Talk by Martin Lee and Norman Solomon on
               Detecting Bias in the U.S. Mainstream Media

                        Santa Cruz, August 8, 1990

     [This talk was given on the eve of the publication of their new book:
     "Unreliable Sources, A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media,"  Lyle
     Stuart, Published by Carol Publishing Co., (c) 1990.]

      I'm Martin Lee and I'm very pleased to be at this event, because it's
   hosted by Christic Institute.  As was just mentioned I had written "Acid
   Dreams" before "Unreliable Sources" so investigating the covert politics
   of drugs and drug trafficking is something I've been interested in for a
   long time.  Also I'm particularly happy to be here with Kim Deterline
   who used to work with FAIR before she worked with Christic Institute so
   we feel we have a close connection in that way.  And one of our board
   members and members of our steering committee, Ada Sanchez, was also
   involved in founding the Christic Institute.  So we feel very close at
   FAIR with the Christic Institute people--I've visited their offices a
   number of times in Washington.
      For those of you who care about the kinds of themes that Christic
   Institute emphasizes, certainly you'd be aware that Christic has been
   abused rather handily by the mainstream media.  It's certainly not only
   Christic Institute within the public interest community that has
   suffered abuse at the hands of the press.  But alot of groups have--
   Earth-First! certainly--many different public interest groups concerned
   with a wide range of issues--peace groups, womens groups, civil rights
   groups, human rights groups--have really had a tough time with the
      And if there's one thing that unifies all these groups and their
   diverse concerns, it is I think a disgust with the mainstream media in
   the United States.  And its one reason why FAIR has always felt that
   addressing media bias, and seeking to organize around media bias, and
   media issues, could be potentially a great coalition builder.  Because
   everybody--I mean they might be bickering in the progressive community,
   there might be differences of opinion--but everybody has this one thing
   in common:  that we've been roughed over by the press, and the issues
   that we care about so much have been very very poorly reported.
      FAIR was founded about four years ago.  And at that time we had
   hoped--we weren't sure we would be able to do it--but we thought one of
   our objectives would be to seek to establish a dialogue with people in
   the mainstream press--hopefully a reasonable dialogue--at all levels in
   the mainstream media.  And we didn't know if we'd be able to do this.
   But indeed we have accomplished this to a great degree.  We've
   established contacts with alot of mainstream media outlets, and it's
   become very clear to us that there are allies within the mainstream
   media.  That we shouldn't take a position that we're against the media
   per se, or that we're anti-journalism.  If anything it's the fact that
   we love journalism and we want there to be good, aggressive,
   independent, hard-hitting journalism--that's why we are doing what we're
   doing at FAIR.
      Occasionally we've been in situations where we've been in public
   forums with people from the mainstream media.  Some of what I'm going to
   say will be somewhat repetitious from last night, but there's only a few
   who were there so I think it's important to lay out some of these things
   so you get a sense of what FAIR does and where we're coming from.  But
   when I was in New York just before I came out here (FAIR is based in New
   York), I had occasion to debate Stephen Friedman who is the executive
   producer for "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw.  We debated on the
   "Financial News Network" cable channel show.  It was very interesting to
   debate this person because he acted almost shocked and personally hurt
   and offended when I suggested on air that the fact that "NBC" is owned
   by General Electric, may have something to do with the way "NBC" reports
   the news.  And he wouldn't hear anything of this.  He insisted that it
   had nothing whatsoever to do with how the news is reported.
      And I pointed out that General Electric is one of the biggest
   companies in the United States, one of the biggest multi-national
   corporations in the world.  It's involved in all sorts of different
   industries--not only making refrigerators and consumer appliances, it's
   one of the biggest vendors of nuclear power in the United States, one of
   the top 3.  It makes the triggers for every nuclear bomb in America's 
   arsenal.  It's heavily involved in Star Wars research--it's one of the 
   biggest military contractors in the United States. It's also one of the 
   companies with one of the worst labor records.  The most abusive of its 
   own employees.  Alot of layoffs in the past ten years-- layed off almost 
   a third of its workforce--also at "NBC" after it took over.  It owns 
   Kidder Peabody, the Wall Street firm that was involved in insider 
   trading scandals.  It's also one of the worst environmental polluters in
   the United States.  In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency issued 
   its list of Superfund sites--this is where the worst toxic waste dumps 
   are in United States--and GE had forty-seven that it was responsible 
   for--the most of any firm cited last year.
      The question is how can "NBC" report the news in a way that wouldn't
   run up against the interest of its corporate owner?  How can it report
   on environmental problems, how can it really go after GE's abuse of the
   environment without running up against certain political realities,
   political constraints?  It seems that conflicts of interest are inherent
   as long as "NBC" is owned by General Electric, because there are very
   few subjects they can report on, serious subjects that would not have
   some kind of direct or indirect bearing on the profits of its corporate
      Steve Friedman really was upset by this, and he insisted that not
   only does GE have nothing to do with the way the news is reported on
   "NBC"--he said he never got a memo from somebody in GE telling him how
   to report the news--but that "NBC" goes out of its way to be tougher on
   its own corporate owner than any of the other networks.  That it does a
   better job on reporting on General Electric than "ABC" or "CBS".  And he
   pointed out, as evidence of this, the fact that the day before we were
   on the air (just a couple of weeks ago), "NBC News" had reported that GE
   had been hit with a fine of $16 million by the government because of its
   role in the Pentagon procurement scandal.
      Remember the scandal a few years ago with the $500 hammers, this year
   it was the fourteen-hundred dollar toilet seats, a few years from now
   it'll be something else at an exorbitant price because these scandals
   will continue so long as companies like General Electric (one of many
   involved in the scandal) are hit with fines that are basically
   meaningless.  $16 million for a company that earns $50 *billion* in
   assets from its sales each year--it's a meaningless--it's less than a
   slap on the wrist.  But it will also continue so long as the media
   really does no independent investigative reporting on the subject.  But
   simply waits for the U.S. government to issue an indictment, or make an
   announcement, or levy a fine, and then give a ten-second report on the
   evening news.  Of course they're going to do that, all the networks will
   do that.
      But I asked Steve Friedman, "Have you ever actually initiated any
   independent investigation--some investigative journalism--into GE's role
   in the Pentagon procurement scandal, or any other company's role in the
   scandal as a whole?"  And he said "Investigative reporting?--well you
   know that costs alot of money, and we don't have those kind of
   resources--you might think we have them but we really don't have these
   kind of resources, and we can't just do everything like that."  Now how
   you can claim to be tough on a company--particularly your own boss, the
   one that cuts your own paychecks--and at the same time you're not doing
   any independent investigation is beyond me.
