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Censorship Government The Media Politics

Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007 545

Posted by Zonk
from the read-em-and-lean dept.
Vexorian writes "Is there direct or indirect censorship in the media towards delicate but important topics? Project censored lists 25 stories that did not seem to get the attention they deserved. Whether intentionally or not, for the most part the media skipped over these important topics. From the article: 'Throughout 2005 and 2006, a large underground debate raged regarding the future of the Internet. More recently referred to as network neutrality, the issue has become a tug of war with cable companies on the one hand and consumers and Internet service providers on the other. Yet despite important legislative proposals and Supreme Court decisions throughout 2005, the issue was almost completely ignored in the headlines until 2006.1 And, except for occasional coverage on CNBC's Kudlow & Kramer, mainstream television remains hands-off to this day'."
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Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007

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  • by Winckle (870180) <mark@@@winckle...co...uk> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:33PM (#19286567) Homepage
    Is it censorship if the mass media ignores it, or does it show that their viewing public don't care?
  • by retrosteve (77918) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:44PM (#19286655) Homepage Journal
    Nice try, but that's just what the newspapers and TV stations will say when challenged. It's pretty obvious that it's a bogus line, at least sometimes.

    Or do you really believe that people are more interested in Paris Hilton's jail term than in the president wiretapping them? Those Lindsay Lohan stories really must represent the public's true interest. Look! Look at the funny monkey! Look, Britney has no panties!

    It's well known, for example, that Murdoch's affiliates receive "talking points" for the day showing them what stories they should promote. Affiliates who don't toe the line risk problems.
  • by Ice Wewe (936718) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:45PM (#19286663)
    Net neutrality isn't really a problem for every day consumers. I'm sure some of them that are tech savvy enough to understand it will care, but a majority of the people who just use the internet to check their email and the news don't care. If I even tried to explain net neutrality to my parents, they'd simply shake their heads and ask why we couldn't just get along. The media has to cover stories that their audience cares about. If they print something to complex for most of their target audience, people will become confused, and frustrated.

    So, nerds unite, less large corporations stop grandmothers from looking at the latest Sierra Club newsletter.
  • On balance (Score:1, Interesting)

    by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed@@@gmail...com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:57PM (#19286777) Homepage
    The sort of story /. would just have to disseminate.

    Does anyone else out there have the feeling that /. is increasingly an anti-American, leftist swamp, of no real importance to anyone?
  • by JAB Creations (999510) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:59PM (#19286793) Homepage
    Remember the evil Soviet Union with the evil communists we used to be so uptight about? We're becoming just like them. Cultural Marxism has been here for a long while now and you can scream the race card but if Jews didn't own and control the media then they wouldn't be the ones at fault. Five blacks brutally murder, rape, and do unspeakable acts. When Imus made a comment (that was taken out of context) you but you didn't know what had happened you could swear the media reacted like he had raped fifty black women. Yet this story never saw the day of light... PDF - http://www.natallnews.com/images/teaser/Knoxville_ Murders_NA.pdf [natallnews.com] and a website... http://www.channonchristian.com/ [channonchristian.com] Tell me that's not worthy news? Of course cultural Marxism is against whites (specifically the white male) claiming classes degenerate society.
  • by DrEldarion (114072) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:03PM (#19286827)
    [quote]Or do you really believe that people are more interested in Paris Hilton's jail term than in the president wiretapping them?[/quote]

    You're pretty blind if you think that's [i]not[/i] the case. The attitude people take with wiretapping is "bad guys will get caught, and people with nothing to hide will be fine." The attitude people take with celebrities is "HOLY SHIT! I need to know EVERYTHING that EVER happens to them!"
  • by Xonstantine (947614) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:19PM (#19286939)
    Ah, then they must be full of shit.

    Pretty much. They would be less full of shit if they bothered to post a token non-left wing censored story.
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:21PM (#19286955) Journal
    Some of these stories have merit, some are exaggerated, and some are spun to make America look bad because private industries have commercial interests in turbulent regions of the world. I see no evidence that the 9-11 conspiracy theory has been "censored." US celebrities like Rosie O'Donnel and Sean Penn bring this one up all the time. Just like you can find the strange stray biologist that supports creationism, this camp has found one stray physicist to support this conspiracy crap. By including it in the list just shows the list on whole to be an agenda disguised as journalism by pandering to a left leaning fan base.

