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Michael Moore [00:00:15] Hello, everyone, this is Rumble with Michael Moore and I am Michael Moore. So glad to have you all here with me today. It’s we’re in February now, so I don’t know what that means exactly, except it is Black History Month. That’s a good thing. It’s the Lunar New Year and it’s the shortest month of the year. So welcome everyone. And today’s episode I’m going to have with me the people that put together the annual project censored list of the 25 most censored stories of the year. This is an incredible organization. They’ve been doing this since 1976, where each year they put out the stories that just didn’t get the coverage, the exposure to the general public that they should have received. And they didn’t receive it, in large part because our corporate media has sometimes a different agenda than the one that you and I have. So today on today’s episode, we’re going to hear the stories that they didn’t want you to hear so much this year. So stay tuned for this. I’m looking forward to it.
Michael Moore [00:01:28] Before we get started. Let me thank our underwriters for supporting my voice and supporting this podcast when we’ve got a brand new underwriter. Every week we’re getting somebody new on board here. Thank you for all of you who support this podcast and thank you especially to our brand new one here today. MOINK. MOINK is their name. That’s Oint with an M in front of it. And here’s why it’s called MOINK. Did you know that there are just four companies in this country that control 80 percent of the US meat industry? Well, this new underwriter, Boink, they are a business that fights back against big agriculture, and they bring you better and more humane meat that’s more drink. Now I know some of you don’t eat meat, which is good, but listen to this because you can share this with family members. You live in a house where there are some people who are vegetarians. Somebody might be a vegan somebody or may eat meat. So here’s a different way to look at meat with more. And you get the highest quality meat and you’re supporting real family farms, delivering grass fed and grass finished beef and lamb, pasteurized pork and chicken and wild caught Alaskan salmon direct to your door. More Inc was founded by an eighth generation farmer who made it her life’s mission to make farmers financially independent outside of big agriculture. They pay farmers an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, far better rates than the big guys pay. And they do this to humanely raise animals and produce only the best tasting meat free of antibiotics, hormones, sugar and all the other junk that you find in prepackaged meats in the middle of your supermarket so you can pick what you want from morning’s finest beef, pork, chicken, lamb and fish, and it comes right to your doorstep every month. Go to MOINK Box. That’s MOINK em and then oink oink MOINK box all one word MOINKbox dot com slash rumble and listen to this show are going to get a free filet mignon for a year. Whoa. Wait a minute. OK, so you get your MOINK box every month and in it will be each month for the first year because you are signing up here through Rumble. You’re going to get a free filet mignon. Oh my God, that is. That’s all I have to say. That is a generous offer. MOINKbox dot com slash rumble. And thank you, MOINK, for supporting this podcast and supporting my voice.
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Michael Moore [00:05:22] So our guests today are Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth, no relation, I believe, to David Lee Roth, but we’ll get into that later. Mickey is the director of Project Censored, an organization that I’ve admired literally for decades. And he has brought with him his associate director. That would be, of course, Andy Lee Roth and I used to publish this. It’s an annual list of what this group puts together, what they call the most censored stories of the year and censored meaning. There are corporate media, for the most part, has not adequately covered these particular stories. I mean, you may have heard about them or some little piece of it. And then it just dies and it goes away. But the purpose of Project Censored is to is to put it right out there. And I thought it’d be great to have them on rumble today so that they can tell us some of their favorite. I’m going to ask them a few, not so much. My favorite. So the weird thing might be what my favorite censored story. I know my favorite hurricane was it. So this is such vital work that they do. And it’s been going on since Carl Johnson founded Project Censored at Sonoma State University in California back in the mid 70s. 1976, I believe. And so in my paper in the Flint voice, starting in the late 70s, early 80s each year, I would run this list of the most censored stories. And so I’m so honored to have them here on my podcast. They they’re also the coauthors of the State of the Free Press 2022. Well, let’s just bring them on right now because I want to jump right into this. I want to talk about the stories that we’re not being told about and and the great work that Project Censored is done on this particular story. So welcome to Rumble, Mickey and Andy.
Mickey Huff [00:07:20] Thanks for having us, Michael.
Andy Lee Roth [00:07:21] Yeah, thank you. Michael, just to clarify, as someone who was in high school in Southern California in the early 80s, I used every opportunity I had to try to convince people that David Lee Roth was my uncle. But since I had the Coke bottle glasses and braces, no one really believed that I was partying with him on the week.
Michael Moore [00:07:40] Nobody bought it. Nobody. Oh, well, that’s OK. I’m proud to know the Andy Lee Roth. Thank you. And so thank you for your work with Project Spencer and Mickey Huff. You’re the director of Project Censored. I just want to jump right into this, and then we’re going to also have a little bit of a discussion but about, you know, what’s happened to our free press in this country? But let’s let me ask you before we go into the first story, let’s just explain to people what we mean by censored because people will say and they’ll say this to me because I’ll often talk about things like this and they’ll say, Yeah, but Mike, this is the United States. We don’t have censorship, we don’t have government censorship. That’s what they always point out. We don’t have a ministry of information that decides what a paper can or a podcast or whatever can can produce and put out there to the public. And then I say, Well, I sometimes worry that corporate censorship is even more dangerous, at least if it was government censorship. There’s at least a path for the public to know about it and to stop it. What we can do with corporations who own our media and who decide what we are to be told, that seems that I don’t want to say one’s worse than the other, but that’s a dangerous situation that I think we’ve been in for a long time and we’re all the worse off because of it. Give me your feelings about all that.
