Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.


Common Dreams:
"President Obama's plan to freeze 'non-security' discretionary spending could spell disaster for a broad range of federal programs. ... The proposed 'freeze' is actually a cut. The proposal caps non-security spending at $447 billion for each of the next three fiscal years. During that time, inflation will erode the purchasing power of that total, requiring additional cuts in services in each successive year. While meaningless in reducing the deficit, these cuts could be devastating to non-security discretionary programs such as nutrition, education, energy and transportation.
These types of programs account for only 17 percent of total federal spending, yet they will absorb all of the proposed cuts. ... Military spending, which in the current fiscal year represents roughly 55 percent of discretionary spending, will be spared the budget knife. And all indications are that military spending will go up next year. In fact, based on the Office of Management and Budget's projections as part of the FY 2010 budget request released last year, we will spend an additional $522 billion on the military over the next decade."
-Jo Comerford, Executive director of the National Priorities Project
-->Forget it if you are looking for this type of budget analysis in the NY Times. We don't talk about Military Empire in America's newspaper of record.
Guardian UK:
"The health of 1.4 million people is being put at risk by the ongoing Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza, a report by more than 80 humanitarian organisations warned today.
The aid groups, including the World Health Organisation and UN agencies, said more than one-fifth of sick Palestinians who needed to leave the territory for treatment in Israel had either been refused or had their applications delayed. The groups called on Israel and Egypt to open the border crossings with Gaza.
Max Gaylard, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the blockade undermined the local healthcare system and put lives at risk."
-->1.4 million people's lives being put at risk? Not newsworthy when it comes to the NY Times coverage of Palestine. Stories that cover US or Israeli human rights violations rarely make it into print.
Common Dreams:
"The Obama administration may soon guarantee as much as $18.5 billion in loans to build nuclear reactors to generate electricity, and Congress is considering whether to add billions more to support an expansion of nuclear power.
These actions come after an extensive, decade-long campaign in which companies and unions related to the industry have spent more than $600 million on lobbying and nearly $63 million on campaign contributions, according to an analysis by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.
Nuclear power generates about 20 percent of America's electricity, but many existing reactors are aging. No new plant has been authorized since the 1979 incident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, when small amounts of radiation were released and authorities feared for days that a huge surge might escape."
-->The NY Times has long had a soft spot for nuclear energy, and the billions in profits it brings to corporate interests. It didn't cover Obama's loan guarantees. Nuclear energy you can believe in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.

Guardian UK:
"The US military's takeover of emergency operations in Haiti has triggered a diplomatic row with countries and aid agencies furious at having flights redirected.

Brazil and France lodged an official ­protest with Washington after US military aircraft were given priority at Port-au-Prince's congested airport, forcing many non-US flights to divert to the Dominican Republic.

Brasilia warned it would not ­relinquish command of UN forces in Haiti, and Paris complained the airport had become a US "annexe", exposing a brewing power struggle amid the global relief effort. The Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières also complained about diverted flights.

-- >US troop flights clogging up Haiti's airport and delaying food and medicine to thousands of desperate quake survivors? Would you ever read about such deplorable US policy in the NY Times? No, you wouldn't. All you get is propaganda about our wonderful relief efforts.

The NY Times:
According to the "Political Memo" published this Sunday on the front page of the NY Times, the Senate race in Massachusetts is close because Obama has tried to accomplish too much in terms of social reform during his first year.

Not one mention of the fact that large segments of the left are disgusted by Brand Obama for not doing enough. In fact, for not doing anything different from the Bush/Cheney war crime era.

No indication that voters might be furious with Brand Obama's healthcare reform, his gross sellout to the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies. No hint that Brand Obama's troop serge in the Middle East betrayed his peace promises. No voter anger because as he has continued the Bush policies of indefinite detention, government eavesdropping, military commissions, extreme secrecy, and immunity for government lawbreaking. Nope. No mention of this is the NY Times analysis.

Such analysis is for the politically lobotomized. Urging Obama to move to the right will leave him with no base at all, expect for the large corporations that pay for both parties and run the nation's media. And Brand Obama will go the way of "New Coke."

-- >One has to go to a newspaper outside the US for some less brainwashed analysis. The Guardian in UK said it so simply: "Prominent voices on the left of the Democratic party have grown increasingly concerned at what they see as too little change people can believe in, particularly on issues liberal activists are passionate about, such as healthcare legislation and America's wars." Now why couldn't the NY Times have thought of that?

BBC in UK:
"A Spanish politician has said he was shocked to find out the FBI had used his photo for a digitally-altered image showing how Osama Bin Laden might look.

Gaspar Llamazares said he would no longer feel safe traveling to the US after his hair and parts of his face appeared on a most-wanted poster. He said the use of a real person for the mocked-up image was "shameless".

The FBI admitted a forensic artist had obtained certain facial features 'from a photograph he found on the internet.' The digitally-altered photos of the al-Qaeda leader, showing how he might look now, aged 52, were published on the state department's Rewards for Justice website on Friday."

-- >The NY Times put this story on its website, but didn't print it. Such stupidity from the FBI is seldom deemed "fit to print."

New America Media:
"Forget about oil, occupation, terrorism or even Al Qaeda. The real hazard for Iraqis these days is cancer. Cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, especially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.

Here are a few examples. In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of new- born infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.