      We have a situation--and GE and "NBC," it's the same at all the
   networks:  "CBS," "ABC," "CNN," they're all interlocked with military
   contractors, they're all interlocked with nuclear firms, they're all
   interlocked with major polluters, so I don't want to single out "NBC"--
   we've talked to people at all the networks, working journalists, who
   complain to us, who point out that the whole notion of freedom of the
   press is very problematic, given the fact that the same companies that
   own and sponsor the media, are the very companies that they need to be
   investigating.  And they feel they're caught in a dilemma.  And I say
   this because it's important to keep in mind, as activists--social
   justice activists and as media activists, and I hope that as the evening
   evolves after Norman speaks, after Kim joins us when she makes her
   presentation, we will talk specifically about strategies of media
   activism, maybe starting up a group that's something like FAIR, or would
   affiliate with FAIR in this community.
      But I say this about Stephen Friedman, "NBC," and GE, because it's
   important to realize, important to keep in mind, that there are decent
   people at all the networks, and all the major media (and all the minor
   media), people who are trying to do a good job but who feel constrained.
   And these people are potential allies and they need us.  They need to
   know that there are people out there supporting what they want to do,
   but they might feel hemmed in and they can't really do it in the way the
   circumstances are.  But with the kind of support that we could perhaps
   give, they can go their editor and say `but you know I've gotten
   eighteen letters' or whatever.
      We have to keep in mind that the media is not monolithic, and that
   there are allies to be cultivated, and I think FAIR has done a
   successful job in identifying alot of these people.  We've done it,
   identified it in terms of the national media, but in your community you
   can identify the reporters who might be friendly or sympathetic or
   supporters of your own causes.  Or at least who are honest journalists
   who would be willing to give a balanced report rather than just relying
   on what the local official might say.  And that's very very important to
   keep in mind.
      Another item in terms of GE and "NBC":  when Tom Brokaw does a story
   about Star Wars, he doesn't say, "oh by the way, the company that writes
   my paycheck is earning millions of dollars from Star Wars contracts and
   keep this in mind when you hear this report because I feel I'm obligated
   to say this because there is a conflict of interest here, etc."  He'd
   have to do that for nearly every news story he reported--nearly every
   important story.  Well, we demand in our society disclosure of
   politician's financial involvements, and that's expected--that it's an
   honest and normal thing that we should have that information.  We don't
   demand it from our networks or our newspapers.  If we look at who owns
   the "Santa Cruz Sentinel"--(Norman will talk about that a little more,
   because he is from this area, I'm not) or the boards of all the major
   newspapers--you're likely to find utility companies represented on those
   boards.  And yet when the papers are reporting about matters concerning
   utilities--rate hikes and so forth--they don't point out that they have
   somebody on the board who's profiting perhaps from the way the news is
   reported about the utility.  So it's these kinds of conflicts of
   interest which would be good to investigate in your own community.
      Another thing we might do in the long run, is call for a divestment
   campaign of sorts.  We've done it for companies that invest in South
   Africa.  We might call for GE to divest itself from "NBC";  I think it
   would be a very reasonable call.  We can legally research it at FAIR--at
   a certain point we will begin a national campaign toward that end.  It
   will at the very least be an educational campaign.
      Corporate ownership is one of the key factors that we stress at FAIR
   and that Norman and I have stressed in the book in terms of
   understanding how and why the news media are biased.  In a nutshell, the
   media in the United States are owned by big corporations, therefore the
   news is slanted and spun in the way that serves the interests of those
   corporations that own and sponsor the news, and that serves the
   interests of corporate America in general.  And that ought not to be
   surprising, again its sort of logical:  they own it, so they do it in a
   way that benefits them.
      Right now in the United States 23 large corporations own and control
   most media, most U.S. media.  Its been predicted by an executive at
   Time-Warner, which is the largest media company in the world, that in
   the near future only a half a dozen huge media conglomerates will
   dominate not only the U.S. media market, but the western media market as
   a whole which now includes part of what was once Eastern Europe (or the
   East Block as it was called) since GE and Murdoch and these other
   companies are going in very strong to countries like Hungary and so
      The fact that in the future, if indeed these people are correct and I
   think they are, such a small number of corporations will have literally
   a stranglehold on the flow of information that we get, is a frightening
   prospect.  Even if these corporations were the most benevolent
   institutions--which they are not, since their prime objective is to make
   money--it would still disturb me that such an enormous amount of power
   is in such few people's hands because its so easy to abuse that.  And I
   think that situation with even 23 companies owning and controlling most
   U.S. media is inherently anti-democratic.
      So that's what we're up against.  In this community you're ultimately
   up against the "Wall Street Journal" and Dow Jones because they own the
   "Santa Cruz Sentinel".  It's sobering, because these companies and these
   powers are in some ways invisible.  We might hear their slogans like "GE
   brings good things to life" as it's polluting all over the place, as its
   building nuclear reactors--that's what we hear day-in and day-out on the
   commercials.  That's the message that comes through constantly despite
   those fleeting stories that reflect negatively on GE.  But we're against
   an enormous concentration of power that hides itself, that through the
   media, uses the media to distract attention from what it is.  And I
   think the U.S. media serves to take people on detours away from clarity
   about where power really resides in this society.
      So corporate ownership is one key factor in terms of how and why the
   news media are biased.  The other key factor we stress concerns the
   proclivity on the part of reporters--particularly Washington
   correspondents--to rely on government sources, official sources.  And
   through this the U.S. government is able to dominate the news agenda, to
   set the agenda.  And there have been many different studies that show
   that this is the case.
      The most recent study that FAIR put out, was its study of
   "MacNeil/Lehrer"'s guest list and comparing it to "Nightline"'s guest
   list.  ["Extra!," Special Winter 1990 Issue, Vol. 3 No. 4, "All The
   Usual Suspects:  MacNeil/Lehrer and Nightline"].  It showed, roughly
   speaking, that on these programs who are the sources ?:  (for this type
   of public affairs show, the sources are the guest *experts* they invite
   on to render commentary about current events) 90% white male, heavily
   dominated by government and corporate elites, very few representatives
   from peace groups, environmental groups, womens groups, civil rights
   groups, labor groups, consumer groups, a *very* small percentage--we're
   talking less than 5% if you took *all* those groups put together.