Andy Lee Roth [00:08:59] Yeah, I would say, you know, when we say that an item on our top twenty five story list has been censored, we’re not claiming that it’s been completely and irrevocably repressed by the government or some other powerful institution or political party, big business, organized crime, whatever. What we’re saying is that those stories haven’t received coverage commensurate to their social significance. And you can kind of look through the top twenty five stories and see, for instance, there are some where the corporate coverage has admitted important facts or perspectives. You can see stories where, yes, the New York Times ran an editorial about it, but they framed it as a matter of opinion. Right. Discordant news is often gets framed as a matter of opinion in in the corporate media. We also find stories on our top twenty five list every year where there has been maybe one very high quality article or story on that topic, but it’s isolated coverage, which means, again, most Americans won’t know about it. And finally, there are the stories that I think people are really expecting when they see the word censored, the stories and the topics that have simply been blockaded, where there’s been no coverage whatsoever by the corporate news media. And the stories that we’re talking about today from this year’s top 25 list, will, you know, kind of point to them in these ways as we move forward during this discussion that, you know, as examples of these different ways in which news is filtered so that what we receive is a kind of a paltry version of what’s actually out there and available and happening at Project Censored. We don’t talk about the mainstream media following the following the direction of Peter Phillips, who guided the project for a number of years. We use the term corporate media to refer to the corporate news media because the argument is and this will, I think, resonate with you, Michael. The the news, as defined by the corporate news media, doesn’t reflect the interests of mainstream Americans. It doesn’t speak to their needs. It speaks to corporate interests and corporate needs. And so we try to be very clear about distinguishing the independent press, which are the sources of the stories that make up our top 25 lists every year and the corporate coverage that the top twenty five list exposes. The shortcomings, the pitfalls, the blind spots, if you will.
Michael Moore [00:11:37] Well, let’s just jump right into the top 25 most censored stories of the past year and right at the top of your list. I sorry, I looked at this and I read the first words and I thought, Oh, this is good. Yeah, that’s a prescription drug costs. Those are the first three words and think, Yeah, this is going to be about, Oh, this is, you know, the situation in this country and how people are being ripped off. And you have to drive to Canada if you want to get the same exact drugs or no, that’s not what this story is. I’ll read the headline. This is your headline. Prescription drug costs are set to become a leading cause of death for elderly Americans. What? Who wants to take that? Who’s the first first up here?
Mickey Huff [00:12:21] Well, you. This is Mickey here. You heard that right? And the the definitions of censorship that that Andy laid out, I think are really important. And the reference to corporate media is significant because here we see, you know, one of the biggest corporate behemoths in in the world. Just look at the U.S. would be Big Pharma prescription drug costs set to become the leading cause of death for elderly Americans, as you said, and this is based, this story was in common dreams. It was researched by the former director, Peter Phillips and his students at Sonoma State, so there’s still involvement there with many other colleges. This is actually based on a West Health Policy Center study. This is from twenty twenty two. And in a nutshell, Michael, what it’s saying is, is that, you know, as deep as we all get older, as the society gets older, the population of people gets older and people need more and more of prescription drugs. The cost, the rise of those drugs and the lack of people’s ability to pay for them eventually is going to lead to people making choices that will lead to them getting shorter lives. I mean, quite frankly, that’s that’s pretty specifically where this story is heading.
Andy Lee Roth [00:13:28] I’ll just add some detail to the West Health Policy Center found that what they call cost related nonadherence. In other words, the inability to take your prescribed medication because you can’t afford it will become a leading cause of death in the United States by the year 2030, ahead of diseases like diabetes, influenza, pneumonia and kidney disease. These are preventable deaths, right? The policies of the West Health Policy Center specifically laid out a set of recommendations that would limit the increases in Doug. Drug prices that would empower Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies on behalf of their patients. And those policy changes would prevent over ninety three thousand deaths a year and save Medicare, some spending to the tune of over four hundred and seventy five billion dollars by 2030. So it’s not just that the corporate media have failed to cover this as a problem, but the solutions embedded in the West. Health policy studies at the West Health Policy Center’s study have also been basically marginalized in the news landscape. Marginalized in the news agenda.
Michael Moore [00:14:45] Wow. So you’re saying because older, elderly Americans are not able to get these drugs because they’re so the cost to them is so incredible that we have about 93000 Americans dying each year?
Andy Lee Roth [00:15:01] These are the projections from this study moving forward. And so they estimate it’ll be one hundred and twelve thousand a year, some ninety three thousand of which would be preventable with with real policy changes.
Michael Moore [00:15:15] And what are those changes that have to happen?
Andy Lee Roth [00:15:17] So it would be curbing the power of big? Pharma, which you could do in part by having empowering Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies on behalf of their patients. That’s the main one. And and other other kind of mechanisms do to limit the extent to which drug prices can increase and continue to increase.
Michael Moore [00:15:41] How is it that in the richest country in the world, can I still say that? Yeah, it’s rich. In what ways? Well, rich in money. Richest country in the world and and yet nearly 100000 people die each year because of the crazy cost of the prescriptions that they need and and thus they’re not taking them.
