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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@NOsPAm.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 Sunburnt (890890) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:48PM (#19286693)

        Or do you really believe that people are more interested in Paris Hilton's jail term than in the president wiretapping them?
        Absolutely. I've met plenty of these people. It's not a universal sentiment, but there seems to be enough of them to encourage news organizations to take the easy path of covering trashy gossip instead of doing investigative reporting. Sort of a "chicken and egg" issue.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ResidntGeek (772730)
          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 Sunburnt (890890) * on Saturday May 26, 2007 @11:29PM (#19288465)

            Easy path? I guess you don't know too many journalists, then[...]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

            I'm sure every journo entertains fantasies of being an ace investigative reporter - the couple I've had the pleasure of knowing certainly do - but the fact of the matter is that it's really hard to actually be that person. The entertainment-focused nature of the media limits the number of these positions available, while journalism students are a buck-a-dozen at many universities. As a result, most reporters aren't smart enough, ambitious enough, sociable enough, or some combination of the three to compete for the these top spots. (This isn't meant as a slight against them. It's the same situation that exists in professional sports: plenty of excellent athletes are simply not skilled enough to play at the top level of their sport, because that level consists of a few hundred guys, chosen from across the world or country.) Even those with sufficient talent may not have enough luck to exclusively catch a truly memorable or history-making story.

            On the other hand, one can always get paid for celebrity trash. It's a shitty way to make a living, but its easier than "sticking to principle," if one considers not eating a difficulty. Besides, I have a hard time believing that some hacks really do enjoy their work.

      • 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 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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by beadfulthings (975812)
        You may have a point. I just took it to Google Fight [googlefight.com], where I entered the terms "Global Warming" and "Britney Spears." Global Warming seems to have won by 67,800,000 results to Britney's 31,500,000. It also beats out Paris Hilton by a somewhat smaller margin and Lindsay Lohan by a huge margin.

        • by maxume (22995) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:42PM (#19287149)
          Lindsay Lohan has way bigger tits than Global Warming.

          Happy 21st!
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by jcgf (688310)
            Yeah, not to mention a tighter, sweeter smelling snatch. That Global Warming really gets around and doesn't have the best hygiene. Though I dated Lindsay before she became famous and Global Warming after the greenpeace movement kinda died down and she was on the rebound, so that might have had something to do with it.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:34PM (#19287081)
        "Or do you really believe that people are more interested in Paris Hilton's jail term than in the president wiretapping them?"

        People would be more interested in the president wiretapping them if either a) they had rudimentary knowledge of human history and its implications or b) the news media presented the information seriously.

        The chances of the first happening in America is slim. We have "it can't happen here" syndrome, believing our rulers are somehow different from all others throughout recorded history.

        The chances of the second happening depend on it coinciding with the news networks' interests. Unfortunately, the news networks are giant multinationals with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo while keeping the audience dazzled. As long as the rulers don't get too uppity, as long as the rulers don't threaten the information cartel, the major networks have no reason to rock the boat (and threaten their advertising revenue).

        Paris Hilton's jail term makes good news in America, because it does maintain the status quo. It has no real relevance to anything important, but at the same time, it can be spun (like any news can be) to appear exciting and relevant.

        You are right that wiretapping would be a major story if the networks decided to treat it as one. But why should they, when it has no effect on the networks themselves? If anything, authoritarianism and lack of competition is what they want. A country where all media outlets are strictly regulated and licensed would be a dream to them, just making it harder for anyone new to enter the business. A country of wiretapping, secret police, "disappearing" suspects -- this is where we are heading, and that's all to the benefit of the people who have money and power. Why would they give this up, especially when their stranglehold is already threatened by the age of free internet discourse?
        • by Admiral Ag (829695) on Sunday May 27, 2007 @05:03AM (#19290289)
          The institutional media simply cannot tell the truth about certain things. If they did, there would be a revolution in short order.

          Can you imagine CNN reporting thus: "Today President Bush attempted to link Al Qaeda with Saddam Hussein - this is a lie aimed at persuading Americans to support a war for oil/strategic dominance/etc."?

