Underreported fact of the year: TIME is no Project Censored!

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Isn’t it pathetic when the major lamestream news outlets start trying to usurp indie, leftist and blogospheric territory? Case in point: TIME magazine’s lame-o “Top Ten Underrated News Stories”. Let’s dissect them in the order they come. Gloves, please…

1. The Pentagon’s Latest Nuclear Snafu. Not a bad place to start, but the real story, according to TIME, was how “In March, seven months after the Air Force lost track of six nuclear warheads that were inadvertently flown over the U.S., the Defense Department was informed that the batteries it meant to deliver to Taiwan had actually been fuses used to trigger nuclear warheads.” Well, at least they didn’t send the warheads to China proper, but TIME still thinks this situation was “potentially explosive”. Why? Is it such earth-shattering news in China, or ‘scuse me, TAIWAN, that the US uses fuses to trigger bombs? Any Chinese or Taiwanese nuclear scientist probably could have figured that out already. Why not report how those much more dangerous six nuclear warheads wound up airborne in the first place, and to what end? No, the big news is fuses, people. Because the Yellow People of Kuomintang Country saw them, don’tcha know.

2. Civil war displaces a million Congolese. This is underreported news? The latest Congo war is ten years old. And it’s left at least five million dead. I’ve seen it all over the Canadian news. Maybe the US media doesn’t report it because there’s no oil in the Congo? Or maybe because they just don’t care about black people? How about reporting those angles? Now THAT would be news.

3. Sri Lankan conflict deadlier this year than Afghanistan. So that means that the war in Afghanistan is okay, then? Or is it simply not news because no Tamils have threatened to blow up the White House? Actually, I suspect it’s because Unocal has no designs on building a pipeline through that little island country, as it has on Afghanistan. (Remember who Hamid Karzai was before he was installed as president? Underreported news, baby.)

4. A victory for mental-health advocates. Wow, is this a cynical sell job for corporate bailouts or what? “Buried in October’s financial bailout package was a landmark provision, 12 years in the making, that for the first time requires insurance companies to provide equal coverage for mental and physical health.” Yes, but what about universal single-payer healthcare? A solid majority of US citizens would like what Canada got under Tommy Douglas, and are hoping for Barack Obama to bring it on. Once again, the REAL story flies below the radar here.

5. Genetically modified meat: coming soon to a grocer near you? I don’t disagree that this one’s underreported. This is actually one worth exploring in depth…much more depth than the single, superficial paragraph TIME devotes to it, unfortunately.

6. Southern Baptists decide against pedophilia database. This one, too, is worth reporting in greater depth, I agree. The blogosphere has done a better job on this one than anyone, including TIME. (Google the terms “Southern Baptist pedophilia” and see what comes up.) That’s the OTHER unreported side of this story.

7. More Mexican immigrants move home. This is underreported news? Again, not where I sit–I’ve seen it on CBC, the BBC, the whole alphabet soup. Hell, it’s just an inevitable end result of the US economic crisis. What’s truly underreported? The fact that NAFTA plays a major part in this crisis, from more ends than one. It’s what drove the Mexicans to seek jobs to the north, and its fallout is what’s sending them home. Among many, many, MANY other underreported things.

8. A gap in genetic nondiscrimination law. Again, the big US insurance-industrial complex gets its sneaky way at the expense of human health. This one definitely deserves more coverage than just one paragraph in a throw-away end-of-year top-ten in TIME. So, why isn’t it getting it? Anyone care to inform?

9. U. S. ships sand from Kuwait to Idaho. Kuwait? Great! Now, how about the much greater amount of radioactive dust in Iraq? (Crickets.)

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And finally, a really, REALLY underreported doozy:

10. Venezuela’s potty-mouth President. This is “underreported news”. Uh-huh. How many US-based, English-language news reports were screaming blue murder about the rhetoric of Chavecito? ALL OF THEM. Yet this somehow qualifies as “underreported”. Actually, what’s underreported is that they got the English translation of his remarks all wrong–he said “crappy Yankees”, not “fucking Yankees”. And the fact that it came in response to the exposure of a real, live, US-backed coup plot against Evo Morales in Bolivia. And most of all, the fact that the US major media–TIME magazine being a major, CIA-connected outlet–have a constant drumbeat of anti-Venezuela propaganda going on.

Let’s face it, TIME is no Project Censored. The latter covered not 10, but 25 actual underreported stories–and covered them thoroughly. Go look.

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