Project Censored Letter to Narco News

Project Censored director Peter Phillips sent this emailed response to my June 14 essay: About that “2007 Project Censored Award to Al Giordano”: Thanks… but No Thanks!.

I will post it here (uncensored, of course!) and then, a few minutes from now, post a reply as a comment...

Dear Al Giordano,

I did read your longer piece on your website, and I certainly understand your points.  Yes, I am a paid faculty person, and I run Project Censored as an overload and get zero money for doing it...

Yes, Seven Stories is a private for profit business, but they are certainly not one of the big exploitive houses, and they publish a lot of good progressive material and they too barely get by.  Project Censored raises money to keep our two employees paid and cover our overhead primarily by selling the annual yearbook through our website and direct mail.  Seven stories provides the books at their cost. Over 100 students a year participate and yes they earn college credit for the effort and many of them go off into the world to do good work for human betterment and it is the experience of Project Censored that gives them a foundation.   You are also correct in saying that the selling of 15,000 books in English, and 1000s more in Spanish, Arabic, and Italian is probably not reaching as many people as your website.  However, the people who read the book are mostly people who would not have been likely to have seen your work in the first place.  In addition, over 12 million people a year visit the Project Censored website, where your story  would have been linked.

It is honorable that you live low income.  My personal goal is to find income levels that meet minimum needs for everyone in the world and I fully support the UN declaration of human rights.  

So what are you really mad with us about?  Our national judges are listed in the yearbook, and we have been doing the same process for 31 years.  It would be very cool if we could give $ awards to the journalists, but we barely have enough income to keep our doors open. We do believe in paying a living wage to our two employees with full fringe benefits.

We would be happy to have you review the synopsis of the four stories selected for the Mexico election story this year, all you need to do was ask. We are on a tight deadline as we get the book ready for the Fall Semester each year, and it is used in classrooms all over the county.

Yes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders sell our book.  So does Working Assets, and hundreds of small independent bookstores like North Light Books here in Cotati.  In fact I lead the anti Barnes and Noble effort when our university president sold off our state run bookstore last year.

I totally support the idea of building independent media, which is exactly what Project Censored has been doing for 31 years.

Our national judges represent a broad both academics and non-academics there names are listed below.

I can be reached directly at 707-664-2588

Sincerely,

Peter Phillips

PROJECT CENSORED 2007 NATIONAL JUDGES

ROBIN ANDERSEN, associate professor and chair, Department of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University

LIANE CLORFENE-CASTEN, cofounder and president of Chicago Media Watch,.award-winning journalist with credits in national periodicals such as E Magzine, The Nation, Mother Jones, Ms., Environmental Health Perspectives, In These Times, and Business Ethics. She is the author of Breast Cancer: Poisons, Profits, and Prevention.

LENORE FOERSTEL, Women for Mutual Security, facilitator of the Progressive International Media Exchange (PRIME)

ROBERT HACKETT, professor, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University; Co-director of News Watch Canada since 1993..His most recent publications include Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles (Co-Edited With Yuezhi Zhao, 2005), And Remaking Media: The Struggle To Democratize Public Communication (With William K. Carroll, 2006)

CARL JENSEN, professor emeritus communication studies, Sonoma State University, founder and former director of Project Censored; author of Censored: The News That Didn’t Make the News and Why (1990-1996) and 20 Years of Censored News (1997)

SUT JHALLY, professor of communications and executive director of the Media Education Foundation, University of Massachusetts

NICHOLAS JOHNSON*, professor, College of Law, University of Iowa; former FCC Commissioner (1966-1973); author of How to Talk Back to Your Television Set

RHODA H. KARPATKIN, president of Consumers Union, non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports

CHARLES L. KLOTZER, editor and publisher emeritus, St. Louis Journalism Review

NANCY KRANICH, past president of the American Library Association (ALA)

JUDITH KRUG, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association (ALA); editor of Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom; Freedom to Read Foundation News; and Intellectual Freedom Action News

MARTIN LEE, investigative journalist, media critic and author. He was an original founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting in New York and former editor of Extra Magazine.

