Abby Martin, Amy Goodman, Behind the Headline with Mnar Muhawesh, critical media literacy, deep state, Democracy Now!, Dr. Andy Lee Roth, KPFA, KPFA 2016 Fall Fund Drive, Media Democracy In Action, Mickey Huff M.A., military-industrial complex, MintPress News, Mnar Muhawesh, Pacifica Radio Network, Project Censored, service learning, transcript
LUMPENPROLETARIAT—On this week’s edition of Project Censored, co-host and educator, Mickey Huff delivered another excellent hour-long broadcast. This Friday’s broadcast focused on the upcoming annual Project Censored book, Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition, including the themes of critical media literacy and civic engagement, both, in education and in the public realm, generally. They remind us, citizens of an ostensibly democratic society, that civic engagement is a daily way of life. We can limit our participation to a sporadic electoral cattle call, or disengage civically, at our own peril, not to mention that of our families and communities. Capital never sleeps. As Project Censored‘s Dr. Andy Lee Roth noted:
“Media power is political power. [But the] corporate media have played a crucial, perhaps unintentional, role in diminishing the public’s understanding of what it means to participate in a democratic society.
“As Ben Bagdikian, who we dedicated this year’s volume to, noticed back, almost, 30 years ago: Most Americans no longer experience democracy on a daily basis in their lives. And that’s a deep and profound problem. And I think one of the aims of producing a Top 25 list, like we do in the book each year, is to better inform people, so that they might engage with these issues in their daily lives.”
[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Project Censored.]
PROJECT CENSORED—[23 SEP 2016] [KPFA station identification by Erica Bridgeman(sp?)]
“Welcome, everybody, to the Project Censored show on Pacifica Radio. I’m Mickey Huff. Peter Phillips is taking a well-deserved day off, although he will be joining me as a guest, briefly, at the end of the show today.
“This is the last day of the KPFA Fund Drive. And we are very, very close to our goal. And my goal, coming down here from Sonoma County today, is to make the goal; get us over that hump. And we can’t do it without you, the great listeners of community radio, free speech radio, KPFA.
“Again, this is the Project Censored show. I’m Mickey Huff. And we have a fantastic, whirlwind, show for you today. So, it’s going to be quick. Some of you may know that it’s so quick that we jumped in without the theme music. So, [chuckles] we are ready to raise money. And you can call at 800.439-5732—800.439-5732—or online at KPFA.org.
“I have something special for you, today, folks—the brand new, hot-off-the-press, fresh-baked Project Censored book, Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition.  My co-editor, and associate director, Andy Lee Roth, and I finished it over the summer. It’s got a dynamite foreword by the one and only Mark Crispin Miller, fantastic cartoons by Khalil Bendib. And we’re offering it to you today on the Project Censored show for a $120 pledge. It’s not even on the shelves yet. Be the first cool kid on your block to have a copy, a shiny copy—Censored 2017, $120 pledge. Project Censored: The Movie, our award-winning film, $100. A bumper sticker and membership for KPFA, $25. I just want to get ten people calling in right now and get this over with, so we could get over the hump. That’s how close we are, here, folks, at free speech radio. 800.439-5732 is the number to call.
It is immensely gratifying to be able to congratulate Project Censored on the fortieth anniversary of its remarkable achievements, both, in bringing to us critically important stories, that have had little or no media attention and in engaging young activists, who will be able to carry on this very valuable work. A crucial contribution to a more just and democratic society.
“This is what Noam Chomsky says about Project Censored and our Fortieth Anniversary Edition, Censored 2017.
“And I am joined, right now, by my co-editor and my associate director at Project Censored, Andy Lee Roth. Andy, thanks so much for joining us today on the Project Censored show.”
DR. ANDY LEE ROTH: “Hi, Mickey. It’s great to be on the air with you.”
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “So, Andy, you and I did a lot of work on this 450-page book, ten chapters. Tell our listeners a little bit about what goes into our stories. Maybe, talk a little bit about the process as educators. I read that Chomsky blurb a moment ago. Right? And I think that he, rightfully, notes that one of things, that Project Censored has done over the years, that’s maybe different than other media organisations, is critical media literacy education.