Mickey Huff [00:16:07] Well, we’re not talking about universal health care in this country, Michael, and that’s again another component of the solution. Only one of the major candidates was really talking about that in the last election. That was Bernie Sanders. And then, of course, you know, Joe Biden on the campaign trail said, quote, nothing will fundamentally change and quote upon his election and. And here we sit with these bills stalled in Congress and sort of waiting while people are watching drug prices go up and up and they can’t afford the medications they need, right?
Michael Moore [00:16:39] And we don’t hear a whole lot about this. I mean, when you turn on cable news, you read a paper, you’re online. How much do we really know about this? This is actually a huge tragedy that is easily preventable if we had different policies and different prices.
Andy Lee Roth [00:17:00] If you go back and look at our top 25 list from the previous year, one of our top stories, one of our top five stories was how inequality is killing Americans and how the gap between the richest and poorest Americans was the largest it’s been in 50 some years. This at a time when, of course, if you look at the stock market and other kind of, you know, favored elite economic indicators, the country is doing wonderfully. But when you look at the gaps between the rich and the poor in the country as outlets like Truth Out in the World Socialist website and Inequality org have reported that inequality is at a staggering levels of inequality in the United States. Economic inequality, and that is that is literally deadly.
Michael Moore [00:17:52] Well, it’s something that what do you encourage? How do you encourage people like people who are listening to this right now other than going to project censored talk to encourage them to get the word out? Like how can average citizens enlighten other citizens if we don’t have a press that will do that?
Mickey Huff [00:18:12] Well, one of the things we do a project censored is we highlight the independent media sources that actually do cover stories in the public interest. And that’s what’s really different about the corporate media is that they tend to write about, as we said earlier, corporate interests and Big Pharma is a huge advertiser base. You know, going back to that first story and the corporate media, you know, they don’t bite the hand that feeds. And so we encourage people to become more critically media literate, expand their media diets as it were, and to really go out and start looking at independent news sources. Not because they’re quote objective end quote, but because they’re going to transparently source and factually report about things that tend to matter most to their reading constituencies. And we have lists on our web site of independent media that we’ve long looked at and alternative media sources that we’ve long looked at and used in our book is every year. Michael is both critical of corporate media, but it’s also affirmative of the alternatives to corporate media. And believe it or not, we even give props to corporate media when they do their jobs as a free press in the public interest. Right?
Michael Moore [00:19:19] Let me go to number two here on the project censored top 25 most censored stories of the past year. This one reads the headline is this is your headline. Are journalists who investigate financial crimes are being threatened by global elites?
Andy Lee Roth [00:19:39] Explain that this is a story that’s really goes to when I talked about these stories that are blockaded. This is a story that has not been covered by the corporate media, and it’s about how financial crime stories are difficult to impossible to report because the reporters who seek to investigate them are subject to abuse, harassment and intimidation that takes everything that takes the form of everything from defamation lawsuit, cease and desist letters to smear campaigns on social media and other forms of online trolling to verbal harassment, and even even in some instances, physical threats and violence. So the harassment faced by investigative journalists looking into financial crimes, of course, has a chilling effect on reporting about corruption and ultimately infringes on the public’s right to know about things like, you know, money laundering, bribery, theft of public funds, other illicit acts carrying it out either either either carried out by or facilitated by wealthy banks, government officials and corporate leaders.
Michael Moore [00:20:52] So what kind of intimidation are we talking about? What is the. Well, give me an example or two of journalists who are trying to get to the core of a story and and find not only just roadblocks of of corporate honchos or other now not wanting to talk, but actual real intimidation, suing them, going after them so that they’ll stop going after the bad guys.
Andy Lee Roth [00:21:18] So this is a this is a study that was conducted by the Foreign Policy Center in November of 2020, and it was a day they asked journalists around the world what their experience has been. And I’ll just rattle off some numbers to convey the the extraordinary proportion of journalists involved in this kind of of reporting have been subject to so 60 percent of the respondents working in sub-Saharan Africa and 50 percent of those from. North Africa and the Middle East reported threats of physical attack when they looked into financial corruption. Right, they’re also, you know, again, to be specific, we’re talking about online and offline surveillance hacking of social media accounts being called in and questioned by authorities having their credentials either withheld or revoked and various forms of blacklisting. So it’s a clearly and this
Michael Moore [00:22:17] is going on around the world.
Andy Lee Roth [00:22:18] This is around the world. This is global. One of the hot spots for it is actually the U.K. because of libel laws in the U.K. And so a key element of the Foreign Policy Center’s report is how the U.K. has become kind of a hotspot for going after journalists because the libel laws there are more strict. And therefore, if this led Nick Cohen in a column in the Guardian to refer to the U.K. as the censorship capital of the of the democratic world because of the costly court system and the legal statutes that are in place there.
Michael Moore [00:23:07] And so this has a chilling effect on journalists. They may not cover a story if they feel like they’re going to have to spend their time in court. They may lose money, et cetera, et cetera. So. So sometimes stories aren’t being covered simply because of this kind of harassment and intimidation.
Andy Lee Roth [00:23:25] Yeah. This is a censored story about censorship.
Michael Moore [00:23:28] Right? Right. Well, and that how what what form does that take in this country in the United States?
