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Censored Stories, Your Ass 

And now, a dissenting opinion

For the first time that I've seen, this year's "Censored Stories" come with a caveat. Seems they weren't really censored after all--just "under reported." Well, as Emily used to say on Saturday Night Live, "never mind."

This takes much of the fun out of debunking the debunkers, because last year's crop of "censored" stories was considerably wackier than this batch. Several claimed that the mainstream media weren't reporting all those neo-conservative plots to take over the world. Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times were apparently all in on them.

One of three things must have happened: Last year's neocon plots were all thwarted, or they were successful. Either way, that would be a big story everybody missed.

I'll take the third option--those who write this stuff finally got some reality therapy.

I said "some." Some of the stories that Project Censored claims are "under reported" are constantly harped upon in many places. Any halfway-observant reader has heard that income distribution has become wider; many scientists disagree with the Bush administration's policies regarding everything from forests to global warming; depleted uranium use in weaponry leaves an untidy battlefield; there are real problems with electronic voting machines; Cheney's energy task force met in secret; and we may be building some new nuclear power plants. Some of these stories promote a thesis I agree with, but there's been plenty of reporting on them.

The others range from, "Yeah, so?" to whacked. The Alien Tort Claims item is interesting, but hardly a blockbuster. For off the wall, the Federalist Society picking judges is a classic piece of leftist irrationality, while the RICO suit story is genuine la-la land.

Follow the logic: The Federalist Society has all sorts of heavyweights on its letterhead. Therefore, the Federalist Society must have had something to do with them becoming heavyweights. Classic example of the "wet pavement causes rain" syndrome.

The RICO suit story is the kind of pathetic crap that still plays in various intellectual swamplands. This one didn't get covered, because it was too shaky for Weekly World News.

Americans have the LEAST real censorship in the world--the old-fashioned kind you get when cops break down doors, smash presses and cameras, and haul folks away for trying to use them. That's what happens in most countries that vote at the United Nations. You can get busted in relatively free places for doing things we take for granted. Try publishing a critique of the queen in England, printing something derogatory about gays or Muslims in France, or broadcasting Fox News in Canada--you've broken the law and have no First Amendment right to use in appeal.

There are many stories not covered by the mainstream media--and the alternative media. For example:

1. Naval deployments in the Far East

We have 12 carrier battle groups. One is in the Persian Gulf; seven were last seen near Taiwan. Why?

2. The great asbestos hoax

Yeah, it's bad for you. Don't put it on your cereal. But a combination of gullible enviros and greedy contractors has squandered billions over-reacting to the problem.

3. Corruption in public financing of elections

In New Jersey, the "right" candidates get their money early, and the others are endlessly hassled. Time to check if that happens elsewhere and stop believing that election bureaucrats come from a different gene pool than the politicians who appoint them.

4. Mass starvation in Zimbabwe

A corrupt and psychotic dictator has taken a country that was once a leading food exporter to the brink of mass starvation. Anybody care?

There's more. Unfortunately, they don't fit the lazy little leftist box most of the alternative press has built around itself.

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