“There is no such thing as a free press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of
you who would dare to write his honest opinion. The business of the journalist is to
destroy truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to
sell himself, his country, and his race, for his daily bread. We are tools and vassals of
rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping jacks; they pull our strings, we dance;
our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are the property of these men. We are
– Journalist John Swinton, of the New York Times, to his staff at his retirement dinner.
The underlying theme of all you have read is themanipulation of the human mind.
You cannot control billions of people with tanks in the streets and soldiers at the
door. You can only do it by divide and rule – and by programming the mass
consciousness (public opinion) into believing that what you want to do is a good idea
or the only option.
This is crucial to both understanding how the manipulation works and to thinking on
a more streetwise vibration which will make it far more difficult for us to be
All aspects of society are being used to promote this mental coup d’état. The
‘education’ system is not there to inform children and young people, it is there to
indoctrinate them; the same with the media and advertising. The tax exempt
foundations coordinate the Elite’s ‘education’ policy in the United States schools
and universities, and in the United Kingdom this is done, in part, by a secret clique
known as the All Souls Group….
Such education policies are designed to turn out clones of the system and world
government supporters, although the overwhelming majority of people in the
teaching profession will not realise this….
I included in The Robots’ Rebellion an extract from a document found, apparently
by accident, in 1986 called Silent Weapons For A Quiet War. . . . It is a wonderful
explanation of the technique of mass brainwashing. The version I have was found
inside an IBM photocopier bought at a second hand sale in America and it
describes a policy of mass mind control.
This lengthy and detailed document was dated 1979, but it outlines a policy that
has been implemented since the 1950s. The document says that: “The quiet war
was … declared by the international elite at a meeting held in 1954.”
The Bilderberg Group first met in 1954. It is likely that the methods laid out in
the document will be inspired by the Travistock Institute of Human Relations in
London and its interconnecting offshoots. Here is the flavour of the content:
“Experience has proven that the simplest method of securing a silent weapon and
gaining control of the public is to keep them undisciplined and ignorant of basic
systems principles on the one hand, while keeping them confused, disorganised, and
distracted with matters of no real importance on the other hand.”
This is achieved by:
1. Disengaging their minds; sabotaging their mental activities; providing a low-quality programme of public education in mathematics, systems design and
economics, and discouraging technical creativity.
2. Engaging their emotions, increasing their self indulgence and their indulgence in
emotional and physical activities by:
a) unrelenting emotional affrontations and attacks (mental and emotional rape) by
way of a constant barrage of sex, violence, and wars in the media – especially the
TV and the newspapers.
b) giving them what they desire – in excess – “junk food for thought” – and
depriving them of what they really need.
c) rewriting history and law and subjecting the public to the deviant creation, thus
being able to shift their thinking from personal needs to highly fabricated outside
These preclude their interest in, and discovery of, the silent weapon of social
automation technology. The general rule is that there is profit in confusion; the
more confusion, the more profit. Therefore, the best approach is to create
problems and then offer solutions.
Media:Keep the adult public attention diverted away from the real social issues,
and captivated by matters of no real importance.
Schools: Keep the young public ignorant of real mathematics, real economics, real
law, and real history.
Entertainment:Keep the public entertainment below a sixth grade level.
Work:Keep the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think; back on the farm
with the other animals.” …
Once negative events and propaganda have been projected at public opinion, out go
the opinion-polling organisations with their clipboards. The people who ask the
questions on the street don’t know what they are involved in. They are just asking
the questions they are told and paid to ask.
But opinion polls are not there to measure public opinion so the people can be given
what they desire. They are there to direct public opinion, often using loaded
questions to attract the desired reply. Tell people that 80% of the population
believe something and those of the sheep – baa, baa – mentality will quickly
conform and believe the same. Eighty percent of the people cannot be wrong, can
they? Oh, yes they can, if they have given their minds away.
The other role of opinion polls is to check if the propaganda against a target group
is working. Once the opinion polls say that a sufficient majority now believe the
target group is a problem and “something must be done”, the legislation (the
solution) is taken out of the file and put before Parliament….
Organizations like Travistock Institute of Human Relations (and their brothers
and sisters in the United States such as the Stanford Research Institute, and
the Rand Corporation) research into how people will react, individually and
collectively, to events, changes, and “buzz words”….
Many of the so called ‘spontaneous’ trends that are taken on by the young are
introduced by these and other organisations and then hyped into a frenzy by
advertising and the controlled media. People talk about the “latest craze” and very
few stop to ask, “Where did this start and who was behind it?” …
The ‘Flower Power’ period of the 1960s was hijacked and directed by this same
mind manipulating force. The CIA and British Intelligence were experimenting
with the effects of the drug LSD in the 1950s, before it was unleashed on the
market and destroyed any possibility of substantial positive change emerging from
that time. In 1953, the CIA commandeered the entire supply of LSD from the
Swiss manufacturers, Sandoz (which was owned by S.G. Warburg of London).
Later they did the same with Eli Lilly when it began to produce LSD in the United
People were so doped and duped that they thought LSD was a weapon of ‘freedom’.
Some still do….
THE ‘FREE’ PRESS
None of this mind manipulation could happen without the media. Again, only a few
people in the media know they are playing a key role in programming the human
mind to walk the road to a global tyranny. The overwhelming majority of
journalists have no idea how they are being used….
I believe the two least knowledgeable and streetwise professions – in general – are
journalism and politics. As I suggested earlier, they are two aspects of the same
illusion. The politicians act as if they rule the world and the media report events
as if politicians are the global decision makers. Thus, the real controllers can stay
in the shadows, unreported and unidentified.
There are exceptions when you meet a very bright journalist who can see behind
the facades. They know they are imprisoned within a media structure which
severely limits what they can say and do. They take every opportunity to get
across as much information as they can….
If only that were true of the rest. Most journalists on local and regional papers
and local radio are either time-servers, who are programmed to turn out the same
old establishment line without question while thinking their years in the profession
make them streetwise, or they are youngsters fresh out of university who have no
experience of the world and the manipulation that goes on….
At the national and international level, the number of journalists knowingly
manipulating the human mind is far greater than the local and regional media, but it
is still a relative few….
I worked at the BBC Television national newsroom for years and everyone around
me appeared to be extremely genuine. Most of them were very nice people who
loved their children and would not wish to leave them to face a centralised global
dictatorship. But every day they turn out stories which feed their millions of
viewers the line the Elite want them to see and hear….
Most of the time, the background information and explanation of that event will
come from official sources. Watch a television news bulletin today if you can, and
see where the words the reporter is speaking is coming from: official sources. So
without even manipulating a single journalist, your engineered event, be it a
“terrorist bomb” or “economic problem”, is both reported and explained in the way
The coverage of the horrific bombing in Oklahoma City in April 1995 was yet
another example of puppet-strings journalism. Whatever official statements
were issued, the media jumped on them immediately and accepted them as fact,
I listened to the BBC’s Radio Five at that time and they introduced a lady from an
organisation I had never heard of in America. There was not one question about
what her organisation represented, who funded it, or what its background was.
The interviewer just fed her questions and allowed her, unchallenged, to give her
‘expert’ opinion on the people she believed had carried out the attack.
In BBC Television’s review of 1995, the so called “heavyweight” news presenter,
John Humphreys, parroted the government line on Oklahoma and named McVeigh
and the militias as the “enemy within” even before there had been a trial! And
they still call themselves ‘journalists’.
The media is being conned day by day and it then cons its audience. Ask 99% of
journalists about the Bilderberg Group (Bil), the Council on Foreign Relations
(CFR), the Trilaterial Commission (TC), and the Elite in general, and they will look
at you in bewilderment. The won’t even have heard of them, let alone know what
their role is.
But there are some journalists in strategic positions who do know and support what
those organisations are doing. The media is such a vehicle for the coup d’état that
if it ever got into the hands of the Elite, the potential would be limitless. But we
don’t have to worry because, as we are told so often, we have an “independent
Ummm. Independent of what and whom?
In the Aug/Sept 1993 edition of the Netherland’s based magazine, Exposure,
details were published of the controlling boards of the three television networks in
the United States, NBC, CBS and ABC. These networks are supposed to be in
‘competition’ and it is this very ‘competition’ that is part of the ‘independence’
which ensures we enjoy unbiased news. That’s the theory, anyway.
The Exposure research came from the work of the American New World Order
investigator, Eustace Mullins….
The following is provable fact:
NBC is a subsidiary of RCA, a media conglomerate … Among the NBC directors
named in the Mullins article were: John Brademas (CFR, TC, Bil), a director of the
Rockefeller Foundation; Peter G. Peterson (CFR), a former head of Kuhn, Loeb &
Co. (Rothschild), and a former Secretary of Commerce; Robert Cizik, chairman of
RCA and of First City Bancorp, which was identified in Congressional testimony as
a Rothschild bank; Thomas O. Paine, president of Northrup Co. (the big defense
contractor) and director of the (Elite-controlled) Institute of Strategic Studies
in London; Donald Smiley, a director of two Morgan Companies, Metropolitan Life
and US Steel; Thorton Bradshaw, chairman of RCA, director of the Rockefeller
Brothers Fund,Atlantic Richfield Oil, and the Aspen Institute of Humanistic
Studies (both of the latter headed by ‘environmentalist’ and elite Bilderberger,
Robert O. Anderson). Clearly the NBC board has considerable Rockefeller-Rothschild-Morgan influence.
ABC had on its board of directors: Ray Adam, director of J.P. Morgan,
Metropolitan Life (Morgan), and Morgan Guaranty Trust; Frank Cary, chairman of
IBM, and director of J.P. Morgan and the Morgan Guaranty Trust; Donald C.
Cook (CFR, Bil), general partner of Lazard Freres banking house; John T. Connor
(CFR) of the Kuhn, Loeb (Rothschild) law firm, Gravath, Swaine and Moore,
former Secretary of the Navy, US Secretary of Commerce, director of the
Chase Manhattan Bank (Rockefeller/Rothschild), General Motors, and chairman of
the J. Henry Schroder Bank and Schroders Inc, of London (which played a part
in the funding of Hitler); Thomas M. Macioce, director of Manufacturers
Hanover Trust (Rothchild); George Jenkins, chairman of Metropolitan Life
(Morgan) and Citibank(which has many Rothschild connections); Martin J.