          Yet this is the truth. Many people knew it at the time, and it was obviously correct, but you would never see this on a major network.

          The media is part of the establishment. It's not a cabal of old white men who sit around deciding what the news will be, but a diffuse group of people with media power and similar interests. These are the people who tell us the way the world is. As individuals, we live in a very small world where we cannot verify most of the things we are told. Yet, we feel we must make sense of the world. Hence we turn to the media, who seem to know what "the general opinion" and "common sense" are.

          So we get the old "the United States is a free country where any hardworking person can prosper" and "the United States government, while it makes mistakes, is always trying to do the decent thing" tropes. Think of all the "worldwide media events" that "everyone" watches, like Princess Diana's funeral (except it turns out that a hell of a lot of people ignored it). All of this is foisted upon us with the attempt of creating an imaginary community with imaginary norms.

          Who actually believes this based on the evidence they gather outside of the media/industrial complex?

          Nobody.

          But who believes it nonetheless?

          Most people.

          Why?

          Because the media gives the impression of a "common sense" point of view, such that if your own situation doesn't cohere with what they say, then it must be abnormal.

          Unless you are a particularly strong willed person, you are not going to stand up for the evidence in front of your own eyes and the reasoning power of your own mind. But everyone knows on some level that the media never tells the whole truth, and never really deals with the real issues. That's because the societal myth they tell us doesn't pass fundamental tests of coherence. Even though your town is going through massive layoffs, everyone is better off than they were!!! Orwell would have been proud.

          The point of 1984 is not that totalitarian state control of the media leads to false consciousness, but that control of the media by any minority leads to false consciousness.

          The only possible way out of this is decentralised, participatory media. Fortunately, its hour is now at hand, and its effects are beginning to show. How many people who actively use the internet to get their information have not experienced the feeling that the political game played in the regular media is some sort of farce? In some respects I have always felt like this, but with the internet and my expanded access to information, I simply cannot avoid the feeling that the media's portrayal of politics is a ridiculous charade.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zenkonami (971656)
          Sadly, I think the media's choice of dominant topics is much like that of the host of a party. If things get too politicized, they fear driving away someone in their audience. Since it's all about making the bucks, the media, like all forms of "entertainment" (which is what it's become) pitches to the lowest common denominator...particularly one that will offend the fewest people. If the worst anyone can say about a story (say, Paris Hilton) is "who cares", then they've done alright.

          This same tragedy d
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ice Wewe (936718)
      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 w
      • Part of reporting the news involves reporting *why* people should be interested in the news. Any good story about net neutrality would tell the reader/viewer why it was such an important issue to show them why they should give a damn.

    • by creimer (824291) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:57PM (#19286773) Homepage
      The mass media doesn't report the news anymore. If the so called news isn't entertaining and doesn't fit the demographics for the ads, then its ignored. That's not censorship. That's the free market at work. The news -- like the truth -- is out there if you're willing to look for it. Don't expect the mass media to spoon feed you real news anymore.

      BTW, Most of the stories in the list appeared in the NY Times. So much for censorship...
      • The news -- like the truth -- is out there if you're willing to look for it.

        But that would require effort well beyond that of tv channel surfing.

      • Well, Newspapers used to be about the news. They had to report good news, with "scoops" and such to gain and keep readership. Then people started to get their news from TV, but the TV was for entertainment, and so that's what the news turned into. TV also killed off too many newspapers, so only the largest survived and even they have less money now, and as we all know that means less competition and smaller budgets leading to crappier reporting and corruption.

        Now we have the internet, the resource we'
    • by ngworekara (1027704) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:32PM (#19287051)
      Mass media has plenty on the line, as I'm sure everyone here knows. Print, television, and even some online media have shareholders with interests in what gets reported. Are they squashing stories and reporting others with a bias? Do we really have to ask that in 2007?
      There is this lingering concept of a liberal slant as well, which is a matter of opinion, but Noam Chomsky makes a pretty good point in Manufacturing Consent that all media in the US is inherently right wing as it is part of the establishment, therefor having a reason to protect the status quo. There isn't really much of a counterbalance to be found to the main corporate news entities outside of the free weeklies in major cities, blogs, and miniature entities like Free Speech TV and Free Speech Radio News, and the market makes it such that most of the better writers don't end up there. Its capitalism at work. Don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but the mechanics are pretty clear.

