Censorship and the dying rags
By Brenda Norrell
It is becoming popular to moan the death of US newspapers. Americans like to be romantic, nostalgic, when things pass on. But the truth is newspapers are not just dying because of the Internet, shrinking advertising and dismal profits.
US newspapers are dying because they became the prostitutes of commercialism and stopped telling the truth. Many people stopped buying newspapers because they became the rags of a corrupt industry. Too many journalists swallowed their pride, ignored their integrity and did what they had to do to pay the mortgage. They followed the marching orders of editors and publishers who forgot, or never knew, what journalism was intended to do.
Television news became entertainment, a boiling sea of lies and half truths. It focuses on a few murders to hypnotize Americans. It sensationalizes and fuels the inherent racism. When it comes to promoting the war and warmongering corporations, no one does it better than television news, regurgitating US press releases as if those were truth.
For readers of newspapers, it became too hard to tell the wag-the-dog spin of the press releases of politicians and corporations from real news and real truth. For corporations and politicians, it became too easy to take their lush profits and threaten a lawsuit whenever the real truth was exposed. The corporations and politicians learned how to kill off the good journalists, whether it was with the threat of a million dollar lawsuit, a bloody murder on the backroads or streets of Mexico or an explosion in Iraq. Other reporters, along with the activists who revealed the truths, were quietly "suicided" or overdosed with drugs.
How many newspapers today have articles on the Serb death squad leader who was a top CIA agent, or the chemical spraying planned for the border? (Seize the land and kill off anyone and anything that remains seems to be the agenda.) How many newspapers are pointing the finger at the US for the drug war in Mexico? The people in the US are buying the drugs and creating the demand for the drugs. It is the US that is supplying the weapons, running those south. The US even trained the most notorious killers in the drug war, the Zetas, as US special forces. The Zetas later broke away and became the most savage killers.
How many newspapers reported that the FBI had to halt a sting in the Tucson area because so many US soldiers in the Army, Marines, Airforce and National Guard were smuggling cocaine from the border at Nogales, Arizona, to Phoenix?
How many newspapers are investigating the number of assaults, rapes and murders by US Border Agents that are concealed? Where are undercover reports of US Border Agents smuggling drugs from the southern border, with their "spotters" positioned along the route. Where are the reports of the people killed by US agents, including Tohono O'odham? Where are the reports in print newspapers from Mexico on how US dollars, disguised as fighting the drug war, are really used to silence activists, such as in Guerrero? (Articles are at Narco News online: www.narconews.com )
Where are the news reports on what the Zapatistas really represent? The Zapatistas stood up for integrity, honor, Indigenous autonomy and self-rule, not for the trendy fashions of tourists and boring intellectuals. How many print newspapers publish the issues exposed by the Mohawk editors, Mohawk grandmothers, at Mohawk Nation News http://www.mohawknationnews.com/
Are any newspapers analyzing the number of power plants, coal mines, uranium mines, oil and gas wells, nuclear dumps planned for American Indian lands and borderlands? How many reporters are following the pro-nuclear trend, disguised as green, with no thought of where to put all the nuclear waste. Perhaps they could dump it in the EPA officials' backyards or have a toxic dump in DC, between the Capitol and the White House. Are any reporters investigating the global scam and fiction of carbon credits, along with the role of the World Bank and the corporate seizures of Indigenous lands in the carbon trading scam?
Are any US newspapers analyzing why the US refuses to support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? Have any US newspapers published those rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their own aboriginal territories? How many print newspapers have exposed the violations of human rights of imprisoned migrants, including women and children, at private US prisons.
Which newspapers are publishing the rights of the Western Shoshone in the Treaty of Ruby Valley and how the New York Times was pimping for Barrick Gold in Nevada. The federal court and New York Times agree that the heart of Western Shoshone territory, and the region of sacred Mount Tenabo, should be cored out for a gold mine. It is a gold mine that President Bush, Sr., made possible in Nevada.
Are news reporters exposing the murders and rapes of villagers by Barrick Gold around the world? Have print newspapers reported on the assassinations of Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala who oppose mining or the cancer clusters around mines in the First Nations territories in Canada? Are reporters exposing the mass graves of Indian children in church residential schools in Canada or how the US plans to exploit the natural resources of First Nations?
Are there any US newspapers pointing out the fact that most elected Native American tribal councils are "puppets" of the US government, designed and created by the US to sign leases to exploit Native American land, air, water and resources?
Which newspapers are holding Bush and Cheney responsible for torture and war crimes? Which newspapers are holding Israel responsible for the use of white phosphorus? Who is demanding that leaders responsible for violating the Geneva Conventions be held responsible? Who is exposing the hazards of depleted uranium? (See articles online at http://www.unobserver.com/)
Journalism will survive, but let's celebrate the death of the whore houses, those shacks that still have the word "news" swagging on their storefronts.