Project Censored 2013
Ten stories the media failed to cover – or covered all wrong – in 2013
Published: November 27, 2013
The trade watch group investigated the TPP and is the main advocate in opposition of its policies. The AFL-CIO, Sierra Club and other organizations have also expressed growing concerns about the level of access granted to corporations in these agreements.
With extra powers granted to foreign firms, the possibility that companies would continue moving offshore could grow. But even with the risks of outsized corporate influence, the U.S. has a strong interest in the TPP in order to maintain trade agreements with Asia.
The balancing act between corporate and public interests is at stake, but until the U.S. releases more documents from negotiations, the American people will remain in the dark.
4. Obama's war on whistle-blowers
President Obama has invoked the Espionage Act of 1917 more than every other president combined. Seven times, Obama has pursued leakers with the act, against Thomas Drake, Shamai Leibowitz, Bradley Manning, Stephen Kim, Jeffrey Sterling, John Kiriakou and most recently, Edward Snowden. All had ties to the State Department, FBI, CIA or NSA, and all of them leaked to journalists.
"Neither party is raising hell over this. This is the sort of story that sort of slips through the cracks," McChesney says. ProPublica covered the issue, constructing timelines and mapping out the various arrests and indictments. But where Project Censored points out the lack of coverage is in Obama's hypocrisy – only a year before, he signed the Whistleblower Protection Act. Later, he said he wouldn't follow every letter of the law in the bill he had just signed.
"Certain provisions in the Act threaten to interfere with my constitutional duty to supervise the executive branch," Obama said. "As my administration previously informed Congress, I will interpret those sections consistent with my authority."
5. Hate groups and anti-government groups on rise across U.S.
Hate groups in the U.S. are on the rise, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There are 1,007 known hate groups operating across the country, it wrote, including neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others.
Since 2000, those groups have grown by more than half, and there was a "powerful resurgence" of so-called patriot groups, the likes of which were involved in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Worst of all, the huge growth in armed militias seems to have conspicuous timing with Obama's election.
"The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, has grown 813 percent since Obama was elected – from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012," the SPLC reported.
Though traditionally those groups were race-motivated, the report noted that now they are gunning for government. There was a smattering of news coverage when the SPLC released its report, but not much since.
6. Billionaires' rising wealth intensifies poverty and inequality
> Email Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez