War Propaganda, Media Censorship and the “Conspiracy Theory” Meme. Project Censored 2016

Project Censored 2016 Media Summit Round Table. Global Research News Hour 2017 Summer Series 4

“Telling the truth is always difficult….It’s extremely difficult in conditions of empire. And it’s extremely difficult in conditions of empire threatened, which is basically what we have today.”

– Professor Mark Crispin Miller (October 2016)

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In recent years, as documented on this site and on the Global Research News Hour radio program, we have seen an acceleration in the level of propaganda and its ability to shape common narratives around war.

The Assad government is blamed for virtually all the blood being spilt in Syria in recent years, in spite of evidence to the contrary. Russia, not NATO, is being blamed for an imperialist agenda for Ukraine and Eastern Europe. And a McCarthyist narrative accusing President Putin of interference in the 2016 US Presidential elections has taken hold in spite of an almost complete lack of evidence upholding that narrative.

More to the point, reporters risk being tagged ‘conspiracy theorists’ or ‘Russian agents’ if they dare to challenge these and other official narratives.

Billions of dollars of investment, not to mention political careers are dependent on maintaining these narratives, so it is understandable that dissident perspectives will sooner or later come under attack if the body politic begins to be influenced by them.

This is why media criticism and independent reporting has become such an important tool for building democratic resistance to corporate and State power. .

Project Censored is one of the key resources for highlighting and breaking down news media censorship in the US. Founded in 1976 by Dr. Carl Jensen of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park California, the media research project’s mission has been to educate students and the public about the importance of a free press for democratic self-government, while expressing and opposing all forms of news censorship, promoting independent journalism, independent investigative journalism and critical thinking.

On October 21st, the organization put together a ‘Media Freedom Summit‘ as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations,

PC presented a round table discussion that touched on a number of crucial themes including the ‘conspiracy theory’ meme, the reporting that frustrated plans to launch an assault on Syria, threats to authentic reporting, and the distorted reporting around the 2016 election campaign which was ongoing at the time of this summit.


Abby Martin is the creator and host of The Empire Files, a weekly investigative news program airing on Telesur English, She is the past host of RT’s Breaking the Set, and the co-founder of the independent citizen journalism project known as Media Roots. She served as moderator for the discussion.

Mnar Muhawesh is the founder and editor in chief of Minneapolis based independent media outlet Mint Press News. She also hosts Behind the Headline for that news outlet. Her coverage of Syria earned her a place in Project Censored’s Top 25 most censored stories of 2015-2016.

Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media, culture and communication at New York University, and author of numerous articles on media censorship and election fraud, He is the author of several books, including Boxed In: The Culture of TV, and The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder. He is also the editor of Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008. He is the curator of Open Road media series Forbidden Bookshelf, which re-publishes titles of America’s repressed history.

David Talbot is the best selling author of the The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and America’s Secret Government. He is the Founding editor of Salon.com. His most recent endeavour is Hot Books, a new imprint in partnership with Skyhorse publishing putting out titles on key contemporary issues often escaping the attention of the mainstream media.

Attention broadcasters! Some mildly offensive language is used in this broadcast. Listener discretion is advised.

Audio courtesy of Mint Press News and Project Censored.

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