      An example of how this plays out:  we studied a 6-month period of who
   "MacNeil/Lehrer"'s guests were and in all the stories on the
   environment--they had 17 guest experts--one was a representative from
   the environmental community and that was a story about Alar which became
   not so much an environmental story but a public health story (not that
   they're disconnected).  But this was a period when the Exxon oil spill
   happened and they had seven shows on the Exxon oil spill.  And typically
   what they had was a government spokesperson pairing off against a
   corporate representative.  In not *one* of those shows did they have a
   spokesperson or a representative from an environmental group.  And this
   is typical.  Now how you can do a story about the Exxon oil spill, or
   about an environmental problem and *not* have a representative from an
   environmental group--we're not saying *only* those people to the
   exclusion of others--but how you can do that, I mean that's just lousy
   journalism.  You're supposed to have a variety of sources, and yet time
   and time again we see this pattern--particularly on the networks and the
   big TV shows.  And also to a large degree in the newspapers of record--
   the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post".
      So the predominance of official sources and government sources in the
   news is another key factor in terms of understanding bias.  One thing we
   at FAIR do is we let the networks know--the news programs--that we are
   available if they're having a hard time going through their rolodex and
   coming up with an alternative point of view, or a representative from a
   public interest group, a social justice group--they can call us.  We'll
   give them the names as we have.  Sometimes we'll find out what the
   program is on that night on "Nightline," and we'll call them and give
   them three names.  Sometimes they almost have them--one time they even 
   had them on!  It's possible to make some headway here because we're
   demanding something, we're calling for something that's sensible, that's
   journalistically a good practice.  And it's something also I think you
   and your community could do.  There are many experts in this area:
   people at the University, people from public interest groups, who would
   have alot to say about issues that are covered in the local media, local
   television.  You can compile your own rolodex and present it as a gift
   to the "Santa Cruz Sentinel."  This is something we are doing on a
   national level, you can do it on a local level.
      When we talk about the dominance of corporate and government
   spokespersons, we're not saying that the media won't cover stories like
   environmental abuse, or homelessness, or stories about problems--not
   that they don't cover these stories.  Its a question of *how* these
   stories are covered.  *How* is the news framed when they focus on social
   problems in the United States.  When they report on homeless, often
   times the homeless themselves are very movingly presented.  Very sad
   stories of these poor people who are wandering the streets--this is what
   you get in the media.  But how often do you see a story on homeless
   (which often times is like a human interest story) connected with
   policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations--how often do they make
   the direct connection of the housing budgets being cut, etc., etc?  Very
      What you get in this is that victims are highlighted, but the
   perpetrators, the culprits, you hear very little about them--
   particularly when they are corporate culprits.  You hear very little
   about what stands in the way of improving these social problems in the
   United States, particularly when its caused largely by big corporations.
   We hear very little about solutions that make any sense.  So you have a
   situation where--I'll use an example of environmental reporting--can
   anyone remember a story about the deforestation, the cutting down of the
   rain forests all around the world where they actually named a multi-
   national corporation involved in doing it?  I can't remember the last
   time in the mainstream media that I heard that.  Can anyone remember
   when a time when the World Bank was mentioned in an article in the
   mainstream media about deforestation?  The World Bank has been funding
   it.  Once in a while *maybe* if only to dismiss it--these entities these
   government/corporate entities will be mentioned.
      But again, so it's not that they're not focusing on this problem,
   it's *how* they're focusing.  In coverage of foreign policy issues, it's
   very clear who the *victims* always are--the victims are the U.S. and
   its allies.  Thats constant in foreign policy stories.  But in this case
   the culprit is also very clear--it used to be the Soviet Union, the
   communists, now you have the drug traffickers, the terrorists.  The
   culprits are always really clear, and the solution is also very clear:
   U.S. intervention, forceful intervention in foreign countries with the
   military, overt or covert, whatever, that seems to be always the implied
   solution, sometimes explicit.
      What we do in the book--which might be helpful in terms of possibly a
   group forming here that will devote itself in part toward analyzing
   media in this community, and then acting on media bias, seeking to re-
   dress it, seeking to get more balanced reporting--what we've done in the
   book rather than just simply analyze different issues (and we cover a
   wide range of issues including a chapter on drugs and terrorism--how the
   media has covered or mis-covered that issue--many different foreign
   policy and domestic issues), we also wanted to present a set of tools
   that people can use when reading a newspaper or viewing television news,
   a set of tools that would be helpful in discerning bias.  So part of the
   book is devoted toward identifying different categories of bias if you
   will.  If I could be so blunt I'd call it a bullshit detector (this
   might have ruined our chance to be on radio), and we have various
   categories that we lay out.  I'm going to describe a few of these and
   then I'm going to turn it over to Norman because we do want to move into
   an activist discussion, but I think it's crucial that if we're going to
   devote some attention to activism that we have to know what we're doing
   in that regard.
      The kind of categories we discuss in the book:  one has to do with
   when a reporter on television sheds his role of the objective
   journalist, and starts talking--when talking about U.S. government
   policy--as *we* do this, and *we* do that, and have *we* caught Noriega
   yet?  Or "we haven't got him yet," said Tom Brokaw.  Now of course, the
   press is supposed to be separate from the government in the United
   States, and here's Tom Brokaw saying "have *we* caught Noriega yet?"--
   who is he talking about?  Is he talking about you and me?  Obviously
   not, he's talking about the U.S. military.  Him and the military--good
   buddies--"have we caught him?"
      We call this the "we we" phenomenon, when a reporter starts making
   "we we" on camera.  They just love, they pee in their pants practically
   in times of national security crises, they just really go to town on
   this, and of course we're in one right now because Iraq just invaded
   Kuwait.  A few days ago on "CBS Morning News" they had the State
   Department correspondent from the "New York Times," Thomas Friedman, who
   has distinguished himself by virtue of the fact he is now Secretary of
   State Jim Baker's regular tennis partner.  Now how he can report on his
   tennis partner in a critical fashion I'm not sure, but he thinks he
      So Friedman is on "CBS Morning News" and he's asked, `well what shall
   we do?  How should we respond to the situation in Kuwait?'  And he said,
   "*We* should have the CIA go in there, blow up the pipeline in Turkey
   and Saudi Arabia, and claim it was an accident."  Now Thomas Friedman,
   if anyone has followed his reporting--particularly from the Mid-East
   before he was on the State Department beat--it's very clear he's a
   frequent conduit for U.S. government disinformation.  In this case
   though--this is unprecedented--this is the first time I can recall that
   a reporter is openly *calling* for the government to use the press to
   disinform the people--he's saying `have the CIA go in there and do this,
   and lie about it.'  This is an interesting phenomenon.  So the "we we"
   phenomenon is one thing that you can spot when you hear the news.