Andy Lee Roth [00:23:35] Well, you know, a lot of people think we don’t have censorship in the United States because we have the First Amendment right and the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press. And really, what the First Amendment does is it says the government can’t exist. It can’t, can’t, can’t engage in prior restraint, right? Which is one form of censorship, but by but not the only form. And in the 21st century where so much of our news is mediated online, literally mediated online. And we depend on big tech companies like Google and others. The you know, you mentioned earlier, Michael, the idea that the corporations are is as much of a threat to press freedoms as the government may be, and I think that’s exactly on point. You know, the First Amendment in some sense provides the framework the skeleton for checks on the power of government to restrict press freedoms. But the the the Constitution and the and the Bill of Rights don’t provide us any firm skeleton to put checks on corporate power and the ability of corporations to impact journalists ability to inform the public. And that’s a crucial problem. I’ve I’ve written some about what I call the new gatekeeping, which is algorithmic artificial intelligence gatekeeping of the kinds of news stories we receive when we’re relying on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others for news instead of getting it directly from news organizations themselves. And as soon as you introduce those social media platforms and the proprietary algorithms that drive content on them, we’re into perilous ground in terms of transparency of sourcing. And of course, as everyone knows, the ability of misinformation and disinformation to spread far and wide.
Mickey Huff [00:25:37] Michael, if I could jump in there, I just add quickly this is what what’s called censorship by proxy, right, is. So it’s not the First Amendment doesn’t. It doesn’t get the tell Spotify to do. They don’t get to say what else Alphabet, Google, Facebook, Twitter, cetera. And the reason that this is problematic is that if you go back historically and you look at how much public money went into these startup, you know, this is all through the Defense Department, the Orwellian Department of Defense. It goes back to Darva, the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. All the moneys, the innovations, the internet, GPPs drones. This is all stuff that came from taxpayer money going into the military during the Cold War. And so all these companies then later, you know, turn private, they come out of nowhere to go private. They’re benefiting from all of this research, from all of this funding, all of these tax breaks. But then they’re also now kind of arbiters of the public sphere that’s been completely encircled or captured, if you will like regulatory caps or how corporations take over regulatory governing bodies. We’ve seen these major big tech companies taking over the public square, and that’s extremely problematic. And that’s why we really need to look seriously at this kind of corporate Big Tech censorship and gatekeeping.
Michael Moore [00:26:52] Absolutely. Let me I’m just going down the list here. Canary Mission. They’re in the business of blacklisting pro-Palestinian activists and chilling free speech rights. What is that about?
Mickey Huff [00:27:06] Well, Canary Mission is a far right group. They basically, you know, they work against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. This is a movement of pro-Palestinian activists. So what they try to do is apply pressure to either boycott, get companies to divest from doing business with their country of Israel or other Israeli companies because of the Israeli apartheid situation in Palestine, which, by the way, Amnesty International just reported on this past week that they found that Israel is in fact an apartheid state. Think South Africa about the way they treat Palestinians. And there are groups, Zionist groups and pro-Israeli groups in the U.S. that aren’t thrilled about people that try to point out this serious power imbalance in the Middle East and Canary mission basically creates blacklists. And they it’s sort of, you know, it’s kind of a neo McCarthyite kind of witch hunting thing that labels people as being anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel. And they then mount counter type campaigns to get people fired have them silenced. And these types of things, this affects people’s employment, immigration status, freedom to travel, et cetera. So there’s there’s a lot of groups like this, but give me an
Michael Moore [00:28:27] example of of an activist or. Prof. Or someone who who this group has gone after in order to harm them, to stop them from speaking up for the Palestinian people.
Andy Lee Roth [00:28:41] I think Peter Phillips is listed on the Canary mission website as as a dangerous faculty person. Peter Phillips, the former director of Project Censored. But a lot of these people aren’t. A lot of these people, Michael, aren’t big names. They’re they’re otherwise unknown activists and part of the part of the reporting on this story from The Intercept, one who did interviews with a number of people, number of students. So these are undergraduate college students who have been targeted by Canary Mission for basically saying they’d like Israel to obey international law and respect Palestinian human rights. The interviews with these people are sobering in terms of the power of of of the group. Many of them wouldn’t ask not to be named by name because they feared retribution if they spoke publicly to the Intercept about how they had been affected by the Canary mission blacklist. But one of them, one of them, told The Intercept The first thing that comes up when you Google my name is that I’m listed on Canary Mission, the claim that I’m a terrorist supporter and an extremist. And and as as Mickey said, like this has, that’s the first thing that comes up on your Google list. That’s probably is going to cause real trouble for you in terms of finding a job as your freedom to travel and so forth and so on. And we know, we know from prior reports by The Intercept and others that these blacklists are being used by both US and Israeli government agencies. Both organizations have used information from Canary Mission in order to question pro-Palestinian student activists.
Mickey Huff [00:30:23] And I want to add Michael just very quickly. If you go to the front page of Project Censored dot org Michigan, our cool. It’s just wrote an article about a Cal State Poly Pomona professor accused of anti-Semitism. This hasn’t been directly linked to Canary mission, but this is a really riveting story about a student complaint that was seems to be manufactured with no evidence that got through the administration, and they’re now using this information against a lecturer, right? Go against the adjuncts, the least protected of people in higher education. And, you know, they’re basically creating a file on this faculty member. She doesn’t believe that she’s even going to be invited back to teach there these you’ll find these cases all over the United States, and they’re rarely reported by the corporate media. And if they are like the high profile cases like Norm Finkelstein or others or Steven Slater from several years ago, the corporate media buyer bias is pretty extraordinary because they don’t really look at the legitimate historical apartheid like political criticism of the State of Israel, and they always conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. That’s a corporate media trope, and it basically comes right out of the playbook of Canary mission.