DENNIS LOO, Associate professor of Sociology at California State University Polytechnic university, Pomona, Co-editor of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney, Seven Stories press, 2006

WILLIAM LUTZ, professor of English, Rutgers University; former editor of The Quarterly Review of Doublespeak; author of The New Doublespeak: Why No One Knows What Anyone’s Saying Anymore (1966)

JULIANNE MALVEAUX, PH.D., economist and columnist, King Features and Pacifica radio talk show host

MARK CRISPIN MILLER, professor of media Ecology, New York University; director of the Project on Media Ownership

BRIAN MURPHY, Associate Professor Communications Studies Niagara University specializing in Media Programming and Management, Investigation and Reporting, Media History and Theory and International Communication.
JACK L. NELSON,* professor emeritus, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University; author of 16 books, including Critical Issues in Education (1996), and more than 150 articles

MICHAEL PARENTI, political analyst, a lecturer, and author of numerous books, including The Culture Struggle, 2006. Superpatriotism, 2004. The Assassination of Julius Caesar, A People's History of Ancient Rome 2003. The Terrorism Trap, September 11 and Beyond, 2002. Democracy for the Few, 2001

BARBARA SEAMAN, lecturer; author of The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth (Hyperion 2003); The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill; Free and Female; Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones; and other books; cofounder of the National Women’s Health Network

NANCY SNOW, professor, author and writer; College of Communications, California State University-Fullerton; Senior Fellow, USC Center on Public Diplomacy; Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication; author, Propaganda, Inc. (Seven Stories, 2002), Information War (Seven Stories, 2004), co-editor with Yahya R. Kamalipour, War, Media and Propaganda (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

SHEILA RABB WEIDENFELD,* president of D.C. Productions, Ltd.; former press secretary to Betty Ford

*Indicates having been a Project Censored judge since our founding in 1976

Comments

No Thanks, Again

Dear Peter,

You ask: "So what are you really mad with us about?"

There's nothing in my very politely worded rejection of the 2007 Project Censored award that expresses any such thing as being "mad with" you or your organization. This is not personal. It's about ethics and the struggle of my class of workers against abuse and over-mediation (in a word, censorship, a theme that after 31 years of running Project Censored I would think you might be more sympathetic and alert to the matter). In any case, I can't force careful reading of my words on you or anybody else. Your presumptions are your own.

I made my case, based on the facts, as to why I don't consider donating my work to Seven Stories Press to be any kind of "award," or to help my work as an investigative journalist in any way. I also stated, clearly, that the "award" doesn't forward our work here in ways consistent with our mission, and in fact would harm our credibility through association with a publishing house that belongs to a bottom-feeding and unethical publisher. That's not a reference to you, but to Dan Simon, the owner of Seven Stories Press.

Upon reading your explanation that Mr. Simon lets your organization sell books "at cost" I was briefly tempted to test that claim, and agree to allow my work be used in this year's Project Censored book on the condition that Seven Stories also donate to your organization the profits it makes through distributing those books (through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etcetera, its own website, and direct distribution to book stores). If 15,000 books are involved that would represent a considerable rise in your budget, and would allow you to better help the work of next year's journalists in the ways you tell me you can't do in 2007.

But after thinking about that idea a little more, I still would not be able to look at myself in the mirror, or into the eyes of those that rely on me to hold and keep certain principles high, knowing that I had lent my good name to a bad person for his for-profit business. Freedom of association includes the freedom to not associate.

But I really must ask: Is that really an "award" you offered me? Or is it a market product? You write:

"In addition, over 12 million people a year visit the Project Censored website, where your story  would have been linked."

Yes, I am aware that the Project Censored website has a comparable readership to that of Narco News, and that each site has some readers in common and many more that don't consult both sites. And you are always free to link to any story online that you or your student-faculty judges deem worthy. The way you state it, though, reveals that the merits of a story, and the labor of your 250 student and professor judges, are thrown overboard simply because a writer exercizes his right not to associate with a third party. It gives the strong impression that the journalists and the awards are merely secondary props for the market product of the book.