“So, talk to us a little bit about that and how we go through the stories.” (c. 5:27)
DR. ANDY LEE ROTH: “Yeah. I mean the Top 25 List—that is the first of, as you mentioned, ten chapters in this year’s book, um it is—the determination of each year’s 25 stories is, really, a year-long process, that involves, literally, hundreds of people, faculty, and students from college and university campuses across the country and, indeed, around the world and, ultimately, the participation of Project Censored’s panel of expert judges, more than two dozen experts, activists, media scholars, professional journalists to help us to vet the stories, that we’re looking at and considering for inclusion in the Top 25 each year.
“So, this year, to be a little more specific, the Top 25 stories, that feature in Censored 2017 were researched by some 221 students, 33 faculty members from 18 colleges and university campuses across the U.S. and in Canada. And we looked at, this year, to whittle down to the Top 25, we’ve identified and vetted and summarised some 235 stories from the independent press, what we call VINs, or validated independent news stories. And each of those 235 stories, from which the 25 were selected, are posted up on the Project Censored website. They are available to the public there as a resource.”
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “And, Andy, that’s ProjectCensored.org. You could see the stories researched year-round. We have, roughly, 20 campuses, as you were rattling down the numbers there. There’s, again, so much work, that goes into this project, that was founded by Carl Jensen at Sonoma State University and carried on by Peter Phillips for so long, who’s still contributing to the book every year.
“And, yeah, you and I have done, I think, seven of these together. This would be my eighth, I think, total.
“And, Andy, let’s talk a little bit, too, about some of the other things—well, let’s stick with the first chapter momentarily, since you were just talking about the validated independent news stories. And, without going into details, since this doesn’t come ’til October 4th .
“But what can you tell us about the kinds of stories, or a pattern of types of stories, that are censored and under-reported over the years? That is, a continuation into this year’s volume.” (c. 8:06)
DR. ANDY LEE ROTH: “Yeah, absolutely. I mean I can say that some of the story topics touched on issues, such as the global presence of U.S. military forces.  This year, we talked some about the crisis of evidence-based medicine; links between climate change and gender-based inequality.
“But I wanna step back from, even, that level of detail on the Top 25 and talk about why it’s important to put together a list, an annual list, of stories, that are under-reported in the corporate media. And I’m sure this really goes to the issue that the idea, that I think undergirds everything we do at Project Censored. And it’s certainly an informing theme in Censored 2017, which is the idea that media power is political power.
“There are many ways, that we could unpack the meaning of that term, or the meaning of that statement. And I wanna just, briefly, touch on two of them.
“Media power is political power. First, one way is that the corporate media have played a crucial, perhaps unintentional, role in diminishing the public’s understanding of what it means to participate in a democratic society.
“As Ben Bagdikian, who we dedicated this year’s volume to, noticed back, almost, 30 years ago: Most Americans no longer experience democracy on a daily basis in their lives. And that’s a deep and profound problem. And I think one of the aims of producing a Top 25 list, like we do in the book each year, is to better inform people, so that they might engage with these issues in their daily lives.
“Now, a second way, if I could just very quickly come back to the idea of media power is political power, has to do with what we’re doing when we produce the Top 25 list. And that’s engaging students directly in examining the content of the corporate news, comparing and contrasting it with what’s available when we turn to independent news sources. And, then, educating the public about what they found when they do that.
“And, so, for those listeners, who haven’t seen the Top 25 List before, it’s important to note that, in addition to crediting the journalists and the independent news outlets, that broke these stories of our Top 25 List, we also identify by name the student researcher and the faculty evaluator, who did the vetting work to see: Well, has this story been covered in the corporate press?
“And I think it’s the hands-on engagement, that the students get by working with, and as the project is something, to our knowledge, I think completely distinctive about Project Censored as a media watchdog group, as one of the longest-standing media watchdog groups in the country.” (c. 11:21)
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “That’s right, Andy.
