authorized a special-access program (SAP) to
go on global manhunts for terrorists. It was deemed OK to kidnap
suspected terrorists and take them to countries that would get tough
(torture) them during interrogations. Several hundred people captured
wholesale in Afghanistan and transported to Cuba were deemed enemy
non-combatants without rights of due process or coverage under the
Geneva Convention.

The New York Times' story covers the release of the internees without
Hersh's historical context of high level official approval.
Additionally, the NY Times story fails to address coverage of how, in a
country that supports due process and human rights, our military could
take such tragic action violating the rights of these men and their
families. Instead the story implies that the kidnapping of these
Afghans was justified in that undoubtedly some of the prisoners were
guilty. This is like rounding up the church choir because the minister
was caught in bed with the organist. 

Failure to publish the full truth regarding the release of the Afghan
prisoners is a strong indication that the New York Times and corporate
media groups in general are unable and unwilling to fully address human
right violations by our own government. The broad publication of
stories about the breach of human rights by our national security
forces is inconsistent with corporate media's continuing desire to have
24 hour access to sources of news inside the White House, Pentagon and
State Department. This failure of nerve to support the public's right
to know and insure a transparent governmental process is undoubtedly
giving America a black eye in the world community. Increasingly America
is seen as an uncontrolled empire of power and abuse. For many in the
world we are the Darth Vaders of the planet — pure evil incorporated. 

Non-Americans know that the people in the US do not approve of these
practices. We must, however, openly share their outrage and demand that
America hold to our values of due process and human rights. To do this
we must support media that address these issues. We need a media that
post and recognize the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in
every newsroom. Anything less cuts at the very soul of the American
people.

Comments welcome
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #11 of 28: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Thu 6 Jul 06 12:07
    
It seems this was reflected even in the coverage of the recent Supreme
Court decision.  

I see that was published in the Project Censored Newsletter and on
Common Dreams which is an interesting site which has been around since
1997 and hasn't gotten as much media attention as some of the
progressive blogs 

http://www.commondreams.org

  There has been a related flashpoint over issues of censorship. 
First there was the holding (or self-censorship) of the NSA spying
story by the New York Times for over a year.  And the more recent
attacks by the administration and many conservatives for the
publication of the banking  records story or even the NYT piece that
mentioned the vacation homes
of Cheney and Rumsfeld.
 
  There was a segment on this on the PBS Newshour

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec06/nytimes_07-05.html

   What is your reaction to this?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #12 of 28: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Thu 6 Jul 06 14:38
    
Also, can you tell us about how you became interested in media issues
and  how you became involved with Project Censored?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #13 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Fri 7 Jul 06 13:45
    
The NY Times sitting on the NSA spying story for close to a year is a
classic case of internal censorship in corporate media.  The US public
had every right to know that all electronic communications are being
monitored.  This is a complete abdication of the NY Times'
responsibility to the First Amendment.

Project Censored covered the spying story in our Censored 2006 book as
story #4 see:
http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2006/index.htm#4

The NY Times' coverage about international banking transactions being
monitored isn't about privacy rights of individuals but rather a the
realization the by monitoring international business transactions the
US Government has full awareness of corporate fiscal activities, which
could be use for business advangages of selected US firms.  There are
cases on record of the CIA spying on behalf of US military contactors
regarding  major non-US government weapons buying programs.  
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #14 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Sat 8 Jul 06 13:46
    
Other Issues to think about and discuss:

National Impeachment Movement Ignored by Corporate Media


If a national movement calling for the impeachment of the President is
rapidly emerging and the corporate media are not covering it, is there
really a national movement for the impeachment of the President? 

