Project Censored actively censors.


Project Censored just released the top 25 censored stories for 2009-2010. #4 on the list was the lack of coverage of ICE’s secret detention centers and courts. Recently, I have written on ICE abuses and crimes that take place largely outside of the public view, so I give high marks to Project Censored for covering this story.

But a second look at the 25 stories left me with a whiff of extreme bias: more than half of the most censored/underreported stories had to do with criticism of U.S. government policies and corporate abuse.

Shortly thereafter, I found evidence that Project Censored is guilty of the same thing their organization purports to be against–Censorship.

A 2008 article written by the Director of Project Censored, Peter Phillips, was a piece of pure propaganda: “Cuba Supports Press Freedom”.

Really? Even when Fidel Castro has on the record stated that the means of communication belong to the state, not the people? Here is a taste of Mr. Phillips’ complicity in the censorship of all Cubans who are not with the revolution:

Cuban journalists quietly acknowledge that some self-censorship will undoubtedly occur regarding news stories that could be used by the “enemy” against the Cuban people. Nonetheless, Cuban journalists strongly value freedom of the press and there was no evidence of overt restriction or government control.

No evidence of overt restriction? What about the political dissidents that were rotting in jail while you enjoyed your state-sponsored tour of Cuba’s glorious journalism? No, they don’t count; they were all mercenaries of the Yankees, after all.  No Cuban in their right mind would deign to disagree with the wonders of a socialist system sponsored by El Gran Fidel.

Mr. Phillips concludes with an overt lie:

It is time to reverse this cold-war isolationist position, honor the Cuban peoples choice of a socialist system and build a positive working relationship between journalists in support of media democracy in both our countries.(emphasis added)

Mr. Phillips speaks of the Cuban people like they are a monolithic object, incapable of having a stance that isn’t socialism. It is an incontrovertible fact that many Cubans, both in Cuba and in the US, did not choose and continue not to choose the socialist system but are condemned to it because of brute force applied by the Castro regime.

In his time in Havana, Mr. Phillips only spoke to government journalists. He did not speak to any independent journalists or bloggers or dissidents. Maybe he convinced himself they don’t exist. Either way, Mr. Phillips and his organization, Project Censored, clearly have acted to censor individuals–in this instance all Cubans who are officially barred from freedom of the press–because of their myopic leftist ideology.




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