Posted by Anne Landman on January 21, 2010

Trijicon, which manufactures gun sights used by the U.S. Military, responded to international outcry and Pentagon concerns by saying it will immediately stop engraving biblical references on gun sights it sells to the military, and will provide the military with 100 free kits to remove existing biblical codes from guns it has already purchased. Guns in the military that currently carry the religious inscriptions may number in the tens of thousands.

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Posted by John Stauber on January 14, 2010

US News and World Report blogger Peter Roff is comparing the Obama Administration's payments to Jonathan Gruber to the the pundit payola scandal of the Bush Administration paying Armstrong Williams.

In January 2005, USA Today revealed that a U.S. Department of Education contract paid Williams to promote Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation on his TV show and to ask other African American journalists to do likewise. Democrats and media activists were appropriately outraged at such blatant and hidden government propaganda. A January 7, 2010, report by Marcy Wheeler on her Firedoglake blog exposed the similar failure of the Obama Administration and influential MIT economist Jonathan Gruber to fully and consistently reveal Gruber's role in receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars as a paid consultant to the Obama Administration, while promoting Obama's health care legislation.

Roff, a long-time Republican activist and right wing pundit, notes that in the William's payola scandal "senior Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to President George W. Bush expressing their outrage. In one of those letters, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Henry Waxman, George Miller, David Obey, and Elijah Cummings denounced the payments made to Williams under a government contract as 'illegal covert propaganda' intended to influence the American electorate."

What a difference partisanship makes now that Obama is president. In the Gruber scandal prominent liberals including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have attacked the messenger, Marcy Wheeler and Firedoglake, rather than criticizing the lack of disclosure and the money changing hands, and digging further into the relationship between Obama and his paid health care advocate Jonathan Gruber.

Posted by Anne Landman on January 07, 2010

A conspicuously biased news article printed in the Washington Post on December 31, 2009 is raising the eyebrows of public policy experts, bloggers, media watchdogs other news outlets alike. Sign our petition to tell the Post no more fake news!

Titled "Support grows for tackling nation's debt," the article discusses a proposal to create a government commission to examine America's growing debt. The new commission, according to the article, would be charged with exploring "how to rein in skyrocketing spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," but the article failed to mention other significant sources of government spending, like the $663 billion military budget.

The story points to growing support for such a commission among political figures, but fails to mention the 40 or so prominent organizations that oppose the plan, including the NAACP, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AARP, Common Cause, the AFL-CIO, and the National Organization for Women (NOW). The article was not written by Post reporters, but was produced by a startup "news" organization called the Fiscal Times, whose byline describes it is an "independent news publication that reports on fiscal, budgetary, healthcare and international economic issues." But is it truly "independent"?

Posted by John Stauber on October 29, 2009

A book review in western Canada's Georgia Straight newspaper asks, "Do you ever wonder why so many of the Fraser Institute’s right-wing commentaries get into Canadian daily newspapers? Perhaps you’ve been disturbed by the spate of articles about the inevitability of Canada forming closer ties with the United States.

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Posted by Anne Landman on October 28, 2009

Last July, President Obama nominated Regina Benjamin, M.D., an African-American doctor from rural Alabama and recipient of a 2008 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," to be the next Surgeon General, the nation's top public health official.

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Posted by Bob Burton on October 20, 2009

Dick Armey, who was the Republican Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives between 1995 to 2002, has been doing well for himself as the Chairman of FreedomWorks, a conservative lobby group. Meredith Simons reports that, according to the group's tax filings for 2008, Armey was paid $550,000. “I don't apologize for my paycheck. I'd like to think I'm worth it," he said.

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Posted by Mary Bottari on October 16, 2009

What do Americans need most right now? Jobs. If you wanted Americans to buy your snake oil, what would you promise them right now? Why, jobs of course, even though the snake oil being peddled is the very thing that sank the economy in the first place.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari, CMD's Deputy Director, is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analyst on trade.

Posted by Anne Landman on October 05, 2009

stethoscope on walletThe current debate over health insurance reform has led to renewed calls by conservatives for tort reform, which they point to as the best way to decrease the cost of medical malpractice cases. "Tort reform" refers to any changes in liability laws that place higher burdens on people injured by products or services, erect barriers to keep their grievances out of the court system and generally tilt the legal playing field in favor of big businesses. Ample information, like that put out by Public Citizen, SourceWatch and investigative reports from other news sources have demonstrated that the so-called "tort reform movement" is actually a massive, corporate-funded, fake "grassroots" campaign perpetrated by American industry to try and restrict citizens' access to the legal system for redress against harms caused by defective products and negligent practices.

Posted by Lisa Graves on September 30, 2009

Last week, I was honored to be invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Patriot Act, a new endeavor for the Center for Media and Democracy, even though CMD has covered national security-related issues in its books and on SourceWatch.

One of the reasons I was so pleased to be able to join CMD is because in Washington, DC, I saw first-hand how propaganda and selective disclosures were used to influence and distort public opinion. In my testimony, I highlighted examples from the Patriot Act debate in 2005 where key information was hidden while the bill for reauthorization was being publicly debated, and did not come out until after the bill had passed. With parts of the Patriot Act up for renewal and reform this fall, I wanted to make sure the public record included the story of how the previous Bush administration misled the American people. I also wanted to share my views about why these extraordinary powers need to be fixed to better protect civil liberties and human rights.

Lisa Graves

Lisa Graves is CMD's Executive Director. She has served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government and other posts.

Posted by Diane Farsetta on September 29, 2009

General Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. military and NATO commander in Afghanistan, wants to change strategic communications goals there from a "struggle for the 'hearts and minds' of the Afghan population to one of giving them 'trust and confidence'" in their government and their future. He also wants to focus on exposing insurgents' "flagrant contravention of the principles of the Koran," which is already a talking point for U.S.

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