Impeachment advocates are widely mobilizing in the U.S. Over 1,000
letters to the editors of major newspapers have been printed in the
past six months asking for impeachment. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter
writer George Matus says, “I am still enraged over unasked questions
about exit polls, touch-screen voting, Iraq, the cost of the new
Medicare…who formulated our energy policy, Jack Abramoff, the Downing
Street Memos, and impeachment.” David Anderson in McMinnville, Oregon
pens to the Oregonian, “Where are the members of our congressional
delegation now in demanding the current president’s actions be
investigated to see if impeachment or censure are appropriate actions?”
William Dwyer’s letter in the Charleston Gazette says, “Congress will
never have the courage to start the impeachment process without a
groundswell of outrage from the people.”
City councils, boards of supervisors, and local and state level
Democrat central committees have voted for impeachment. Arcata,
California voted for impeachment on January 6. The City and County of
San Francisco, voted Yes on February 28. The Sonoma County Democrat
Central Committee (CA) voted for Impeachment on March 16. The townships
of Newfane, Brookfield, Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney in Vermont all
voted for impeachment the first week of March. The New Mexico State
Democrat party convention rallied on March 18 for the ”impeachment of
George Bush and his lawful removal from office.” The national Green
Party called for impeachment on January 3. Op-ed writers at the St.
Petersburg Times, Newsday, Yale Daily News, Barrons, Detroit Free
Press, and the Boston Globe have called for impeachment. The San
Francisco Bay Guardian (1/25/06) The Nation (1/30/06) and Harpers
(3/06) published cover articles calling for impeachment. As of March
16, thirty-two US House of Representatives have signed on as
co-sponsors to House Resolution 635, which would create a Select
Committee to look into the grounds for recommending President Bush’s
impeachment. 

Polls show that nearly a majority of Americans favor impeachment. In
October of 2005, Public Affairs Research found that 50% of Americans
said that President Bush should be impeached if he lied about the war
in Iraq. A Zogby International poll from early November 2005 found that
53% of Americans say, "If President Bush did not tell the truth about
his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider
holding him accountable through impeachment." A March 16, 2006 poll by
American Research Group showed that 42% of Americans favored impeaching
Bush.

Despite all this advocacy and sentiment for impeachment, corporate
media have yet to cover this emerging mass movement. The Bangor Daily
News simply reported on March 17 that former US Attorney General Ramsey
Clark has set up the website Votetoimpeach.org and that other groups
are using the internet to push impeachment. The Wall Street Journal, on
March 16, editorialized about how it is just “the loony left” seeking
impeachment, but perhaps some Democrats in Congress will join in
feeding on the “bile of the censure/impeachment brigades.” 

The corporate media are ignoring the broadening call for impeachment —
wishing perhaps it will just go away. Television news and talk shows
have mentioned impeachment over 100 times in march 2006, mostly however
in the context of Senator Russ Feingold’s censure bill and the lack of
broad Democrat support for censure or impeachment. Nothing on
television news gives the impression that millions of Americans are
calling for the impeachment of Bush and his cohorts.  

The Bush Administration lied about Iraq, illegally spied on US
citizens, and continues war crimes in the Middle East. Despite
corporate media’s inability to hear the demands for impeachment, the
groundswell of outrage continues to expand. 
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #15 of 28: Don Mussell (dmsml) Sat 8 Jul 06 17:28
    
I'm outraged, and have been for years now. But my local paper won't
print my letters. And when I try to call to talk radio, the screeners
won't let me past them. 
    So I don't watch TV anymore, and barely listen to the radio. 

Maybe that is the desired effect?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #16 of 28: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Sun 9 Jul 06 11:06
    
Why do you think the "corporate media" is ignoring this supposedly
groundswelling call for impeachment? Why would it wish "perhaps it will
go away"?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #17 of 28: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Sun 9 Jul 06 12:47
    

 I know it can be tempting to tune out the media, but it is important to
keep looking at it critically.  And not there are more ways to respond than
a letter to the editor.  A blog post on a story may be seen by more people
and have more of an impact than a letter ever did.

   There's an article in today's NYT that suggests there are other programs
which haven't been revealed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/washington/09hoekstra.html

 Besides impeachment, what are some other current stories you think should
be getting more attention?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #18 of 28: Kindness does not require an infrastructure (chrys) Mon 10 Jul 06 19:42
    

And I'd be interested to know if you have an opinion about NPR's 'On
The Media'.  


I find it is one of the few radio programs I listen to pretty
faithfully, catching it on the archives if I missed the broadcast.
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #19 of 28: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 11 Jul 06 11:41
    
I'm curious as to how you feel advertisers fit into the decisions to not 
run certain news.