“Andy Lee Roth, we’re speaking to, the associate director of Project Censored, my colleague and co-editor of Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition, that’s coming out soon.
“You just heard Andy say one of the key things, that we do at Project Censored, is critical media literacy education, outreach to students and schools. And we think that this is a really big part of making people aware of the amount of censorship, propaganda, and mis– and disinformation, that are going on in the corporate news media and corporate deep state messaging, that take place in the United States, all under the guise or rubric of a free press or a protected free press.
“Well, Andy, you’re going to stay on with us. But we have, joining the programme now, we have someone, that is from the millennial generation—right?—that gets a lot of disdain in the corporate media and among two major political candidates. And, but, I’d have to say our next guest is, not only a stalwart independent journalist, but really the kind of reporting, that she does is, to quote on of the subtitles of our 2014 book, Andy, she’s an exemplar of speaking, exemplifying it by fearless speech in fateful times.
“And our next guest is founder of MintPress News. And that would be Mnar Muhawesh. And she has a programme called Behind the Headline. Her website is MintPressNews[.com]. Mnar Muhawesh, welcome to the programme.” (c. 12:55)
MNAR MUHAWESH: “[chuckles] Thank you so much, Mickey, for having me. And thank you for the kind introduction. I appreciate that.”
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “Well, Mnar Muhawesh, we at Project Censored, as you heard Andy Roth saying, not only do we point out censored stories and do we point out and criticise many of the problems, that take place in media—right?—but we also celebrate courageous, independent journalists, that are willing to go and tell the stories, that we really need to know to understand what’s happening around the world.
“And [clears throat] you—I’d have to say that the stories, that you cover at MintPress News are so significant, in terms of what they hit on, that the corporate media, either, miss altogether or grossly distort, that, again, I can’t say the word exemplar.
“This is the kind of reporting, that we need in the United States and around the world today. And I’d like you to talk to us a little bit about what you do at MintPress News. You have a story on Syria in our book this year. And you also have a segment in our ‘Media Democracy In Action‘ chapter on MintPress News. Tell us about what you do, Mnar Muhawesh, and how people can find out more.” (c. 14:03)
MNAR MUHAWESH: “Well, thank you. I’m honoured that [chuckles], you know, I’m being—you know, our work is being featured. But, you know, MintPress, it was started—I started my press for the exact reasons, that you do Project Censored. I mean we focus on how the media manipulates. They propagate. They provide so much disinformation to the public about issues, that we should be highly informed about.
“And the reason, that I pursued journalism in the first place is because I was a victim of disinformation, as a Palestinian-American. My parents moved us overseas for three-and-a-half years, almost four years, to Jerusalem. And we lived under Israeli occupation and apartheid. So, I saw, firsthand, what U.S. foreign policy was doing to people overseas. And I saw that it was funding a police state, an apartheid state, a militarised state, like Israel.
“And, so, when I came back to the United States, I saw the media provide so much disinformation about Palestinians, about Palestinian liberation. And they painted the picture. They, basically, flipped the narrative.
“And, so, from there, I was—you know—about twelve, twelve-and-a-half, 13 years old I had—even though I was so young, I had seen how the media specialised, basically, in flipping the narrative on most foreign policy issues.
“And, so, when it comes to, you know, the war in Iraq, I was very vocal in my high school, speaking out against it.
“And, so, when this war in Syria came along, we were one of the first news organisations to stand up and say that the narrative we were being, basically, fed about the crisis in Syria was, not only disinformation, but our [American government’s] foreign policy was the one, that had basically created this chaos inside Syria. And our [corporate] media was perpetuating this narrative, so that we can justify more war.
“And, so, that’s the kind of work, that we do. And something, that we, specifically, specialise in is looking at how these special interests, how the military-industrial complex influences policies at home and abroad. So, we like to say that we’re the neocon watchdogs [chuckles] in our media. (c. 16:03)
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “So, Mnar, tell people the website and a little bit about the programme, that you do.”