   You're bound to hear it one of these days.
      Another example we call the "Kissinger-Haig" disease.  That's when
   the same, boring groups of former government people are presented as
   experts, trotted out--again particularly in times of national security
   crises (or so-called crises)--and on television you switch from one
   channel, there's Kissinger, next channel there's Haig, and the next
   channel there's Brzezinski, and maybe if we're lucky we'll see Elliot
   Abrams on there since we know how reliable he is, and how honest he is
   as a source.  And on and on again like a "Wheel of Fortune"--you get the
   same guest over and over and over again.
      Now aside from being a remedy for insomnia, this whole situation with
   these experts doesn't do much much in terms of informing people.  Now
   one can make an argument, as I've made to Steve Friedman from "NBC"--I
   said, "you know your ratings might improve if you had, like a Ralph
   Nader pitted against the head of General Electric.  If you have the same
   old boring guests over and over, people turn off when they see that
   stuff.  If you had other people on with *different* ideas, maybe people
   would be more interested in the news.  Maybe it would actually help your
   ratings, hence your profits"--we try to appeal to where each person
   might be coming from.  And he said, "Well, we'd like to have other
   people on.  We'd like to have alternative experts on, but first of all
   we don't have access to these people."  And I said "you do have access
   to these people because FAIR has presented lists of these people to you,
   to all the networks."  And he said, "Well but these people don't have
   television experience."  So I said, "oh, you mean you don't have people
   on who are alternative experts because they don't have experience, and
   then they can't get on because they don't have experience.  Well, that's
   an interesting catch-22."  But this is the kind of prevarication and
   denial you get from these people.
      Another example of bias is when journalists acts as stenographers
   rather than reporters.  When they take down verbatim, absolutely
   accurately what a government official might say--even though the
   government official is *known* to be lying--the reporter will just
   repeat what that government official says in quotes, and won't qualify
   it by pointing out that `this is the 150th time Reagan has made this
   same lie about Nicaragua'--even though they might know it to be the
   case.  So they are reporting accurately, but it's a lie.  We've seen it
   time and time again.
      One example of this was right after the Panama invasion.  Jim Baker,
   Secretary of State, is asked to explain why they invaded and he says "to
   *restore* democracy in that country."  Now this was two days after Jim
   Baker had to publically apologize--literally--because it came out that 
   five months earlier he had dispatched some of his top aides to China, to
   assure the butchers of Tiananmen Square that it would be business-as-
   usual--they just had to play this game out.  And it was a secret
   mission, some top State Department and National Security Council people
   were sent there, and it was a big hulla-ballo--it lasted about one day-
   -when "CNN" exposed this and Baker apologized.  And yet two days after,
   when he is asked Why invade Panama?--To restore democracy, did any
   journalist at the press conference raise the question, `but, two days
   ago we found out that you secretly sent people over to deal (behind the
   backs of the American people) with the people who *destroyed* democracy
   in China--how can we take you seriously when you talk about restoring
   democracy in Panama?'  Reporters don't do that.  Instead, like
   stenographers, they take down every word, and we see this time and time
      The last example of bias (I think there is probably about 20-or-so of
   these different categories) has to do with headlines that don't match
   the articles in newspapers.  This is one you can see easily if you
   actually read the articles that follow the headlines, but most people
   read just the headlines, when they scan a paper, and they might read a
   few stories they're particularly interested in.  So the impression you
   go away with of the news is largely formed by headlines.  So what
   happens when you have a situation like this:  where the "New York Times"
   quotes British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saying in an article--
   this is at the end of the Reagan administration--saying about Reagan:
   "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."  The headline:  "Thatcher
   Salute To The Reagan Years."  The article was also describing how he was
   falling asleep at meetings with foreign leaders.
      Another example of this is an article in the "Miami Herald" about
   Philippine mail-order brides.  "More Americans Marrying Philippines" was
   the headline, and the subhead:  "Mail-Order Marriages Said To Be
   Successful."  But when you actually read the text you found out that
   they weren't really very successful;  that these women were being
   beaten, that they were being forced into prostitution, and nowhere was
   it mentioned that it's a form of sexual slavery this kind of commerce
   where someone *buys* a bride from another country without meeting that
   person first--it is a perversity that was unmentioned.  But if you
   didn't *read* that article all you would know is `oh gee, that's good,
   they're successful.'
      There was recently a piece in the "Times" which quoted Ariel Sharon,
   the Israeli hard-liner, calling for the assassination of Yassir Arafat
   as a pre-condition to peace talks.  The article was headlined, "Israel
   Asserts Threats By PLO Endanger Middle East Peace Talks."  And in the
   article it was self-apparent.
      One last example along these lines:  there was a piece in the "New
   York Times" recently which was titled, "Bush Envisions Black As
   President."  So you're saying `oh Bush, that civil rights advocate--he's
   at it again.'  When you actually read the article, every leader of the
   Afro-American community is quoted criticizing Bush for how terrible he's
   been on civil rights and affirmative action.  So what happened?  The
   Bush White House put out this little spin control measure about
   envisioning a black as president, and that's what produced the headline,
   but it contradicts the article itself.
      The point of all this is it ought to make people angry.  I mean it is
   funny and we can laugh at it, but it's also insulting, it's an insult to
   common sense, it's infantilizing.  And we feel that people ought not to
   take this kind of thing lying down.  Just because the television is
   coming at you, it doesn't mean you can't go at it.  And we've done that
   at FAIR with some degree of success (we'll talk in concrete terms a
   little while later in the program).  But that's the message that we
   really want to impart:  Where everything about the media--news media
   included--inculcates passivity, that seems to be its specific purpose:
   to make people passive--except about buying things.  We don't have to be
   passive about the media, and there are many ways to respond--a
   multiplicity of ways, and we'll get into some of the details after
   Norman and Kim talk as well so why don't you join us?  This is Norman

      Marty and I would like to thank the Christic Action Team and also the
   Resource Center For Nonviolence which has co-sponsored tonight's event
   and as we refer to activities in the Middle East I'm reminded of the
   work for many years that the Resource Center has done and continues to
   do to explore and develop non-violent alternatives to the more common
   activities of the powers in the region solving conflict or pseudo-
   solving conflict through force.  So we need to remind ourselves that
   there has been and continues to be ongoing work in this community to try
   to develop more authentic, long-term solutions.