To wit: If your 250 judges deem a work worthy, nothing stops you from linking to it from your website. But, no, you've placed a condition on it: That the writer donate his work to the commercial aspect of the project. When you say "your story would have been linked" you establish the conditional nature of your award. So, it's not really about the merits of a work of journalism, is it? It's about a business deal: "Let us sell your work and we'll give you an 'award' in exchange, and we'll link to your work. But if you don't let us sell your work, we're not going to link to it."

When is an "award" not an award? When it is conditioned upon a third-party business deal.

Often people ask me what we mean by "authentic journalism" and why we don't use the term "alternative journalism" to describe what we do. This adventure in awards that are not awards provides one example of the line between the two. Here, there is never any "quid pro quo." On Narco News, we don't "trade links" or coverage in exchange for anything. If a story is worthwhile on its merits, we link to it, asking for nothing in return. But too often "alternative media" has become a cesspool of log-rolling and "you scratch my back if I scratch yours." And the entire genre has lost credibility with the public as a result.

If my investigations and reporting on the 2006 electoral fraud in Mexico are worthwhile as an example of the kind of journalism you and your judges want to promote, there is no permission needed to merely link to it. I can't stop you. And it's no skin of my back if you do or don't. I just think it's interesting that you condition said linking on my donation of my work to a third party commercial publishing house. Sure, he's washing your back, and you're washing his. But that doesn't remove the stain on anybody.

This is exactly how "alternative journalism" became corrupted. I certainly can't and won't tell you how to run your project. But I can respectfully suggest that if your commercial publisher was really so damn "progressive" (and not just pretending to be so in order to make money) and donated to Project Censored his profits on each year's book (that are separate and apart from whatever number of books he sells you at cost, and because none of the 25 authors get royalties, are in fact higher on that book than on others in his collection), then, voila!, you would have the resources to support the work of investigative journalists and you wouldn't have to plead poor mouth when your awardees can't even afford to attend your "award" ceremony, much less encounter the resources they need to investigate and write the next story.

If you consider a worker insisting on his dignity as a matter of "being mad with you," you miss the point entirely. Anger is not the operative emotion here. Pity, disappointment, and honor perhaps are.

But honor, in particular, is a little understood word when capital reaches its greedy hands into "alternative media" projects and begins to force them to operate by the same inhuman market rules as any other business.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano

In fact

Peter Phillips has only run Project Censored since 1996, not its founding by Carl Jensen in 1976.  Only 11 years, he's still learning...

Seriously, I think Project Censored picks good stories and does good work.  For Narco News, I think it would have been better for Al to accept the award.

But he is also right to refuse to provide work for a publisher he loathes.

An about 450 page softcover book for about $20.  That's pretty good, but I'd also guestimate that there's profit there that should be going to the project.

Mostly I want to point out that Al stated his belief that the project was done in good will, and while he certainly isn't one to worry about offending anyone I didn't want this discussion to destroy the existing measure of mutual respect, or distract from what is becoming the central point:

The Project Censored award (and any award like this) should be untied from publishing rights.

Give the award, state the award publicly, discuss the book deal separately.

Al wrote:If you consider a

Al wrote:

If you consider a worker insisting on his dignity as a matter of "being mad with you," you miss the point entirely. Anger is not the operative emotion here. Pity, disappointment, and honor perhaps are.

Pity and disappointment are the emotions I feel as well, when I see you take a stand on principle in this case, but line up behind a liberal imperialist presidential candidate who has already sold us out with his vote on FISA, his support for apartheid Israel, and pledges to intensify the war in Afghanistan.

I appreciated your measured approach to his candidacy early on, but it appears you have drunk the kool-aid now.  I still fully support NarcoNews, the NarcoSphere, and of course your own reporting - but I felt I had to express my disappointment here.

