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GregPalast--Truthout * MediaMonopoly * K-Health * Energy

13 May 2003 - Part 2

3) Greg Palast: "The Lies Are Brilliantly Crafted"
- - "The Greatest Sedition is Silence" by William Rivers Pitt
4) June 2nd - FCC Close to Easing Media Caps
- - Take Action! - Stop the FCC
5) Kucinich's 'Medicare for All' Offers No Role for Private Insurers
- - Create your purposeful self, just like Rep. Dennis Kucinich
6) An Empty Energy Bill and Imperial Ambition/Destruction

Editor's Notes:

Item 3 is a Truthout interview with Greg Palast, showing how some of the lies are crafted. In this item, too, is a link to William Rivers Pitt newest book, "The Greatest Sedition is Silence." Item 4 is more on the death of any diversification in the broad band media, and an action you can take to get past: ‘resistance is futile.' Item 5 is a common sense approach to a nationalized health care system (not for profit) health care system for all US citizens. Today, too, Howard Dean was scheduled to unveil his plan. The Dean campaign stated that he would try to repeal some of the Bush tax cuts to pay for his plan. "This costs almost a half of the Bush tax cuts," Dean said Sunday. "If you give most people in America the choice between the Bush tax cuts and making sure they always have health insurance, they're going to pick health insurance." This again sounds like Dr. Dean is staying in the middle of the road (that in today's world looks liberal), but actually is maintaining a profit-based health care system, not people-based. Didn't the Clinton administration prove that half-way to nowhere leads to a Bush-regime coup d'etat. Item 6 is on the Energy Bill going to the US Senate. Please take Robert F. Kennedy's suggestion and start waking people up to what is happening to our world. Please forward this information and keep lobbying organizations to go all the way for change.. but not just by lobbying Congress, but a vegan-whopper of a regime-change in 2004.

3) Greg Palast: "The Lies Are Brilliantly Crafted"
- - "The Greatest Sedition is Silence" by William Rivers Pitt

"The Lies Are Brilliantly Crafted"
Greg Palast with Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t | Exclusive Interview

Sunday 11 May 2003

M.A. – Greg welcome back to TruthOut.

Your book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is currently number 5 on The New York Times Best Seller list. Why?

G.P. – The USA is home to the largest, longest, deepest river of burbling bullshit known to man - home of the brave and of double-talk, nonsense, half-truths, Tom Brokaw, disinformation, baloney, CNN, white lies, black lies and Katie Curic - laughably called 'US media.' "And here, the President is waving to us from his helicopter!" ... And we're fed up TO HERE with it. So someone had to write a book with the facts that dare not speak their name in America: how the Bush clan fixed the election in Florida, spiked the investigation of the bin Ladins, peddled America like a cheap tart to every corporate John with campaign loot, let the World Bank eat Argentina for breakfast and encouraged Pat Robertson to commit unnatural acts with our Bill of Rights.

Those few citizens not yet Fox'd to death were ready for this book. And Michael Moore helped. By bringing over my stories through his talks and 'Stupid White Men,' he cracked the Propaganda Berlin Wall, opening the space for my investigative reports to rush through.

Plus, the new paperback has these cool illustrations by Winston Smith with 40% new material. Damn, what a bargain - who could resist?

M.A. -- Some would argue that commercial journalism has so completely abdicated objectivity that it is no longer news, but rather public relations. Is the independent media the last bastion of the free press?

G.P. – "Independent'' media in America is better called "starvation'' media: journalists that want to do real reporting don't survive long - Bob Parry, who uncovered the Iran-Contra scandal, lost his job at the AP, Seymour Hersh was pushed off the New York Times - and I'm in exile. Investigative reporting is a quick career path to dis-employment. The 'dependent' media is killing us with poisoned lies.

And some of the lies are brilliantly crafted. Let me give you an example: The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle and god knows how many others ran a photo in June 2001 under the screamer, "100,000 MARCH AGAINST VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT.'' Hugo Chavez. It had to be true: there was the photo. And I was there, in Caracas, so I know it was true. But what the Times and Chronicle DIDN'T show you was the demonstration, nearly twice as large, of Venezuelans marching IN SUPPORT of their President. So the Dependent Media effectively Stalinized the photos.

That left the independent media - Truthout and other dot-commies, plus the Pacifica Network and Spanish-language press - to set the record straight, to give the whole picture, literally.

M.A. -- You have labored long and hard to document the perils of unregulated multi-national corporate activity. To the average American who voted for George W. Bush what would say about the dangers of "Globalization?"