Schwab, director of Manufacturers Hanover (Rothschild); Alan Greenspan(CFR,
TC, Bil), chairman of the Federal Reserve, director of J.P. Morgan, Morgan
Guaranty Trust, Hoover Institution, Time magazine, and General Foods; Ulric
Haynes, Jr. director of the Ford Foundation and Marine Midland Bank (owned by
the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank). Again, we see the same Rockefeller-Rothschild-Morgan lineup on the board of the ABC network which, we are told, is
independent of NBC. The ABC company was taken over by Cities Communications,
whose most prominent director is Robert Roosa (CFR, Bil), senior partner of Brown
Brothers Harriman, which has close ties with the Bank of England. Roosa and
David Rockefeller are credited with selecting Paul Volcker to chair the Federal
Which brings us to CBS, the third of the ‘independent’ networks. Its financial
expansion was supervised for a long time by Brown Brothers Harriman and its
senior partner, Prescott Bush who was a CBS director. CBS banks through the
Morgan Guaranty Trust and reports of CBS connections with the CIA and British
Intelligence are legion among New World Order researchers. Some know it as the
Conspiracy Brainwashing System. The CBS board included: William S. Paley
(Committee of 300), the chairman (for whom Prescott Bush personally organised
the money to buy the company); Harold Brown (CFR), executive director of the
Trilateral Commission, and former Secretary of the Air Force and Defense;
Roswell Gilpatric (CFR, Bil), from the Kuhn, Loeb (Rothschild) law firm, Cravath,
Swaine, and Moore, and former director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New
York;Henry B. Schnacht, director of the Chase Manhattan Bank
(Rockefeller/Rothschild), the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution,
and Committee for Economic Development; Michel C. Bergerac, chairman of
Revlon, and director of Manufacturers Hanover Bank (Rothschild); James D.
Wolfensohn (CFR, TC, Bil), former head of J. Henry Schroder Bank, who has close
links with the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, (in 1995, Bill Clinton successfully
nominated him to head the World Bank); Franklin A. Thomas (CFR), head of the
Ford Foundation; Newton D. Minow (CFR), director of the Rand Corporation and,
among many others, the Ditchley Foundation, which is closely linked with the
Tavistock Institute in London and the Bilderberg Group.
People connected with research into how the public mind reacts to events and
information are on the board of a United States television network? What?
Again with CBS, we are looking at the same names at the helm, and all three
networks are closely interlocked with theCouncil on Foreign Relations and the
Trilateral Commission. How can it possibly be claimed that the three television
networks in America, through which the overwhelming majority of Americans get
their news, are independent?…
Vast numbers of people think and act like a tabloid newspaper. They have allowed
themselves to become tabloid thinkers with tabloid minds. We now have tabloid
radio and tabloid television, too, which follows from the success of the tabloid
newspapers. They all want it short, incredibly superficial, and with each item full
of either mockery, condemnation, instant judgements, the official line, and/or
defence of the status quo. Oh yes, and if you can get lots of tits and bums in
there at every opportunity, so much the better, because women are only here to
Those thought patterns in the collective mind created the reality we call the
media. Tabloid newspapers reflect, and program, the thoughts of great tracts of
humanity in an ever-downward spiral. The more our thoughts are programmed, the
more open we become to even more severe programming.
The media won’t change until the collective mind changes and that will result only
from changes in individual thinking….
When we change, it will change….
$ $ $
December 1, 2005
Rupert Murdoch Owns Your Soul — The Evil Empire Buys MySpace
Pacific News Service
Youth Commentary by Nick Datesman, New America Media, Dec 01, 2005Editor’s Note: A young man says the publishing magnate’s acquisition of
MySpace.com, a popular social networking site, is just plain scary.
– – –
OAKLAND – If you’ve ever watched television than you’ve probably watched
something owned by media kingpin Rupert Murdoch. Why? Because Murdoch owns
all kinds of American media.
Those stupid reality shows you watch? Murdoch owns them. The news you watch
every morning? It could be owned by Murdoch and may be edited to fit right-wing
Christian views. Murdoch also owns 175 newspapers and 35 American television
stations. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. His empire also includes satellite
television and magazine and book publishing that reach from the United States to
the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia.
But his most recent acquisition might be the scariest.
Murdoch just paid $580 million to buy something huge. The social networking Web
site MySpace — “a place for friends” — is now owned by Murdoch….
Why would Murdoch want to own MySpace? Well, after that $580 mill purchase
he now ownseasily accessible lists of millions of people’s personal information.
He now knows where you live, who your friends are, what your favorite movie,
color and television show is….
The station’s new ownership disputes charges of lost quality
By Erika Engle. Honolulu Star-Bulletin
The new owners of KHON are not happy with their top-rated news anchor.
At issue are remarks by Joe Moore at the end of the 6 o’clock news Thursday
evening, reprinted in yesterday’s Star-Bulletin and repeated by Moore yesterday
during the also top-rated “Perry and Price Show” on KSSK-FM 92.3/AM 590.
“What was said last night was not the truth,” said Sandy Benton, chief operating
officer for Montecito Broadcast Group LLC, which has changed its name from
SJL Acquisition LLC. “I need to address it with Joe.”
Moore had said Montecito “is a virtual company with no office building.”
Benton said there is a home office. “Of course there is. It’s in Montecito (Calif.),”
Montecito’s founder, president and chief executive officer, George Lilly, lives in
Montecito. He could not be reached for comment.
Regarding the 35 job cuts the company has announced for KHON, Moore said, “A
small percentage of people will be replaced by automation. The rest will severely
reduce our ability to serve the community in the manner in which you, and we, have
Benton countered, “We have every intention of serving the community to the same
degree it has been served in the past. If somebody had asked, we would have told
them that. In fact, we did tell them that.”
Asked if the commitment could be maintained with one-third less staff, she said,
“I think you continue to forget that a good percentage of (the job cuts) will be
Benton said she is aware that Moore has a track record of being outspoken.
“I don’t mind that he’s outspoken, but I don’t want to see inaccuracy flying out of
here like that. I don’t know if our airwaves is the place to be outspoken,” she said.
Moore has four years remaining on his contract.
Wrapping up the 10 o’clock news Thursday night, Moore thanked the 6 p.m. viewers
who had communicated support to the KHON newsroom during the night….
Emmis Communications Corp., which announced last year it was selling KHON and
three mainland television stations to Montecito, completed the sale of KHON
Emmis still owns and operates KGMB in Honolulu, WVUE in New Orleans and WKCF
in Orlando, Fla., stations for which it is seeking a buyer.
Media have been quick to declare the U.S. war against Iraq a success, but in-depth
investigative reporting about the war’s likely health and environmental
consequences has been scarce. Two important issues getting shortchanged in the
press are the U.S.’s controversial use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium
According to a May 5 search of the Nexis database, there have been no in-depth
reports about cluster bombs on ABC, CBS or NBC’s nightly news programs since
the start of the war. There have been, however, a few passing mentions of cluster
bombs– enough so that viewers may be aware of their existence. Not so with
Since the beginning of the year, the words “depleted uranium” have not been
uttered once on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly
News, according to Nexis.
Depleted uranium is a dense metal used in various U.S. and British munitions as
ballast and to cut through tank armor. The U.S. military insists it is not a major
health threat, but many link it to Gulf War Syndrome and to increased cancers and
birth defects in Iraq. As explained in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (11/12/02)–
one of the few mainstream outlets to seriously investigate the issue– DU is
radioactive and remains so for billions of years. What’s more, when a DU weapon
hits its target,
“an extremely fine ceramic uranium dust” is created “that can be spread by the
wind, inhaled and absorbed into the human body and absorbed by plants and
animals, becoming part of the food chain.” According to the London newspaper the
Guardian (4/25/03), it’s unclear exactly how much DU was used in the most recent
Iraq war, but some experts estimate 1,000 to 2,000 tons– roughly three to six
times the amount of DU dropped in the 1991 Gulf War.
Cluster bombs are another widely criticized weapon favored by the U.S. As a
recent Time magazine article (5/12/03) explained, cluster bombs “split in midair
and rain as many as hundreds of grenade-like bomblets,” some of which “remain,
like leftover land mines, as a deadly postwar risk to civilians.”
According to Human Rights Watch (3/03), a minimum of 14 to 16 percent of
cluster bomblets become “de facto antipersonnel landmines”; the group has called
for “a global moratorium” on their use. Amnesty International has called the
U.S.’s use of cluster bombs in civilian areas of Iraq “a grave violation of
international humanitarian law” (4/2/03).
When cluster bombs have come up on the major network newscasts, little
background information has been provided. ABC’s World News Tonight reported
(4/1/03) Iraqi officials’ claim that nine children had been killed by cluster bombs,
but did not elaborate.
In another report (World News Tonight Saturday, 4/19/03), anchor Terry Moran
introduced a segment by saying, “Four soldiers were hurt today when a little Iraqi
girl handed them part of a cluster bomb,” adding, bizarrely, “That’s just the way
life is in Iraq right now.” Later, Moran noted that the little girl was injured, too.
The report Moran was introducing examined the dangers posed to civilians by the
large amounts of military ordnance around the country, including both weapons
stockpiles left behind by Saddam Hussein’s regime and cluster bombs dropped by
the U.S. and British.
ABC focused on the efforts U.S. Marines were making to dispose of the weaponry,
and concluded that “the Marines did not create this problem, but Iraqis are sure
now looking to them for answers.” True, U.S. Marines and soldiers did not create
the problem of Iraqi ammunition stockpiles, but they– or, more to the point, their
commanders– did create the problem of cluster bombs.
Apart from one passing mention (3/21/03), NBC Nightly News’ only substantive
reference to cluster bombs was when Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski
reported (4/2/03) the use of “a new, more deadly cluster bomb, designed to take
out entire columns of enemy armor and troops.” But the report included no
discussion of whether the bombs were being used near civilians, or what their
long-term impact might be.