Michael Moore [00:31:38] Wow, this is very disturbing to hear this, that this is. This happens to just the average student who shows up participates in something to stand up for the rights of the Palestinian people. And the idea is to scare them, to think that they’re going to make sure that they’re haunted by this political activism. You know, long after they get out of college, it’s it’s true.
Mickey Huff [00:32:02] You know, let’s be serious, like criticizing the State of Israel doesn’t need to be anti-Semitic. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t anti Semitic people and groups, but let’s not conflate them, right? You know, we all need to call out racist groups and anti-Semitism when we see it. But legitimate criticism of Palestine. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, the many scholars that we’ve worked with over the years, including Peter Phillips, our former director, they are not anti-Semitic, and that is a smear tactic used to silence people.
Michael Moore [00:32:32] So BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and uses. In other words, using these three methods nonviolent political methods to get, in this case a country to stop apartheid behavior against people who live on that land and have very few of any rights.
Mickey Huff [00:32:55] That is correct. It’s basically one of the world’s largest outdoor prisons.
Michael Moore [00:32:59] I have been there and I have seen it, and it’s. One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen, probably in my lifetime, and so thank you for pointing this out, I think this is very important. OK, let’s go to the next one I have here on my list from your list of top censored stories. Police use dogs as instruments of violence targeting people of color. I read this and I said, Oh, I must have an old project censored list from nineteen sixty two. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I’m like, No way this is. Wait a minute. This is twenty twenty two. I was just stunned to see that it still was a ranking at number nine on the project censored list. Police used dogs as instruments of violence targeting people of color. Pray tell. What do you mean?
Andy Lee Roth [00:33:56] So we know, right? You don’t have to dig deep in American history to know there’s a highly charged history of police dogs in the United States, especially in the southern United States, where they were used against first enslaved people. And then in the nineteen sixties against civil rights protesters. But this is a twenty twenty one twenty twenty two story here. The story is brought to us by the Marshall Project in collaboration with a number of other investigative independent investigative outlets. It lays bare mounting evidence of the extensive and disproportionate deployment of police dogs against people of color. Thirty six hundred Americans are sent each year to the emergency room for severe bite injuries sustained during altercation with police canines, and a disproportionate number of them are young black men. The you know, when people think about a dog bite, we think about like a nip from the family pet, but it’s important to understand. As the Marshal reports, these 13 linked reports from the Marshall Project made clear as medical researchers document, We know when you’re bitten by a police dog, the police dogs are trained to bite aggressively, and we’re talking about something that’s more like a small shark than kind of little Fido sitting on the living room couch.
Michael Moore [00:35:32] So is this because do we just have an abundance of racist dogs in this country? How? I don’t know. I don’t understand why. Why dogs in this country are are viciously going after people of color.
Andy Lee Roth [00:35:48] Part of it is because use of force policies in police departments across the country give police officers working with, you know, canine officers are given nonspecific leeway to release the dogs based on their subjective assessment of the severity of a crime.
Michael Moore [00:36:08] Wait a minute. So you’re saying it’s not the actual dogs, the dogs just don’t go, Oh, there’s a there’s a black kid. I’m going to go bite that kid. You’re saying that the dog is being trained
Mickey Huff [00:36:20] to do the racists aren’t racists aren’t born. They’re they’re groomed or taught, right?
Michael Moore [00:36:26] And our dogs ever born racist?
Mickey Huff [00:36:29] Not that I knew.
Michael Moore [00:36:30] So it’s not the dog. Let’s just get this clear. I don’t want to get. I don’t want to get mail from dog lovers that we’re saying that dogs are viciously through their own racism, going after people of color. They’re being trained by the local police to do this. And then it’s the police, the humans
Speaker 2 [00:36:50] that’s sick, the dog right on the human of color. Is this correct?
Andy Lee Roth [00:36:55] It’s a human police officer who decided that Joseph Milat, a 22 year old black student, was creating a danger at a Black Lives Matter protest in California in June 2020, when he kicked a tear gas canister away from himself. And a police officer saw the kicking of the tear gas canister as an aggressive act. And that led to Milat being one of these approximately thirty six hundred Americans who had to go to the E.R. because a police K-9 dog had severely bit him right. So it was the judgment of the officer in that case who said kicking a tear gas canister is a dangerous act. We’re going to let the dog loose.
Mickey Huff [00:37:42] And Michael, this is another opportunity to bring up how this story is covered and or censored. And you know, it did get some corporate media coverage as we write about in the story. You know what? NBC, USA Today, they cited the Marshall Project, but other than that, the only other coverage you see, right, that’s like a one off is. Limited the local news outlets, and that’s one of the big problems that that our media system fails to do is that there may be something really important happening in town a and another important thing in town. B But the job of the media, the job of journalism is to connect the dots and, as George Keldy said, tell the public what’s really going on. So if you don’t have an organization like the Marshall Project connecting the dots and saying this isn’t a one off or a two off. This is something that’s happening systemically or systematically across the country in many ways, and we’re not being told about it. And in fact, you know, the Marshall Project study mold when police dogs or weapons was selected for a finalist for a Harvard Center’s Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting. I mean, this is serious reporting that should be on the front page of the New York Times.
