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Customer Review

on November 4, 2007
Ahh, another year, another collection of quasi-news sensationally described as "censored" by the corporate media. (It's always "corporate," even though one of the editors' favorite targets, the Associated Press, is actually a nonprofit. But I guess I'm splitting hairs here.)

Yes, there are some legitimate stories in these collections that, for a multitude of reasons -- the least likely of which is that mainstream media's corporate/Republican paymasters simply didn't like them -- never really gained their place in the national conversation.

The media are far from perfect. But to say that mainstream journalists haven't been doing their job -- as is the overarching point of these collections -- is disingenuous at best. To say so is leaving out the fact that the crusty ol' New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News and even -- gasp! -- USA Today have broken and given prominent, in-depth play to such important stories as warrantless wiretapping, Abu Ghraib, secret CIA prisons, national security letters and the telecoms' cooperation with the letters, etc., etc. Local newspapers such as The (Toledo, Ohio) Blade and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans have done outstanding work in their back yards and at the national level recent years, despite shrinking circulations and news staffs (a phenomenon that's the real overlooked story here, folks.)

This year's Censored edition is more ridiculous than usual in that, in the chapter updating the previous year's "censored" stories, is a section on Steven Jones, founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a conspiracy theorist group. Apparently, one of his essays was included in the 2007 Censored edition (I missed out on that one. Darn it.), to the consternation of some of the very people involved in Project Censored. The way it's described in this edition, two of the project's judges resigned over the inclusion of the Jones essay. That alone should be enough for Project Censored, at the very least, to explain to us what the hell happened -- but instead, we're treated to a rehash of the WTC7 collapse conspiracy theory. That's their story, and they're sticking to it, I suppose, but it sounds to me like Project Censored has been doing a little self-censorship of its own.
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