In Solidarity,

Craig Brozefsky

 

I Don't Tell

...you or anybody else how to vote or even whether to vote, not for any party or candidate in any country. And I don't really care if you do or not. Nor should you care what my opinions are. I never claim "purity" nor do I insist on it from others. You can put any two people in a room and it won't be long before they disagree about something. A disagreement should thus be a matter of "pity"? I leave that kind of intolerance for dissenting views to the moralists out there of the right... or the left.

- Al

p.s. Can you name *any* progressive movement or organization of the past 30 years in the United States that has trained as many people in real community organizing skills as that which you don't seem to want me to report? My interest, as a story, in the Obama movement is mainly caused by the complete lack of alternatives to report on among other movements in the United States. You've all created the vacuum into which that effort has stepped.

quick apology

Oh, sorry, I don't feel some kind of condescending pity towards you.  I was echoing your words to Project Censored, and didn't think carefully enough about using that word in my reply.

now that I have a moment

I see we're both coming back to this 8^)

Just to be clear, I have no intention of telling you what to report, and I certainly don't accuse you of telling people who to vote for.

The disappointement I refer to above is not that you have lost some "purity" that I want to hold myself and others too, but that the usually critical and sharp eye you approach your stories with, such as the election in Mexico and The Other Campaign, is missing from your coverage of the Obama.  I've been reading you and others here on Narco News and the NarcoSphere for years, and this difference is noticable.

Yesterday I noticed that my monthly donation to the Authentic Journalism Fund had ceased, I think due to my old CC expiring.  So I came back here to restart it, and was surprised to see how much your coverage of the US elections had changed.  You wrote an article about third-party candidates as *spoilers* when the reality is that disenfranchising voters and stealing elections cost the Dems more votes in 2000 and 2004 than people voting their values and voting third-party.

Then there is the defense of the vote for the FISA bill, laying out a pathetic, contradictory argument that the vote to support that bill was a form of political calculus that had no real effect.  Sorry, but that is just plain BS.  Ask anyone who has been working on a case against AT&T, or other telecomms if that bill is meaningless or not.  I'm not a purist trying to apply a litmus test here, but I'm not ignorant enough to buy your argument that granting immunity to the corporations which run our telecom infrastructure has no effect.  Let's also understand that retro-active community is but ONE of the egregious effects of that bill passing.  And we are to understand Obama as president would oppose it, but as a Senator we should accept his calculus to vote YES?  I cannot imagine anything like that coming out of our coverage of other politicians, or other elections.

I've been supporting Authentic Journalism for a couple years, and yes I did restart the monthly donations despite our disagreement.  I don't say that because I think you owe me something, hell I still owe *you* and the others at NarcoNews a tremendous amount for the information, and inspiration you have given me over the years.  I say that to make it clear that I'm not some troll passing thru, or fair-weather friend who is gonna "take his ball and go home"

As for the "you've all created the vacuum" comment.  I'm not sure who you are trying to lump me in with.  Purists?  Chicken Littles?  Political Naifs?  Such a reactionary retort!  If there is a vacuum, it is not because of the failings of some scarecrow "left" to which all those who fail to support a lesser-evil must be banished.

Are their other movements to cover?  Yes.

As you mentioned in your third-party spoiler article, Cynthia McKinney, a long-time friend of NarcoNews, got the Green Party nomination for president and along with Rosa Clemente is seeking to build a movement to represent our values.  An end to the drug war, amnesty for immigrant workers and treating immigration as a labor issue and not a security issue, friendly relations with Venezuela and Cuba, and end to the war in Iraq AND Afghanistan, no war on Iran and countless other planks that directly support the issues and positions I have seen on NarcoNews over the years.

I'm not naive enough to think that the number of people or dollars behind McKinney/Clemente is comparable to the Obama campaign.  Nor am I too near-sighted to appreciate the voter-registration work that movement is doing.  Lastly, I would not try and tell you what to report on - in fact I am looking forward to your coverage in Denver.  I only ask that you take a step back and don't get so caught up in the campaign game that you start attacking your comrades from the past and lose the critical perspective that keeps NarcoNews "speaking truth to power".