G.P..Look at the documents I've seen and you'll get ill. Example: Pfizer Corporation, which makes Viagra, used to make a heart valve designed by a doctor named Viking Bjork - who found out the company's save-a-buck method of manufacturing them caused the valves to snap apart inside patients. Literally hundreds of hearts exploded, one ugly way to die. Dr. Bjork thought he should issue a public warning, but kept his mouth shut when a Pfizer exec telexed, "ATTN. PROF BJORK: WE WOULD PREFER THAT YOU DID NOT PUBLISH THE DATA RELATIVE TO STRUT FRACTURE.'' The reason to withhold the warning your heart valve could fail? "WE EXPECT A FEW MORE.'' Nice guys.

Pfizer continued to sell these heart-breakers worldwide.

And now the Bush Administration is using the World Trade Organization to prevent dead patients' families from suing Pfizer and other makers of bogus 'medical devices.'

M.A. -- The degree of corporate influence inside the White House is, in a very real sense, mind-boggling. Has there ever been a moment in American history where private interests have held this kind of influence at the highest levels of our government?

G.P. – Hey, don't panic. We've been here before. We survived Nixon. We survived Joe McCarthy. We survived the robber barons of the 1890s. Throughout US history, monied jackals have invaded the White House and Congress. Time after time they use some threat of external danger - the Commies, the Viet Cong, the Anarchists, the Terrorists, whomever - to keep Americans hypnotized by The Threat Out There. They empty the Treasury, bust unions, and impoverish the average Joe and Josephine. In the McCarthy era, General Electric used the Red Scare to hunt down and eliminate United Electrical Workers activists. Today, Al-Quida is used as the excuse to seal the EPA files on the real threat of contamination from Exxon-Mobil petrochemical plants.

But despair not: Every time, every single time, after we've been kicked in the head, Americans blink and think - and rise up angry in mass movements: one hundred years ago it was the Populist uprising, in the Sixties, in the Seventies, we had the Environmental and Consumer Movements - and don't forget the Labor, Union and Civil Rights Movements, to say "enough already!''

So I have hope. But in the meantime, I'm taking action. Martin Luther King III, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (his daddy's old job) and I are gathering signatures on a petition to stop the theft of the election in 2004. Two years ago, Congress passed a fraudulently named "Help America Vote Act'' - it will actually help disenfranchise voters - mainly African-Americans. Anyway, read about it on my site, linked here.

Greg Palast is author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, and his investigation of computer
purges of black voters appeared in Harper's Magazine.

Traditional media inquiries (interviews, appearances, excerpts)

Website inquiries (links, graphics, excerpts):

Greg Palast's completely updated US. edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now in its tenth week on the NYT bestseller list, is available from Penguin Plume at booksellers and via

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- - "The Greatest Sedition is Silence" by William Rivers Pitt

TruthOut's senior writer William Rivers Pitt has just come out with his second book, titled "The Greatest Sedition is Silence." The book details the last four years of politics in America, and delves into topics of discussion that have been left aside by the mainstream media. The mysteries and morality surrounding the 9/11 attacks, Enron and the economic meltdown, the 2000 Election, the media and a myriad of other important issues are discussed. Through it all, Mr. Pitt exhorts his readers to get involved in the workings of their country, and to not remain silent in the face of so many calamities.

"The Greatest Sedition is Silence" is available only online at this point, and can be purchased at a discount from the book's website:

4) June 2nd - FCC Close to Easing Media Caps
- - Take Action! - Stop the FCC

San Francisco Chronicle - May 12, 2003

FCC Close to Easing Media Caps
Giant firms want to own more outlets
by Dan Fost

The Federal Communications Commission is moving closer to easing its media ownership caps, including regulations that now limit how many television stations a network may own, or whether a company can own a newspaper and a television station in the same city.

Opponents are waging a frantic battle to forestall FCC action. They fear that a handful of media giants will gobble up even more of the print and broadcast spectrum.

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- - Take Action! - - Stop the FCC

On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission intends to lift restrictions on media ownership that could allow your local newspaper, cable provider, radio stations, and TV channels all to be owned by one company. The result could be the disappearance of the checks and balances provided by a competitive media marketplace -- and huge cutbacks in local news and reporting. Good, balanced information is the basis for our democracy. That's why we're asking that: "Congress and the FCC should stop media deregulation and work to make the media diverse, competitive, balanced, and fair."

Click the following URL link to tell your US Reps and the FCC what you think!

5) Kucinich's 'Medicare for All' Offers No Role for Private Insurers
- - Create your purposeful self, just like Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich's 'Medicare for All' Offers No Role for Private Insurers
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 11, 2003; Page A07

ANKENY, Iowa, May 10 -- Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio), campaigning in Iowa today for the Democratic presidential nomination, outlined how he would transform the nation's health care system into a government-run, single-payer program if elected. While several Democratic presidential candidates have detailed how they would help cover the nation's 41 million uninsured, Kucinich's "Medicare for All" proposal is far more interventionist because it would eliminate the role of private health insurers altogether. The plan, which largely mirrors the Canadian model that came under fire when President Bill Clinton tried to revise the U.S. health care system in the early 1990s, would cost $2.2 trillion a year once it was fully implemented in 2013.