      Now here is the part I'm going to get flamed for. I have been amazed at the over hyping of Hugo Chavez as a threat to the US over the last few years. Especially in light of other world leaders whose actions are far more undemocratic and who have gotten a pass, at least till lately (lookin at you Vladimir, you too George.) Chavez was picked in elections found to be free and transparent, yet he's portrayed as a dictator with intents on conquering the whole western hemisphere.

      Now, what two industries has Hugo really been a threat to? Energy and communications. Biggest two contributors to US political parties. Intrinsically tied into our economy, undeniably related to the major media companies. I have seen no real dialog as to the possible benefits to the Venezuelan people as a result of the Venezuelan administration's decision to nationalize oil and communications. I don't necessarily agree with his decision to do so, however, I do believe that if he convinced the Venezuelan people to elect him and his party, twice, that an argument exists. It just isn't being portrayed in the media. Bush's tax cuts also spring to mind. The arguments against the tax cuts have received, IMO, much less time than the arguments for.

      Focusing on Chavez will get me flamed, especially after dropping Chomsky's name, but there are plenty of other examples of a fiscal right wing bias existing in the media in the US. Not that anything is wrong with that, they have the right to, and would be irrational not to, represent their interests as businesses. People should just be wise enough to know what they're dealing with, when they're dealing with large publicly traded media conglomerates.
      • ...People should be wise enough to know what they're dealing with.....

        These sources of information, biased as they are, are now difficult to believe. In this world where we have unbelievably enhanced communication (compared to even 50 years ago), one would want to believe *someone*. It's very difficult to do. There are some organizations that try to keep track of political lies, and media spins (MediaMatters.Org comes to mind, although they seem largely focused on monitoring a perceived 'right wing' composi
    • by jd (1658) <imipak @ y a h o o .com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:32PM (#19287055) Homepage Journal
      Censorship is not about Governments. Anybody can censor. Anybody at all. The film board that orders cuts is a corporate organization. Hell, each of us self-censors when we don't say what we mean. Censorship also does not mean cutting something out because of a political agenda, it merely means cutting something out. So, yes, this is censorship. But, then, so is absolutely everything else in life. Nothing is truly uncensored.

      The next question is whether it matters to Americans. Well, if the media wanted to make something matter, it could. Very few people in this world truly pick and choose their own concerns. Their concerns are usually dictated by culture, religion, experience, popular opinion, manner of presentation, ad nausium. The individual is truly a very small part of the equation. Why do people still remember Jessica Lynch? Because she was significant? No. She was knocked unconscious in a car crash. There are probably hundreds of people who suffer that or worse every day on roads around the world. No, she's remembered because some people worked damn hard to make sure she was remembered - to the point of hiring a Hollywood director to perfect the footage.

      Ok, then if these things could be made interesting and memorable, then why did nobody do so? Some are crackpot conspiracy theories, so no great surprise nobody gives a damn about those. Others are just more scandals and abuses of power that are no different from any of the other scandals and abuses of power that have been taking place. Nothing new there. There were a few - a very few - stories of genuine concern and those have been covered extensively by foreign news services. Personally, everyone I know in the States listens to the BBC and a few read German newspapers online as well.

      So what we end up with is this: Yes, a few important news items didn't get covered by the American media when they should have been. Too bad. They were covered by other media, so any ignorance that exists is ignorance by choice. Nobody made you watch Fox' Fair and Mentally Unbalanced News. Nobody compelled you to only tune into CNN. Yes, I do blame the American media for not being informative enough and for limiting news that could undermine their sponsorship. However, if the majority wanted PBS to rival the major networks, it would have happened by now. There's no such desire. People have voted with their pockets for what exists, and if what exists is crap, then don't blame the commercial networks for being commercial.