      We say in our book that the news media are not about making sense,
   they're about making money.  And that's clear when you talk to news
   management people.  But what isn't so clear is that there's a method
   beyond the advertisements, and a purpose beyond the particular
   techniques that may be more apparent when we tune in a news show and
   then watch the commercials.  And I think it's fair to say that one of
   the purposes is to foment and perpetuate confusion and denial.  And I
   think then we benefit by trying to explore, or understand the best we
   can, why the news media, and those who own the news media, would be
   interested in confusing us.  What would be the advantage?
      The innovative psychotherapist (and she's so innovative that now she
   doesn't want to call herself a psychotherapist), Anne Wilson Shaeff, who
   wrote "When Society Becomes An Addict," and other very useful books,
   points out that no one is more controlable than a confused person.  And
   no society, as she puts it, is more controlable than a confused society.
   And so when we read the "New York Times," and you talk to alot of people
   who are, I think, quite perceptive, and they watch TV, and they read
   perhaps the "New York Times"--the most widely hailed news outlets in the
   country--and they say `I don't understand what the hell's going on, I
   mean I read the articles, I read all the A Section, I read all the op-ed
   page and it just doesn't compute, it doesn't add up."
      I don't think that's an accident.  One of the purposes of the news
   media is to continually flood us with information and mis-information so
   that we don't make connections.  Because if we made connections, between
   events, between dynamics in the society, then we might put together
   pieces of the puzzle.  We might in a sense put together a road map and a
   flowchart for how power functions in this society, and what are the
   techniques of maintaining an increasing power.  How is it done? Why is
   it done?
      If we're confused, then we're unable to communicate well with each
   other--we don't have our bearings.  In a sense we have a map that's
   distorted and we can't choose where we really are going to go and set
   out in that direction.  We may not even have a sense of where the roads
   really lead.  I think it has alot to with what Marty referred to as
   passivity.  That that *is* the favored response or non-response:  we are
   supposed to be passive.  And as he mentioned, except about buying
   things.  Then we're supposed to get excited and head out there.
      But passivity is a very highly valued non-response.  It is the best-
   -it is the ideal TV viewer and newspaper reader.  Just keep tuning in,
   just keep reading the newspapers--and the ads by implication--and we'll
   all be happy.  Kind of.  But to do that in this society, because we're
   not dumb--although we may have been rendered dumb in the sense of
   quiet--we do realize that there's alot that's amiss whether its in our
   own community, or around the country, or around the world.  And so that,
   I think, involves alot of denial.
      Denial is also highly valued.  We live in a society where, if we walk
   through the community that we live in we will see homeless people;
   where one-in-five children in this country are officially below the
   poverty line;  where the bulk of the resources of the society are
   devoted to developing, and further developing, weapons of mass
   destruction;  where dishonesty is standard;  where lies are expected;
   where abuse is commonplace;  where families across America experience on
   a daily basis, not one or two or fifty or one hundred or a McMartin trial
   somewhere, but millions of families experience abuse of various kinds on 
   a regular basis.  That the children we are bringing up, come out of that 
   context.  And then they become adults and they're supposed to function, 
   at least in theory, in a non-abusive context.
      And yet the whole society is a series of concentric abusive contexts:
   the family, the local neighborhood, the way the economy of a community
   is structured, the way the national economy is structured, the way the
   military operates, the way that nuclear power plants go on-line, the way
   that toxics, and oil, and pesticides, and all kinds of carcinogens are
   unleashed on the environment so that some people some where can make a
   profit.  So that we can go into the Middle East and protect, not people,
   but oil.  And so in 1990, in the summer, in August, we're in a situation
   where, our country is mobilizing, and as is always the case, when our
   country sets about going to war, the flag goes up the flagpole, and the
   mass media salute.
      Last night, as a typical example on "MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour"--and
   let's keep in mind that that program has been brought to us, since 1983
   by AT&T, on this non-commercial public network--the "MacNeil/Lehrer
   Newshour" featured a host of savants like Robert McFarlane, who we know
   has great experience with being forthright with the American people--
   it's kind of an inverse meritocracy, what's involved--and somebody from
   "Time" magazine, and this is the kind of non-alternative alternatives
   that we get.  It happens on "NPR" too.  They're going to bring you an
   alternative perspective on the news so, if you're really lucky, you get
   a report from Beijing, or Jerusalem, or Buenos Aires, or dozens of other
   cities by a reporter from the "Washington Post" or the "New York Times."
   This is the pseudo-alternatives that we get.  Well last night the
   reporter from "Time" magazine was explaining what *we* can do in Saudi
   Arabia.  And then Jim Lehrer--who is on record as saying that he doesn't
   like people from public interest communities on his program because they
   are "moaners and whiners"--Jim Lehrer said, "Well, what do you think the
   chances are that *we'll* be successful with our troops?"
      So this is, as Marty referred to, the "we we" phenomenon, but it is
   doing very well, it's a very constant problem.  And I think it's
   reflexive.  It's a non-issue because it's automatic--when the time comes
   for crisis, then all pretenses are shed because the stakes are very
   large.  And that's what we're experiencing right now.  I want to come
   back to that in a few minutes and talk a little bit about some ideas for
   how we might respond more assertively to this kind of a situation.
      But, if denial is so important and passivity is so important, then it
   stands to reason that "stability" is important as well.  And yet what is
   stability?  Stability, from the standpoint of those who report the news
   on the national networks, means for the anchors a few million dollars a
   year and traveling around in their limousine bubble.  For other editors
   who are less well paid it's still a steady job and a fairly affluent
   career.  For someone without a home or someone who is unemployed then
   the status quo and "stability" means something else.  For the U.S.
   government and the State Department, which is then to say also for our
   mass media, stability is Saudi Arabia because Saudi Arabia is a
   "moderate" Middle East power.  Which, as we say in the book, would be
   news to the hundreds of torture victims inside Saudi prisons at any time
   that we would discuss including the present day.  So that's a *moderate*
      In fact these kind of newspeak words--these code words and catch
   phrases--these are words that are used constantly.  And we might find
   exceptions in news reports but the essence of propaganda are not the
   exceptions (which are by definition exceptional), but it's the steady
   use of stories day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out, and that's what
   we've gotten.  So  when we hear that a country somewhere is run by a
   *moderate* government, what that really means is that their activities
   are not upsetting to those in the State Department and the White House.
   And if we hear that there is a *radical* regime somewhere around the
   world, that means that what they are trying to do, is frowned upon by
   the State Department and the White House, and the interests that they
      I think perhaps it's a mistake when we assume that our news media are
   reactionary or right-wing per se.  I think it's more a matter of
   centrist propaganda which is to say more or less, propaganda of
   stability, of the status quo--what our friend and colleague Jeff Cohen
   calls propaganda from the center.  Because it blends in with the
   landscape and because it's so familiar, we think that that is balanced.
