Thursday, June 30, 2011

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.


"A few days ago, rallies were held in cities all over the United States in support of veteran Chicano activist Carlos Montes, who had his home raided by the FBI on May 17. The rallies coincided with Montes’ arraignment hearing for felony charges, which were filed against him by the LA County Sheriffs and FBI after the raid.

The target of an ever-expanding government investigation into antiwar and international solidarity activists, Montes demanded that his charges be dropped. The District Attorney denied his request. Montes asked to see the search warrant and police report on the raid of his home. The District Attorney initially refused the request but then agreed to release heavily edited versions of the documents. Montes was also told he would not be allowed to show the documents to the press.

Tom Burke, a spokesperson for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and a subpoenaed activist, explains that Montes allegedly was found to be in possession of a weapon that was not properly registered. Burke believes that if Montes hadn’t been a political activist or organizer he would have been contacted about a problem on the gun permit. But, the LA sheriffs chose to make an example of Montes.

Burke also notes, like twenty-three other activists subpoenaed thus far, Montes has a link to the organizing of marches at the 2008 Republican National Convention."

-->The NY Times avoids stories that make the US look like a police state. Carlos Montes' arrest and the subsequent rallies against FBI harassment were never reported on.


The Guardian UK:
"Israel steps up campaign to stop flotilla sailing to Gaza in defiance of blockade...

One ship, the Juliano, is being repaired after a suspected underwater sabotage attack. The ship's propeller shaft was partially sawed while it was docked at the Greek port of Piraeus. Another ship, the Audacity of Hope, has been banned from leaving port until Greek authorities agree it is seaworthy.

'We can't say for certain that Israel was responsible for the sabotage but no one else wants to stop us sailing,' said Arraf (Flotilla organizer)...

In another incident, government staff circulated a video purporting to be made by a gay rights activist whose offer to join the flotilla had been rejected. The activist said he was rejected because the organisers were associated with Hamas which was homophobic and antipathetic to human rights.

When the video was exposed as a hoax, the Prime Minister's office said the video was promoted by an intern, Guy Seemann."

-->The NY Times does it's best to protect Israel from bad publicity. Our newspaper of record did not report the attack on the Juliano, a Swedish ship, nor the attempt by the Israel to slander the Freedom Flotilla using a fake video. UPDATE: The NY Times finally did report the sabotage, on the very last line of a story on an Israeli group's efforts to block the flotilla. Instead of a "partially sawed" propeller shaft, The NY Times reported it to be "severed," a way to avoid the fact that the terrorists who did this intended the shaft to fail at sea, when passengers' lives would be at risk.


Guardian UK:
"Climate Sceptic Willie Soon Received $1m from Oil Companies, Papers Show. Documents obtained by Greenpeace show prominent opponent of climate change was funded by ExxonMobil, among others.

Dr Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, is known for his view that global warming and the melting of the arctic sea ice is caused by solar variation rather than human-caused CO2 emissions, and that polar bears are not primarily threatened by climate change.

But according to a Greenpeace US investigation, he has been heavily funded by coal and oil industry interests since 2001, receiving money from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Insitute and Koch Industries along with Southern, one of the world's largest coal-burning utility companies. Since 2002, it is alleged, every new grant he has received has been from either oil or coal interests.

In addition, freedom of information documents suggest that Soon corresponded in 2003 with other prominent climate sceptics to try to weaken a major assessment of global warming being conducted by the UN's leading climate science body, the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

-->Rather than printing this story about corporate funding of climate skeptics, The NY Times chose to put it on the Times Topics blog where it would get less attention. In fact, The NY Times has given the well paid Dr. Willie Soon's conclusions far more respect than they deserved, even quoting Dr. Soon in 2008 as saying that "most influential forecasts of polar-bear populations violate at least 73 of the 90 relevant principles of scientific forecasting." The Guardian UK exposed some of Dr. Soon's funding back in 2008; why not our newspaper of record?

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