Friday, October 17, 2008

“Top 25 Most Censored Stories” actually appeared in almost every conceivable mainstream media outlet

I often speculate about “the Kristol Effect:” the idea that, if FOX News’s talking head Bill Kristol makes a prediction, you may be safe a statistically significant number of times by guessing that the exact opposite of what he says will occur. His worldview is so routinely wrong that one is only half-joking when one says that he would be a good predictor of how fantastically victorious one side is in a war by his boasting about the overwhelming success of the other side.

This effect appears to be replicable over at Either via common sense or by perusing this Blog one can get a good feel for the fact that the people running are either stunningly incompetent or deliberately fraudulent, or both, with few acceptable answers besides. Even when they’re reporting on someone else’s story, it seems, they manage to tell the most bald-faced and obvious lies on their behalf. Their latest concerns “The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007-08,” which they describe thus:

Project Censored, the media research group at Sonoma State University (SSU), has just released it's annual report on the top stories that didn't make the corporate mainstream news from the past year. The book is published by Seven Stories Press. Censored 2009, edited by director Dr. Peter Phillips with Dr. Andrew Roth, exposes the major stories Americans should know and care about that the "free press" just doesn't deliver.

Lets go down through the first three in the list, typing their own version of the headlines into a Google search, and see where these “censored” stories that “didn’t make the corporate mainstream news” can be found:

• #1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
The LA Times, The Guardian, Reuters, CNN

• # 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
CNN, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post
• # 3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
CNN, ABC News, Washington Business Journal

It’s also important to note that many of their headlines are simply inaccurate. Number twenty-three, “FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs,” is untrue, even as their own version of events shows:

Claiming lack of funds and resources necessary to impose effective regulations on drug marketing, the FDA is asking Congress to charge drug companies fees in order to fund FDA review of advertisements before they go public as part of renewing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). PDUFA has come under fire from consumer advocates who say it gives the pharmaceutical industry too much leverage over the FDA and has resulted in rushing drugs to market. But the FDA hopes that if Congress approves the plan, it will raise more than $6 million annually through “user fees” to review advertisements.

The FDA does not “push” drugs. In fact, due to the regulatory thoroughness of developing pharmaceutical drugs, on average about fifteen of the twenty-five years or so of a drug’s legal patent are spent in R&D, an implicit measure designed to free up medicine to competition in the generic market. Almost everyone agrees that this is a good system, even the pharmaceutical companies, which get implicit liability safeguards in exchange. Never mind that the 9/11 denier movement is riddled with homeopaths, an unregulated juggernaut of snake-oil peddlers, frauds, and con artists.

The rest range from overt speculation – its piece on one of my favorite politicians despite his disgusting personal life, Elliot Spitzer - to pure alarmism: “NUCLEAR WASTE [might] BE KILLING YOU [but probably isn’t] AS YOU SPEAK! [or not]

What does when it doesn’t have any outright garbage to push on a given day? It digs some up from somebody else!

1 comment:

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