MNAR MUHAWESH: “So, our website is MintPressNews.com. And we launched about four years ago. And, most recently, in the last year, we launched a video segment called Behind the Headline. And, basically, it’s just a video format of what we already do at MintPress. But, you know, with the new age of journalism you gotta get on video. So, we added that to our reporting.
“And the show is supposed to launch this month on FreeSpeech TV I. It’ll be airing on Dish Network and on Roku. And, basically, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to reach an audience [scoffs], that, you know, turns to the TV to get information. Unfortunately, even liberal media, that’s available on TV is not quite telling the truth about some of the most important stories, like the war on whistleblowers, the truth about the money-making schemes of the War On Terror.
“And, so, we wanted to be in the forefront of that information and be able to dissect those narratives and be able to reach people, that are, normally, watching TV. And, unfortunately, we do have a rise of this pseudo-liberal media. And we, even, wanna challenge that.
“We have news stations, even like, Democracy Now!. I love Democracy Now!. I love Amy Goodman. But we just have to be honest that, sometimes, even those news organisations do perpetuate those deep state narratives. I mean I just saw the other day that they were celebrating the Libyan Revolution on Twitter. Then, I thought: That was a CIA-backed revolution. And, so, sometimes even our so-called liberal media is perpetuating those kinds of narratives, maybe unknowingly. I’m not sure.
“And, so, we wanna be able to challenge those kinds of narratives as well.”
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “Mnar Muhawesh. MintPress News. Again, agreed, here, at Project Censored. We have sometimes gotten into hot water because we’ve also criticised colleagues on the left of the spectrum.
“But, again, you know, I’d like to go back to the idea that we’re not, necessarily, interested in tearing down. We’re interested in building up.”
MNAR MUHAWESH: “Yes.”
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “And, if we can call out this kind of reporting, and call out where there might be disagreements, we can actually have a dialogue, that a free press is supposed to really help generate in a robust democracy.
“So, Mnar Muhawesh, you will be joining us October 21st , at the Fortieth Anniversary Celebration of Project Censored. You are going to be involved in a great round-table discussion with Abby Martin of Empire Files; with David Talbot, author of The Devil’s Chessboard; and also Mark Crispin Miller, who did the foreword to our book this year. So, we look forward to seeing you October 21st at Sonoma State University. People can find out more at ProjectCensored.org.
“Mnar Muhawesh, thank you for your work at MintPress News. And thank you for joining us on the Project Censored show today.” (c. 18:52)
MNAR MUHAWESH: “Thank you so much, Mickey.”
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “ [SNIP]
[Mickey Huff transitions to focusing on appealing free speech radio KPFA’s audience for financial support, as KPFA/Pacifica Radio Network is listener-sponsored and does not take any corporate underwriting. KPFA is reportedly currently facing a very serious budgetary crisis and has reported concerns of no longer being able to broadcast full time.]
[Dr. Andy Lee Roth gives a few previews of the stories featured in Censored 2017, such as anonymous edits to Wikipedia articles critical of police being traced back to police agency IP addresses.] (c. 23:13)
[Mickey Huff continues appealing for the sustenance of listener-sponsored free speech, community, radio.]
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “[SNIP] And we need you to call in: 800.439-5732. We’re very close to meeting the Fall Fund Drive goal, people. And we need people power. And the kind of people power we need right now, at free speech radio, is for you to call in: 800.439-5732.
“You can get the brand new Censored 2017: Fortieth Anniversary Edition for a $120 pledge. You can get the DVD, Project Censored: The Movie, Ending the Reign of Junkfood News for $100 dollars.
“You can become a member of KPFA, for $25; and get a Project Censored bumper sticker. So, when you’re driving around or, not just stuck in traffic, but are traffic, people can read that and say: Huh? The ‘News That Didn’t Make The News’? I wonder what that is. And, on one side of your car you have the KPFA bumper sticker and, on another, Project Censored.