   It's balanced to have Bud McFarlane on TV to explain to us how to handle
   those nasty arabs.  It's balanced to have an Israeli spokesperson on TV,
   and have a U.S.  official discuss the Middle East without having
   representatives of the Palestinian people because they have been
   deprived of a voice--because their abuse is sanctioned, just like a
   child's abuse is sanctioned in so many families.
      So we have this kind of concentric abuse that goes on.  And what is a
   key requirement for abuse in our society?  On the microcosm, on the
   macrocosm, on the global level?  It's silence.  As long as silence is
   maintained, then the most vicious kinds of cruelty can not only be
   perpetuated, but denied.  Denied that it's really going on, and that's
   what we're seeing in the Middle East right now.
      Now our news media really are not in any way slouches in terms of the
   Orwellian practices that were described in the novel "1984."  If we
   think of the coverage of the last few days, the scenario is very clear
   about what has happened:  a big country with a big army, very powerful,
   sophisticated weapons (if you can call weapons sophisticated), have gone
   into a very tiny country and overwhelmed them in a matter of hours.  And
   when was the last time that that happened?  Before August of 1990?  Well
   it seems that something happened last December that was very similar.
   But you could search high and low, in our newspapers of record, in our
   great daily newspapers in the United States, and it was almost
   impossible to find any comparison between the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait,
   and the U.S.  invasion of Panama.
      What *were* the comparisons made?  To the late 1930s--not to late
   1989--but the late 1930s with the blitzkrieg and the NAZIs roling with
   their tanks.  This is how desperate our news media are to make what
   should be the most obvious comparisons.  Denial is essential.  It
   happened that a couple of mornings ago I was by phone on a talk show in
   Seattle and I was making this point and the host said "well thats apples
   and oranges--you can't compare those two invasions of Panama and Kuwait.
   It's not the same."  History is very inconvenient especially when the
   parallels don't suit our fancy.
      Another one, which I think should be rather obvious, which again
   we're not hearing from our commentators--the enthroned Thomas Friedmans
   of the world, and in our networks and daily newspapers--there was
   another invasion which took place in the Middle East:  a very powerful
   country roled into another nation;  in its wake alot of death and
   destruction with very horrible short-term and long-term consequences.
   It happened in 1982 when Israel rolled into Lebanon.  And yet, while we
   can read on the front pages of our newspapers today, the unattributed,
   without quotations, without any kind of modifier or attribution, the
   flat-out journalistic statement that Iraq has committed aggression
   against Kuwait.  We can go back to the newspapers of last December, or
   we can go back to 1982 and we cannot find on those same pages any kind
   of similar statements about aggression against Panama, or aggression
   against Lebanon.  Because that doesn't fit the script.  The script is
   written, the tunes are scored and orchestrated, out of those policy-
   making instruments of government, that work hand-in-hand and in fact
   often are indistinguishable from our news media.  We have a chapter in
   our book called "Fourth Estate or Fourth Branch of Government?."  And
   the question mark almost becomes unnecessary.
      I want to mention one other crucial function that goes along this
   line with the news media that we talk about in our book, and that is the
   effort to continually legitimize and re-legitimize our institutions of
   governance.  In abusive situations those who are doing the abusive
   activities often engender a kind of love-hate relationship, but denial
   is key as to what they are really doing.  I mean, we love them.  What
   was the last few words of the novel "1984"?--"He loved Big Brother."--
   finally.  The ultimate victory.  And so, when the "New York Times"
   covered the reception that George and Barbara Bush held in the White
   House their first full day as the first couple, the headline in the "New
   York Times" was, "The People, The Thousands, Get A Look At Their House"
   because the public was allowed to come in and look at the White House.
   This was not a quotation, this was not attributed in any way--this was
   in the "New York Times," on the front page, above the fold, explaining
   for the um-teenth time that the White House is our House.  It's your
   house, it's my house.
      Now that might seem like a rather innocuous kind of a statement.  But
   in point of fact, I think it's a very pernicious one because it is still
   yet another attempt to re-enforce the legitimacy of a government that,
   under a more legitimate journalistic system in this country, a more
   responsible and truthful one, would be in public disrepute.  And while
   politicians come and go and any politician is expendable to the ruling
   circles of this country, the institutions must remain sacrosanct.  That
   kind of mythology has to be maintained.
      The antithesis of the passivity that we're encouraged to accept and
   participate in--because in a sense we do participate in passivity,
   consciously or not--the antithesis is certainly activism.  But activism
   is frowned upon in the news media--its discouraged, debunked, made fun
   of, trashed--in many subtle and not so subtle ways--and the activism
   that is most targeted is the most substantial type.  Hence, if you want
   to do something that while it may be important but does not challenge
   the balance of power, or the imbalance of power in this society--if you
   want to really challenge the imbalance in this society you will get the
   most derision of all and the most opposition.  That is the most
      The most unforgivable concept for Time-Warner, and "Time" magazine
   and its other publications, is the idea that Time-Warner doesn't have a
   right to own so much of the news media--that in fact corporations don't
   have a right to hold us hostage--if you talk about hostage-taking.  Here
   we have all this talk about nuclear missiles around the planet--the
   first strike nuclear missiles that are most advanced (and I use the term
   advisedly) are in the U.S. arsenal--and yet, how often do our news media
   share with us the possibility or allow the idea to be articulated, that
   in fact, the most dangerous terrorists are on Wall Street and in the
   White House and in the Pentagon?
      You may agree with a taboo idea:  one of the ideas that George Orwell
   talked about in "1984," was that in newspeak, it is crucial that nothing
   be conveyed about heretical ideas, other than the fact that they are
   heretical.  And I think our news media know very well what the
   boundaries are, and we could discuss any number of ideas tonight that we
   may believe are certainly valid, arguable, worth talking about, worth
   considering, that we would literally never read for the next twelve
   months in the "New York Times," for instance--our greatest newspaper.