 

In Solidarity,

Craig Brozefsky

Craig - Those are mainly

Craig - Those are mainly legitimate points (except for the inference that I've written anything negative about my friend Cynthia McKinney, which I haven't: my admiration for her is as strong as ever). I don't have such a high opinion of Ralph Nader, nor do I consider him more "progressive" than Barack Obama. I think he is behaving as a spoiler, driven by his ego more than any passion for change or justice. In the post you refer to, I made an important distinction between Nader and McKinney, noting that McKinney is using her Green Party nomination as a movement building exercise. So I'm not sure what I've written that you're complaining about.

This newspaper doesn't endorse candidates, and I haven't endorsed any. I do think the Obama movement is very worthy of my reporting and analysis. And, as I've written, I don't see the FISA thing as as big of a deal as you or others might see it, for all the reasons I've already explained.

Meanwhile, Narco News keeps doing the job its always done in Latin America. Kristin Bricker's recent expose on the Florida company training Mexican police in torture, Bill Conroy's continued tearing up the hypocrisy and corruption in US law enforcement agencies along the border (and the US involvement in the "hostage rescue" in Colombia) are just a few examples of this ongoing work. Any work I do reporting on what goes on in the US is in addition to, not in subtraction of, our Latin American work.

Why haven't I covered other movements in the US extensively (with the exception of the immigrants rights movement, to which I have dedicated a lot of time and column inches over recent years)? Because I don't see activists in the United States doing much of anything that has a shot of changing anything. My coverage of the Obama movement and its candidate is, in fact, more critical than, say, my coverage of the indigenous movement in Mexico all these years (in part because, as a US citizen, it is more my place to criticize it), but as you've noted it is certainly not damning or hyper-critical, and it is sympathetic in many ways (although, again, without endorsing him or anyone).

A year ago we were looking at the "inevitable" return of the Clinton administration in this US election: an absolute nightmare for those of us in Latin America - worse than a continuation of Bush would be! The Obama movement came along, organized as no national movement has organized for decades in the US, and stopped them cold. That's something any progressive person ought to feel a great wave of relief about, even as we may differ with Obama himself on particular issues.

I also think Obama has created a kind of benevolent monster that he, as president, won't be able to control: a citizenry horizontally organized, much of it through online networks, that will need no permission from him as president to organize to push him to do better (and who, if he betrays them in major ways, will turn on him, no doubt: only then they will be organized, unlike the left has been in the United States in memory).

I don't see anyone else with a Plan B or a Plan C that is workable or attainable out there, not in the US anyway. My preference for non-electoral movements - reflected in eight years of coverage here - has hit a brick wall in the United States. Other than the immigrants' rights movement, there are simply none on a national scale of any significance or potential whatsoever. That's what I mean by "the vacuum."

So we disagree on some key points but if you read between the lines, we agree on others and probably always will. Our difference is mostly one of tactics and strategy. I, for one, am tired of being stuck with the self-marginalized activists in the United States who don't care about winning and who seem to want to prevent anyone else from doing so. That's why the movement Obama has catalyzed is significant. It's the first significant political movement in the US since the 1999 anti-globalization demonstration in Seattle, a great thing in that moment but which not long after that deteriorated into a parody of a serious political movement: one that did not organize, do outreach to the general public, and that became increasingly insular among a hegemonic college-educated class of activists and fizzled out summarily. One of the main reasons for that is it could not sustain its multi-racial nature. The crossing of the race barrier, alone, makes the Obama campaign a very historic moment that will lead to things bigger than electoral campaigns later on, now that North Americans - black, white, latino, Asian, etcetera - are learning to work together as peers again.

Companero, I think this is

Companero, I think this is really the core difference in our assesment of the "obama movement":

I also think Obama has created a kind of benevolent monster that he, as president, won't be able to control: a citizenry horizontally organized, much of it through online networks, that will need no permission from him as president to organize to push him to do better (and who, if he betrays them in major ways, will turn on him, no doubt: only then they will be organized, unlike the left has been in the United States in memory).