      Of course, in this day and age, why are people so bothered about the mainstream outlets anyway? If you've a laptop, a car and a good camera with something similar to steadicam, then be your own freelance journalist. Most of those who go to high-risk parts of Iraq are freelance. So you won't get to go to press conferences, because you're not backed by the right people. So? Nobody learns anything useful from those anyway. The real nitty-gritty is never the stuff the press is allowed first access to, so who cares? If all you want are the PR stunts, then you're reporting nothing new.

      That, to me, is where the crux of the matter lies. People like to complain. The English complain about the weather, the Americans about the news. But nobody wants to do anything about it. If they could and did, that would remove the only real conversation piece they had.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)
        Accepting your characterization of censorship, government preventing something from being said is still much more of a concern than a citizen choosing not to say it.

        Ignoring the distinction is foolish.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gfxguy (98788)
          The point here, really, is that refusal of venue is not censorship. That you can read all of these stories unfettered and freely available on the web is proof that this yearly charade is very poorly named, and every year I have to remind slashdotters that the fact that the information is RIGHT THERE, just follow the link, proves that these stories haven't been censored.

          "Censorship" is becoming one of those highly over-and-mis-used words (along with "torture" and "racism") that we've begun to lose site of w
    • 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
  • by Anonymous Coward
    **** *** *******! Do you believe that? I mean, really!
  • The rest of the world cares not at all about your concerns.

    Pity, that.
    • Dear PHEDRU5 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by twitter (104583)

      The concerns mentioned by Vexorian are everyone's problems. They matter and people do care. The kind of person that does not care is not reading or watching the news anyway, so the news might as well carry something more important that Paris Hilton and Britny Spears gossip. People who care about that can get what they want at the supermarket check out. Public broadcasters and other users of public servitude are supposed to serve the public interest. Newspapers swear they do the same. Yet all of these

      • Dear twitter... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PHAEDRU5 (213667)
        My remarks to Vexorian apply to you as well.

        Oh, I know you'd love to establish a slave society where you could ride above it all, commanding obedience from those less politically evolved than you. I'm afraid, however, that you live in a world where pretty much everyone in the US is fat, dumb, happy, and wonderously well over-fed, and likes it that way.

        There are a number of lesons to take from this.

        1. Don't get between an American and the American's food bowl.

        2. Don't disturb the American's food bowl.

        3.
  • by SoapBox17 (1020345) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:41PM (#19286625) Homepage

    #18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story
    Not that anyone here would RTFA anyways, but when I saw this I knew it wasn't worth my time.

    God, I would like to file a bug report... [xkcd.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aurispector (530273)
      Yup...lost me there too. The whole thing stinks of conspiracy theorists. Hasn't ANYONE heard of Occams razor?

      The main difficulty of the digital age seems to me to be determining the validity of the huge number of sources of information.

      At least with congress it's easy-just follow the votes and you can tell who is paying the bills. When it comes to crackpot, truthy conspiracy theorists you just need to take a deep breath, hold it and let it out slowly.

      Mind you, I'm not saying everything in the article is e
  • Let them hear! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by guruevi (827432) <(eb.ebucgnikoms) (ta) (ive)> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:43PM (#19286635) Homepage
    You should, just as me, talk to your friends and family about these subjects. It's good that the world gets to know what goes on in the world! We all have the obligation to criticize all attacks on free speech.

    The war in Iraq, the wars in Congo is watered down for a lot of reasons by all mainstream media. However, there is a solution: daily news podcasts, the blogosphere and a lot of 'new media' has (as always) been used by so called (as the mainstream media calls it) alternative journalists just as the "pirate" radiostations in the 70's, the "resistance" during the world wars and in the soviet nations kept us informed about what was really going on while oppressive fascists tried to influence the sheeple what we thought. /. is one of those sources where DRM, the DMCA and censoring is a frequent subject, however the mainstream media doesn't ever give any attention to it.
    • by megaditto (982598)
      Why would you want your friends/family to realize what kind of a crazy conspiracy kook you really are?

      But then again, judging from your ramblings in the rest of your post they already know it.
  • Sounds like a zealot extremist. While I believe some, I'm more than sure someone *heard* something and is trying to get their name in lights.