As for CBS’s Evening News, it mentioned cluster bombs only once, almost
inadvertently (4/16/03). The main source for the story was the Army’s Gen.
Buford Blount, who Dan Rather interviewed about the “enormous job” the U.S.
military “has taken on in trying to get Iraq up and running again.”
At one point, apparently to illustrate the difficult requests the Army receives very
day, the report featured a clip of an Iraqi doctor asking that the U.S. clean up
cluster bombs. Rather let the substance of the comment pass without remark,
ending the report by saying that the Blount “remains convinced that his soldiers
have made good progress.”
Interestingly, CBS aired what seemed to be an expanded version of Rather’s
report later that night, on the newsmagazine 60 Minutes II.
Even in the longer story, the focus was on Blount and his struggles to “bring order
out of chaos” in Baghdad, but Rather did pursue the question the doctor raised:
“What about the cluster bomb problem?” Blount answered that “we didn’t use
that many of them, but there are evidently some areas where they– you know,
they’ve got some– some areas,” and claimed that though the Air Force may have
dropped more, he, as an Army officer, didn’t know where those would be.
The report then showed footage from Rather’s visit to a hospital where he met
children gruesomely injured by cluster bombs, including one boy who lost both eyes
and sustained a potentially fatal head wound. “All his mother can do is weep and
try to ease his pain,” said Rather.
Clearly, Rather was trying to convey the horrific damage inflicted by cluster
bombs– something too few mainstream reporters have done– but his report
stopped short of providing specifics about the extent of “the cluster bomb
problem”: Was Blount telling the truth when he said “we didn’t use that many”?
How many remain unexploded? Does their use violate international law?
Contrast TV’s lack of curiosity to the noteworthy May 12 Time magazine story
cited above, in which reporter Michael Weisskopf highlighted the discrepancy
between Pentagon claims– that “only 26 cluster bombs had landed in civilian areas,
resulting in one casualty”–with the reality on the ground, where in Karbala alone,
local clean-up crews “are harvesting about 1,000 cluster bombs a day.”
Human Rights Watch— which warned for months of the danger and possible
illegality of using cluster bombs near populated areas– has likewise argued
(4/25/03) that “U.S. claims that cluster munitions have not caused significant
damage to civilians in Iraq are highly misleading.” The group has criticized the U.S.
and Britain for failing to “come clean” about how many cluster bombs were dropped
and where, so that civilians can be protected (4/29/03).
The repercussions of the U.S. and British use of cluster bombs and depleted
uranium weapons will be felt in Iraq for a long time to come. It is essential that
U.S. media push for a full accounting on these issues from the Pentagon….
~ ~ ~
For more information, see: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, ” Iraqi cancers, birth
defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium”:
Following the same course that virtually every other major industry has in the last
two decades, a relentless series of mergers and corporate takeovers has
consolidated control of the media into the hands of a few corporate behemoths.
The result has been that an increasingly agenda has been sold to the American
people by a massive, multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents
and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state….
And it is certainly true that by all outward appearances the United States does
appear to have the very epitome of a free press. . . . Yet behind this picture of
plurality there are clear warning signs that an increasingly incestuous relationship
exists between the media titans and the corporate military powers that
Eisenhower so feared.
For example, the number-one purveyor of broadcast news in this country— NBC,
with both MSNBC and CNBC under its wing, as well as NBC news and a variety of
“news magazines”– is now owned and controlled by General Electric, one of the
nation’s largest defense contractors.
Is it not significant that as GE’s various media subsidiaries predictably lined up
to cheerlead the use of U.S. military force in Kosovo, it was at the same time
posting substantial profits from the sale of the high tech tools of modern
warfare it so shamelessly glorifies?…
Equally alarming is that those viewers choosing to change channels to CNN, the
reigning king of the cable news titans, were treated to the surreal daily spectacle
of watching Christiane Amapour, who is the wife os State Department mouthpiece
James Rubin, analyze her husband’s daily press briefings, as though she could
objectively respond to the mounds of disinformation spewing forth from the man
with whom she shares her morning coffee.
Were it to occur elsewhere, would this not be denounced as symptomatic of a
We all know that ambitious reporters are driven by an obsessive desire to get “the
scoop.” Does not the mere existence of literally thousands of print and broadcast
news sources, all keeping their eyes on the Pulitzer Prize, provide ipso facto proof
of a free press? Does it not guarantee that all the news that merits reporting will
arrive on our doorstep each morning in a relatively objective form?
This is a perfectly logical argument, yet there is substantial evidence that
suggests that competition does not in itself overcome the interests of the
For example, while saturation coverage is given to such non-news events as the
premier of a new Star Wars movie, there has not been a single American media
source reporting the fact that the first successful human clones have been
created, despite the staggering implications of such a scientific milestone. Surely
a press motivated by competition to break the big story would have stumbled upon
this one by now, especially considering that as of this writing, more than a year has
passed since the world was blessed with the first human clone, courtesy of an
American biotechnology firm. (see Send in the Clones)
Of course, this could be due not to media suppression, but to the simple fact that
the press failed to uncover this story. However … this is far from being the only
newsworthy event that the American media have failed to take note of, as
evidenced throughout this book. It also fails to explain why the British press seem
to have had little trouble unearthing this particular story, or why the U.S. news
media continued to ignore the issue even after it had appeared in print in the U.K.
Had this story been aired by our own press corps, it surely would have received an
overwhelmingly negative response. This is, no doubt, the very reason that this
story, as well as countless others, has failed to make its American debut….
~ ~ ~
“You know the one thing that is wrong with this country? Everyone gets a
chance to have their fair say.”— President William J. Clinton
~ ~ ~
“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the
major media.”— Former CIA Director William Colby
A U.N. sponsored truth commission report has concluded that the United States
gave money and training to a Guatemalan military that committed “acts of
genocide” against the Mayan people during the most brutal armed conflict in Latin
America history – Guatemala’s 36-year civil war [1960-1996].
The report of the independent Historical Clarification Commission … contradicts
years of official denial about the torture, kidnaping and execution of thousands of
civilians in a war that the commission estimates killed more than 200,000
Guatemalans.” — New York Times, Feb 26, 1999. . . .
In one of the most well-documented cases of CIA complicity in state-sponsored
slaughter, the United States trained, armed, and funded the military apparatus of
our client state for years while it engaged in the wholesale torture and killing of
tens of thousands of its people.
The vast majority of those killed by the U.S.-backed Guatemalan government were
Mayan Indians, thereby paying tribute to that time-honored American tradition of
conducting acts of genocide against indigenous peoples.
The U.S. media have become quite adept at sterilizing war, shamelessly blurring
the line between war and entertainment. The cable news networks in particular
have pioneered the presentation of armed conflict as part video game and part
mini-series, complete with theme music and logos….
Year: 1990- ?
Estimated Deaths: 1,500,000+
Overview: A six-week aerial bombardment directed at the civilian infrastructure
featured the use of fuel-air bombs, depleted uranium, napalm, cluster bombs,
cruise missiles, and “smart bombs.” Followed by a decade of exceedingly harsh
economic sanctions and periodic bombings.
Bonus Points: Featured extensive use of radioactive DU weaponry, which has
resulted in alarmingly high cancer rates and birth abnormalities.
~ ~ ~
“The 6-week war in 1991 resulted in the large-scale destruction of military and
civilian infrastructures alike. … The sanctions imposed on Iraq and related
circumstances have prevented the country from repairing all of its damaged or
destroyed infrastructure … This has affected the quality of life of countless Iraqi
citizens … The vast majority of the country’s population has been on a semi-starvation diet for years. … Diseases such as malaria, typhoid and cholera, which
were once almost under control, have rebounded since 1991 at epidemic levels, with
the health sector as a helpless witness …” — The World Health Organization –
~ ~ ~
“Sanctions have taken the lives of well over one million persons, 60% of whom are
children under five years of age. The 1991 bombing campaign destroyed electric,
water and sewage plants, as well as agricultural, food and medical production
facilities. All of these structures continue to be inoperative, or function as sub-minimal levels, because the sanctions have made it impossible to buy spare parts
for their repair. The bombing campaign, together with the total embargo in place
since August 1990 was, and is, an attack against the civilian population of Iraq.” —
U.S. Bishops Statement on Iraq – Jan, 1998 – (Signed by 53 Catholic bishops)
~ ~ ~
“4,500 children under the age of five are dying each month from hunger and
disease. … Many are living on the very margin of survival.” — UNICEF – Oct, 1996
~ ~ ~
“One of the clearest examples of the U.S.A.’s changing attitude to human rights
violations in different circumstances is that of Iraq. During the 1980s, Iraqi
forces committed gross and widespread abuses … Amnesty International
repeatedly appealed for action, yet neither the U.S. authorities nor the UN
responded … After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 … the U.S.A. repeatedly
cited the Iraqi government’s appalling human rights record to gather support for
UN military intervention in the Gulf.” — Amnesty International – October, 1998
~ ~ ~
“More than one million Iraqis have died— 567,000 of them children— as a direct
consequence of economic sanctions … As many as 12 percent of the children
surveyed in Baghdad are wasted, 28 percent stunted and 29 percent underweight.”
— United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization – Dec, 1995
~ ~ ~
Lesley Stahl:“We have heard that half a million children have died. That is more
than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Secretary of State Madeleline Albright:“I think this is a very hard choice. But
the price— we think the price is worth it.”
— An exchange on CBS’s 60 Minutes – May, 1996
~ ~ ~
“We are not interested in seeing a relaxation of sanctions as long as Saddam
Hussein is in power.” — Secretary of State James Baker – May, 1991
~ ~ ~
“There is no difference between my policy and the policy of the (Bush)
Administration … I have no intention of normalizing relations with him.” —
President-Elect Bill Clinton – Jan, 1993
~ ~ ~
“We do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its
obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted.
