Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Project Censored

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Project Censored

Article excerpt

Alleged media neglect of 'scandals' during Reagan, Bush administrations tops group's list of 'underreported' stories

THE MAJOR MEDIA'S alleged neglect of scandals during the Reagan and Bush administrations topped Project Censored's 10 "overlooked, underreported" or "censored" stories in 1992.

The annual list issued by Professor Carl Jensen of Sonoma (Calif.) State University drew on an article by media critic Ben Bagdikian for its number one spot.

Bagdikian's piece in last year's May/ June issue of Mother Jones magazine charged that mainstream news media undercovered such scandals as the savings and loan debacle, the Iran-contra affair, massacres in El Salvador, and drug-dealing by the U.S.-backed contras in Nicaragua.

The nine other Project Censored stories, which are said to represent the recommendations of a "national panel of media experts" are as follows:

2. "Corporate Crime Dwarfs Street Crime. While the press continues to alarm the public with stories of street crime and violence, corporate crime and violence grows at an accelerated pace safely away from the medias spotlight."

3. "Censored Election Year Issues. While the candidates and the media focused on alleged infidelities and family values, there were far more important issues that were underreported." Among them, the report said, were homelessness, the death rate of Iraqi children after the Gulf war, and Dan Quayle's Council on Competitiveness.

4. "World's Leading Merchant of Death," which accuses the United States of being the "world's unchallenged weapons producer and supplier" despite the hope that the end of the Cold War would reduce military production.

5. "Iraqgate and Watergate Law. While some of the disturbing facts behind the Iraqgate scandal have started to appear in the press, the mainstream media all but ignored the story, as well as the quiet demise of the Watergate law, for more than a year."

6. "`We Are Winning the War on Drugs' Was a Lie." The report said that President Bush lied in making that statement. It asserted that "Americans are in greater danger from drugs today than ever before in our history."

7. "Thrashing Federal Regulations for Profit." Despite polls showing that Americans opposed deregulation when the purity of air, water, food and drugs was involved, Bush proposed a 210-day moratorium on new federal regulations in 1992 and big business reciprocated with campaign contributions, it is alleged. …

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