Ten Stories the Mainstream Media Missed

What we need in this country — along with a real disaster relief agency — is a Media Accountability Day.  Just on day out of the entire year when everyone in the news media stops reporting on what’s wrong with everyone else and devotes a complete 24 hour news cycle to looking at their own failings. It only seems like a logical considering that we have been in  the last few years in what is called the downfall of the news media of every kind.

I have long been of the opinion that the news media collectively will be sent to hell not for their sins of commission, but their sins of omission. The real scandal in the media is not bias, it is laziness. Laziness and bad news judgment. Their failure is what they miss, what they fail to cover, what they let slip by, what they don’t give enough attention to — because, after all, they have to cover Lindsey Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Lady GaGa without whom the world can scarcely carry on.

Gratefully, the perfect news  peg for Media Accountability Day already exists — it is  Project Censored’s annual release of the 10 biggest stories ignored or under-covered by mainstream media. Project Censored is based at Sonoma State University, with both faculty and students involved in its preparation.

Of course, the stories are not really “censored” by any authority, but they do not receive enough attention to enter the public’s consciousness, usually because corporate media tend to under report stories about corporate misdeeds and government abuses.

The No. 1 pick by Project Censored is one that should make the media blink: Global Plans to Replace the Dollar. Nations have reached their limit in subsidizing the United States’ military adventures During meetings in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, world leaders such as China’s President Hu Jintao, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation took the first formal step to replace the dollar with the world’s reserve currency The United States was denied admission to the meetings. If the world leaders succeed, the dollar will dramatically plummet in value; the cost of imports, including oil, will skyrocket; and interest rates will climb.

No. 2: US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet. The US Military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported. This impact includes uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil.

No. 3:Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk. Following the steps of its predecessor, the Obama administration is expanding mass government surveillance of personal electronic communications. This surveillance, which includes the monitoring of the internet as well as private [nongovernmental] computers, is proceeding with the proposal or passage of new laws granting government agencies increasingly wider latitude in their monitoring activities At the same time, private companies and even some schools are engaging in surveillance activities that further diminish personal privacy.

No. 4:ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts. Agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] are holding thousands of US residents in unlisted and unmarked subfield offices and deporting tens of thousands in secret court hearings.

If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.

Those chilling words were spoken by James Pendergraph, then executive director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of State and Local Coordination, at a conference of police and sheriffis in August 2008.

No. 5: Blackwater [Xe]: The Secret US War in Pakistan.  At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command [JSOC] in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives inside and outside Pakistan. The Blackwater operatives also gather intelligence and help direct secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

No. 6: Health Care Restrictions Cost Thousands of Lives in US. Despite national legislative health reform, health care in the US will remain dismal for many Americans, resulting in continuing deaths and personal tragedies. A recent Harvard research team estimates that 2,266 US military veterans died in 2008 due to lack of health insurance. The figure is more than fourteen times the number of deaths suffered by US troops in Afghanistan in 2008, and more than twice as many as have died since the war began in 2001. Harvard researches concluded that 1.46 milllion working-age vets lacked health coverage, increasing their death rate. The American Journal of Public Health published findings demonstrating that being uninsured raises an individual’s odds of dying by 40 percent.

No. 7: External Capitalist Forces Wreak Havoc in Africa. Resource exploitation in Africa is not new, but the scale of agricultural “land grabbing” in African nations is unprecedented, becoming the new colonization of the twenty-first century. State violence against Kenyan indigenous pastoralists and Nigerian civilians in oil-rich regions has heightened, leaving thousands dead as the military burns whole communities to the ground and police commit extrajudicial killings, rapes, beatings, thefts, arson, and intimidation.

No.8: Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement. On World Environment Day, June 5, 2009, Peruvian Amazon Indians were massacred by the government of Alan Garcia in the latest chapter of a long war to take over common lands — a war unleashed by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Peru and the United States.

No. 9: Human Rights Abuses Continue in Palestine. The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa {HSRC] has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, The United Kingdom, Israel, and the West Bank to conduct the study.

No. 10: US Funds and Supports the Taliban.  In a continuous flow of money, American tax dollars end up paying members of the Taliban and funding a volatile environment in Afghanistan. Private contractors pay insurgents with the hope of attaining the very safety they are contracted to provide. Concurrently, US soldiers pay at checkpoints run by suspected insurgents in order to get safe passage.  In some cases, Afghan companies run by former Taliban members, like President Hamid Karzai’s cousin, are protecting the passage of American soldiers. The funding of the insurgents, along with rumors of American helicopters ferrying Taliban members in Afghanistan, has led to widespread distrust of American forces. In the meantime, the US taxpayer’s dollar continue to find insurgents to protect American troops so they can fight insurgents.

The media, daily journalism, or the lack thereof, are of the opinion that they don’t have to get it all right, because they get a new chance every day.  But since journalism in this country is dead, we can only expect more entertainment presented as news.

You can find the complete reports of these 10 missed stories at http://www.projectcensored.org . This blogger thanks projectcensored.org for this story.

God love independent media and bloggers!!!



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