“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 intellectual prostitutes.”

– Journalist John Swinton, of the New York Times, to his staff at his retirement dinner.


Sightings from The Catbird Seat

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From …and the truth shall set you free, by David Icke:

Psychological Facism

The underlying theme of all you have read is the manipulation 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 misled….

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 priorities.

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.

In summary:

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 States.

People were so doped and duped that they thought LSD was a weapon of ‘freedom’. Some still do….


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 you want.

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, without question.

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’.

It’s unbelievable….

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 media”.

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 Reserve Board.

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 the Council 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 lust after….

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, 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 owns easily 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….

For more, GO TO > > > Tracking the Murdoch Flock

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January 28, 2006

On-air criticism lands KHON’s
Moore in hot water

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.),” she said.

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 become accustomed.”

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 automation.”…

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 yesterday.

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.

$ $ $

May 6, 2003

TV Not Concerned by Cluster Bombs, DU:

“That’s just the way life is in Iraq”

From Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

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 weapons.

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 depleted uranium.

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….

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For more information, see: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, ” Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium”:

Human Rights Watch’s resources about cluster bombs:

You can subscribe to FAIR-L at their web site:

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From Derailing Democracy: . . .

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 state-run press?…

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 corporate media.

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….

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“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

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For more on the Central Intelligence Agency, GO TO > > > The Secret Nests

* * *

From Derailing Democracy:

The America the Media Don’t Want You to See

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.

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From Derailing Democracy: . . .

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.

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“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 – March, 1996

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“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)

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“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 died567,000 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 MinutesMay, 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, 1997

~ ~ ~

“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 Not Adequately 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 ( ):

On September 11, 2001
35,615 children also died through hunger.

~ ~ ~


Victims: 35,615 (according to FAO)


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: NONE

Those responsible for this crime.


* * *

From Corporate Predators, 05/15/98:

On Foreign Bribery, Justice is Out to Lunch

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 Enquirer found 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, the Cincinnati 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.]

* * *

From ...and the truth shall set you free, by David Icke:

The hidden hand

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 you.”

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-Warner media 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 the Investors 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, Mossad….

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. . . .

For more on the CIA, GO TO > > > The Secret Nest

* * *

From a British Anti-Vivisection Association commentary on The Drug Story, by Hans Ruesch:

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 that lucky.

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 “shots”.

Is it any wonder, asked Bealle, that the Rockefellers, and their stooges in the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S Public Health Service, the Federal 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 drugs.

“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 Manhattan Bank..

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 drugs….

~ ~ ~

The Rockefeller Foundation was first set up in 1904 and called the General Education Fund.

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 directors….

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 Western wizards.

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.

The Image.

“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 therefore unopposed.

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.

(For the story of the Ludlow Massacre, see Workers of the World in Part III.)

Thorough Facelift

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 “worthy” institutions.

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 and Life

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 House.

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 medicine men.

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 of Time 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. diplomacy.”

Clearly, Time’s editorial 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.”…

* * *

From Corporate Predators, 4/17/98:

The More You Watch, the Less You Know

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 dairy farmers.

The journalists say they were fired from the Fox-owned WTVT in Tampa after completing a four-part series on BGH in 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 the Food 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 Network News.

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 allegations…

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 information….

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 story.”

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.”

* * *

From Corporate 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….

$ $ $


From Project Censored (Source

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 banking official.

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 Mexico.

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 system….

~ ~ ~

7. Biotech Industry Censors Critics of Genetically Engineered Food. (Awards to Joel Bleifuss, In These Times; Karen Charman, Extra!; Ben Lilliston, Multinational Monitor.)

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 giant Monsanto prior to Pusatai’s firing.

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 Blaira biotech advocate – called Charles to advise him to withdraw his opinion and refrain from any further public comments.

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

Flack Attack

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’s genetically-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 them.

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 ( ) 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.

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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 news.

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 store chain.

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 America.

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 (, yet we remain curiously anonymous–so far from famous, in fact, that even Monsanto’s own public relations representatives sometimes have a hard time recognizing us.

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 reportedly now injected into more than 30% of America’s dairy herd.

Our reporting on rBGH (trade named Posilac, and also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin or rBST) was what got Steve and me fired at Fox Television’s WTVT

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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 Commission under 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.

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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 investigative reporter.

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.”

Lawyered Up

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 Monsanto attorney.

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 plug.

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 clear.

“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 officials.

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 already conducted.”

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.

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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 including monosodium 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

For more on Aspartame , GO TO > > > The NutraSweet Syndrome




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Last update June 12, 2006, by The Catbird Seat.