- Sonoma State University's student run media research
group Project Censored announces the release of its annual publication,
Censored 2005, a compilation of the year's 25 most significant news stories
that were overlooked or under-reported by the country's major national
news media, as well as chapters on the grass roots media democracy, media
ownership maps, real news about US involvement in Palestine, Haiti, Iraq,
- With introduction by Greg Palast and the political cartoon
commentary of Tom Tomorrow throughout, this year's book covers critical
issues facing the American public this election year. In Chapter 1's list
of top 25 stories focus on politics, economics, foreign policy, food and
health, the environment, energy, domestic policy, and the military.
- "We define censorship as interference with the free
flow of information," states Peter Phillips, Director of the Project,
"Corporate media in the United States is interested primarily in entertainment
news to feed their bottom-line priorities. Very important news stories
that should reach the American public often fall on the cutting room floor
to be replaced by sex-scandals and celebrity updates."
- The Sonoma State University research group is composed
of nearly 200 faculty, students and community experts who review about
1000 story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and
national significance. The top 25 stories are submitted to a panel of
judges who then rank them in order of importance. Current judges include,
Norman Solomon, Michael Parenti, Cynthia McKinney, Howard Zinn, and 20
other national journalists, scholars and writers.
- Censored 2005, now available in bookstores nationwide,
can also be purchased on the project's website at www.projectcensored.org.
- For more information, contact:
- Project Censored
- Trish Boreta
- Top Most Censored News Stories
- #1 Wealth Inequity in 21st Century Threatens Economy
- Multinational Monitor, May 2003, Vol. 24, No. 5
- Title: "The Wealth Divide" (An interview with
- Author: Robert Weissman
- Buzzflash, March 26 and 19, 2004
- Title: "A Buzzflash Interview, Parts I and II"
(with David Cay Johnston)
- Author: Mark Karlin
- London Guardian, October 4, 2004
- Title: "Every third person will be a slum dweller
within 30 years, UN agency warns"
- Author: John Vidal
- Multinational Monitor, July/August, 2003
- Title: "Grotesque Inequality"
- Author: Robert Weissman
- Wealth inequality increased dramatically in the United
States in the late1990s. The top 5% is now capturing an increasingly greater
portion of the pie while the bottom 95% is clearly losing ground, resulting
in the rapidly vanishing middle class. This trend is the product of legislative
policies carefully crafted and lobbied for by corporations and the ultra-wealthy
over the past 25 years. America's economic trends have a global footprint,
and today, the top 400 income earners in the U.S. make as much in a year
as the entire population of the 20 poorest countries in Africa. A series
of reports released in 2003 by the UN warn that further increases in the
imbalance in wealth throughout the world will have catastrophic effects
if left unchecked, such as the collapse of the entire global economy.
- #2 Ashcroft vs. the Human Rights Law that Holds Corporations
- One World.Net and Asheville Global Report, May 19, 2003
- Title: "Ashcroft goes after 200-year-old Human Rights
- Author: Jim Lobe
- Attorney General John Ashcroft is seeking to strike down
one of the world's oldest human rights laws, the Alien Torts Claim Act
(ATCA) which holds government leaders, corporations, and senior military
officials liable for human rights abuses taking place in foreign countries.
Organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) vehemently oppose the removal
of this law, as it is one of the few legal defenses victims of human rights
violations can claim against powerful organizations such as governments
or multinational corporations. By attempting to throw out this law, the
Bush Administration is effectively opening the door for human rights abuses
to continue under the veil of foreign relations diplomacy.
- #3 Bush Administration Manipulates Science and Censors
- The Nation, March 8, 2004
- Title: "The Junk Science of George W. Bush"
- Author: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
- Censorship News: The National Coalition Against Censorship
Newsletter, Fall 2003, #91
- Title: "Censoring Scientific Information"
- Author: The National Coalition Against Censorship staff
- Environment News Service and OneWorld.Net, February 20,
- Title: "Ranking Scientists Warn Bush Science Policy
- Author: Sunny Lewis
- Office of U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman, August
- Title: "Politics and Science in the Bush Administration"
- Prepared by: Committee on Government Reform - Minority
- (Updated November 13, 2003
- In Washington D.C. more than 60 of the nation's top scientists,
including 20 Nobel laureates, medical experts, and former federal agency
directors, issued a statement February 18, 2004 accusing the Bush Administration
of deliberately distorting scientific results for political ends. They
are calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific
integrity to federal policymaking. Under the current administration, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has blacklisted scientists who pose
a threat to pro-business ideology, and many unqualified scientists with
close industry ties have been appointed to advisory boards.
