Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Myth Of The American Free Press: Into The Buzzsaw

Though this is not a new book (2002), it is one of the best published reports of what goes under, behind and before, the news that Americans (and many others as a consequence) are offered on their TV and newspapers.

If you are truly willing to go and look without prejudice at much of the unreleased information that could have been otherwise of public domain, you will probably remain shocked by how much of what really counts gets to disappear before we even can hear about it.

This is why mainstream news media is rapidly losing its credibility especially in the face of the emerging army of independent reporters, news sites and professional bloggers appearing everywhere.

This book is a collection of devastating essays about the dangerous state of American journalism today.

The contributors/authors to this unique book describe a Fourth Estate that has largely relinquished its watchdog role and that has been co-opted by corporate and government powers.

"Anyone who reads or watches the news on a regular basis should read this book."
Here are my favorite stories from it:

Jane Akre
A broadcast reporter's outrageous account of how Fox TV fired her after she refused to falsify a report on what she'd uncovered about Monsanto Corporation's bovine growth hormone in milk. Monsanto pressured Fox and Fox fired Akre. She sued under Florida's whistleblower act and won.

Greg Palast
This American reporter uncovered official documents that showed exactly how voter fraud was carried out in the election that won Bush the presidency. He went to CBS with the story, but they would not do it because Jeb Bush's office told them it wasn't true. Palast writes about how he couldn't report his findings in the U.S. until it was too late and had to go to the U.K. to get his story out. Another blood boiler.

Carl Jensen
The founder and creator of Project Censored writes about the history of investigative reporting and the six factors that doom investigative reporting today.

Kristina Borjesson
An investigative reporter whose work at CBS came to an abrupt end while she was investigating the crash of TWA 800. CBS let Borjesson go shortly after the FBI came to the network to take back evidence in her possession that they said was "stolen" from the official investigation. ABC killed her story too. Borjesson exposes the consistent pattern of government lying and deception about TWA 800 that continues today, and shows how the press willingly goes along with it.

Robert McChesney
The ultimate expert on American media writes the final and fascinating but devastating essay that paints the big picture. By putting all the other essays in a larger context, McChesney brings into razor-sharp focus the magnitude of the problem for our democracy and our way of life.

Maurice Murad
This award winning 38-year veteran documentary producer for CBS News gives new insights into the way information gets processed and then distorted by major media outlets. It's a distortion born, not of ideology but of laziness and greed. Whether the story is about undocumented workers in California, a presidential election, the readiness of our armed forces or a so-called famine in Iraq, this essay reveals how easily misinformation becomes the common wisdom.

Helen Malmgren
This CBS producer who works for 60 Minutes star, Ed Bradley, writes about the agonizing process of getting out an investigative documentary about the brutal death of a little boy in a mental institution owned by the nation's largest chain of psychiatric hospitals. Why was it so hard? Because big networks are huge targets for lawsuits. A stunning example of the chilling effects potential lawsuits have on journalism.

Karl Idsvoog
Awardwinning journalist who writes about the dangerous course of today's broadcast newsrooms where managers are ignoring the fact that investing in good journalism is a moneymaking proposition that builds demand while sensationalistic reporting attracts viewers at first and then turns them off because it consistently lacks substance.

Mike Levine
This DEA agent turned investigative journalist writes a riveting essay about putting his life on the line to bust drug cartel leaders in Asia and Latin America only to find the CIA thwarting his efforts and endangering his life to protect their "assets" who are the very same drug cartel leaders. When Levine tries to tell the mainstream press about the bogus "Drug War," they avoid him.

"These individuals had the courage to stand up and fight for the truth, and while the outcomes of their struggles were, at times, devastating, they have all been empowered by their experiences and they are, in coming together in this book, using their experiences to make a difference."

Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press



Kristina Borjesson -
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posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, September 15 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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