Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


Z Magazine:
"According to the Pew center, public trust in the media is now at its lowest point in the last twenty years, with just 29 percent of Americans seeing news outlets as generally "getting the facts straight" in reporting, and only 18 percent feeling that reporters "deal fairly with all sides" of important political, economic, and social issues. These findings are no revelation considering the longstanding marginalization of progressive-left views in the mass media. What is encouraging, however, is that the general public is finally recognizing this reality in encouraging numbers...

My own study of the New York Times' reporting on Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, for example, found that 75 percent of news stories only stressed that Iraq possessed WMD and was a threat to the U.S., whereas just 10 percent of stories challenged that claim. This massive imbalance is stark evidence of distorted, propagandistic coverage."

-->The NY Times did report the Pew Research Center study, but left out this perfect example of media propaganda, the newspaper's own coverage of pre-invasion Iraq.


"(LONDON) - Trade unions in the United Kingdom are taking a stand against Israeli aggression in the Middle East, by calling for a boycott of goods that originate from the illegal settlements.

Israel continues to build these settlements, generally large apartment buildings, on Palestinian Territory. It is a maddening situation for the people of Palestine who have already been reduced to small parcels of land, heavily guarded by the watchful guns of the Israeli Defense Forces.

While Jewish people always have lived in this part of the world, most of the land in question belonged to the Palestinians prior to the formation of Israel in 1947 and 1948. In most cases it was taken away forcefully, and that exact behavior from Israel steams along in high gear today."

-->A growing world boycott of Israeli products produced in the occupied territories? This story didn't appear in the NY Times.


The Boston Globe:
"WASHINGTON - The Sensor Fuzed Weapon is a marvel of military technology, says its maker, Textron Defense Systems. An advanced "cluster bomb,'' it is designed to spray 40 individual projectiles of molten copper, destroying enemy tanks across a 30-acre swath of battlefield.

But the bomb - which is made at a Textron facility in the Boston suburb of Wilmington - violates terms of a landmark international treaty limiting cluster bombs to 10 bomblets or less. The pending treaty, signed by 98 nations last year in Oslo, has been sought for decades by human rights groups, which say that cluster bombs kill indiscriminately and leave behind duds that kill or maim unsuspecting civilians.

Now Textron, with the support of the Pentagon and the State Department, is mounting a campaign to derail the cluster-bomb treaty and write a new set of rules under the United Nations that would make it easier to sell its weapon around the world."

-->Textron and the Pentagon destroying the cluster-bomb treaty? You won't know about it if you limit yourself to reading the NY Times.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


Guardian UK:
"UN presses for prosecutions in damning report of Hamas and Israel conduct...

The inquiry looks not only at the war but at the months before and after the conflict and accuses Israel of many violations of international law. It says Israel may be guilty of the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, in its policies towards the Palestinian people.

It said the international criminal court has jurisdiction to investigate and that individuals responsible for violating the laws of war should face prosecution. Each country that has ratified the Geneva conventions had a duty to search for and prosecute those responsible."

-->Although the NY Times had a version of this story, several key aspects were left out. No mention of the UN pressing for "prosecutions." No mention of Israel being guilty of any "crime against humanity," or the crime of "persecution." The NY Times continues in its role of covering up the full extent of Israel's war crimes in the Middle East.


San Francisco Chronicle:
"Tristan Anderson to Sue for Injury in Israel Protest.

The case of Tristan Anderson, who remains hospitalized with brain damage and a fractured skull six months after he was injured, may test Israel's efforts to shield itself from lawsuits for harm it causes during wartime, said attorney Michael Sfard...

The Ministry of Defense, Sfard said in an e-mail message, 'is trying to apply the (act of war) doctrine to every (case of) damage caused in the occupied Palestinian territories by Israeli forces.'

Anderson was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired from about 65 yards away by a border police officer, according to some fellow demonstrators. He had brain surgery at Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv and is no longer in critical condition, but is blind in his right eye, friends say."

-->The NY Times did not cover the filing of a personal injury suit by Tristan Anderson, despite the fact that he is a US citizen.


Guardian UK:
"Europe has clashed with the US Obama administration over climate change in a potentially damaging split that comes ahead of crucial political negotiations on a new global deal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Guardian understands that key differences have emerged between the US and Europe over the structure of a new worldwide treaty on global warming. Sources on the European side say the US approach could undermine the new treaty and weaken the world's ability to cut carbon emissions.

The treaty will be negotiated in December at a UN meeting in Copenhagen and is widely billed as the last chance to save the planet from a temperature rise of 2C or higher, which the EU considers dangerous."

-->But to the NY Times readers, all is well in the "pro-environment" administration of Barack Obama. The NY Times even quotes John Kerry claiming that the "United States will not remain on the sidelines and will lead efforts to achieve a strong agreement in Copenhagen."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"Israel will in the next few days approve construction of some 500 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank before a possible settlement freeze demanded by Washington, a defence ministry official said on Sunday.