      So if we're going to do something that is in contravention to what is
   prescribed for us, which is basically not unsimilar to what happened in
   Jonestown, like `shut up and drink your kool-aid,'--`shut up and read
   the latest editorial in the "Chronicle" about how the nuclear arms race
   is at its end';  `shut up and learn how the economy is rebounding and
   how those who know best in the White House and in Washington are
   proceeding with the utmost wisdom tonight in the Middle East.  I read it
   in the "Santa Cruz Sentinel" editorials, the last couple of days and in
   todays paper, they have an official editorial (no surprise)--it wasn't
   *written* at the "Wall Street Journal," but it was written by people who
   are paid by the same company that hires and employs the people at the
   "Wall Street Journal"--and that's the concept, the concept is `don't
   worry, the people in charge know what they're doing and they're very
      And the silence that is expected of us is virtually second nature,
   because we've all grown up in this context and there are alot of reasons
   we are told to be quiet.  Maybe we think it's proper, maybe we think
   it's polite, maybe we think there's no hope--which is another form of
   passivity, which is encouraged.  Because alot of problems may be laid
   out in the news media but we're encouraged to believe that the solutions
   perhaps are nowhere to be found.  That the best people are the heros who
   function as mavericks.
      And sometimes there will be a made-for-TV movie about *one* person:
   say there are all these people who are in a bad situation maybe, but
   *one* person is the hero--this is kind of the media individual ethic.
   The ethic that, it's going to be individual brilliance, or leadership,
   or whatever-it-is, that's going to get us out of some of our social
   problems.  And that again is a media paradigm--it happens in made-for-TV
   movies but it happens in news coverage as well:  the idea that a group
   of people are less important than one individual who's the hero.
      So we're looking for that one individual.  And what it does is
   encourage us not to organize, and one of the main reasons, and in fact
   the most important reason that Marty and I wrote "Unreliable Sources,"
   is that we do need to organize.  And we need to organize against a news
   media that increasingly are causing our own destruction--are part and
   parcel of the most dangerous institutions in the world.  Not as a
   hyperbole to say that, but literally, and we could talk about a host of
   environmental issues, social issues, military and economic issues from
   the S&L, to AIDS, to causing cancer, to pollution, to the violence
   against women, to the activities in the Middle East, to the military
   build-ups that are taking billions of dollars from us that should be
   going to social programs, and the news media are part of that because
   the news media do not believe in class conflict.  They don't believe in
   what they call class war, unless it's from the top down.
      They like class war if we call it something else like efficiency, or
   we call it stream-lining our corporations, or if we call it some kind of
   appropriate economic planning.  But we're encouraged to deny again that
   this is a class society.  To deny that we have a virtual oligarchy
   functioning in this society, and that economic power is indeed
   equivalent to political power.  We're given these kind of fairy-tales
   about one-person/one-vote, and that is somehow supposed to be the idea
   of how this country functions.  And it's virtually forbidden in our
   mass-media to advance the idea, to talk about the overwhelming evidence
   that when it comes to power and the society--defacto--it's one-
   dollar/one-vote.  That's how decisions get made.  And in fact that's one
   of the ways that the media have tried to manipulate the course of the
   environmental movement in this country.  And we've seen it intensely
   this year.  I'm still waiting for a book called "50 Complicated Things
   To Do To Save Your Planet."
      Obviously personal responsibility is important, but understanding and
   challenging the sources of eco-terrorism are more important.  And here
   we go again--eco-terrorism:  who are the real eco-terrorists?  They are
   the people who are building the nuclear plants and building the bombs
   and dumping the chemical wastes and on and on.
      So these are all buzzwords that we get, not out of thin air, not
   because they make any sense--in fact we get alot of them in our culture
   because they don't make sense but they pervade so constantly in the news
   media that they become second nature to us.  And we, as activists, need
   to struggle not only in the mainstream media and in the broader society,
   against these kind of mind-rigidifying code words, but in our own work
   as we discuss options, as we imagine other possibilities and try to
   envision and build visions and work toward visions of other
   possibilities, and that's a challenge also.
      I'd like to say a little bit about local media.  The dynamics that
   Marty talked about with "NBC" I think in many ways are very present in
   every community of the country.  And the fact that the "Santa Cruz
   Sentinel" is owned by the Ottaway news chain, which in turn is owned by
   the Dow Jones Company, is symptomatic of what's been happening and yet
   you have a situation where we have more power than we know in our own
      Whether we talk about the "Santa Cruz Sentinel," or the local TV
   station, or other media in this community, the people who are in this
   room, organized effectively, could create major change.  What it would
   require is us shedding the idea that only someone else can do it.
   Shedding the idea that one leader can do it.  And developing ways--
   easier said than done--to work cooperatively, to think radically, and to
   move forward to challenge the powers that be who are rooted in our
   community with very negative effects.  Whether we talk about
   homelessness, poverty, the plans for re-building the downtown, for
   positions taken in the editorials about a whole host of issues--and it's
   up to us to determine what are in fact the most pernicious aspects of
   the local media.  One of the research tasks could be a independent
   election held.  Put the ballot boxes down on Pacific Garden Mall:
   please rank the three most horrible things about the "Santa Cruz
   Sentinel."  Let's tally it--let's find out what is bugging people the
   most and why, and then move forward on it.
      In the mid-1950s segregation in Montgomery Alabama was ended because
   people in a sense, took their own futures into their own hands by
   organizing and becoming assertive.  In the 1990s, we can do that around
   media issues.  If somebody is building nuclear missiles in Bonny Doon,
   or anywhere else, we often support the right of people to go and
   directly, non-violently challenge and confront that institution.  And
   yet the kind of lies and disinformation and propaganda that streams off
   the presses, from places like the "Santa Cruz Sentinel," are just as
   important to the maintenance of the permanent war economy, and the
   militaristic state that we're enmeshed in, than any kind of plutonium or
   rocket fuel or micro-computer guidance systems.  And I think it's a new
   cultural shift that we're going to need to challenge these sources of
   propaganda, instead of letting them just go unchallenged which is our
   usual response and that's a trained response.  Somehow, we're against
   freedom of the press, we're told, if we become vocal and assertive
   against those who use the press to prepare for war.  And certainly
   that's happening once again.
      There are alternatives and we can build them, and it's not necessary
   to choose between building alternative media and challenging established
   media.  It can go on simultaneously, it needs to go on simultaneously.
   In this community last fall, in the aftermath of the earthquake, we lost
   a high-quality weekly newspaper, "The Sun."  And in its place, we don't
   have another quality weekly.  We have a bad quality weekly, which has
   gotten stronger over the last few months, but we don't have an
   equivalent of "The Sun."  We have the "Matrix," we have "Santa Cruz
   Magazine," which are monthlies.  We do have alternative media like
   "Comic News," and "City on a Hill," but we don't have the kind of
   regular flow of information that would be a pre-requisite for organizing
   as effectively as we might.  So obviously thats an on-going problem and
   a challenge.  But I think also, organizing to challenge the news media
   that dominate the community are important as well.