    Now before I'm attacked as a right wing kook, let me say I tend to be a liberal on social issues, and think there are plenty of stories that need more attention when it comes to social fairness. But just because people yawn or don't believe you, doesn't mean you are being censored. I'd say about half of this list is the proponents just being crybabies that the public (rightly or wrongly) doesn't care more. Maybe the authors should find irrefutable evidence for their assertions or write in more challenging ways that defies being ignored.
  • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:40PM (#19287119) Homepage Journal
    It takes three parties to have censorship. One that wants to transmit, one that wants to receive, and a third party that forcibly prevents the transmission.

    The most common misuse of the word is when some third party that could assist in the transmission chooses not to do so. This is not censorship, this is non-participation. It only rises to censorship if the third party has control over all of the communication channels that could be used.

    You have a right to free speech. You do not have a right to an audience.

  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:58PM (#19287277)

    Like killer bees. People know what bees are. People don't want to be stung by bees. You then put a fancy title on it: "Killer Bees Spread NORTHWARD!" and you have a perfect story for the evening news. It's even better when you imply that the watcher's children are in danger: "Pervo Bees in a van try to pick up kids outside a school!". And then imply it may be the school that the watcher's children go to. If all else fails, start making it sexy news: "Special Report: Is Cheerleading the first step to STRIPPING? Is your daughter at risk? Are the killer bees involved? We ask several young cheerleaders if they feel pressured to take their clothes off. And what sort of pressure would be required to get them naked. Film at eleven."

  • If you're a country like the old Soviet Union, censorship was tried and so the people knew what was the important things to find out about and pay attention to. Flooding the news with crap about Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears and every other gossipy bit of crap does the trick and accomplishes the same goal. Important news goes by the wayside while Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS busy themselves feeding us the pablum we want to hear and know about. They follow the lowest common denominator which is fine when it's entertainment at stake but when the ratings became the most important thing in news on the air and in the print media then the truth and what is important goes by the wayside. It's all over, no censorship is needed, the boring important news doesn't get ratings but Lindsay Lohan being caught drunk at a car crash is front page news. We're doomed, we've doomed ourselves to being ruled by incompetents and tyrants and we'll never know the difference. Look at who we have in charge now, an incompetent and a would be constitution breaking tyrant. But ooh look - Paris Hilton is going to jail in a few weeks and that's what we want to know about. We've doomed ourselves.
  • by ResidntGeek (772730) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @10:42PM (#19288093) Journal
    Easy path? I guess you don't know too many journalists, then. I've never, ever, heard of someone who studied journalism so they could report on well-known sluts and worthless B-list movie stars. I don't think it'd be too far off the mark to say every single reporter in the world would prefer to be Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein than the anonymous photographer who caught Lohan's nipple on camera back in 2004 (anyone remember that one? No. Not even the fansite that first got a copy of the picture does).
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday May 27, 2007 @12:39AM (#19288901) Journal
    Yeah? and who's Osama been working for for the last 25 years? And probably STILL is? Nothin' but a middleman he is. The general contractor responsible for gathering up the crew. Needed someone that speaks the language..and not gay (Heh, so they think). And Who was Saddam working for over roughly the exact same period? All the way up until the end? Witness protection is gonna work good for this guy. Nope, playing it smart this time Not going leave no tapes lying around like 72. These "Pentagon Papers" are being shredded AND burned, and the ashes buried at sea. Camper's Creed, Leave no trace. They got caught once. Not this time.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday May 27, 2007 @12:43AM (#19288931) Homepage Journal
    Nice try, but that's just what the newspapers and TV stations will say when challenged. It's pretty obvious that it's a bogus line, at least sometimes.

    Can you please provide some corroboration to this statement?