Since I work for The WELL, part of Salon.com but not part of editorial
operations, I have gotten an interesting semi-outside perspective on
these matters.

For example, the following section took hundreds of hours of labor, 
continues to take bandwidth, and no advertiser wants leaderboard 
banners or pageturners or other such bill-payers on it.  This 
lack of reventue was anticipated from the outset, and there was no 
barrier to taking on the large project based on not being able to 
pay for it, but how often can entities do that when they are ad
or even sponsor/donor supported?

>The Abu Ghraib files:
>http://www.salon.com/news/abu_ghraib/2006/03/14/introduction/
>279 photographs and 19 videos from the Army's internal investigation

Is there a way to organize to effectively pressure or reward companies 
for advertising unpopular content, or does that inevitiably pull the 
culture-wars ad retaliation gambit that already happens now and then 
into a more mainstream role, and make newsrooms more timid?
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #20 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Tue 11 Jul 06 11:43
    
I have been on NPR's On the Media two times and both times found them
to be professional, and very analytical regarding media issues in the
US. They tend to be corporate media oriented without a deep
understanding of mainstream independent media . 
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #21 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Tue 11 Jul 06 11:45
    
#17

The three biggest stories not being covered by the corporate media are
questions on 9/11 espicially Building 7, Voter Fraud in 2004,(eight
million votes were changed in the voting machines in 13 states) and
peak oil.  
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #22 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Tue 11 Jul 06 11:49
    
#19

Advertising pressure have been with media ever since we went
commercial after the civil war. Noetheless some media have been better
at resisting advertiser pressures than other.  Consoikdation of media
and consolidation of corporate advertisers have worked against freedom
of the press and the first amendment's public's right to know. 

Additionally Homeland Security has added to the pressure.

Corporate Media and Homeland Security Move towards Total Information
Control
By Peter Phillips

Freedom of information in American society is in danger because
corporate media needs to maintain access to official sources of news.
Consolidation of media has brought the total news sources for most
Americans to less than a handful and these news groups have an
ever-increasing dependency on pre-arranged content.

The 24-hour news shows on MSNBC, Fox and CNN are closely
interconnected with various governmental and corporate sources of news.
Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant feed and an
ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites.
Advertisement for mass consumption drives the system and pre-packaged
sources of news are vital within this global news process. Ratings
demand continued cooperation from multiple-sources for on-going weather
reports, war stories, sports scores, business news, and regional
headlines. Print, radio and TV news also engages in this constant
interchange with news sources. 

The preparation for and following of ongoing wars and terrorism fits
well into the visual kaleidoscope of pre-planned news. Government
public relations specialists and media experts from private commercial
interests provide on going news feeds to the national media
distributions systems. The result is an emerging macro-symbiotic
relationship between news dispensers and news suppliers. Perfect
examples of this relationship are the press pools organized by the
Pentagon both in the Middle-East and in Washington D.C., which give
pre-scheduled reports on the war in Iraq to selected groups of news
collectors (journalists) for distribution through their individual
media organizations. 

Embedded reporters (news collectors) working directly with military
units in the field must maintain cooperative working relationships with
unit commanders as they feed breaking news back to the U.S. public.
Cooperative reporting is vital to continued access to government news
sources. Therefore, rows of news story reviewers back at corporate
media headquarters rewrite, soften or spike news stories from the field
that threaten the symbiotics of global news management. 

Journalists who fail to recognize their role as cooperative news
collectors will be disciplined in the field or barred from reporting as
in the recent celebrity cases of Geraldo Rivera and Peter Arnett. 

Journalists working outside of this mass media system face
ever-increasing dangers from “accidents” of war and corporate-media
dismissal of their news reports. Massive civilian casualties caused by
U.S. troops, extensive damage to private homes and businesses, and
reports that contradict the official public relations line were
downplayed, deleted, or ignored by corporate media, while content were
analyzed by experts (retired generals and other approved collaborators)
from within the symbiotic global news structure.