    Move along, nothing to see here.
    • Palestine did not make the list. The enslavement of people there is not well reported considering the large proportion of foreign aid Israel receives and the impact on the US image and US relations with other states. The continued lack of resolution for the longstanding "Palestinian Refuge Problem" is a big deal.

      They also failed to mention conditions in China and how free country trade has worsened conditions in free countries without improving them in non free.

  • The list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bueller_007 (535588) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:46PM (#19286675)
    #1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media
    #2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
    #3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
    #4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US
    #5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo
    #6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
    #7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq
    #8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
    #9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
    #10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
    #11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
    #12 Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines
    #13 New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup
    #14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US
    #15 Chemical Industry is EPA's Primary Research Partner
    #16 Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court
    #17 Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda
    #18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story
    #19 Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever
    #20 Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem
    #21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers
    #22 $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed
    #23 US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe
    #24 Cheney's Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year
    #25 US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region
  • Wrong Title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FS (10110) * on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:48PM (#19286695)
    I agree that many of these things should be more important to the public than they are, however this top 25 list was clearly compiled from a left leaning point of view. The title or summary should include something about this obvious bias. For example, to accuse the media of covering for Dick Cheney and Haliburton is insane. The media would take him out instantly if they thought anything they had was strong enough to do it.

    The Internet debate, while very important to me, is not the most important thing in the world that has been "censored." Its position at the top of the list is designed to grab our attention and get traffic headed their way in the hopes that someone will read the rest of this. This website is no better than CNN, ABC, FOX, etc. They all are trying to get across their own viewpoints, not raw news.
    • wow, just wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      you are a perfect example of what's wrong with the world. Instead of trying to figure out a solution to a problem, you rather choose sides even if the side you choose is doing something evil. And what's worse, you try to IGNORE the problem, attack the "supposed" opposition, and finally dumb down the arguments in an attempt to dismiss the problem.

      Grow up. The sooner people stop taking sides, the faster the world would become a better place. Stop thinking "I'm a republican" or "I'm a democrat", and start
      • Re:wow, just wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:32PM (#19287049)
        Grow up. The sooner people stop taking sides, the faster the world would become a better place.

        Such delicious (and I presume, unintentional) irony on your part. Can't you see that the GP is pointing out that the compilers of the list ARE taking a side? They are deliberately hyping things in a way to make them as divisive as possible. You're ragging on EXACTLY the wrong person. Grow up, indeed!
  • From TFA: (Score:2, Informative)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524)
    1. Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media
    2. Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
    3. Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
    4. Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US
    5. High-Tech Genocide in Congo
    6. Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
    7. Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
    8. The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
    9. Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
    10. Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
    11. Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines
    12. New Evidence Establishes Dan
  • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:54PM (#19286743) Homepage
    Last I heard, censorship is when The Man(tm) takes forcible action to squash a story that's damaging, incriminating, or otherwise detrimental to The Powers That Be(tm). You know, like North Korea killing stories of mass starvation, or good old Soviet-style disinformation and destruction of the concept of a free press like what's going on in...old Soviet-style Russia.

    However, while I was napping last night, someone conveniently changed the definition to mean "when the mass media doesn't give a certain pet story/cause/event of mine the attention I think it deserves."

    Somebody call Websters. Unless, of course, the story headline is wrong, and this is merely someone upset their pet story/cause/event isn't getting the attention they think it deserves... ...nah, that couldn't be it.
    • 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 PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:41PM (#19287133) Homepage
      "When nobody else is worried about your obsessions."
    • Last I heard, censorship is when The Man(tm) takes forcible action to squash a story that's damaging, incriminating, or otherwise detrimental to The Powers That Be(tm). You know, like North Korea killing stories of mass starvation ...