'Approval will be given in the next few days for 450 to 500 housing units and the Americans know that,' said the official, declining to be named. The defence ministry oversees approval of new constructions in West Bank settlements.
An aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed this week the Israeli leader's intention to authorise the new projects before weighing a moratorium on new building permits...

'The prime minister will decide in the coming days on the building of hundreds of additional housing units in order to solve existing problems in various settlements,' Katz told Israel Radio. Some 2,500 housing units are currently being built in West Bank settlements and Israeli officials said their construction would continue."

-->Although the NY Times carried this Reuters story on its website, the article didn't make it into print. Such stories painting Israel as grabbing more land from the Palestinians rarely see the light of day.


"Eight years into the US-led war in Afghanistan, two reports have raised fresh questions about the effectiveness of the US involvement in the country.
One report, released on Tuesday by the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight (POGO), contains allegations of wide-ranging misconduct by private US security contractors guarding the US embassy in Kabul.

Another study by the research arm of the US congress has said the US military is relying on record levels of private contractors, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of Pentagon staffers deployed in Afghanistan.

In addition the report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says only 15 per cent of those deployed are US citizens, raising both security and credibility questions for the US mission."

-->The NY Times story concentrated on specific allegations of misconduct rather than on the nation's reliance on private contractors or the low number of US citizens deployed to Afghanistan.


"The last British resident being held in Guantánamo Bay has been tortured and prevented from seeing his lawyer in a breach of international law, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

Shaker Aamer, who has been held in solitary confinement since January 2005, was assaulted in July by military guards dressed in riot gear who also cut off his clothes using "rough shears" and left him naked and shivering, according to a witness statement from another detainee.

Aamer's lawyers claim the US authorities tried to cover up the alleged attacks which they say took place over a two-day period when Aamer had been due to meet his US lawyer Brent Mickum. His legal team in the UK has asked the foreign secretary, David Miliband, to intervene."

-->Still torturing in Guantanamo Bay? You wouldn't know that troubling fact if you depended on the NY Times for your world news.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"Two newly-obtained documents show how American diplomats during the Bush administration worked tenaciously to incorporate what is commonly known as the Nuremberg Defense into a new international convention addressing enforced disappearances.

The rejection of the notion that government agents could avoid liability for crimes by arguing that they were simply following orders had been a bedrock principle of the American government ever since shortly after the end of World War II, when that defense was employed during the Nuremberg war-crimes trials.

But the new documents, obtained by the ACLU through Freedom of Information Act litigation, show how State Department officials tried to establish what they called "the good soldier defense" -- in this case, the right of government agents charged with seizing and holding people in violation of international law to claim as a defense that they acted in good faith based on representations as to the legality of the conduct they were undertaking."

-->A Nazi defense for US war crimes? Outrageous as this story was, it wasn't considered news by the NY Times.


"When Arne Duncan stepped down as the head of the Chicago Public Schools to become the secretary of education in January, the school district he left behind had little to brag about. While Duncan served as its chief executive officer, CPS received mostly average or below average rankings in "The Nation's Report Card," a Department of Education assessment of the country's largest urban school districts. Its high school graduation rates lingered at around 50 percent, well short of the national average of 70 percent. And since 2004, CPS has failed as a district to meet No Child Left Behind's "adequate yearly progress" standards. In one area, however, Chicago's schools stood out: In large part to Duncan's efforts, they were—and remain—the most militarized in America...

Duncan oversaw the controversial move to bring full-fledged military academies to the Windy City. The district's first, the Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville, opened in 1999, and three more followed during Duncan's tenure. Today, Chicago has six military high schools run by a branch of the armed services. Six smaller military academies share buildings with existing high schools. Nearly three dozen JROTC programs exist in regular high schools, where students attend a daily JROTC class and wear uniforms to school one day a week. And at the middle school level, there is a JROTC program for sixth, seventh- and eighth-graders."

-->Pentagon running our public schools? The NY Times, like much of the mainstream media has made little of his work in militarizing schools. To the NY Times, he played basketball with Obama, and is working for “real and meaningful change” in the public schools.


"White House officials are increasingly worried liberal, anti-war Democrats will demand a premature end to the Afghanistan war before President Barack Obama can show signs of progress in the eight-year conflict, according to senior administration sources.

These fears, which the officials have discussed on the condition of anonymity over the past few weeks, are rising fast after U.S. casualties hit record levels in July and August...

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told POLITICO: 'We have to show the American people that all this effort, all these resources, all these lives are making a difference.'"

-->Since the NY Times is part of these Pentagon's propaganda efforts, our newspaper of record would certainly not carry a story like this. And it didn't.

UPDATE: The NY Times covered this story on Sept. 3, but failed to include the Pentagon press secretary's statement.