    It's well known, for example, that Murdoch's affiliates receive "talking points" for the day showing them what stories they should promote. Affiliates who don't toe the line risk problems.

    I understand this, given that he owns Fox News, but my impression is that Fox News is an outlier in this regard.
  • by Thangodin (177516) <[elentar] [at] [sympatico.ca]> on Sunday May 27, 2007 @03:03AM (#19289733) Homepage
    Net neutrality actually discourages the main providers from building more infrastructure, and instead allows them to charge more for existing infrastructure. Indeed, it will encourage them to create artificial shortages so that they can increase their prices. Many services, like online games, search engines, and free academic sites, will become difficult or impossible to access. Indeed, online games would probably become unworkable without net neutrality. What you will be able to access is a few highly successful commercial sites--mainly PORN, and lots of it, because porn sites can afford to pay the premium prices to expedite their packets.

    Of course, not all information will be hard to access. Those who have the money to pay for extra bandwidth will have no problem getting their message out to the public. We will all rest easier knowing that Rupert Murdoch and rich Saudi extremists will be able to buy the internet at last.
  • by hey! (33014) on Sunday May 27, 2007 @08:33AM (#19291239) Homepage Journal
    How do you stop eating so many bacon cheesburgers and more salad? You start liking salad more. How do start liking salad more? You start eating it more.

    People's behavior is not linear. It's non-linear. There are many instances of positive feedback phenomena, so you can't use a simplistic cause/effect model. If people were given more information about civil rights curtailment, they'd be more interested. Right now it's foreign to their experience.
  • by evought (709897) <evought@@@pobox...com> on Sunday May 27, 2007 @12:50PM (#19292811) Homepage Journal
    Yes, and to emphasize LordVader's comment, there is no guarantee their model is the correct one. If there is a large range of probable input parameters which was does not show the observed output, then it is likely that the *chosen model* is not the correct one. Perhaps the theory can be improved to not be as sensitive to inputs. More work can be done to show that those inputs are correct (for all three cases). Other theories or models can be developed which better explain the phenomena. Choosing your parameters to match the observation is not bad for a first step, but it is not an ending point for good science.

    There is no reason to believe the assumptions underlying their models, and therefore, no reason to believe its output, that the impact lead to total collapse. Obviously, the building *did* collapse, but given that they were tasked to find out *why* means that the anthropic principle does not save their model. By succumbing to laziness, they completely ignore other causes or possible contributing circumstances:

    1) Were there unexpected failures of design redundancies and over-engineering? Why did the design models fail? How do they need to be corrected?

    2) Were there substandard materials or technologies present in the building? Were these materials properly installed and inspected? (FEMA did bring to light issues with the foam, but even they did not believe it was a major contributor) Who might have been responsible? How can the system be corrected to prevent this?

    3) Did materials or technologies age, weather, or corrode in an unexpected fashion? Were they recently inspected? What does this mean for new building structures? (debris could have been examined for signs of corrosion or other problems)

    4) Are there signs of other kinds of sabotage beside the obvious? Did the attackers take steps to maximize damage? (e.g. a basement bomb timed to coincide roughly with the impact, sabotaging fire-suppression systems, etc.)

    These are not "extra credit" questions. They go to the core of what NIST was tasked to do and are largely unanswered. In many cases, the answer would have been "no," but clearly something had to be "yes." The building was designed with enough over-engineering, for instance, that the trusses could have magically disappeared and the building(s) should have supported itself between the core, the outer frame, and the cross ties. NIST only supposes that some load bearing members were materially weakened. The core itself should have stood no matter what the rest of the building did. Something caused the building and/or design to fail; it was their job to investigate.

    As an aside, there is a barn in a pasture near here that has been abandoned for quite a while. It is a two story oak structure. The external load bearing members are completely rotted. They don't even touch the foundation any more. The entire barn is supported by a one-story interior wall which holds up the sills for the second floor. The sills, in turn, hold up the planking, the second floor walls, the roof, and hold the first floor suspended above the ground. It's been like that for years apparently. I had bets that it was going to fall this winter, but it is still there. It is amazing what a little over-engineering will do.

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