      Well, the man [fcc.gov] has a lot to do with broadcast media which is where the alledged censorship occurred. As broadcast still dominates the public perception, you should be very worried that broadcast is dominated by a very small number of companies that can easily be bullied/bri

  • Of 2007? (Score:3, Funny)

    by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:56PM (#19286763) Homepage
    Did the year end already? Man, I gotta quit drinkin' because I thought it was May.
    • It's a news tactic designed to get people to read. Really, all the stories are from 2006, but most people would look at "Top 25 Censored Stories of 2006" and think: "2006? That's old news, what's happening NOW?!"

      Thus, top stories of 2007. 2007 is now baby. 2006 is so last year.
    • Yeah, WTF is it with these recent Top/Most/Best/Worst/etc of 2007 lists?? Is the news media that starved for eyeballs they need to pretend it's late December and crank out these stupid lists? Will we be seeing "Top 10 Natural Disasters of 2007" or "Worst Celebrity Scandals of 2007" in the next few weeks?
  • by Sunburnt (890890) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:57PM (#19286769)

    People who dissent against a war that is destroying America's military capability are treasonous hippies, but it's cool for Halliburton to actually enable a nuclear program conducted in the "Axis of Evil?"

    Add "treason" to the list of words made meaningless by this corrupt administration and its enablers, along with "freedom," "strength," and "morality."

  • And (Score:5, Funny)

    by bluegreenone (526698) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:58PM (#19286783) Homepage
    And who could forget #26, the remarkable story of ______ _______ _ __ ______ _____ ____ _____ _________. I personally was shocked and amazed when I heard that one, and am glad the government didn't manage to stop the word from getting out.
    ...
    NJ Transit [nynj.net], PATH train [nynj.net] schedules online
  • This thing appears to be 2-3 years old. So after reading a bit, it is interesting to compare their projections on some of these to the reality.

    I have to second the thought that many of these were dreamed up by zealots.

    However, at least one of them is easily challengable on facts, without quoting anything.

    Take a deep look at #17. History (at least the 1+ years since the article was written) has proven that the oil companies have not yet benefitted from Iraq (and may never). The profits of the oil companie
  • Wayne Madsen? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wytcld (179112) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:05PM (#19286847) Homepage

    For accuracy and truth on Central Africa, look to people like ... Wayne Madsen


    As a sometime reader of the lefty blogs, I can recall dozens of times where people would reference stories by Wayne Madsen about nefarious conspiracies on which the evidence was just about to publicly emerge, and on which he had unrivaled sources, he claimed. The thing is, with every single one of these his reporting turned out to be bunk. He's a good writer, in the sense that his stories are self-consistent and often also fit well with better-sourced reports elsewhere, but he always steps beyond the known into stuff that in retrospect he just makes up. It's the sort of fiction that people on the left are prone to believe, since it fits generally with the more paranoid edge of our worldview. But the man's an embarrassment.

    So, yeah, underlying the claims about all of these "censored" stories (all of which are out there - nothing was new to me among them - but sure they deserve more coverage and analysis than they get) are people credulous enough to believe Wayne Madsen. Sad!
  • 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.
  • We're reading them now, aren't we?
  • December 31, 2007 called: it wants its story headline back.
  • I agree that Net Neutrality hasn't had as much coverage as it deserves, but has anyone read the rest of the list?

    If you are reading the mainstream newspapers or listening to National Public Radio, you are contributing to your own mental illness, no matter how astute you believe yourself to be at "balancing" or "deciphering" the code.

    Keith Harmon Snow, you lost me with this paragraph. I don't think many people will catargorize misinformation as mental illness. And what's up with the qoutes around "balanci

  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @08:50PM (#19287215)
    The really important thing to remember is that almost all of our "news" providers are owned by a couple of mega corporations.

    There is probably some censorship going on because of this. i.e. They won't air anything that will hurt their bottom line or upset their benefactors. But I think mostly its that as corporations do, they try to do everything on the cheap. It's much cheaper to get a few fluff stories and run them everywhere than it is to do real journalism.

    I remember a time before all of the TV stations were owned by a few corporations and each station had news people who would investigate and compete with other stations for the best story. Now it's all just spoon fed to them.

    As a society we are poorer because of corporate greed.
  • 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."