- # 4 High Uranium Levels Found in Troops and Civilians
- Uranium Medical Research Center, January 2003
- Title: "UMRC's Preliminary Findings from Afghanistan
and Operation Enduring Freedom" and "Afghan Field Trip #2 Report:
Precision Destruction - Indiscriminate Effects"
- Author: Tedd Weyman, UMRC Research Team
- Awakened Woman, January 2004
- Title: "Scientists Uncover Radioactive Trail in
- Author: Stephanie Hiller
- Dissident Voice, March 2004
- Title: "There Are No Words Radiation in Iraq equals
250,000 Nagasaki Bombs"
- Author: Bob Nichols
- New York Daily News, April 5, 2004
- Title: "Poisoned?"
- Author: Juan Gonzales
- Information Clearing House, March 2004
- Title: "International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan
At Tokyo, The People Vs. George Bush"
- Author: Professor Ms. Niloufer Bhagwat J.
- Civilian populations in Afghanistan and Iraq and occupying
troops have been contaminated with astounding levels of radioactive uranium
as a result of post-9/11 United States' use of tons of uranium munitions.
Four million pounds of radioactive uranium were dropped on Iraq in 2003
alone. Most American weapons (missiles, smart bombs, bullets, tank shells,
cruise missiles, etc.) contain high amounts of uranium that on detonation,
release a radioactive dust. Once ingested, these subatomic particles slice
through DNA. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, it is a permanent
contaminant distributed throughout the environment.
- Scientists from around the world testify to the huge
increase in birth deformities and cancers wherever uranium munitions have
been used. The effects of the U.S. deployment will be felt in all the neighboring
countries in the Middle East and Asia, as well as in our returning troops.
- #5 The Wholesale Giveaway of Our Natural Resources
- In These Times, November 23, 2003
- Title: "Liquidation of the Commons"
- Author: Adam Werbach
- High Country News, Vol. 35, No. 11, June 9, 2003
- Title: "Giant Sequoias Could Get the Ax"
- Author: Matt Weiser
- The Bush Administration's environmental policies are
destroying much of the environmental progress made over the past 30 years.
Between the "Clean Skies Initiative," a recent policy that allows
power plants to emit more than five times more mercury and twice as much
sulfur dioxide, and the "Healthy Forests Initiative," which allows
the wholesale liquidation of ancient forests by corporate timber interests
under the guise of fire prevention, resource extraction and pollution is
occurring at unprecedented rates.
- #6 The Sale of Electoral Politics
- In These Times, December 2003
- Title: "Voting Machines Gone Wild"
- Author: Mark Lewellen-Biddle
- Independet/UK, October 13, 2003
- Title: "All The President's Votes?"
- Author: Andrew Gumbel
- Democracy Now!, September 4, 2003
- Title: "Will Bush Backers Manipulate Votes to Deliver
GW Another Election?"
- Reporter: Amy Goodman and the staff of Democracy Now!
- Conflicts of interest exist between the largest suppliers
of electronic voting machines in the United States and key leaders in the
Republican Party. While the voting machines themselves present some technical
issues, the political affiliations within the voting machine industry pose
even more serious questions. The three major companies involved in implementing
the new, often faulty, technology at voting stations throughout the country
have strong ties to the Bush Administration, Republican leaders, and major
- It must be noted that under the Help America Vote Act
control over the electoral process has been taken away from local officials
and placed in the hands of a very small number of for-profit corporations.
In effect we are privatizing America's most public endeavor.
- #7 Conservative Organization Drives Judicial Appointments
- The American Prospect, Vol. 14, Issue 3, March 1, 2003
- Title: " A Hostile Takeover: How the Federalist
Society is Capturing the Federal Courts"
- Author: Martin Garbus
- Title: "Courts vs. Citizents"
- Author: Jamin Raskin
- In 2001 George W. Bush eliminated the longstanding influence
of the American Bar Association (ABA) in the evaluation of the prospective
federal judges. ABA's judicial ratings had long kept extremists from the
right and left off the bench. In its place, Bush has been using the Federal
Society for Law and Public Policy Studies-a national organization whose
mission is to advance a conservative agenda by moving the country's legal
system to the right.
- One of the most important issues in the country is the
control of one of the three branches of government, the judiciary. While
Presidents and Congress-members get elected every few years, judicial appointments
are for life, Our courts deal with nearly every aspect of life; work conditions
and wages, schools, civil rights, affirmative action, crime and punishment,
abortion and the environment, amongst others.