Addressing a group of painters union representatives here, Kucinich criticized the current health care system as "a market system" based solely on how much Americans could afford to spend. "It's long past time we should take the word 'profit' out of health care," he said, sparking applause from the audience. "How many people's lives in this country are shortened because they can't get access to health care?"

Kucinich said he would help pay for the plan by imposing a 7.7 percent tax on public and private employers, which he said would represent slightly less than what these employers currently devote to covering health care expenses. That new tax would produce $917 billion in revenue. Kucinich would also eliminate $245 billion in tax deductions that employers currently take. He would draw on $1 trillion in federal, state and local revenue that now pays for the government's Medicare system. The government would save money by making bulk purchases of prescription drugs, Kucinich said, something that Canada has done for years. American pharmaceutical companies have fiercely opposed such an approach, however, arguing that in driving down costs the government would siphon away funds needed for innovative research. Within three years, Kucinich's program would cover all American children. Seniors would come under the system in 2008. And in a decade, all Americans would be enrolled.

While the program has little chance of becoming law, it reflects Kucinich's efforts to inject more progressive policies into his party's presidential race. Former House minority leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), by contrast, introduced a plan in April that would provide federal tax credits to private employers helping cover their workers' health care insurance premiums. The proposal would be financed by rolling back the trillion-dollar tax cut President Bush successfully championed in the previous Congress. Business groups and many of Gephardt's Democratic rivals criticized the plan as unrealistic. Several union officials at the meeting said that, although they need to learn more about Kucinich's proposal, they thought he was headed in the right direction.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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- - Create your purposeful self, just like Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Create your purposeful self, just like Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential candidate wannabe. According to the Washington newspaper the Hill, Kucinich, who is Catholic, has a Jewish girlfriend and keeps kosher. They're actually both vegans, which is a kind of automatic kosher, but the story says he also knows how to recite the Jewish blessings over wine and bread. Yelena Boxer, his significant other, says he snacks on matzo, which, she pointed out to the Forward, a New York Jewish weekly, is "the bread of oppression." (Doritos just wouldn't have the same political impact.)

6) An Empty Energy Bill and Imperial Ambition/Destruction

Break the Chain and End our Dependence on Oil
Natural Resources Defense Council

From Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Dear Fellow NRDC BioGems Defender,

American soldiers are still guarding oil fields in Iraq but you'd never know it from watching Congress. Last month the House of Representatives passed an energy bill that does virtually nothing to reduce our dangerous addiction to Middle Eastern oil.

Instead, the House voted to leave fuel economy at its lowest level in 20 years, promote reckless energy development on fragile wildlands, and hand out $20 billion in corporate welfare to giant oil, coal and nuclear companies that are already rolling in enormous profits.

If you've had it with this kind of shameless payback to the auto and energy lobbies then now's a good time to do something about it. The U.S. Senate is about to vote on its own energy bill and it could be every bit as bad as the House version -- unless millions of Americans speak out right now for a sane and sustainable energy future.

Our environment has been chained to the gas pump and our national security chained to foreign oil for long enough. Drilling and destroying the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and Greater Yellowstone, as the Bush administration would have us do, is not the answer. Our nation simply doesn't have enough oil to drill our way to self-sufficiency. We could empty every oil reserve in America and we'd still be importing vast quantities of oil.

On the other hand, if we simply used available technology to raise fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks to 40 miles per gallon, we could save two million barrels of oil a day -- more than we now import from Saudi Arabia.

More than 80 percent of Americans support such common sense improvements, but the auto and oil lobbies are dead set against them. And the House has made it clear it would rather let oil companies plunder our natural heritage than make auto companies clean up the world's most inefficient gas guzzling vehicles.

We must stop the Senate from following suit and caving in to industry pressure. These upcoming votes are absolutely crucial to America's energy independence and environmental future. Please go to

and tell your senators to give us the fuel efficient cars that Americans want. And if you'd like to do even more, please forward this message to as many people as you can.

Thank you.


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council

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1) Alliance to Save Energy:
Comparison of House, Senate Energy Bills
Points Out Flawed Provisions - and Omissions

2) New York Times:
"An Empty Energy Bill"

3) For experts who can comment on the energy bill, visit the energy experts directory:

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- - Imperial Ambition: An Interview with Noam Chomsky

Monthly Review
Imperial Ambition: An Interview with Noam Chomsky
by David Barsamian

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