The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009 according to Al Jazeera English...

Dr Ahmad Hardan, who served as a special scientific adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, says that there is scientific evidence linking depleted uranium to cancer and birth defects."

-- >The NY Times doesn't do American war crimes. Our newspaper of record spends its time covering up stories about the effects of depleted uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.


Daily Record UK:
"I've never, however, been in a more dangerous situation than last week in the tiny Sinai port of Al Arish to which the Egyptian dictatorship had insisted we bring our convoy.

Five hundred foreigners from 17 different nationalities with 200 vehicles were crammed into a compound without water, food or toilet facilities. They included 10 Turkish MPs one of whom was the chairman of Turkey's foreign relations committee.

We captured on film from a third floor office the thugs of the Mukhabarat (Intelligence) piling stones and sharpening their sticks behind the backs of several ranks of riot police with helmets, batons and shields. Then mayhem.

We may have complaints about our police, but I tell you, when you see policemen hurling half-bricks into a crowd of women and men who'd come to deliver medicine to desperate people under siege, you thank your lucky stars we don't live in such a state. Fifty five of our 500 were wounded and, but for the shocking effect on Arab public opinion (our own media didn't give a damn) of the live footage (all on Youtube now), we might still be there yet."

-->The NY Times reports things a little differently: "Overnight, Egyptian security forces and members of the convoy, which is led by left-wing British politician George Galloway, threw stones at each other when tempers frayed over the route the trucks were to take." But even this Reuters story is only on the NY Times website and never made it into print.


National Priorities Project:
"NORTHHAMPTON, Mass - January 11 - Congress has appropriated an additional $136.8 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the 2010 fiscal year.  National Priorities Project estimates that for this fiscal year, $64.5 billion is directed to Iraq and $72.3 billion to Afghanistan.  Bills that included war-related funding were the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2892) passed on October 28, 2009; the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3288) passed on December 16, 2009; and the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3326) passed on December 19, 2009.

These new appropriations bring total war-related spending for Iraq to $747.3 billion and for Afghanistan to $299 billion, with total war costs of $1.05 trillion.  National Priorities Project (NPP) updated its Cost of War counters to reflect the new totals and to show the local costs of these wars to states and many cities ("

-->The NY Times gives this information one line in a story published on the web. The story was never printed. In effect, the biggest news of the last decade was ignored: how US wars in the Middle East have bankrupted America.


The Nation:
"German prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into allegations that the CIA deployed a team of Blackwater operatives on a clandestine operation in Hamburg, Germany, after 9/11 ultimately aimed at assassinating a German citizen with suspected ties to Al Qaeda. The alleged assassination operation was revealed last month in a Vanity Fair profile of Blackwater's owner Erik Prince.

According to Vanity Fair, one of the team's targets was Mamoun Darkazanli, a naturalized German citizen originally from Syria. Darkazanli has been accused by Spain of being an Al Qaeda supporter with close ties to the alleged 9/11 plotters who lived in Hamburg. The Blackwater/CIA team 'supposedly went in dark, meaning they did not notify their own station--much less the German government--of their presence,' according to Vanity Fair.

This week, a senior lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union called on Washington to provide an explanation. 'If this commando really existed and the U.S. government knew about it but didn't notify our government then this would be a very grave incident,' said the lawmaker, Wolfgang Bosbach."

-->The NY Times has this story on its webpage, but did not see fit to print the possibility of US assassination teams working in Western European countries.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.

Rachel Maddow, the outspoken "leftist" on MSNBC, is distinctly quiet when it comes to human rights abuses by the US empire. Sure, she covers abuses when it comes to US supposed enemies like Iran and Syria. But did she do a story on the Goldstone Report? On the Gaza Freedom March in Cairo? The ongoing resistance to the military coup in Honduras?

Selective coverage of human rights issues is no coverage at all; it is government propaganda. Until the US media is willing to report the news, rather than the spin of the military industrial complex, we may as well look elsewhere.

Jerusalem Post:
"A spokeswoman for international activists bringing aid to Gaza says some 50 members of the convoy were injured in a scuffle with Egyptian security overnight Tuesday.

Alice Howard said some 2,000 riot police used water cannons and beat up activists demonstrating at the port building late on Tuesday.

Scuffles erupted after negotiations allow the aid materials into Gaza through Egypt failed.

More than 500 activists in British-based group Viva Palestina are accompanying hundreds of tons of humanitarian supplies to Gaza."\ icle%2FShowFull

-- >For the most part, The NY Times has not covered this convoy to break the siege of Gaza. After all, the siege of 1.5 million Palestinians is the direct result of US foreign policy.

Guardian UK:
"A spate of abductions and murders has prompted concern that the political crisis in Honduras is still claiming victims despite the election of a new government.

Gunmen have killed two young activists in recent separate attacks amid a continued crackdown against supporters of the ousted president, Manuel Zelaya.

Human rights groups said he had been repeatedly harassed by police and soldiers and was briefly kidnapped and beaten on 4 December by four masked men.

The National Resistance Front, a group opposed to the coup which toppled Zelaya, accused security forces of the murder. Police denied responsibility and said they would investigate."

-- >The NY Times does not report human rights abuses by US sponsored dictatorships. Too busy supporting those demonstrations in Iran. As usual, selective human rights reporting by our newspaper of record.