Our view, which is unshakable, is that Iraq must prove its peaceful intentions …
And the evidence is overwhelming that Saddam Hussein’s intentions will never be
peaceful.” — Secretary of State Madeleine Albright– March, 1997
~ ~ ~
“Sanctions may stay on in perpetuity.” — U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson – Aug,
~ ~ ~
“What he has just done is to ensure that the sanctions will be there until the end
of time…” — President Bill Clinton – Nov, 1997
~ ~ ~
Beginning in the Gulf War, U.S. military forces began using a new type of
weapon whose attributes are rarely discussed in the American press.
These are sometimes referred to euphemistically as “tank killers” or “anti-tank
rounds,” though what it is that renders them so effective for this purpose is never
mentioned. These rounds are credited with destroying some 1,400 Iraqi tanks,
performing well above Pentagon expectations and thereby assuring their continued
use in future U.S. wars of aggression, as their deployment in both Bosnia and
Kosovo clearly demonstrates.
Composed of an extremely dense metal, these weapons are able to concentrate an
enormous amount of weight at the point of impact, giving them unprecedented
penetrating power As an added bonus, the material from which these tank killers
are manufactured is pyrophoric, fragmenting and igniting upon impact. And best of
all, the material is cheap and readily available. In fact, prior to its recently
discovered military use, vast stockpiles of it sat unused for years, decades even.
Of course, in those days it had a different name than it does today. Back then we
knew it simply as “nuclear waste.”
Today, the military knows it as DU, or depleted uranium. It is, in fact, a
radioactive byproduct of the nuclear weapons and power industries, which
previously had presented these industries with long-term storage problems.
But not anymore. Thanks to the ingenuity of U.S. weapons designers, we are now
able to dump our radioactive waste on “rogue” nations such as Serbia and Iraq.
In “Operation Desert Storm” alone, some 940,000 small-caliber DU rounds were
fired into Iraq and Kuwait from such aircraft as the A10 Warthog and the Apache
helicopter. In addition, anywhere from 6,000 to 14,000 large-caliber DU rounds
were fired from U.S. tanks.
All told, anywhere from 40 to 300 tons of radioactive uranium were left lettering
the battlefields of the Gulf war, several times the 25 tons that a report by
Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority concluded could cause “500,000 potential
deaths.” . . .
~ ~ ~
“The Committee concludes that it is unlikely that health effects reports by Gulf
War Veterans today are the result of exposure to depleted uranium during the
Gulf War.” — Presidential Advisory Committee of Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses,
“Final Report.” — Dec, 1996
~ ~ ~
“Inhaled insoluble oxides stay in the lungs longer and pose a potential cancer risk
due to radiation. Ingested DU dust can also pose both a radioactive and a toxicity
risk.” — U.S. General Accounting Office, “Operation Desert Storm Army NotAdequately Prepared to Deal with Depleted Uranium Contamination” — Jan, 1993
~ ~ ~
“DU is inherently toxic. This toxicity can be managed, but it cannot be changed.” —
Army Environmental Policy Institute, “Health and Environmental Consequences of
Depleted Uranium Use in the U.S. Army” — June, 1995
~ ~ ~
“Short-term effects of high doses can result in death, while long-term effects of
low doses have been implicated in cancer.” — AMMCOM, “Kinetic Energy Penetrator
Long Term Strategy Study” — July, 1990
~ ~ ~
“The Pentagon’s assertion that no Gulf War veterans could be ill from exposure to
DU … contradicts numerous pre- and post-war reports, some form the U.S. Army
itself.” — Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI), Sept, 1998
~ ~ ~
“The number of cancer cases and birth defects among Iraqi civilians in Basra, Al-Amarah, An-Nasiriyah and Ad-Diwaniyah has grown at least threefold since the
1991 Persian Gulf War, according to Iraqi doctors and medical records. … Most
alarming, doctors say, is a sharp rise in leukemia cases among children, including
some who were born more than nine months after the end of the war, suggesting
that some environmental carcinogens may have lingered long after the war ended
or that some war-related contaminants may be causing genetic damage. . . .” —
San Jose Mercury News — Mar 19, 1998
* * *
Iraq says U.S.-British Air Strike Kills 23;
Allies Deny Charge
by Aleksandar Vasovic
June 21, 2001 (AP) – Iraq’s state-run television claimed yesterday that a U.S.-British air strike killed 23 people during a soccer game and showed children
reportedly injured in the attack.
U.S. officials blamed a malfunctioning Iraqi anti-aircraft missile.
The Iraqi News Agency said allied planes attacked Tall Afar, 275 miles northwest
of Baghdad. The victims were said to be buried yesterday. Eleven others were
injured, the agency said. . . .
$ $ $
From The Sisters Community ( http://www.do4self.org ):
On September 11, 2001 35,615 childrenalso died through hunger.
~ ~ ~
HERE’S THE STATISTICS…
Victims: 35,615 (according to FAO)
Location: THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD
Special TV reports on the tragedy: NONE
Newspaper articles: NONE
Messages from heads of states: NONE
Appeals by organizations against the crisis: NONE
Solidarity messages: NONE
Minutes of silence: NONE
Homages to the victims: NONE
Special forums organized: NONE
Messages from the Pope: NONE
Stock exchanges: SITUATION NORMAL
Alarm level: NONE
Mobilization of armed forces: NONE
MEDIA SPECULATION over the identity of the perpetrators of this crime:
When it comes to prosecuting corporate crimes, Bill Clinton’s Justice Dept is a
tiger against the smaller corporate violators, but a pussy cat when it comes to
facing down the giant criminals. . . .
In some areas where big business dominates the field— as in the field of bribing
foreign governments— the Justice Department is just out to lunch. . . .
Lawyers handling foreign bribery cases report there has been a sharp increase in
business over the past couple of years … Why then aren’t newspapers full of
stories about how U.S. companies are bribing overseas?
Because the Justice Dept is burying the cases . . .
A case reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer … will tell much about Clinton
Administration and foreign bribery.
The year-long investigation by the Enquirerfound that Chiquita Brands
International Inc., the world’s largest banana company, is engaged in a range of
questionable business practices . . .
Reporters Mike Gallagher and Cameron McWhirter also reported Chiquita and its
subsidiaries are engaged in pesticide practices that threaten the health of
workers and nearby residents . . .
And the paper reported that Chiquita allegedly made business decisions in Latin
America to cover up a bribery scheme involving company and subsidiary employees
and helped foreign growers try to evade taxes. . . .
The SEC is investigating these very public allegations. But where is the Justice
Department? Will this be just another case that gets clogged in the pipeline?
[In June 1998, theCincinnati Enquirer fired Gallagher, “renounced” the expose,
and paid Chiquita $10 million to ward off a possible lawsuit. The Enquirer, owned
by Gannett, did not challenge the accuracy of Gallagher’s reporting, but did allege
that Gallagher illegally raided Chiquita’s e-mail system. In Sept 1998, Gallagher
pled guilty to two felony counts relating to the illegal interception.]
The (Kennedy assassination) cover up has continued to this day with books and
magazines funded by the assassins and their successors claiming that the Mafia,
Castro, the KGB, etc. etc. killed Kennedy. Each one is designed to further obscure
the real culprits, the Israel-CIA-Meyer Lansky-OAS network operating
together under a central command, probably the House of Rothschild.
Do you think the media is not controlled enough to keep the truth from the public
for more than thirty years? As the former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky says:
“I realized that the occupation of the North American media is complete. In
subjects dealing with the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, there is
no longer a free press. … I had always known there was a double standard when it
came to dealing with subjects that were dear to the Jewish community. I had not
known, however, how hypocritical that community and the media that lie at its feet
can be. I had known that it had all but taken over the film industry and had a
strong grip on Washington. … Now through intimidation and double dealing, it
obviously has taken over large portions of the American media. To all those who
knew this all along, and were silent, and to those who remain silent now – shame on
The editor of Life magazine,Richard Billings, ran a vehement campaign to
discredit Jim Garrison’s investigations into the assassination, as Garrison has
documented. Billings would later serve on the staff of the House Assassinations
Committee, alongside it’s director, G. Robert Blakey, an associate of Meyer
Lansky’s friend, Morris Dalitz. The committee decided the “Mafia did it”.
The Time-Life organisation later merged with Warner to create the Time-Warnermedia empire. This is an Elite-controlled organisation which now owns
Turner broadcasting and its global ‘news’ channel, CNN. (Now conglomerated
further with the merger with America On-Line (AOL).
Warner Brothers was absorbed by a company called Seven Arts set up by a Meyer
Lansky operative, Louis Chesler, and used to launder syndicate money.
When Seven Arts won control of the Warner Studios, major blocks of shares in
the company were owned by theInvestors Overseas Service of Bernie Cornfield,
the frontman for the Rothchilds and Mossad’s Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum, the
founder of Permindex.
In 1993, the Bronfman’s (the gangster family who controlled the Permindex chief,
Louis M. Bloomfield) bought a controlling interest in Time-Warner. How
fascinating, then, that Oliver Stone’s ‘expose’ of the Kennedy Assassination, JFK,
was distributed by Warner Brothers. Stone’s film, a mixture of fact and fiction,
blamed the military-industrial complex and the CIA and not the real conspirators,
The executive producer of JFK … was Arnon Milchan, who was identified as a
major arms supplier and undercover operative for Israel. Journalist Alexander
Cockburn wrote in The Nation on May 18th 1992 that Milchan “was identified in one
1989 Israeli report as ‘probably Israel’s largest arms dealer. A company he once
owned was caught smuggling nuclear weapons fuses to Iraq.”
The public relations company hired by Stone to handle publicity for the JFK film
was Hill and Knowlton in Washington D.C., the firm which coordinated the
propaganda supporting America’s involvement in the Gulf War. The Hill and
Knowlton executive who headed the JFK publicity was Frank Mankiewicz, who
began his career with the Anti-Defamation League in Los Angeles.
To this day, the Kennedy assassination continues to stink. . . .
From a British Anti-Vivisection Association commentary on The Drug Story, by
In the 30’s, Morris A. Bealle, a former city editor of the old Washington Times
and Herald, was running a county seat newspaper, in which the local power company
bought a large advertisement every week. This account took quite a lot of worry
off Bealles’ shoulders when the bills came due.