I think you are over-estimating the cohesiveness, let alone influence, of the "benevolent monsters" that are built up as part of a electoral campaign that is tied to the Democratic Party. I worked on Obama's Senate campaign as a card passer and poll watcher, and also on several other progressive Democrat campaigns, and no such thing came of them. I have seen the anti-war movement organize behind candidates, to either fail, or to be jettisoned once the candidate was in office. They had no recourse but to go to their office and beg, and well, we know what happened then.

Thankfully, some social relations forged in a campaign stick, and survive, and are seeds for future struggles. However, that is hardly a "benevolent monster" capable of shaping the decisions of a president or other legislators.

I don't say this because I want to discourage you from doing what is in your heart at the moment. Perhaps you see something here that is sufficiently different, or some mechanism of influencing those whose only currency is votes and money, after you have already given them both.

More Fun and Games with Project Censored

Peter Phillips of Project Censored responds to my comment, above:

Dear Al,

Project Censored give briefs on what we call "real news" stories and publishes these links to numerous websites every month.   What you originally said was that you didn't want us to list you work at all.

If you don't want to be in our book, OK that is fine.

But your name calling and slandering of Dan Simon is not OK.

Regretfully,

Peter Phillips

Dear Peter,

You traffic in "judging" journalism, yet you don't seem to know the definition of "slander" (defamatory speech - which is to say untrue - that is spoken orally) as opposed to "libel" (defamatory speech that is written). Since everything I have had to say has been written it can't possibly be "slander." Don't you know the difference? And because it is my honest and true opinion, it is not "libel" (the proper word for written defamation) either.

If Mr. Simon feels he has been libeled, he has the resources (in part thanks to you) to take legal action. But his lawyers will tell him that truth is an ironclad defense. The truth is a bitch, eh?

(And you ought to know: falsely accusing someone of a crime in writing - in this case, "slander" - is itself a form of libel: but not to worry, I have bigger fish to fry.)

On the other hand, I have perhaps opened myself to a lawsuit from the douche bag manufacturers of America, by comparing their product to that social parasite, Mr. Simon.

What puzzles me most is your claim that: "What you originally said was that you didn't want us to list you work at all." That's funny! And demonstrably false. There is a complete written archive of everything that I have written on the matter, both on Narco News and in your email box.

I'll tell you what! I'll give you $100 (from my pocket, that's, like, $1,000 from yours, or more, as a percentage of wealth and income) if you can show me anything I've written that requests anything about not wanting you to "list" my work at all. (I've not asked you not to list it, nor have I asked you to list it; I simply said that I object to my work being published in a book by the commercial publisher Seven Stories and have rejected the "award" that seeks to impose that association upon me.)

In that, you've gone way outside of the available facts and invented a fish story out of whole cloth. And it's evident to all that read this exchange.

But if you really want to fight, keep falsely accusing me of a crime. And to think: how fast you slide from declaring my work exemplary and "award" winning to declaring it "slander." That might also tend to make people wonder about what the deal is with your project.

Honestly,

Al Giordano

Can I steal that award?

Mr. Phillips,

Since Al Giordano is turning down the Project Censored award, I was wondering, if you have a spare one, if I could maybe get it instead?

I thought it might be helpful in advancing my personal ambition to get my name in front of a commercial publishing house like Seven Stories for a future book project.

I see by your publishing credits that you have been very successful in attracting the eye of Seven Stories on the publishing front.

Dr. Peter Phillips is a Professor Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored. He teaches classes in Media Censorship, Sociology of Power, Political Sociology, and Sociology of Media. He has published ten editions of Censored: Media Democracy in Acton from Seven Stories Press.

Also from Seven Stories Press is Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney (2006) and Project Censored Guide to Independent Media and Activism (2003).

So in the spirit of publish or perish — an academic gauntlet that Seven Stories has helped you to navigate — I would like to cash in on your connections, if possible. I hope that I’m not jumping to conclusions by assuming an award from Project Censored might help to secure my future as an uncensored commercial book author — before I perish.

