Thursday, October 11, 2012

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 to keep from the public eye.


Common Dreams:
"On 30 May, Dan Rather, one of America's best-known journalists, announced that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez would die 'in a couple of months at most'. Four months later Chávez is not only alive and campaigning but widely expected to win re-election on Sunday.

Such is the state of misrepresentation of Venezuela – it is probably the most lied-about country in the world – that a journalist can say almost anything about Chávez or his government and it is unlikely to be challenged, so long as it is negative. Even worse, Rather referred to Chávez as 'the dictator' – a term that few, if any, political scientists familiar with the country would countenance.

Here is what Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela's 'dictatorship' a few weeks ago: 'As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.' "

-->The NY Times coverage of Venezuela is always seething with contempt. As propaganda arm of the empire, our newspaper of record has constantly distorted its election coverage. For weeks, readers were told that the election was close and the Chavez might lose. The triumph of his strong win (along with 80% of the population voting), is denigrated through a careful choice of pictures. The front page has a shot of a polling place in a rundown part of town with a uniformed soldier opening a small, metal door for the crowd outside (think military control and widespread poverty). 


Seed Daily:
"A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops - cotton, soybeans and corn - has actually increased.

This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook's analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.
In the study, which appeared in the the open-access, peer-reviewed journal "Environmental Sciences Europe," Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use.

Marketed as Roundup and other trade names, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. Approximately 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn, are planted to varieties genetically modified to be herbicide resistant."

-->The NY Times buries its environmental news in its "Green" Blog. That way, it can cover a story like this without upsetting its friends in the pesticide industry.   Monsanto can do no wrong in print where it counts. 


Common Dreams:

"As the battle of California's Proposition 37 reaches its final weeks, the latest figures show the staggering amount big agricultural firms are pouring into the campaign to prevent foods with genetically modified ingredients from being labeled.

MapLight Voter's Edge, a nonpartisan guide to ballot measures, reports that $4.1 million has been raised on the Yes side, the side that favors the labeling, and $34.5 million on the No side, the anti-labeling side. Despite the huge spending disparity, Californians are overwhelmingly in favor of labeling, a recent poll shows...

Yes on 37 campaign manager Gary Ruskin cites a recent study showing the explosion of pesticide use due to genetically modified crops, saying the results show why corporations like Roundup maker Monsanto and pesticide giant Dupont are fighting the labeling.

'As we see from the data, GMOs are a fantastic boon for the pesticide industry. That’s why the world’s largest pesticide companies have spent nearly $20 million to defeat Proposition 37 and our right to know what’s in our food,' said Ruskin.' "

-->The NY Times covers these points, but again, not in print. This time it is the "Opinionator Blog" used to bury the bad news about Monsanto and Dupont.

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