But according to Bealle’s own story, one day the paper took up the cudgels for
some of its readers that were being given poor service from the power company,
and Morris Bealle received the dressing down of his life from the advertising
agency, which handled the power company’s account. They told him that any more
such “stepping out of line” would result in the immediate cancellation not only of
the advertising contract, but also of the gas company and the telephone company.
That’s when Bealle’s eyes were opened to the meaning of a “free press”, and he
decided to get out of the newspaper business. He could afford to do that because
he belonged to the landed gentry of Maryland, but not all newspaper editors are
Bealle used his professional experience to do some deep digging into the freedom-of-the-press situation and came up with two shattering exposes –“The Drug
Story”, and“The House of Rockefeller”. The fact is that in spite of his
familiarity with the editorial world and many important personal contacts, he
couldn’t get his revelations into print until he founded his own company, The
Columbia Publishing House, Washington, D.C., in 1949…
Although “The Drug Story” is one of the most important books on health and
politics ever to appear in the USA, it has never been admitted to a major
bookstore nor reviewed by any establishment paper, and was sold exclusively by
mail. Nevertheless, when we first got to read it, in the 1970s, it was already in its
33rd printing, under a different label – Biworld Publishers, Orem, Utah.
As Bealle pointed out, a business which makes 6% on its invested capital is
considered a sound money maker. Sterling Drug, Inc., the main cog and largest
holding company in the Rockefeller Drug Empire and its 68 subsidiaries, showed
operating profits in 1961 of $23,463,719 after taxes, on net assets of
$43,108,106— a 54% profit. Squibb, another Rockefeller-controlled company, in
1945 made not 6% but 576% on the actual value of its property.
That was during the luscious war years when the Army Surgeon General’s Office
and the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery were not only acting as promoters
for Drug Trust, but were actually forcing drug trust poisons into the blood
streams of American soldiers, sailors and marines, to the tune of over 200 million
Is it any wonder, asked Bealle, that the Rockefellers, and their stooges in theFood
and Drug Administration, the U.S Public Health Service, theFederal Trade
Commission, the Better Business Bureau, the Army Medical Corps, the Navy
Bureau of Medicine, and thousands of health officers all over the country, should
combine to put out of business all forms of therapy that discourage the use of
“The last annual report of the Rockefeller Foundation,” reported Bealle, “itemizes
the gifts it has made to colleges and public agencies in the past 44 years, and they
total somewhat over half a billion dollars. The colleges, of course, teach their
students all the drug lore the Rockefeller houses want taught. . . .
And while “giving away” those huge sums to drug-propagandizing colleges, the
Rockefeller interests were growing to a world-wide web that no one could entirely
explore. Already well over 30 years ago it was large enough for Bealle to
demonstrate that the Rockefeller interests had created, built up and developed
the most far reaching industrial empire ever conceived in the mind of man.
Standard Oil was of course the foundation upon which all of the other Rockefeller
industries have been built.
The story of Old John D., as ruthless an industrial pirate as ever came down the
pike, is well known, but is being today conveniently ignored. The keystone of this
mammoth industrial empire was the Chase National Bank, now renamed the Chase
Not the least of its holdings are in the drug business.
The Rockefellers own the largest drug manufacturing combine in the world, and
use all of their other interests to bring pressure to increase the sale of
~ ~ ~
The Rockefeller Foundation was first set up in 1904 and called the General
An organization called the Rockefeller Foundation … was formed in 1910 and
through long finagling and lots of Rockefeller money got the New York legislature
to issue a charter on May 14, 1913.
It is therefore not surprising that the House of Rockefeller has had its own
“nominees” planted in all Federal agencies that have to do with health. . . .
“Even the most independent newspapers are dependent on their press associations
for their national news,” Bealle pointed out, “and there is no reason for a news
editor to suspect that a story coming over the wires of the Associated Press, the
United Press or the International News Service is censored when it concerns
health matter. Yet this is what happens constantly.”
In fact in the 50’s the Drug Trust had one of its directors on the directorate of
the Associated Press. He was no less that Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of
the New York Times and as such one of the most powerful Associated Press
America’s Medico-Drug Cartel.
The medico-drug cartel was summed up by J.W. Hodge, M.D., of Niagara Falls,
N.Y., in these words:
“The medical monopoly or medical trust, euphemistically called the American
Medical Association, is not merely the meanest monopoly ever organized, but the
most arrogant, dangerous and despotic organization which ever managed a free
people in this or any other age.
“Any and all methods of healing the sick by means of safe, simple and natural
remedies are sure to be assailed and denounced by the arrogant leaders of the
AMA doctors’ trust as fakes, frauds and humbugs.”
Rockefeller’s various “educational” activities had proved so profitable in the U.S.
that in 1927 the International Educational Board was launched, as Junior’s own,
personal charity, and endowed with $21,000,000 for a starter, to be lavished on
foreign universities and politicos, with all the usual strings attached. This Board
undertook to export the “new” Rockefeller image as a benefactor of mankind, as
well as his business practices. Nobody informed the beneficiaries that every
penny the Rockefellers seemed to the throwing out the window would come back,
bearing substantial interest, through the front door.
Rockefeller had always had a particular interest in China, where Standard Oil was
almost the sole supplier of kerosene and oil “for the lamps of China”. So he put up
money to establish the China Medical Board and to build the Peking Union Medical
College, playing the role of the Great White Father who has come to dispense
knowledge on his lowly children. The Rockefeller Foundation invested up to
$45,000,000 into “westernizing” (read corrupting) Chinese medicine.
Medical colleges were instructed that if they wished to benefit from the
Rockefeller largesse they had better convince 500 million Chinese to throw into
the ashcan the safe and useful, but inexpensive, herbal remedies of their barefoot
doctors, which had withstood the test of centuries, in favor of the expensive
carcinogenic and teratogenic “miracle” drugs Made in USA— which had to be
replaced constantly with new ones when the fatal side-effects could no longer be
concealed; and if they couldn’t “demonstrate” through large-scale animal
experiments the effectiveness of their ancient acupuncture, this could not be
recognized as having any “scientific value”.
Its millenarian effectiveness proven on human beings was of no concern to the
But when the Communists came to power in China and it was no longer possible to
trade, the Rockefellers suddenly lost interest in the health of the Chinese people
and shifted their attention increasingly to Japan, India and Latin America.
“No candid study of his career can lead to other conclusion than that he is
victim of perhaps the ugliest of all passions, that for money, money as an end.
It is not a pleasant picture … this money-maniac secretly, patiently, eternally
plotting how he may add to his wealth … He has turned commerce to war, and
honey-combed it with cruel and corrupt practices … And he calls his great
organization a benefaction, and points to his church-going and charities as
proof of his righteousness. This is supreme wrong-doing cloaked by religion.
There is but one name for it — hypocrisy.”
This was the description Ida Tarbell made of John D. Rockefeller in her “History
of the Standard Oil Company” serialized in 1905 in the widely circulated McClure’s
Magazine. And that was several years before the “Ludlow Massacre” . . .
But after World War II it would have been hard to read, in America or abroad, a
single criticism of JDR, or of Junior’s four sons who all endeavored to emulate
their illustrious forbears.
Today’s various encyclopedias extant in public libraries of the Western world have
nothing but praise for the Family. How was this achieved?…
Ironically, two apparently most NEGATIVE events in the career of JDR brought
about a huge POSITIVE change in his favor … To wit:
In the year when, according to the current Encyclopaedia Britannica (long become a
Rockefeller property and transferred from Oxford to Chicago), Rockefeller had
“retired from active business”, namely in 1911, he had been convicted by a U.S.
court of illegal practices and ordered to dissolve the Standard Oil Trust,
which comprised 40 corporations.
This imposed dissolution was to provide his Empire with added might, to a degree
that was unprecedented in the history of modern business. Until then, the Trust
had existed for all to see— an exposed target. After that, it went underground,
and thereby its power was cloaked in secrecy, and could keep expanding unseen and
The second apparently negative experience was a certain 1914 event (“The Ludlow
Massacre”) that persuaded JDR, until then utterly contemptuous of public opinion,
to gloss over his own image.
The worldwide revulsion that followed was such that JDR decided to hire the most
talented press agent in the country, Ivy Lee, who got the tough assignment of
whitewashing the tycoon’s bloodied image.
When Lee learned that the newly organized Rockefeller Foundation had $100
million lying around for promotional purposes without knowing what to do with it, he
came up with a plan to donate large sums – none less than a million – to well-known
colleges, hospitals, churches and benevolent organizations.
The plan was accepted. So were the millions.
And they made headlines all over the world, for in the days of the gold standard
and the five cent cigar, there was a maxim in every newspaper office that a million
dollars was always news.
That was the beginning of the cleverly worded medical reports on new “miracle”
drugs and “just-around-the-corner” breakthroughs planted in the leading news
offices and press associations that continue to this day.
And the flighty public soon forgot, or forgave, the massacre of foreign immigrants
for the dazzling display of generosity and philanthropy financed by the ballooning
Rockefeller fortune and going out, with thunderous press fanfare, to various
The Purchase of Public Opinion
In the following years, not only newsmen, but whole newspapers were bought,
financed or founded with Rockefeller money. So Time Magazine, which Henry Luce
started in 1923, had been taken over by J.P. Morgan when the magazine got into
financial difficulties. When Morgan died and his financial empire crumbled, the
House of Rockefeller wasted no time in taking over this lush editorial plum also,
together with its sisters Fortune andLife…
Rockefeller was also co-owner of Time’s “rival” magazine,Newsweek, which had
been established in the early days of the New Deal with money put up by
Rockefeller, Vincent Astor, the Harrimann family and other members and allies of
The Intellectuals – A Bargain
For all his innate cynicism, JDR must have been himself surprised to discover how
easily the so-called intellectuals could be bought. Indeed, they turned out to be
among his best investments.