Michael Moore [00:38:51] Well, especially because people are concerned about abuse of animals. And I can’t think of maybe a I mean, there are worse abuses, I guess, in terms of people who like to put their cigarets out on a dog skin. I mean, I just saw a story about this. But but but to train a dog? To go after a human being simply because of the racial makeup of their human being, that that’s this is a form of animal abuse. I mean, on one level and on the other level, though, it’s it’s absolutely disgusting that in 2022, I have to read a headline like this because I grew up with this in the 60s and it it. That kind of behavior by the police, frankly, in the 60s, when they set the dogs on John Lewis and others, Salma, etc. that that that turned much, not up, not the majority at that time, but much of white America around and in favor of civil rights because the images were so horrific. And and no matter whatever amount of racism you had inside yourself, that was a bridge too far for some white people to handle. So I’m glad it’s on. It’s on this list.
Andy Lee Roth [00:40:13] I think I think it’s puzzling with this story that in a time period when there is quite a bit of corporate news coverage about police use of force, even even fatal use of force, the corporate news media, as Mickey’s noted, had simply have not picked up on this story about police dogs as instruments of violence. That’s a puzzler, right? It would seem to fit right into a narrative that has been very central to the corporate news media’s agenda for the last year and a half or two years or so. But this one doesn’t fit, and I don’t I can’t see why that is, but it’s it’s it’s puzzling. And maybe it’s because it’s simply too it’s too traumatic a story to to to contend with.
Michael Moore [00:41:03] Well, you don’t when you hear the No.
Andy Lee Roth [00:41:05] Yeah, the only coverage we found of this was kind of isolated local coverage that failed, as Mickey noted, to connect the dots and say this is a systemic problem in in police departments across the country that have K-9 units. It’s not just happening a little bit here and a little bit there. Right?
Mickey Huff [00:41:28] Well, Michael, this is, you know, again, training dogs to do this is similar to the story. Twenty two in terms of data, miner and racial bias and stereotypes and policing of social media. I mean, it’s kind of the core of the same problem. It’s, you know, garbage in, garbage out. As I said, it’s data miner. Is this this company that introduces this racial bias and stereotypes relying on prejudice prone tropes and hunches? And then they were feeding information to police about basically who to surveil, who was suspicious? Right? This is a long practice. You know, it wasn’t just long ago that the FBI got caught using terms like black identity extremists, which was a top story. It’s like going back to COINTELPRO days. But no, Michael, this was a story from our last year’s book. Right? So this is definitely a theme. When you were you were mentioning earlier, you didn’t know what year the censored book it was. It could have been a book from the 70s. Unfortunately, this challenge remains, and we must confront it. We can’t confront it if we don’t face it to sort of mangle the James Baldwin quote.
Michael Moore [00:42:31] Right. This is what’s so great about Project Censored. It’s not just the big stories that you know maybe you’ve heard something about, but it’s these little stories that say much bigger things about who we still are as a society. I’m going down the list here. This one, this one caught my eye on your project. Censored list European demand for biomass energy projects propels the destruction of U.S. forests. Now let me read Let me say this again this story Project Censors List is about Europeans. Essentially, I’m paying for the cutting down of trees in North America in order to have their biomass energy plants. In other words, burning wood in Europe. And because of the way that the U.N. and other organizations and certainly a lot of corporations, they like to call biomass part of the alternative green energy movement. But what it’s doing is it’s burning something from the planet and putting more carbon up into the atmosphere. But I notice a lot of European countries they like to say, Oh, you know, we’re we’re 50 percent green now. We’re we’re 40 percent green and it’s like, this story tells you, well, they’re they’re kind of cutting corners here, M and B asking you what they’re what they’re doing is they’re cutting down our trees, having them shipped over to Europe so they can put more carbon up into the air. Take that a little further than just.
Andy Lee Roth [00:44:07] Well, you know, the popular belief is that most of European Union nations are all about solar and wind power as their primary sources of renewable energy. But we know from studies that about 60 percent of renewable energy in the EU in EU nations comes from biomass. Right? So it’s which is championed as a renewable resource. And to be clear, biomass is using the energy of. Plants would waste materials as a source of heating or power, garbage
Speaker 2 [00:44:44] burning of garbage as you can burn
Michael Moore [00:44:46] garbage as alternative green energy green energy?