- #8 Secrets of Cheney's Energy Task Force Come to Light
- Judicial Watch, July 17, 2003
- Title: "Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature
Map of Iraqi Oilfields"
- Author: Judicial Watch Staff
- Foreign Policy in Focus, January 2004
- Title: "Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the
Rest of the World's Oil"
- Author: Michael Klare
- Cheney Energy Task Force documents turned over in the
summer of 2003 by the Commerce Department as a result of the Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit brought by Sierra Club and Judicial Watch contain
maps of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals. The documents,
dated March 2001, also contain plans of occupation and exploitation that
predate September 11, confirming suspicions that the Bush Administration
energy policy is driving U.S. military strategy.
- #9 Widow Brings RICO Case Against U.S. Government for
- Scoop.co.nz, November 2003 and December 2003
- Title: "911 Victim's Wife Files RICO Case Against
- Author: Philip J. Berg
- Title: "Widow's Bush Treason Suit Vanishes"
- Author: W. David Kubiak
- Ellen Mariani became widowed when her husband Louis Neil
Mariani perished in the collision between United Airlines flight 175 and
the South Tower of the World Trade Center. In addition to her refusal
of the government's million-dollar settlement offer, Mrs. Mariani has filed
a 62 page complaint in federal district court charging that President
Bush and officials: (1) had adequate foreknowledge of 911, yet failed to
warn the country or attempt to prevent it; (2) have since been covering
up the truth of that day; (3) have therefore abetted the murder of plaintiff's
husband and violated the Constitution and multiple laws of the United States;
and (4) are thus being sued under the Civil Racketeering, Influences, and
Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act for Malfeasant conspiracy, obstruction
of justice and wrongful death.
- #10 New Nuke Plants: Taxpayers Support, Industry Profits
- Nuclear Information and Resourse Service, November 17,
- Title: "Nuclear Energy Would Get $7.5 Billion in
Tax Subsides, US Taxpayers Would Fund Nuclear Monitor Relapse If Energy
- Authors: Cindy Folkers and Michael Mariotte
- WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor, August 2003
- Title: "US Senate Passes Pro-Nuclear Energy Bill"
- Authors: Cindy Folkers and Michael Mariotte
- Senator Peter Domenici (R-NM), along with the Bush Administration,
is looking to give the nuclear power industry a huge boost through the
new Energy Policy Act. The Domenici-sponsored bill will give nuclear power
plants credits costing taxpayers an estimated 7.5 billion dollars, to build
six new privately owned, for-profit reactors across the country. Safety
standards will be lowered and liability will be passed on to taxpayers.
This is in addition to the $4 billion already provided for other nuclear
- #11 The Media Can Legally Lie
- CMW Report, Spring 2003
- Title: "Court Ruled That Media Can Legally Lie"
- Author: Liane Casten
- Organic Consumer Association, March 7, 2004
- Title: "Florida Appeals Court Orders Akre-Wilson
Must Pay Trial Costs for $24.3 Billion Fox Television; Couple Warns Journalists
of Danger to Free Speech, Whistle Blower Protection"
- Author: Al Krebs
- In 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals ruled that there
are no written rules against distorting news in the media. It agreed with
an argument by Fox Television that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters
have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves.
Under the current ruling, it is up to the public to discover whether or
not they are being lied to.
- #12 The Destabilization of Haiti
- KPFA Radio-Flashpoints, April 1, 2004
- Title: "Interview with Aristide's lawyer, Brian
- Reporter: Dennis Bernstein
- globalresearch.ca, February 29, 2004
- Title: "The destabilization of Haiti"
- Author: Michel Chossudovsky
- Dollars and Sense, September/October 2003
- Title: "Still Up Against the Death Plan in Haiti"
- Author: Tom Reeves
- KPFA - Democracy Now!, March 17, 2004
- Title: "Aristide talks with Democracy Now! About
the leaders of the coup and US funding of the opposition in Haiti"
- Reporter: Amy Goodman
- Associated Press, March 16, 2004
- Title: "Aristide Backers Left Out of Coalition"
- Author: Ian James
- On February 29, 2004, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
was forced into exile by American military. While U.S. officials were eventially
forced to acknowledge the kidnapping allegations, they were quick to discredit
them and deny responsibility. Meanwhile, the circumstances that led to
the current situation in Haiti, as well as the history of U.S. involvement,
are being ignored by U.S. officials and the mainstream media.