By founding and lavishly endowing his Education Boards at home and abroad,
Rockefeller won control not only of the governments and politicos but also of the
intellectual and scientific community, starting with the Medical Power – the
organization that forms those priests of the New Religion that are the modern
No Pulitzer or Nobel or any similar prize endowed with money and prestige has
ever been awarded to a declared foe of the Rockefeller system.
Henry Luce, officially founder and editor ofTime Magazine, but constantly
dependent on House advertising, also distinguished himself in his adulation of his
sponsors. JDR’s son had been responsible for the Ludlow massacre, and an
obedient partner in his father’s most unsavory actions.
Nonetheless, in 1956 Henry Luce put Junior on the cover of Time, and the feature
story, soberly titled “The Good Man”, included hyperboles like, “It is because John
D. Rockefeller Jr.’s is a life of constructive social giving that he ranks as an
authentic American hero, just as certainly as any general who ever won a victory
for an American army or any statesman who triumphed in behalf of U.S.
Clearly, Time’seditorial board wasn’t given the choice to change its tune even after
the passing of Junior and Henry Luce, since it remained just as dependent of
House of Rockefeller advertising.
Thus, when in 1979 one of Junior’s sons, Nelson A. Rockefeller died — who had
been one of the loudest hawks in the Vietnam and other American wars, and was
personally responsible for the massacre of prisoners and hostages at Attica prison
—Time said of him in its obituary, without laughing:
“He was driven by a mission to serve, improve and uplift his country.”…
Here’s another reason not to watch television: corporate media conglomerates are
getting rid of the few remaining aggressive television investigative reporters.
Last year, two such reporters, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, were added to the
list of road kill on the television superhighway when they were fired from the
WTVT Fox Television affiliate in Tampa, Fla.
In a lawsuit filed against the station earlier this month, Akre and Wilson alleged
that Fox executives ordered them to broadcast lies about Monsanto’s
controversial bovine growth hormone (BGH) now being used by many of the nation’s
The journalists say they were fired from the Fox-owned WTVT in Tampa after
completing a four-part series on BGHin the Florida milk supply.
The series alleged, among other things, that supermarkets in Florida have been
selling milk from cows injected with BGH, despite promises by those supermarkets
that they would not buy milk from treated cows until the hormone gained
widespread public acceptance.
BGH was approved by theFood and Drug Administration in 1993 over the
objections of independent scientists who contend that use of the hormone poses
health risks to milk drinkers.
Such concerns have led the European Union, Australia and New Zealand to
prohibit use of BGH in cows.
Wilson says that just prior to the first scheduled air date (2/24/97), Monsanto’s
outside libel attorney sent a threatening letter to Roger Ailes, president of Fox
As a result of that letter, the series was postponed, and Wilson and Akre agreed
to go back to Monsanto to give the company another chance to respond to the
This drew another letter for Monsanto’s lawyer. … Wilson says the letters were
the beginning of a successful campaign by Monsanto to kill the story.
A meeting was held at the station March 5, 1997 to discuss the issue, but Wilson
and Akre were not invited.
“After that, the script was reworked,” Wilson says. … “We were essentially
presented with an order to run the script in the altered fashion …”
Wilson says that Fox first threatened to fire them when they refused to
broadcast what Wilson and Akre considered to be false and misleading
Unlike many of their supine brethren within the industry, Wilson and Akre stood
up to the corporate bosses. Wilson told general manager, David Boylan, “If you
fire us for refusing to broadcast this information that we have already
documented to you is false and misleading … we will go directly to the Federal
Communications Commission and file a complaint….”
After threatening to go to the FCC, the station responded by offering about
$200,000 to the reporters if they would agree to a gag order.
Wilson and Akre refused and were then assigned to rewrite the story 73 times
over the course of the remaining 9 months on their contract. … They were
fired on Dec 2, 1997.
In the lawsuit filed against the station, Wilson and Akre allege that the station
violated the state’s whistleblower statute…
In a two-page statement, WTVT said that it “ended the employment of the
Wilson/Akre team when it became apparent that their journalistic differences
could not be resolved despite the station’s extraordinary efforts to complete this
Wilson was having none of the station’s explanation.
“We set out to tell Florida consumers the truth a giant chemical company and a
powerful dairy lobby clearly doesn’t want them to know,” Wilson said.
“That used to be something investigative reporters won awards for. Sadly, as
we’ve learned the hard way, it’s something you can be fired for these days
whenever a news organization places more value on its bottom line than on
delivering the news to its viewers honestly.”
* * *
FromCorporate Predators, 10/23/98: . . . After 28 years of continuous publication,
The Ecologist, England’s leading environmental magazine, is having a tough time
finding its audience.
Perhaps that has something to do with the subject matter of the current issue:
Monsanto and Genetic Engineering.
Penwell, a small Cornwall-based company that has printed The Ecologist for the
past 26 years, decided late last month to shred all 14,000 copies of the Sept/Oct
1998 special Monsanto issue.
England’s stringent libel laws apply not only to publishers but to printers as well.
After the pulping of the Monsanto issue, the editors of The Ecologist then found
another printer who printed a second run of 16,000 copies. But now, the U.K.’s two
major retailers are refusing to carry the magazine on newsstands.
The Monsanto issue carries tough attacks on the St. Louis-based biotech giant,
including reviews of its links to major corporate disasters involving Agent Orange,
polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs), genetically engineered bovine grown hormone
(BGH), Round-Up herbicide, and the terminator seed.
(GET THIS: When you plant this seed, you get a plant and sterile seeds. That way,
farmers can’t save the seed for the next planting season— they have to go back to
Monsanto and buy more seed.)
Monsanto says it had nothing to do with the shredding of the magazine or with the
fact that big retailers are refusing to carry it….
$ $ $
THE TOP 10 CENSORED STORIES OF 2000
From Project Censored (SourceAlterNet.org.)
1. World Bank and Multinational Companies Seek to Privatize Water.(Awards
to Jum Shultz, In These Times and This; Maude Barlow, International Forum on
Globalizaation; Vandana Shiva, Canadian Dimension; Daniel Zoll and Pratap
Chatterjee, San Francisco Bay Guardian.)
The authors of this year’s first-place award all started with the same premise”
that global water consumption is doubling every 20 years and that by 2025 the
demand for fresh water is expected to rise to 56 percent more than the amount
of water currently available.
This frightens environmentalists. But for officials at international lending
institutions and multinational companies, it’s a business opportunity.
“Water is the last infrastructure frontier for private investors,” declared one
Monsanto Corporation certainly agrees; it plans to earn revenues of $420 million
and a net income of $63 million by 2008 from its water businesses in India and
The Bechtel Corporation is also on the case, but has botched its scramble for blue
gold. While attempting to privatize the local water system of Cochamba, Bolivia,
not only did they provoke mass strikes that injured hundreds and shut down the
city of 600,000 for a week, but they sought to pin the blame for the uprising on
narcotics traffickers. Nevertheless, this bad PR has not stopped Bechtel– the
company appears to be positioning itself to privatize San Francisco’s water
~ ~ ~
7. Biotech Industry Censors Critics of Genetically Engineered Food. (Awards
to Joel Bleifuss, In These Times; Karen Charman, Extra!; Ben Lilliston,
In 1998, Scottish researcher Arpad Pusztai found that genetically engineered (GE)
potatoes seemed to be causing sickness and poor brain development in rats.
When he went to the press with his preliminary findings, the biotech industry –
poised to make billions from GE foods – came down on him like a ton of bricks.
Pusztai was quickly fired by his employer, the Rowert Research Institute, while
his research team was disbanded and his data seized. It later came out that
Rowert had received a$224,000 grant from biotech giantMonsanto prior to
Pusztai pushed his case in the media, creating a firestorm of controversy in the
British press. His main point: Why not continue the experiments he had started to
determine the health risks of GE potatoes?
Eventually, he found an ally in Prince Charles, who wrote a widely publicized article
in the Daily Mail questioning the lack of safety testing on GE foods.
In a highly unusual move, British Prime Minister Tony Blair – a biotech advocate –
called Charles to advise him to withdraw his opinion and refrain from any further
Just another startling illustration of how effectively industry, in collusion with
industry-friendly government officials, can squash opinions or evidence that might
threaten profit margins.
$ $ $
The BGH Scandals – The Incredible Story of
Jane Akre & Steve Wilson (Part 1)
PR Watch, Volume 7, No. 4, Fourth Quarter 2000
In our Second Quarter 1998 issue, PR Watch wrote about TV investigative
reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, who were fired after refusing to go along
with misleading alterations to their story about Monsanto’sgenetically-engineered bovine growth hormone.
Akre and Wilson recently won a landmark whistleblower lawsuit against the station
that fired them, yet their former network continues its legal efforts to reverse
the ruling and crush them financially.
In this issue, we are honored to publish Jane Akre’s firsthand account of her
experiences standing up to corporate and media powers that have tried to silence
Journalists everywhere should take a close look at this case and its implications.
If the Fox network and Monsanto get away with destroying the careers of these
two seasoned reporters, the same thing can happen to anyone who tries to stand up
for a story that they believe in. With few resources other than the courage of
their convictions, Akre and Wilson have struggled to place issues before the public
that otherwise would remain hidden from view. In addition to their battle in the
courts, they have used the skills they honed in the newsroom to fight back in
the court of public opinion.
They have created a website ( www.foxBGHsuit.com ) that includes a downloadable
video of their suppressed news story, plus court documents and other facts about
their case. We encourage you to visit their website and, in light of their continuing
financial struggles, to consider making a donation to their cause.
We hope that after reading their story, you will also share it with others and help
get the word out. The public needs to inform itself and take action when the news
media fails to do its job properly, and this is an egregious example.
~ ~ ~
The Cost of Taking a Stand
“Today, few people recognize our faces.”
by Jane Akre
After three judges, 27 months of pre-trial wrangling and five weeks of courtroom
testimony, the jury finally had its say. On August 18, 2000, it awarded me
$425,000 in damages for being fired by TV station WTVT in Tampa, Florida.