Andy Lee Roth [00:44:50] That’s right. What’s not counted are the carbon costs of of those activities. Right. So that’s where they’re, you know, in effect, you know, an illustrious group of scientists have pointed out that, you know, the reliance on biomass generated electricity has the unintended consequence of speeding up carbon emissions pollution. And this story is one where, you know, I guess there’s a certain irony of since the U.S. exploits resources from other nations all around the world. Perhaps there’s a certain irony that in this case, it’s our own natural resources that are being exploited by European countries. But but here that, you know, a historical perspective is useful because the parts of the United States that are most impacted by this European demand for biomass energy are are is that it’s the southern seaboard, it’s north and South Carolina, it’s Georgia, Alabama, Florida, right? And so in some ways, we’re seeing here reproduced in 2021, 2022. What are centuries old colonial relationships of sorts? It’s only now they’re mediated through these two through these, you know, global corporations. So, you know, this is a story that fits one of the modes that I was describing earlier in our conversation. This is a story that has had isolated corporate news coverage when we were vetting this story to see if it was worthy of inclusion on this year’s Top 25 list. We found one outstanding article in The New York Times from April of 2021 on this topic. It’s an excellent report in many ways. But but even this report had flaws that point to the shortcomings in corporate news coverage. We found that despite the otherwise excellent quality of the New York Times coverage of this topic, there was a kind of an an angle of false balancing the the the platform. You know, the New York Times basically provided a platform for arguments from in-house scientists on why burning the pellets shouldn’t be should. I’m sorry. Let me say that again. The New York Times provided a kind of platform for arguments from in-house scientists about why burning pellets should be considered carbon neutral and. That’s a problem, right? We know, you know. Sure, there are scientists who will make that case, but they’re the. Very small minority compared to those that we were talking about just a moment ago, who see biomass electricity as an accelerator of carbon emissions and and in the climate crisis.
Mickey Huff [00:48:05] Well, Michael, I just wanted to tag on to what you said earlier following Andy, you were talking about biomass and how there’s a lot of public relations efforts. Are propaganda campaigns talking about biomass as as green a green movement, right? So yes, Kermit the Frog would say it’s not easy being green. So since it’s not so easy being green, these corporations resort to greenwashing. Right. And I think biomass is one of those things that’s part of the greenwashing campaign, the kind of covers up the real damage done and the sort of bait and switch or shell game that’s going on here. The European Union in 2020 said that they were going to reassess those policies. But again, you know, we’re already past the tipping point with things like the oceans warning, warming the acidification of the oceans. I mean, this is a real serious issue. So and it’s also not a secret. And you well, know this, Michael. These corporations often spend more time, money and effort on public relations campaigns than they do on actually changing their practices.
Michael Moore [00:49:02] Yeah, yeah, that’s I’ve seen that many times. Let me tell you, there’s so many other stories here to go through this. I just think again, encourage people to go online to project censored talk and and you can read these stories. You can they’ve got links. They’ve got their report that you can obtain for this past year since your story. But let me ask each of you, Mickey and Andy, pick one of your I don’t want to say favorite stories, but one on one a story that I haven’t brought up on your list here that you think definitely needs more attention. And and and it and it’s somewhat appalling that we don’t know more about this. And you’re and you’re you’re glad that you put it on your list that each of you just maybe pick one in and you want you want to go first.
Mickey Huff [00:49:55] Mickey, yeah, I’ll go first. I’ll go first by bucking the trend and picking something that’s in the book that’s not in the top 25 because this is an ongoing recurring problem. And Carl Jensen coined this term itself called junk food news. So we were talking earlier about the junk food diets and fast food diets and all these kind of, you know, bad diets that the American public tends to have, and that’s further fueled by big agribusiness and advertising and so forth. Junk food news is the kind of titillating, sensationalist, distracting stories that dominate the airwaves, dominate the column inches, dominate the television programs, but yet have almost nothing to do with our daily lives. And this year we wrote about pick talking. I returned to new normalcy and talked about addiction to social media, and we talked about the inability of Americans to really tune out, you know, like you couldn’t not know about the Tiger King when that series was on Netflix. You can’t not know about what’s happening with the Kardashians. And this has been a problem going back for decades, and it’s actually gotten worse in. The bigger problem, Michael, is that the more and more we have sensationalist coverage on frivolous celebrity activities and so forth, sports, et cetera, that’s more time and more column inches. That’s that’s spent away from the stories like you, Andy and I were just running down for the last hour, so I would like to call attention as one of the quote so-called censored stories as literally the way that the media ecosystem itself function in the United States. And we have a couple of chapters in the book every year on junk food news and news abuse, which is news as spin and propaganda. Right. And just in case your folks begin to think that we’re only negative, we have a whole chapter every year that’s more solutions journalism based called media democracy in action that highlights the key sources, organizations and individuals that are really doing something to make a difference in free press matters. So we definitely want your listeners to know that if they go to Project Censored dot org, there’s a lot to find out, including our weekly radio show. The project censored show documentary films, but we also share our curriculum for free our pedagogy and we encourage more people to get involved in doing this kind of critical media literacy education. So I think honestly, Michael, that’s one of the censored stories from the corporate press. They don’t really want us to talk about how to alleviate the problems of the press because that cuts into their profit motives and their profit lines.
Michael Moore [00:52:25] Well, what about you, Andy?
