2019 Year in Review: From Corporate Capture of Social Media to Trump’s War Agenda to Climate Change

Conversations with Project Censored, Abby Martin and Robbie Martin

“It just seems like people have really lost their way, severed ties with reality completely, where we’re listening to some pied piper online instead of really questioning authority. questioning the power structures like we should be all along!” – Abby Martin (from this week’s interview.)

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass [1]


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The year 2019 saw the unfolding of a number of dramatic events.

At the beginning of the year, the Venezuelan opposition orchestrated a coup, with dozens of countries including a number of South American countries recognizing opposition figure Juan Guaidó as president. This attempt appears to have failed miserably as the military and the bulk of the Venezuelan population appear to oppose an undemocratic  regime change.

In March, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) would release a report detailing the deaths of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli Defense Forces in the wake of the great March of Return protests at the Gaza-Israel perimeter fence would approach 200, with 29,000 injured.

In April, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was forcefully removed from the Ecuadorean Embassy in the United Kingdom where he had sought sanctuary from a wrongful and unjust prosecution at the hands of the U.S.

In June, U.S.- Iran tensions would escalate with attacks on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz culminating in the drone killing in early January of high ranking Iranian military figure Qasem Soleimani.

Popular uprisings around the globe were unquestionably a feature of the year. The Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement endured throughout the entirety of the year with weekly demonstrations against the Macron government’s neoliberal reforms. Likewise, the uprisings in Hong Kong grabbed much of the media spotlight, And later in the year, the world would see popular eruptions in Ecuador, Chile, and other Latin American centres, in Haiti, in Sudan and in Lebanon.

On the climate change front, while Greta Thunberg and the youth climate activists took centre stage in unprecedented numbers, infernos light up the Amazon, California and Australia, scientists highlight the threat to global food supply from climate change, the world’s oceans are being depleted of oxygen, the melting of glacial and polar ice accelerates, and the UN’s World Meteorological Organization reports that the concentration of climate-heating greenhouse gases has hit another all-time high with “no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline.”

And of course, the impeachment drama in Washington continues to transfix many Americans while poverty has increased in 30 percent of U.S counties, and while a bi-partisan consensus on Capitol Hill approved last August military spending exceeding what was spent at the height of the Cold War, even adjusting for inflation.

For independent media outlets like the Global Research News Hour, news stories are curated according to how they impact the broader population, not according to their service to the corporate and State interests that underwrite most press outlets. Through that lens, the show takes an overdue opportunity to evaluate some of the more important stories and developments of the past year.

Our first guest, Andy Lee Roth of Project Censored, discusses some of the Top 25 most censored stories of 2018-2019, and other themes from the publication Censored 2020. These include think tank partnerships which turn Facebook into a tool of U.S. Foreign Policy (2), high rates of unemployment among formerly incarcerated Americans (17), and a more equitable model for providing meals for schoolchildren in the U.S. (23).

In the final half hour, we present a wide-ranging conversation on the news stories and trends of 2019 featuring independent media icons Abby and Robbie Martin (Media Roots radio) along with Global Research News Hour co-hosts Michael Welch and Scott Price. Themes range from the marginalization of dissident viewpoints and analysis under the guise of controlling ‘fake news’ to the co-opting of ‘Deep State’ analysis and ‘conspiracy culture’ into a kind of partisan cudgel, to the growth of the U.S. empire under Trump, to the corporate and ecological elements missing from coverage of the fires raging around the planet.

Andy Lee Roth, is the Associate Director of Project Censored, a media research program which fosters student development of media literacy and critical thinking skills as applied to news media censorship in the United States.

Abby Martin is an investigative journalist and co-producer of Telesur’s the Empire Files. She also wrote and directed the 2019 documentary film Gaza Fights for Freedom. She co-hosts the Media Roots Radio podcast along with her brother Robbie Martin.

Robbie Martin is a writer, musician and film maker. He produced the three part documentary film series A Very Heavy Agenda, about the rise and persistent role of the neocons within the Washington establishment.

(Global Research News Hour episode 283)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

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  1. Lewis Carroll (1871), Through the Looking Glass, published by Macmillan

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