WTVT is a Fox station, owned by one of the richest people in the media, Rupert
Murdoch. The verdict made me the first journalist ever to win a “whistleblower”
judgment in court against a news organization accused of illegally distorting the
Notwithstanding this vindication, I have yet to collect a dime of that jury
award. There is no telling how long Fox will drag out the appeals process as it
seeks to have the judgment overturned by a higher court. Meanwhile, I am still
out of work, as is my husband and fellow journalist Steve Wilson, who was also
fired by Fox and who filed suit along with me. December 2 marked the third
anniversary of our firing for refusing to falsify a news story in order to
appease the powerful Monsanto Company.
You would think that our jury verdict, with its landmark significance for journalists
everywhere, would spark some interest from the news media itself. Instead, the
silence has been deafening. One of the biggest names in investigative reporting at
one of the best network newsmagazines took a look at our case–and then decided
not to do a story. Why not? It was deemed “too inside baseball.” Translation:
there is an unwritten rule that news organizations seldom turn their critical eyes
on themselves or even competitors.
This rule is not absolute, of course. Some previous legal challenges involving the
media have received heavy news coverage, including the battle between 60 Minutes
and Vietnam-era general William Westmoreland; the “food disparagement” lawsuit
that Texas cattlemen brought against talk-show host Oprah Winfrey; and the
multi-million-dollar lawsuit brought against ABC-TV by the Food Lion grocery
All of those other lawsuits, however, involved conflicts between a news
organization and some outside group or individual. Our lawsuit involved a conflict
within the media, pitting labor (working journalists Steve and myself) against
broadcast managers, editors and their attorneys who hijacked the editorial
process in an effort to do what should never be done in investigative reporting–remove all risk of being sued or sending an advertiser packing.
By saying this is just “inside baseball,” the veteran newsman who declined to cover
our story was effectively siding with the owners against the players.
Prior to my firing at WTVT, I had worked for 19 years in broadcast journalism,
and Steve’s career in front of the camera was even longer. He is the recipient of
four Emmy awards and a National Press Citation. His reporting achievements
include an exposé of unsafe cars that led to the biggest-ever auto recall in
Today, however, we have spent three years off the air, tied up in a seemingly
interminable legal battle. Few people recognize our faces anymore. Our story has
circulated throughout the world via email and our website (www.foxBGHsuit.com),
yet we remain curiously anonymous–so far from famous, in fact, that even
Monsanto’s own public relations representatives sometimes have a hard time
Happy Shining People
I had the opportunity to meet a couple of those industry PR people in October
2000 at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ).
The conference brought together hundreds of environmentally conscious, mostly
young journalists to Lansing, Michigan, to delve into topics such as hybrid auto
technology, nuclear misdeeds, and Great Lakes pollution. Together with PR Watch
editor Sheldon Rampton, I participated in a panel discussion titled “Fibbers,
Spinners, and Pseudo-journalists.”
The SEJ conference also featured an exhibit hall, and in an adjoining room, the
biotech industry had mounted a glossy display, staffed by two representatives who
stood out like a couple of well-suited salesmen at a college campus. Standing
before their expensive photo kiosk depicting gold-drenched fields of harvest, they
offered literature from the Council for Biotechnology Information, an industry-funded organization whose stated mission is “to create a public dialogue.” It’s all
part of industry’s $50-million PR campaign touting the safety and benefits of
genetically engineered foods. Its slick handouts at the SEJ conference reeked of
the moneyed corporations they represent – Aventis, CropScience, Dow Chemical,
DuPont, Monsanto and Novartis among others.
Stuck inside one of their glossy presentations was a list of ten “tenets for
consumer acceptance of food biotechnology.” Among the tips: “Biotechnology must
be placed in context with the evolution of agricultural practices,” and “Emphasize
the exhaustive research over many years that led to the introduction of each new
product of food biotechnology.”
Also included was a list of biotech food products you’ve probably already consumed
or used.Corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, and sweet potatoes were on the list,
as was rBGH milk produced using Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone
that is reportedlynow injected into more than 30% of America’s dairy herd.
Our reporting on rBGH (trade namedPosilac, and also known as recombinant bovine
somatotropin or rBST) was what got Steve and me fired at Fox Television’s
~ ~ ~
We Win; Fox Spins
by Jane Akre
It’s perfect. A television news organization, just found guilty of distorting the
news, slants the news regarding the ruling.
The jury rendered its verdict just after five o’clock on the Friday evening of
August 18. Fox WTVT ran the first story near the top of its 6 p.m. broadcast.
The initial story on WTVT was a fairly straightforward report announcing to
Tampa viewers that the jury had awarded me damages because the “station
violated the state’s whistleblower law.” The news anchor announced the reason
for the verdict in my favor, “because she refused to lie in that report and
threatened to tell the FCC about it.”
By 10 p.m., however, the Fox corporate spinmeisters had rewritten the story
entirely, crafting a devastatingly embarrassing loss into “good news” for their side.
“Today is a wonderful day for Fox 13, because I think we are completely
vindicated on the finding of this jury that we do not distort news, we do not
lie about the news, we do not slant the news, we are professionals,” said Fox
news director Phil Metlin, looking rather uncomfortable on camera.
Metlin’s statement is at odds with the jury’s own unanimous verdict as clearly
stated on the official verdict form, which asks, “Do you find that Plaintiff Jane
Akre has proven, by the greater weight of the evidence, that the Defendant,
through its employees or agents, terminated her employment or took other
retaliatory personnel action against her, because she threatened to disclose to the
Federal Communications Commissionunder oath, in writing, the broadcast of a
false, distorted, or slanted news report which she reasonably believed would
violate the prohibition against intentional falsification or distortion of the news on
television, if it were aired?”
“Yes,” the jury answered.
If indeed Fox regards the jury verdict as “complete vindication,” the network
should abandon its appeals, accept the verdict, and pay up. The check would be
greatly appreciated. But that will never happen, because Fox would rather show its
other employees in media outlets around the world what can happen if you mess
with Murdoch. They will easily spend four times our award just to make that point.
~ ~ ~
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:
The Story We Weren’t Allowed to Air
by Jane Akre
The truth is, only Monsanto really knows how many U.S. farmers are presently
using their recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). The company persistently
refuses to release sales figures but claims it has now become the largest-selling
dairy animal drug in America. The chemical giant’s secretive operations were part
of what made the story of rBGH such a compelling one for me to explore as an
In late 1996, my husband Steve Wilson and I were hired as investigative
journalists for the Fox-owned television station in Tampa, Florida. Looking for
projects to pursue, I soon learned that millions of Americans and their children
who consume milk from rBGH-treated cows have unwittingly become
participants in what amounts to a giant public health experiment.
Despite promises from grocers that they would not buy rBGH milk “until it gains
widespread acceptance,” I discovered and carefully documented how those
promises were quietly broken immediately after they were made three years
earlier. I also learned that health concerns raised by scientists around the world
have never been settled, and indeed, the product has been outlawed or shunned in
every other major industrialized country on the planet.
Clearly, there is not “widespread acceptance” of rBGH, not in 1996 when I began
my research, and not today. By any standard, it was a solid story, but little did I
know that it would become the last story of my 19-year broadcast journalism
career and the heart of a dispute that could nearly destroy me and my family.
Even if you ask directly, “How much of your milk comes from cows injected with an
artificial growth hormone?” We discovered that you are still likely to be misled
or lied to today.
Steve helped me gather and produce a TV report based on the information we
discovered. The investigation began with random visits to seven farms to
determine whether and how widely rBGH was being used in Florida. I confirmed its
use at every one of the seven farms I visited, and then I discovered what
amounted to an ingenious public relations campaign that seemed to have
succeeded in keeping consumers in the dark.
Remember those Florida grocers who promised consumers that milk from hormone-treated cows would not end up in the dairy case until it achieved widespread
acceptance from consumers and others? I learned that behind the scenes, those
grocers and the major co-ops of Florida’s dairymen had pulled the wool over the
eyes of consumers with what amounted to a clever “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy
combined with some careful wording to answer any inquiries about the milk.
In an on-camera interview, the president of one of the two giant dairy co-ops in
the state said that he had written a letter to dairymen on behalf of grocers
requesting that farmers not inject their cows with the artificial growth hormone.
But in response to my questions, the co-op president made a startling confession.
He admitted he did nothing but write the letter!
“Did the dairymen get back to you?” I asked.
“What was their response?”
“They accepted it, I guess. They didn’t respond.”
To this day, any consumer who calls to inquire gets essentially the same well-coordinated response from a big Florida grocer or their dairy supplier:
“We’ve asked our suppliers not to use it (rBGH),” they say. It is a truthful but
incredibly misleading statement that nearly always produces the desired result,
leading consumers to the false conclusion that their local milk supply is unaffected
by rBGH use.
Even if you ask directly, “How much of your milk comes from cows injected with an
artificial growth hormone?” we discovered that you are still likely to be misled or
lied to today.
Steve recently made an inquiry to the dairy co-op that supplies the milk served to
our daughter and her classmates in their school cafeteria. First he was told there
was “0%” artificial BGH use. Then a woman in the dairy’s Quality Assurance
department offered the assurance that rBGH is not used at all “as far as we
know.” Pressed further, she said the co-op “does not recommend it because cows
do just fine without,” but ultimately admitted that the co-ops “have no authority
to check whether it is or is not being used.
Steve pressed further: “Couldn’t you just ask the dairy farmers who supply your
milk whether or not they’re injecting their cows?”
A long silence followed. Finally, the reply: “I suppose we could, but they could just
lie to us.”
After nearly three months of investigation that took me to interviews in five
states, we produced a four-part series that Fox scheduled to begin on Monday,
February 24, 1997. Station managers were so proud of the work that they
saturated virtually every radio station in the Tampa Bay area with thousands of
dollars worth of ads urging viewers to watch. But then, on the Friday evening prior
to the broadcast, the station’s pride turned to panic when a fax arrived from a
The letter minced no words in charging that Steve and I had “no scientific
competence” to report our story. Monsanto’s attorney described our news reports,
which he had ostensibly never seen, as a series of “recklessly made accusations
that Monsanto has engaged in fraud, has published lies about food safety, has
attempted to bribe government officials in a neighboring country and has been
‘buying’ favorable opinions about the product or its characteristics from reputable
scientists in their respective fields.”
