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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Three stories the media never told you.

Blurby mc-doodle:
Take a break from CNN, put down your People magazine, and read about three censored stories from the last year that you should have heard.

Don’t trust the media.

Yes, you read that correctly. I just told you, in an article published by a news organization, not to trust the media. Maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe, as the case actually is, I’m just mad.

Then again, it’s hard not to be mad after reading the “Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008” on If you can even browse through that list and not be livid, I’ll buy you a six-pack of beer – something other than PBR, even.

It seems that somehow, while Lindsay and Britney pranced around drunkenly for the press, the American people missed out on some very important news. And why? A simple reason, actually: no one told us.

So I’m here to right that wrong, at least somewhat. Though I strongly suggest you take the time to read the stories yourself, here are some of the ones I consider most important, and abhorrent, summarized for your benefit – and with a side of cynicism thrown in for mine.

Iran’s President Misquoted

Our media savors a good threat. Throw an enemy country into the mix, and the threat becomes all the more delicious. Garnish this with the enemy directing its threat to an ally of ours, and voila: you’ve got media gold.

The American media gave its viewers a heaping serving of this when it covered Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s statement about Israel in October 2005. Every major news source in the U.S. quoted him as saying that “Israel must be wiped off the map.” Israelis and Americans alike went up in arms, and for good reason; that’s a very violent threat to make.

Here’s the catch, though: he didn’t actually say that.
The interpreter, it seems, made the unfortunate mistake of leaving out one key word from the sentence: “regime.” President Ahmadinejad was calling for an end to the Israeli regime, not destruction of the entire country.

Of course, the mainstream media never mentioned this error. Instead, they opted for the more vicious, shocking version of the story, effectively spinning the world into a frenzy of anti-Iran sentiment.

President Ahmadinejad sent a letter to President Bush the following May calling out the media for intensifying the climate of fear between America and Iran. Still, the mistake was not corrected. Once again, the want of shock value and sensationalism took precedence over the quest for truth.

Privatization of the Public Domain

In 1956, President Eisenhower called for 41,000 miles of roads to be built across the nation through the Federal-Aid Highway Act. The “greatest public works project” of all time gave Americans access to their nation like they’d never had before.

Now, 50 years later, these same roads are being sold to private investors. Over 20 states have enacted legislation allowing this action. Best of all, it has the full backing of the Bush administration.

What does this legislation mean for you? It means that a Wall Street investor could own the highway from your house to the nearest town and force you to pay exorbitant fees just to use it. It means that Highway 40 could go from a convenient connection to Morgan Stanley’s best investment.

Above all, it means that our nation is moving more towards complete corporate control than ever before. Businesses and corporations now have a hand in America’s infrastructure in addition to its economy. Something previously considered public is becoming just another source of profit for some wealthy business owner.

Eisenhower boasted that the National Highway system would “change the face of America.” He was certainly right – but somehow, I don’t think this is what he had in mind.

The Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act (AETA)

On Nov 27, 2006, despite the opposition of 160 groups, the US congress passed the AETA by voice vote. Interestingly, only 6 of the 435 representatives were present for the vote. Then again, considering the vote was held hours before it was scheduled to be, how would the rest of the senators have known?

The AETA makes illegal “any acts that interfere, or promote interference, with the operations of animal enterprises.” Under the law, an “animal enterprise” can encompass “any enterprise that uses of sells animals or animal products.”

Let’s review this for a second. What exactly is an act that interferes or promotes interference? Clearly, this includes violence, but the frightening thing is, it also seems to be pointing towards protesting. Holding up signs asking for some sort of change is, after all, “promoting interference.”

It gets worse. Consider the word choice of “animal products.” That includes not only live animals, but also every byproduct from leather to bologna to eggs benedict. If an “animal enterprise” is any business that uses or sells these, well, then that’s practically every company in America.

Put those two together, and what do you get? An act that makes illegal any protest against almost any company.

The implications of this act are downright chilling. Our government has allowed itself the right to take away one of the core ideas this country is founded on. If this trend continues, then it won’t be long before “the land of the free” becomes nothing but a farce.

I hope you’re sufficiently angered. If you’re still not fazed, I suggest you drop your magazine for a second, turn off the TV, and go to the Web site yourself to do some reading. This is the stuff that really matters. And if you’re not affected even after that – well, I suggest you start caring. Like it or not, this is our world, and we need to know what’s going on in it.

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