Symbiotic global news distribution is a conscious and deliberate
attempt by the powerful to control news and information in society. The
Homeland Security Act Title II Section 201(d)(5) specifically asks the
directorate to “develop a comprehensive plan for securing the key
resources and critical infrastructure of the United States
including…information technology and telecommunications systems
(including satellites)… emergency preparedness communications systems.”

Corporate media today is perhaps too vast to enforce complete control
over all content 24 hours a day. However, the government's goal is the
operationalization of total information control and the continuing
consolidation of media makes this process easier to achieve.

Freedom of information and citizen access to objective news is rapidly
fading in the United States and the world. In its place is a complex
entertainment-oriented news system, which protects its own bottom-line
by servicing the most powerful military-industrial complex in the
world. 

For the majority of Americans who depend on corporate media for their
daily news, this monolithic news structure creates intellectual
celibacy, inaction and fear. The result is a docile population, whose
principal function within society is to simply shut-up and go shopping.
The powerful would like us quiet and consumptive and the corporate
media is delivering that message on a daily basis.
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #23 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Tue 11 Jul 06 12:05
    
#15

Don,

There are lots of independent alternative press groups forming all
around the country.  You can post your letter at www.Indymedia.org any
tme you want.  I recommend finding the closest webbased news site to
your home and posting letters and op-eds there. 
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #24 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Tue 11 Jul 06 12:49
    
#16 Steve,

Corporate Media is ignoring the impeachment issue because of
dependency on the State Dept. Pentagon and White House for regular news
feeds. After that corporate media is interconnected with the Global
Dominance Group who are pushing a pro-military agenda of US forward
deployment for total police state control of the world.

The leadership class in the US is now dominated by a neo-conservative
group of some 200 people who have the shared goal of asserting US
military power worldwide. This Global Dominance Group, in cooperation
with major military contractors, has become a powerful force in
military unilateralism and US political processes. 

A long thread of sociological research documents the existence of a
dominant ruling class in the US, which sets policy and determines
national political priorities. C. Wright Mills, in his 1956 book on the
power elite, documented how World War II solidified a trinity of power
in the US that comprised corporate, military and government elites in
a centralized power structure working in unison through "higher
circles" of contact and agreement. 
Neo-conservatives promoting the US Military control of the world are
now in dominant policy positions within these higher circles of the US.
Adbusters magazine summed up neo-conservatism as: "The belief that
Democracy, however flawed, was best defended by an ignorant public
pumped on nationalism and religion. Only a militantly nationalist state
could deter human aggression …Such nationalism requires an external
threat and if one cannot be found it must be manufactured."

In 1992, during Bush the First's administration, Dick Cheney supported
Lewis Libby and Paul Wolfowitz in producing the “Defense Planning
Guidance” report, which advocated US military dominance around the
globe in a "new order." The report called for the United States to grow
in military superiority and to prevent new rivals from rising up to
challenge us on the world stage. 

At the end of Clinton's administration, global dominance advocates
founded the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Among the PNAC
founders were eight people affiliated with the number-one defense
contractor Lockheed-Martin, and seven others associated with the
number-three defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Of the twenty-five
founders of PNAC twelve were later appointed to high level positions in
the George W. Bush administration.

In September 2000, PNAC produced a 76-page report entitled Rebuilding
America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.
The report, similar to the 1992 Defense Policy Guidance report, called
for the protection of the American Homeland, the ability to wage
simultaneous theater wars, perform global constabulary roles, and the
control of space and cyberspace. It claimed that the 1990s were a
decade of defense neglect and that the US must increase military
spending to preserve American geopolitical leadership as the world's
superpower. The report also recognized that: "the process of
transformation … is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic
and catalyzing event such as a new Pearl Harbor." The events of
September 11, 2001 presented exactly the catastrophe that the authors
of Rebuilding America' Defenses theorized were needed to accelerate a
global dominance agenda. The resulting permanent war on terror has led
to massive government defense spending, the invasions of two countries,
and the threatening of three others, and the rapid acceleration of the
neo-conservative plans for military control of the world.