If I am mistaken on that front, I confess my sincere misunderstanding.

In any event, maybe the award from Project Censored would at least help to elevate my reporting on the House of Death case from the status of presumed back-up hitter to that of the lead-off hitter in the hardball game to strike out the Diablos of censorship.

I say this because I noticed the House of Death case is referenced on the Project Censored Web site as one of your “Real News” stories:

House of Death
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security, paid an informant more than $220,000 to work as a spy inside a Juarez drug cartel. In August 2003, that informant, known as Lalo, participated in the murder of Mexican lawyer Fernando Reyes while working on the ICE operation. On the day of Reyes’s murder Lalo told his ICE employers what had happened. They knew that if they were to continue using him as an informant, they would need high-level authorization, which they received from the Department of Justice. Reyes murder was just one of a dozen murders — some of those killed were victims of mistaken identity — uncovered at the Juarez ‘House of Death.’ Murders were allowed to continue as ICE and DoJ were assembling their case against drug trafficking. A web of cover-up stretches from top officials in Texas, including Johnny Sutton, US Attorney for Western Texas and ex-adviser to Bush, to top Washington officials, including John Ashcroft. Sandalio Gonzalez, Special Agent in charge of the DEA in El Paso, was forced to resign after placing formal complaints regarding the official handling of the House of Death case.

“The House of Death” David Rose, The Observer UK, 12/3/2006
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1962 643,00.html?“

DEA's national security claim in House of Death murders exposed as bogus”: Bill Conroy, Narconews.com, 1/6/2007
http://narcosphere.narconews.com/story/2007/1/6/21 3919/8689?

Article series: [the link on the Project Censored Web site to this reference is not activated]

As you can see, the link included to Narco News’ story is dated after the link to the London Observer story, which would lead me to conclude as an average reader of censored news that the Observer led the way in exposing the House of Death corruption, and, with your help, broke down the walls of censorship.

I guess that impression would be corrected if a reader were to click on the link to the Observer story and noticed this CORRECTION front and center:

The following apology was printed in the Observer's For the record column, Sunday December 10 2006

The article below says 'the US media have virtually ignored this story', yet editing had removed a reference to narconews.com reporter Bill Conroy, who has reported it extensively. Apologies.

But I suspect that same reader would be frustrated by the fact that the other link to the House of Death expose (labeled cryptically “Article Series”) is completely dead on your site (as of this writing at any rate). Click as you may, it goes nowhere, requiring one of those cumbersome copy and paste jobs to explore. I chose to move on; the Web is a busy highway, as you know.

But then I already knew that dead link connects to Narco News’ series of 55 stories on the House of Death mass murder case in Juarez – the first of which is a long magazine-style story (much like the Observer’s story) which was published on April 22, 2004, more than two years prior to the London paper’s first and only effort on the story to date.

So I had hoped by scarfing up the award recently rejected by Mr. Giordano, I might attain the standing among the Project Censored adherents to advance my ego and improve my standing in the pecking order of the Pharisees of the Free Press Temple -- or at least get the link to my work activated.

If my request is inappropriate, I understand, but in the publishing business, you can never be too slow to seize on an opportunity at the expense of another that might produce a personal benefit. And it’s really, really nice that the pursuit of personal aggrandizement in this case also helps to overturn the tide of censorship in the media business while at the same time advancing the interest of a Left-lite publishing enterprise.

So, I don’t mean to appear overly solicitous, but please, can you give me the award Giordano rejected. It would be a shame if it went to waste, wouldn’t it? After all, the chance to advance our career interests should not be censored, right?

Eagerly awaiting a personal opportunity at the expense of a colleague,

Bill Conroy

Fine Print: I reserve the right to reject any award presented to me by any individual or special interest group, whether I agree in whole, in part or not at all with their agendas, in the interest of preserving my honor, integrity and freedom from entangling alliances.

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Reporters' Notebooks

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About Al Giordano

Biography

Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.