- #13 Schwarzenegger Met with Enron's Ken Lay Before the
- Common Dreams, August 17, 2003
- Title: "Ahnuld, Ken Lay, George Bush, Dick Cheney,
and Gray Davis"
- Author: Jason Leopold
- The London Observer, October 6, 2003
- Title: "Arnold Unplugged-It's Hasta la Vista to
- Author: Greg Palast
- San Francisco Chronicle and CommonDreams, October 11,2003
- Title: "Schwarzenegger Electricity Plan Fuels Fears
of Another Debacle"
- Author: Zachary Coile
- San Francisco Chronicle, May 26, 2001
- Title: "Enron's Secret Bid to Save Deregulation:
Private Meeting With Prominent Californians"
- Authors: Christian Berthelsen, Scott Winokur, Chronicle
- In 2002, while the California Governor and his deputy
were attempting to re-regulate the energy industry (and get back the $9
billion that was defrauded from California taxpayers by Enron and other
energy companies) Arnold Schwarzenegger was being groomed to overthrow
Governor Davis in a recall - and cancel plans to re-regulate or to recoup
the $9 billion. Back in May of 2001, in the midst of California's energy
crisis, Schwarzenegger met with Enron's Ken Lay to discuss "fixing"
California's energy crisis.
- #14 New Bill Threatens Intellectual Freedom
- Yale Daily News, November 6, 2003
- Title: "New Bill threatens intellectual freedom
in area studies"
- Author: Benita Singh
- Christian Science Monitor, March 11, 2004
- Title: "Speaking in 'Approved' Tongues"
- Author: Kimberly Chase
- The International Studies in Higher Education Act of
2003 threatens academic freedom and classroom curriculum. Under this act,
professors whose ideological principles do not support U.S. practices abroad
can have their appointments terminated, any course curriculum containing
criticism of U.S. foreign policy can be censored, and any course deemed
anti-American can be barred from the classroom.
- #15 US Develops Lethal New Bio-weapon Viruses
- The New Scientist, October 29, 2003
- Title: "US develops lethal new viruses"
- Author: Debora MacKenzie
- Scientists funded by the US government have developed
a way to make pox viruses incredibly deadly. The stated goal of this research
is to fight possible bio-terror attacks. The new virus kills all mice even
if they have been given antiviral drugs along with a vaccine that would
normally protect the victim from death.
- # 16 Law Enforcement Agencies Spy on Innocent Citizens
- Agenda, July--August 2003
- Title: "Big Brother Gets Bigger--Domestic Spying
& the Global Intelligence Working Group"
- Author: Michelle J. Kinnucan
- Community Alliance, April 2003
- Title: "Police Infiltrate Local Groups"
- Author: Mark Schlosberg
- CovertAction Quarterly, Fall 2003
- Title: "Denver Police Keeping Files On Peace Groups"
- Author: Loring Wirbel
- North Bay Progressive, Volume 2 # 8, October 2003
- Title: "Fresno Peace group Infiltrated by Government
- Author: Mike Rhodes
- World Socialist Web Site, www.wsws.org, 1/10/04
- Title: "Bush Administration Expands Police Spying
- Author: Kate Randall
- With little media comment, federal, state and local agencies
have begun working as partners in the collection, analysis, and dissemination
of intelligence information. Under the "Global Intelligence Working
Group" (that oversees the new network) police departments receive
increased funding for surveillance activity. This has resulted in the recent
COINTELPRO-style instances of police infiltration of groups critical of
- #17 U.S. Government Represses Labor Unions in Iraq in
Quest for Business Privatization
- The Progressive, December 2003
- Title: "Saddam's labor laws live on"
- Author: David Bacon
- Left Turn, March/April 2004, v. 12
- Title: "Ambitions of Empire: The Radical Reconstruction
of Iraq's Economy"
- Author: Antonia Juhasz
- According to the Wall Street Journal (alone), the Bush
Administration has "sweeping plans to remake Iraq's economy in the
US image." The US is calling for the privatization of state-owned
industries such as oil and water. But it has chosen not to overturn Sadaam-era
edicts that outlaw unions. Every day the economic policies of occupying
authorities create more hunger among Iraq's working people, transforming
them into a pool of low-wage, semi-employed labor, desperate for jobs at
- #18 Media and Government Ignore Dwindling Oil Supplies
- New Internationalist, October 31, 2003
- Title: "Running on empty; Oil is disappearing fast"
- Author: Adam Porter
- Guardian Unlimited, December 2, 2003
- Title: "Bottom of the Barrel"
- Author: George Monbiot
- Even industry executives affirm that oil is close to
reaching, or may have already reached, its highest levels of production
potential. Once the peak is reached, oil prices will start to rise (as
they have every year since 2000). As oil decline accelerates, prices will
rise even faster, with devastating effects to the US economy. Over the
years, U.S. leaders, bowing to oil industry pressure, have not worked to
develop viable alternatives (as they have done in Europe).
- #19 Global Food Cartel Fast Becoming the World's Supermarket
- Left Turn, August/September 2003
- Title: "Concentration in the Agri-Food System"