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An Editorial:

From REG issue #20

The News: Amused or Comfortably Numb?

As I have stated many times before, "We are only as free as our access to information." Because all the major news agencies, newspapers, and television networks around the globe are controlled by either corporations, or governments, our access to information from these media are controlled, slanted, edited and censored.

If our access to information from the media, and if the information printed or broadcast by these media is completely controlled, then we are completely controlled.

In the future, a majority of all communications as well as commerce will be done on the Internet. The Internet is not yet controlled by any government, corporation, or enterprise. It is truly the last bastion of free speech, and free communication in the world.

Many peoples around the world have become complacent and don't realize or understand how precious their freedom is, let alone the value of their freedom of access to free information. We have become so caught up in our own little lives, in our own little worlds, that we forget our history. We forget how so many have fought and died to attain what freedom we enjoy today. We have been lulled into complacency and apathy by the pressures of modern life. We have become lethargic about our freedom. We have become gullible, believing that those in power and government will look after us, and our interests. We have taken for granted that we will always have our freedom. We have, in effect, become spoiled by our freedom.

If our access to information is limited in any way, whether by corporate policy, or government censorship, we will not be made aware of exactly what our government is doing. And if we are not aware of what our government is doing, then we can not attempt to control it. And if we can't control it, it will, and does control us.

We are not even aware of the daily censorship of the news that corporate policy and the US government dictates have already achieved, and therefore of the freedom that has already been taken away from us.

In the United States, radio and television broadcasters must have an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) license to broadcast over the airwaves. The FCC is a government agency which "regulates electronic communication" in the United States. This agency can threaten any news organization by revoking or not renewing their FCC license.

Each day many news stories are not reported by the major news media. Often this is caused because of time or space constraints. This is also done because of corporate policy or political or financial considerations.

If there is a negative news story that deals with the corporation, or a company owned by the corporation, which owns the news agency, then it may not be reported upon.

The news media is amusing us to death! It has become a combination of tabloid sensationalism and soap opera pablem, which is meant soley to amuse and not inform. If reporting one story will garner more advertising dollars because of sensationalism than reporting upon another which may be more newsworthy, the more newsworthy story is not reported. Think of how much news US we missed hearing about because of President Clinton's sex scandal, or the OJ Simpson trial! Who makes the decisions of what news to report and what not to? Should this be left up to money mongering corporations or corrupt government officials?

The US government supresses large amounts of information by hiding behind the secrecy laws of "National Security". For instance, did you know that during the administration of US President George Bush, the US Military invaded the sovereign nation of Panama on the pretext of arresting and capturing former Panamanian President Manuel Noriega? Yes you say? But did you know this was just pretext and a ruse?

Did you know that all news agencies were kept completely out of the country during that military strike? Did you know that the only news that was reported to you was the news that the United States Government announced to the news media?

Did you know that the real reason for this invasion had nothing whatsoever to do with Noriega, but was launched for the sole reason of wiping out the Panamanian military? Did you know that in addition to completely dismantling and disbanding that military, through the use of force and death, that US military troops killed over 4000 innocent civilian men, women, and children? Over 16 mass graves created by the US military were discovered, which contained the bodies of these 4000 civilians!

Did you know that the real reason for disbanding the Panamanian military was so the United States could continue control of the Panama Canal? The Panama Canal was scheduled to be transferred back to Panamanian control in the year 2000. The United States is now proclaiming that because their is no Panamanian government forces which could adequately defend the Panama Canal, that the US is now forced to stop the transfer of the Panama Canal to the control of the legally elected government of Panama. The United States National Security Council has since rescinded our own law passed by Congress because of what they term "National Security".

This news was completely and totally censored from the American people. And even now all investigations about this invasion are quashed and silenced! Had it not been for the documentary "Panama Deception" by Barbara Trent, which won an Academy Award for best documentary, this travesty would have never been uncovered and reported. A copy of the film "Panama Deception" can be purchased by calling 1-800-832-4369.

It is news of this kind that has been kept from us. So ask yourselves again, how free are you really, if the only news you hear is what the American government or corporate-controlled media wants you to hear?

In effect, news that goes un-reported, is news that is censored! Because the internet is not yet controlled by any agency, corporation, or government, for the time being we still have free access to information. It is only because of that free access that we can be free. Knowledge is power! Knowledge is freedom! To help preserve the freedom of the internet, contact your government representatives and let them know how you feel. In the United States you can contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation, (

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