The US now spends as much for defense as the rest of the world
combined. The Pentagon's budget for buying new weapons rose from $61
billion in 2001 to over $80 billion in 2004. Lockheed Martin's sales
rose by over 30% at the same time, with tens of billions of dollars on
the books for future purchases. From 2000 to 2004, Lockheed Martins
stock value rose 300%. Northrup-Grumann saw similar growth with DoD
contracts rising from $3.2 billion in 2001 to $11.1 billion in 2004.
Halliburton, with Dick Cheney as former CEO, had defense contracts
totaling $427 million in 2001. By 2003, they had $4.3 billion in
defense contracts, of which approximately a third were sole source
agreements.
At the beginning of 2006 the Global Dominance Group's agenda is well
established within higher circle policy councils and cunningly
operationalized inside the US Government. They work hand in hand with
defense contractors promoting deployment of US forces in over 700 bases
worldwide.

There is an important difference between self-defense from external
threats, and the belief in the total military control of the world.
When asked, most working people in the US have serious doubts about the
moral and practical acceptability of financing world domination.

 A more in-depth review of the global dominance group's agenda and a
list of the 200 advocates see:
http://www.projectcensored.org/downloads/Global_Dominance_Group.pdf
  
inkwell.vue.276 : Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored
permalink #25 of 28: Peter Phillips (peterphillips) Tue 11 Jul 06 12:52
    
California Television Stations Caught in Fake News Study

By Peter Phillips, Caitlin Lampert, and Ned Patterson

Channel 40 news in Sacramento and Santa Barbara KEYT-3 channel 5 both
aired fake news stories according to a recent study from PR Watch. 

Fox news Channel 40 in Sacramento aired a news story on June 10, 2005
about a new dental technique that would check saliva samples to
determine possible diseases. The story was aired as Fox news, but was
actually a video news release made MultiVu, a PR Newswire Company, who
were paid by the American Dental Association. Fox news repackaged the
video by replacing the voice from MultiVu and using the same images to
present their story without telling their audience that the source was
from a pre-packaged video news release (VNR) paid for by the American
Dental Association.  

A report by the Center for Media Democracy (PR Watch) was released
April 6, 2006. The study was compiled by Diane Faresetta and Daniel
Price over ten months in 2005. The research shows how fake news stories
are making their way into the American mainstream corporate news
programs. Fake news stories, VNRs, are created by public relations
firms on behalf of corporate clients and released to news sources for
broadcast. 
Traditional journalism ethics have always demanded that reporters cite
their sources and give objective honest accounts of news stories. The
American public tends to believe news on television as unbiased,
balanced and accurate. 

Santa Barbara KEYT-3 channel 5 news, airs high tech stories by Robin
Raskin, former editor of Family PC Magazine. Raskin does on-going news
updates about personal computers and new technologies without telling
the audience that she is being paid by Panasonic, Namco, and Techno
Sources.

Similarly KOKH-25 in Okalahoma City shares stories on the latest
technology advancements. On January 3, 2006 KOKH aired a feature story
on the latest advancements in internet cable television. The technology
featured in the report was limited to the Viiv media network platform
from Intel. The entire story was taken from a VNR video created by D S
Simon Productions and funded by Intel. 

In Shreveport, LA, KSLA -12, channel 7 aired a two minute unedited VNR
that discussed the vast changes in auto sales since General Motors
launched the first online sales web site in 1996.  Unfortunately,
General Motors was not the first to have an automobile web site. The
news reporters did not conduct independent research to fact check GM’
claims.   

According to PR Watch “the number of media formats and outlets has
exploded in recent years, television remains the dominant news source
in the United States. More than three-quarters of U.S. adults rely on
local TV news, and more than 70 percent turn to network TV or cable
news on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a January 2006 Harris
Poll. The quality and integrity of television reporting thus
significantly impacts the public's ability to evaluate everything from
consumer products to medical services to government policies.”

VNR use is widespread. Pr Watch found 69 TV stations that aired at
least one VNR from June 2005 to March 2006 covering over half the
population in the US. 

For more information see:
http://www.prwatch.org/fakenews/findings/vnrs

Peter Phillips is a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University
and director of Project Censored a media research organization, Caitlin
Lampert is an undergraduate sociology major at SSU and Ned Patterson
is a graduating senior in sociology. 
  

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