  • by belmolis (702863) <billposerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:03PM (#19287305) Homepage

    I agree that many of these issue deserve more attention than they have received, though it isn't clear whether that is because the news agencies aren't interested or because they have correctly judged that people aren't all that interested. These stories have not been censored in the usual sense of the word. They are, and have been, out there.

    Some of the choices are also odd. Why is World Bank funding for the Israel/West Bank wall big news? The wall itself is well known, and the central issue from every point of view is whether it should be built, not who funds it or how it is funded. It's not like there is some sort of scandal over the funding. The issues are whether or not it is a good security measure for Israel, whether or not it improperly infringes on Arab land, and whether or not it is improper because it would impose "apartheid". None of these issues has anything to do with whether the World Bank is involved in the funding.

    The characterization of this wall as the "apartheid wall" also demonstrates clear bias on the part of the Sonoma State people. One can argue about the other issues, that this wall has anything to do with "apartheid" is idiotic. It has no more to do with apartheid than the boundary fences on the borders of most countries, only it is more justified since Israel is under constant terrorist attack. If Israel were interested in apartheid, it would not have allowed hundreds of thousands of Arabs to become citizens and to live all over the country. The people who want to impose apartheid are the Arabs, who can't stand the idea of Jews living anywhere in the Mideast.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:53PM (#19287679)
    Look, I lean pretty far to the left, but this list is bullshit. The MSM organizations are no angels, but I just don't see enough here to justify an allegation of censorship; the compilers of this list complaining about censorship are just as wrong as the intelligent design folk who do the same thing. As the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the evidence presented here simply does not make the cut.

    Let's examine a few of the problems:
    • They took a few minor problems with a couple specific GM crops and took the unjustifiable leap of stating that "Several recent studies confirm fears that genetically modified (GM) foods damage human health." The actual evidence presented, even if true, does not justify sensational news coverage.
    • The statement "A group of scientists led by biochemist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini from the University of Caen in France found that human placental cells are very sensitive to Roundup at concentrations lower than those currently used in agricultural application" does not support the statement that roundup in general is harmful to human health. Where's the connection between the concentration used in the field and the concentration in the finished food? They might not even be remotely related. Placental cells placed in a pure caffeine solution will die, yet we consider is safe to drink Coffee! Again, not newsworthy yet. Show me a peer-reviewed, published study that's been reproduced at least once that links roundup (as consumed by humans) to health problems and I'll change my mind. That would be newsworthy.
    • Haliburton is a wicked company, yes. But whether legitimately or not, it has grown to become one of the major suppliers of services to the US government. We must do something to curb its power, yes. However, simply because one of the hundreds of contracts given to Haliburton was not extensively covered is not a reason to think that the MSM is hiding that the sky is falling.
    • The OPEC article is fluff, yes. But do you expect the government to not have a plan about reconstructing the oil industry?


    I don't have time to analyze the entire list. But given the obvious deficiencies in some of the listed entries, very good reasons for not covering them extensively in the media, why should I be convinced that the others were censored?

    Come on, the MSM is no group of angels, and certainly has an agenda, but this article paints us lefties as a bunch of lunatics out of touch with reality, and so does more harm than good for our cause.

  • by solios (53048) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @11:13PM (#19288345) Homepage
    The issue is that the media has stopped reporting everything that's going on and has instead shifted into more of a "crowd control" role over the past couple of decades. The information is still out there for the people who actually seriously care, but the fact is that just about nobody does.

    Media spinelessness isn't the issue. Apathy and willful ignorance is the issue.
  • by Quila (201335) on Sunday May 27, 2007 @12:22AM (#19288813)
    I was ready to hear real censorship, but this is a laundry list of the most incredible bias I've seen in a long time, complete with a good dose of tin foil hat.

    It's even internally inconsistent, exposing the bias. For example, #12 criticizes Bush for doing an "about-face" on land mines after Clinton's statements to get rid of them, but they say that research on the new breed of land mine started in 1999 -- under Clinton and before Bush.

    In its effort to portray the United States as a renegade land mine loving country, it fails to mention that while we didn't sign the Ottawa treaty, we are a signatory to the land mine portion of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

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