And to make sure nobody missed the point, the attorney also reminded Fox News
CEO Roger Ailes that our behavior as investigative journalists was particularly
dangerous “in the aftermath of the Food Lion verdict.” He was referring, of
course, to the then-recent case against ABC News that sent a frightening chill
through every newsroom in America.
The Food Lion verdict showed that even with irrefutable evidence from a hidden
camera, documenting the doctoring of potentially unsafe food sold to unsuspecting
shoppers, a news organization that dares to expose a giant corporation could still
lose big in court.
Confronted with these threats, WTVT decided to “delay” the broadcast,
ostensibly to double-check its accuracy. A week later after the station manager
screened the report, found no major problems with its accuracy and fairness, and
set a new air date, Fox received a second letter from Monsanto’s attorney,
claiming that “some of the points” we were asking about “clearly contain the
elements of defamatory statements which, if repeated in a broadcast, could lead
to serious damage to Monsanto and dire consequences for Fox News.”
Never mind that I carried a milk crate full of documentation to support every
word of our proposed broadcast. Our story was pulled again, and if not dead, it was
clearly on life support as Fox’s own attorneys and top-level managers, fearful of a
legal challenge or losing advertiser support, looked for some way to discreetly pull
The station where we worked had recently been purchased by Fox, and we soon
discovered that the new management had a radically different definition of media
responsibility than anything we had previously encountered in our journalistic
careers. As Fox took control, it fired the station manager who had originally hired
us and replaced him with Dave Boylan, a career salesman devoid of any roots in
journalism and seemingly lacking in the devotion to serving the public interest
which motivates all good investigative reporting.
Kill The Story, Kill the Messenger
Dave Boylan, station manager at Fox WTVT, asked,“What would you do if I killed
your rBGH story?”
Not long after Boylan became the new station manager, Steve and I went up to see
him in his office. He promised to look into the trouble we were having getting our
rBGH story on the air, but when we returned a few days later, his strategy seemed
“What would you do if I killed your rBGH story?” he asked. What he really wanted
to know was whether we would tell anyone the real reason why he was killing the
story. In other words, would we leak details of the pressure from Monsanto that
led to a coverup of what the station had already ballyhooed as important health
information every customer should know?
It was suddenly and unmistakably clear that Boylan’s biggest concern was the
concern of every salesman, no matter what product he peddles: image. He
understood that it could not be good for the station’s image if word leaked out
that powerful advertisers backed by threatening attorneys could actually
determine what gets on the six o’clock news–and what gets swept under the rug.
Boylan was in a jam. If he ran an honest story and Monsanto’s threatened “dire
consequences” did materialize, his career could be crippled. On the other hand, if
he killed the story and the sordid details leaked out, he risked losing the only
product any newsroom has to sell: its own credibility.
To resolve this dilemma, Boylan devised the sort of “solution” that you might
expect from a salesman. He offered us a deal. He would pay us for the remaining
seven months of our contracts, in exchange for an agreement that we would
broadcast the rBGH story in a way that would not upset Monsanto.
Fox lawyers would essentially have the final say on the exact wording of our
report, and once it aired, we were free to do whatever we pleased– as long as we
forever kept our mouths shut about the entire ugly episode.
As journalists, Steve and I wanted to get the story on the air more than anything.
A buyout, no matter how attractive, was out of the question. Neither of us could
fathom taking money to shut up about a public health issue that absolutely and by
any standard deserved to see the light of day. The remainder of 1997 was a tense
standoff, with the station unwilling to either kill the story or to run it. Fox
attorney Carolyn Forrest was sent in to review our work, with a mandate from Fox
Television Stations President Mitch Stern to “take no risk” with the story. “Taking
no risk” meant cutting out substance, context and information. Boylan told us to
“just do what Carolyn wants” with the story, but what Carolyn reallywanted to do
was destroy it. We rewrote the story, rewrote it, and rewrote it again, trying to
come up with a version that would both remain true to the facts and satisfy the
station’s concerns about airing it.
Meanwhile, Behind the Scenes
Monsanto hadn’t stopped with the threatening letters. In January, I had
interviewed Roger Natzke, a dairy science professor at the University of Florida.
Everything had gone well. We got a tour of the “Monsanto dairy barn” at the
Gainesville dairy compound where Posilac had been tested in the mid-1980s. Natzke
gave the product a glowing report and admitted he promoted its use to farmers
through Florida’s taxpayer- supported agriculture extension offices. After
spending a few hours with us, Natzke gave us directions to a good lunch joint.
Natzke must have forgotten about this relatively pleasant exchange when, one
month later, he called the station to complain about my reporting techniques.
“She’s not a reporter” was part of the phone message submitted to my boss
alongside the words “St. Simon’s Island.” What does that mean? I asked. The
assistant news director, apparently not seeing any connection or conflict, told me
that Natzke had just returned from a weekend at the island resort with Monsanto
The same week that Natzke called and the Monsanto threat letters arrived,
Florida farmer Joe Wright wrote a complaint letter to the station. This time we
were not shown the correspondence. Only in the light of our lawsuit did the station
have to produce it in “discovery” one year later.
The pieces of the puzzle behind the Monsanto pressure began falling into place.
Wright, who had spent five minutes on the phone with me a month earlier,
informed the station that “Ms. Acre’s (sic) work is gaining notoriety in our dairy
industry. . . .The word is clearly out on the street that Ms. Acre is on a negative
campaign based on everyone’s assessment of the numerous interviews she has
Wright had reached these conclusions after attending the 22nd Annual Southern
Dairy Conference in Atlanta, a “Who’s Who” of the dairy industry where our
report was the topic of intense discussion.
Following the conference, he went to Dairy Farmers Inc., a dairy promotion group,
which helped draft his letter of complaint to my employers and discussed filing a
food disparagement suit against the station should the story air.Behind the scenes,
a much more stealthy attack on us and our story was launched by the Dairy
Coalition, a pro-rBGH group formed around the time of Posilac’s FDA approval. Its
director, Dick Weiss, took a call from Steve in 1998 and–not realizing exactly who
Steve Wilson was–bragged that the Dairy Coalition had “swamped the station”
with all sorts of pressure to have the story killed.
As he recounted the story, Weiss laughed like a college kid who had just pulled the
best prank in the frat.
Getting the Boot
Nearly a full year passed as we wrangled over this important public health story.
After turning down the station’s buyout offer, we ended up doing 83 rewrites of
the story, not one of which was acceptable according to Fox lawyers, who were
fully in charge of the editing process.
“It was like being circus dogs jumping through hoops,” Steve said.
At the first window in our contracts, December 2, 1997, we were both fired,
allegedly for “no cause.” However, an angry Carolyn Forrest made a major legal
mistake when she wrote a letter spelling out the “definite reasons” for the firing,
and characterizing our response to her proposed editorial changes as
“unprofessional and inappropriate conduct.” But as Steve commented when he read
the letter, just what is the “professional and appropriate” response that reporters
should make when their own station asks them to lie on television?
On April 2, 1998, we filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Fox Television. Under
Florida state law, a whistleblower is an employee, regardless of his or her
profession, who suffers retaliation for refusing to participate in illegal activity or
threatening to report that illegal activity to authorities. We contended that we
were entitled to protection as whistleblowers, because the distortions our
employers wanted us to broadcast were not in the public interest and violated the
law and policy of the Federal Communications Commission.
Three months after we were fired and six weeks after we filed our lawsuit, the
station finally got around to airing an rBGH story, filled with many of the same lies
and distortions that Steve and I refused to broadcast. The reports, aired by a
young and inexperienced reporter, looked to us like nothing more than damage
control instigated by Fox attorneys.
~ ~ ~
Who Is the Dairy Coalition?
by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber
Created by the PR and lobby firm of Capitoline/ MS&L with funding from the
National Milk Producers Federation, the Dairy Coalition is composed of business,
government and non-profit groups, including university researchers funded by
Monsanto as well as other carefully selected “third party” experts.
Dick Weiss, director of the Dairy Coalition, now works with former Monsanto
rBGH lobbyist Carol Tucker Foreman at the Consumer Federation of America.
Dairy Coalition participants include:
The International Food Information Council, which calls itself “a non-profit
organization that disseminates sound, scientific information on food safety and
nutrition to journalists, health professionals, government officials and consumers.”
In reality, IFIC is a public relations arm of the food and beverage industries,
which provide the bulk of its funding. Its staff members hail from industry groups
such as the Sugar Association and the National Soft Drink Association, and it has
repeatedly led the defense for controversial food additives includingmonosodium
glutamate, aspartame(Nutrasweet), food dyes, and olestra.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, the powerful conservative lobby behind
the movement to pass food disparagement laws like the one under which Oprah
Winfrey was sued in Texas.
The American Dietetic Association, a national association of registered dietitians
that works closely with IFIC and hauls in large sums of money advocating for
the food industry. Its stated mission is to “improve the health of the public,” but
with 15 percent of its budget–more than $3 million–coming from food companies
and trade groups, it has learned not to bite the hand that feeds it.
“They never criticize the food industry,” says Joan Gussow, a former head of the
nutrition education program at Teachers College at Columbia University.
The ADA’s website even contains a series of “fact sheets” about various food
products, sponsored by the same corporations that make them (Monsanto for
biotechnology; Procter & Gamble for olestra; Ajinomoto for MSG; the National
Association of Margarine Manufacturers for fats and oils).
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, representing
the top executive of every department of agriculture in all 50 states.
The Grocery Manufacturers of America, whose member companies account for
more than $460 billion in sales annually. GMA itself is a lobbying powerhouse in
Washington, spending $1.4 million for that purpose in 1998 and currently-funding
a multi-million-dollar PR campaign for genetically engineered foods. *
The Food Marketing Institute, a trade association of food retailers and
wholesalers, whose grocery store members represent three fourths of grocery
sales in the United States.
PR Watch is a publication of the Center for Media & Democracy
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