Andy Lee Roth [00:52:26] Well, before I list one more story from this year’s top twenty five list in state of the free press. Twenty twenty two, I want to say it can seem discouraging to run down these stories and hear all these things that are wrong, but think about how bad it would be if we didn’t have independent journalists and independent news outlets. Bringing these stories to the public’s attention, we’d be in a lot worse shape than we are. So a shout out to the independent journalists who often courageously, you know, put their lives on the line to bring us these stories. And also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t, you know, give a little fist pump for the project’s own campus affiliates program. It is students, undergraduate students at several dozen college and university campuses across the country who are initially identifying and vetting the stories that eventually make it into our top twenty five story list each year. This year, some two hundred and nine students helped us identify research and ultimately summarize and promote public awareness of of several hundred stories that are posted on our Project Censored website as validated independent news stories from which the year’s top twenty five stories are drawn. Here’s one more from that list. This has been a this is since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic in March 2020, there has been a historic wave of wildcat strikes for workers rights all across the country. Mike Elk at the payday report in the Midwest US, a small, independent news organization focused on labor issues, has documented no fewer than seventeen hundred and fifty unique independent wildcat worker strikes. Workers are going out in the face of increasingly dangerous working conditions under the pandemic, as well as chronically low wages. This story has been all but invisible in the corporate news media. The corporate news media failed to cover this story for the better part of 18 months until they came up with the kind of trite strike Tobar frame within which to report this story. But by that time, you know the payday report and Mike Elk had been covering what are in effect, the largest. I believe it’s correct to say that the largest wave of wildcat strikes in the United States since the nineteen late sixties and early 1970s. So this is an amazing thing, and people can go and check out the payday reports COVID 19 strike map, which documents with pinpoints these things during that whole period. There was one other time prior to strike Tobar, which then awkwardly turned into Strike vember, and I don’t know if we’re now in Strike Brewery it. You know that the frame is not to strike. Houry, thank you. That’s why I’m not a corporate news person. The one time previous that corporate news showed interest in in that kind of labor organization was in August of 2020, when. Major League Baseball players and NBA players went out on strike briefly in protest of the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake, then the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and others were interested in wildcat labor strikes and actions. But when it was, you know, thousands and thousands of workers at small places all across the country going out. There was nothing. That story was completely marginalized by the corporate news media, as I say, until we got a kind of a straight belated 18 months after it’s been going. Strike Tobar frame.
Michael Moore [00:56:50] Now it’s great that this is on the list. And a couple of weeks ago I had on the Starbucks workers who’ve gone out on strike and who have been able to unionize some of their locations in the country, starting at Buffalo. And and I just heard from some people in Flint that they that there’s now a Starbucks there that’s signing up to have a vote to join the union. So now this is this is an important story of the time in which we’re living. And I thank you for covering that.
Andy Lee Roth [00:57:23] Those are crucial stories, and it’ll be interesting to see is those stories develop as as workers begin to organize at places like Starbucks and Amazon all across the country. It’ll be interesting to see whether corporate news coverage of those stories treats them as isolated incidents, or whether the corporate media began connecting the dots to show that there are systemic patterns driving these actions and that they are, you know, to use an old metaphor like headline above the fold news. Not kind of a small report here and there on Page 17 of the paper.
Mickey Huff [00:58:02] And as you well know, Michael corporate media covers things from a management corporate perspective so they don’t cover labor concerns. They cover labor problems, right? It’s a labor dispute. It’s always on the side of labor that there’s a problem or people are ungrateful. People are lazy, they don’t want to work. It’s never that these employers just don’t pay them enough money. Right. So the framing of corporate media is really important to look here, and that makes sources like payday and other independent journalists really significant because they cover the angles and perspectives from the public interest and from the people, from we, the people, not from we, the corporations.
Andy Lee Roth [00:58:39] I saw a great political cartoon on that the other day. It’s the two big, big moneybags business owners standing in an executive room and outside the window. All the workers are protesting, with their sign saying fair wages now new contract. And the one big wig boss is looking at the other and says all they ever do is think about money.
Mickey Huff [00:59:05] Well, you know that story, Michael?
Michael Moore [00:59:08] I know it all too well. I want to thank you guys for this and for the great work that you do. I mean this. There’s so many here that we have been able to cover microplastics and toxic chemicals increasingly prevalent in world’s oceans. Google’s union busting methods are revealed. Pfizer bullies South American governments over COVID 19 vaccine. Activists call out legacy of racism and sexism in forced sterilization again. That’s been on the list for 60 years, but it’s just all of this. It’s just so these 25 stories here, there’s more. You keep this updated throughout the year on your site. You do good work. I and others are extremely grateful for what you do. I encourage people to support Project Censored, to share it with other people and send in those stories in your communities that aren’t being covered. Because it’s the way we find out about this is that we think that’s the one good thing about the internet. Now there might be a second thing, but the one good thing is that we we get to share this. The middle man has been eliminated. Yes, we can send this to each other. People can contact me, you know, and and you don’t. Back in the day, if you wanted to reach out to the public, you’d have to write a letter to the editor and hope they would publish it. That’s the way it was until until the internet so. So we’re lucky we have a method, at least, that we can use for the good and and I applaud you for what you’ve done and what you continue to do. And I. If you want to find out more, just go to Project Censored dot org and and and your eyes will be opened. Andy. And Mickey, thank you so much, Project Censored for being here on Rumble.
Andy Lee Roth [01:01:11] Thank you, Michael.
Mickey Huff [01:01:12] Thanks, Michael, and thanks for everything you do, man. We appreciated the opportunity.
Michael Moore [01:01:15] The least I can do. Let me tell you, you’re doing the work that needs to be done, and it’s much appreciated.
Michael Moore [01:01:22] So that’s it for today. My thanks to our executive producer, Basel Hamdan, our editor and sound engineer Nick Kwas, our Jack of all trades and currently shadow banned under mysterious circumstances, Donald Borenstein and everyone else who’s helped me put this podcast together. Thank you one and all, and thank you to all of you who will listen to Rumble with Michael Moore. I’m Michael Moore, and I’ll be back with another episode of Rumble here real soon. Thanks, everybody. Well, stay safe.