“800.439-5732. And, yes, this is the Project Censored show. And, yes, these are Project Censored premiums. And, no, we are not profiting from these premiums. And I want to make sure that there is full disclosure that we offer these materials to KPFA at cost. We do not profit from our own items through KPFA, just like Peter Phillips and I, my co-host, who’s gonna join us later to talk about his chapter, we come down here from Sonoma County as volunteers, in support of community radio ‘cos this is what we believe it means, not only, to be a part of this kind of community, but as professors and academics and public intellectuals, we believe that these are the kind of things we are supposed to do to contribute to our democratic culture. (c. 25:28)
“Please call 800.439-5732. Please show your support, not only for this kind of programming, but please support KPFA free speech radio, Pacifica.
“You know, this programme is on 35 stations around the U.S. But we do it right here. We come to Berkeley, California., home of the free speech movement., home of community radio. It started here, after World War II. Please call in: 800.439-5732. That’s the number to call.
“You heard Andy Lee Roth talk about what’s in the 2017 book. Be the first to have it. 800.439-5732. For a $120 pledge—$10 dollars a month, people, $10 dollars a month; I don’t even think you can get two draft beers or lattes. $10 dollars a month gets you this book Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition and keeps things going, here, at KPFA.
“This is your radio station.
“$100 dollars gets you the DVD of Project Censored: The Movie, award-winning—I might add—Ending the Reign of Junkfood News. You can get a bumper sticker and become a member of KPFA for $25.
“We’re gonna have some other people on this show talking about the contents of this book.
MICKEY HUFF, M.A.: “ [SNIP] (c. 27:36)
“We’ve also got our next guest, that’s going to be coming on—Susan Rahman. She has a—she has several contributions. She has a contribution on service learning. And that attaches to critical media literacy, very important educational work, that you heard Andy Lee Roth talking about.
MICKEY HUFF: Critical media literacy, very important educational work […] This is what Project Censored is about. We’re not just about calling out the censored stories and calling out propaganda. We’re also about supporting independent journalism and supporting places like KPFA with our volunteer efforts.
And we’re about education. We are about teaching the next generation how to speak truth to power.
“This is what Project Censored is about. We’re not just about calling out the censored stories and calling out propaganda. We’re also about supporting independent journalism and supporting places, like KPFA with our volunteer efforts. And we’re about education.
“We are about teaching the next generation how to speak truth to power. (c. 28:00)
[SNIP] (c. 59:59)
Learn more at PROJECT CENSORED.
[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]
 Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving: Project Censored, this one-hour broadcast hosted by co-host Mickey Huff, Friday, 23 SEP 2016, 13:00 PDT.
Non-specific programme summary posted by Project Censored on KPFA’s archive page:
“The News That Didn’t Make the News. Each week, co-hosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips conduct in depth interviews with their guests and offer hard hitting commentary on the key political, social, and economic issues of the day with an emphasis on critical media literacy.”
 Copies of the new Project Censored book, Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition, are available as a thank-you gift when you become a KPFA listener-member by donating to free speech radio. They are also available directly from Project Censored here. About the new book:
“This special 40th anniversary volume features chapters on surveillance technology, the rising police state, and what’s being done to stop it; a brief history of CIA media manipulation; how we can improve upon scholarly research methods of controversial topics and conspiracies; an overview of how major public relations firms generate propaganda, selling empire for governments and corporate clients around the globe; and why critical media literacy education is at the root of achieving social justice for all in our times. It’s a work that deconstructs the challenges we face and proposes many solutions to achieve a more equitable and just world!”
If memory serves, the USA is the only nation on Earth with the nerve and hubris to formally carve up the entire planet into segments, which its military is working to dominate and control, as with its Unified Combatant Command scheme. US imperialism, in this case, is no longer an occulted, or secret, conspiracy theory. It is publicly documented military and government policy. This permanently belligerent military stance can only be possible when the citizenry has, either, predominantly acquiesced or disengaged from monitoring and critiquing its foreign policy. Either scenario gives the military free reign to impose its will, in our name, across the globe, but primarily for the benefit of war profiteers within the military-industrial complex.
[24 SEP 2016]
[Last modified 15:10 PDT 26 SEP 2016]