      In talking about imagination, and alternatives, it's going to be a
   constant challenge to ourselves and each other because we have accepted
   far more than we ever have realized, and it's going to be an ongoing
   quest to in a sense shed those false layers, those straight jackets that
   have been put upon us culturally.  They're invisible, they're
   constricting, they're dangerous and destructive, and we're reaping the
   whirlwind of that kind of automatic acceptance.  We've accepted without
   even really having the chance to evaluate because it has been so
   constant in our society--the acceptance of the class stratification of
   the society, of the priorities, of the relationships between adults and
   children and men and women, and people of color, and whites, and
   privilege, and all of that stuff which is automatically assumed to be
   proper by those who edit the news for us.  And when Noam Chomsky and Ed
   Herman titled their book, "Manufacturing Consent," I think it's very,
   very appropriate as a title because that's what the news media are about
   largely in this society:  to turn out, to manufacture consent as though
   it were just so many widgets off the assembly line.  And it will take
   leaps of imagination, and organizing, and persistence for us to be able
   to create some alternatives in the news media and in the society at
      One last theme I'd like to touch on has to do with a question that, I
   don't mean it particularly as a rhetorical question, although that's not
   bad rhetoric:  who are the criminals?  I think that would be a very
   important question as we leaf through the newspaper every day.  We read
   about crime in the streets and meanwhile the crime in the suites is so
   much more deadly.  And we read about the individual acts of violence
   which are often reprehensible, and meanwhile the purveyors of violence
   on the large scale--the hand, the mailed fist that is now stretching
   across the globe from the United States, from our country--that is not
   considered violence at all.  It's given another name.  And they're just
   words and yet they carry with them the tremendous power to manipulate,
   and make possible all kinds of positive or negative events.
      And so if we were to ask ourselves, "What are the most dangerous
   criminal activities?  And how are we to evaluate them?  What are the
   real threats to our lives and well-being and our capabilities to create
   some kind of different future?--the kind of future that we want instead
   of the futures that we fear.
      The book that Marty and I have written is something we hope which
   will function as a tool, as a handbook.  We never intended it as a
   coffee-table book.  We hope it gets very dog-eared.  We hope that those
   of you are able to buy it or get it at the library will pass it around
   and pass it around--we want it to be useful, useful as a tool.  It's not
   simply intented as an abstract exercise in analysis.  It's intended as
   something that will be specifically useful in very concrete, tangible
   ways in the months and years ahead.
      I'd like to close by mentioning a couple of items from today's
   newspaper and such is the situation that not only is our newspaper in
   this community--our daily paper--owned by Dow Jones company in New York,
   but also the paper runs stories that are coming from sources like the
   "New York Times."  And so if we are to read in today's "Santa Cruz
   Sentinel," headlines like "U.S.-Iraq In Deadly High Stakes Game," and
   then it says "Dictator's Options Narrowing."  This is the headline that
   the "Sentinel" used over the "New York Times" article.
      "Dictator's Options Narrowing"--well which dictator are they talking
   about?  I mean, we learn almost nothing about the nature of the Saudi
   Arabian government, and that regime.  I guess we don't need to know
   anymore than that it's a moderate regime.  We don't need to know that
   this other great protector of the rights of oil--Turkey--is a horrible
   human rights violator, a signer of the Helsinki Final Act, at this point
   the most egregious violator of that act in the world.  And why don't we
   hear about Turkey?  Well it happens to be a member of NATO, and
   recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid from the
   United States every year.  And likewise Saudi Arabia armed to the teeth
   by the United States, representing the oligarchy of that society.  And
   so we see a headline "Dictator's Options Narrowing" and we're supposed
   to know which dictator they're talking about.
      But I think it's always useful to find out what the anointed liberals
   in the mass media are saying.  Because then we're made to understand
   what the outer bounds of discussion are.  Where the line is drawn, I
   mean, talk about lines in the sand.  If we're going to consider what the
   lines in the newsprint are.  This is the farthest line before you go off
   into the margins.  And god knows we're not supposed to be marginal if we
   can help it.
      This is a column by Tom Wicker in today's "Santa Cruz Sentinel," and
   they remind us Tom Wicker is a "New York Times" columnist, and whenever
   we debate certain right-wing media critics they'll say `Well, what do
   you mean there aren't leftists on the op-ed page to balance the right-
   wingers?  There's leftists like Tom Wicker.'  Well this leftist Tom
   Wicker in this morning's newspapers has two very very insightful
   comments that jumped out at me.  One is he says "Gas prices at the pump
   already are rising, and as things stand, Saddam may push them higher.
   Which means rising inflation and falling economic growth in this
   country."  I think that's really interesting, I mean, how long ago did
   the invasion happen?  A few days ago?  And we're informed that already
   Saddam is pushing the gas prices at the pump higher.  Just somehow, way
   over there, in Iraq, he's able to do that in our own country in just a
   few days.  It seems like are a couple of middle men in between--middle
   corpses in between (corporations).
      And then the closing paragraph is equally revealing from this
   leftist.  I'll read you the full paragraph, I don't want to take
   anything out of context:

           Developing new energy sources is feasible too.  And actually 
	it might be aided by higher oil prices which make some high-cost
        processes more competitive.  Many possibilities exist--not in my
        judgement excluding reexamination of the potential for nuclear
        power.  If reactors that do not breed weapons material, and are
        safe enough to win public confidence [two big ifs], can be
        developed, that potential is too important to disregard.

      Well our book talks in some detail about the nuclear obsession of the
   "New York Times," and who sits on their Board and what banks and nuclear
   utilities they also sit on the Boards of, but I won't go into those

   Norman Solomon is an author, investigative journalist, board member (and
   former D.C. coordinator) of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting),
   one of this country's most successful and articulate, media-bias
   watchdog groups.  He has visited Moscow eight times in the Gorbachev
   era, written articles that have appeared in numerous publications both
   in this country and abroad (including:  "The Nation," "Newsday," and
   "The Progressive").  He has appeared on national media such as: "ABC's
   Good Morning America," "CNN's Crossfire" program.  He is co-author of
   "Killing Our Own:  The disaster of America's experience with Atomic

   Martin Lee is the editor and publisher of "EXTRA!," a bi-monthly journal
   of FAIR covering major U.S. media bias.  His articles have appeared in
   many national and international periodicals on many topics such as: the
   CIA, Central America and the Catholic Church.  He has been interviewed
   on "ABC," "CBS," "NBC" and "CNN" as an expert on terrorism, espionage
   and related issues.  He is the author of "ACID DREAMS: The CIA, LSD and
   the Sixties Rebellion."

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