Talk:Police state

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Reliability of Project Censored[edit]

In the "Is the United States a police state?" section, the article cites Project Censored as a source. To be fair, there's no clear indication that the author of the article views it favorably or unfavorably, but it appears to be given the same weight as any other source. A quick look around the site revealed stories I already knew about due to having seen them in the mainstream media (including ones so widely covered that they're practically considered common knowledge, such as tax havens) and stories with conspiracist leanings, generous helpings of bias, and bad science (including GMO/Monsanto hysteria, wireless radiation hysteria, questionable claims on fracking, discredited bullshit about depleted uranium, and so on). Their Wikipedia article also reveals that the organization has made accusations of "censorship" against any institutions who don't give equal time to 9/11 truthers. From that same article, I also learned that they've been around since 1976 and were considered a reputable and respectable watchdog group when they first came onto the scene, having even received praise from Walter Cronkite. The combination of this and the previous aforementioned information indicates to me that Project Censored has gone the way of Greenpeace: a formerly respectable advocacy group that has descended into crankery. In fact, Mother Jones was calling them on their bullshit 14 years ago. The One They Call Mars (talk) 04:56, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

I personally found the Mother Jones article to be a little weak. I scour the news like a paranoid leftist fanatic (I might actually be a leftist fanatic, but I'm not paranoid in my politics), and I still don't know about a lot of the things that Project Censored puts into their top 25 each year. Under-reporting may not be media self-censorship in the strictest sense, but burying important, scary news items on the 37th page of the Monday edition of the NYT or the equivalent of such actions on television media can still make the story worthy of inclusion in a publication like PC, methinks. Also, unless I am not understanding correctly, PC is mostly focused on media organizations in the United States, so maybe stories like "25. Israel Gave Birth Control to Ethiopian Immigrants Without Their Consent" might have appeared in the press in many countries, it didn't get serious attention within the U.S. I have to say, that the 2012-2013 stories have indeed been under-reported, some of them for a very long time. Like the "11. Bush Blocked Iran Nuclear Deal" I only know about because it was mentioned briefly in one Frontline documentary about Iran. I haven't heard anything from the news about it until navigating to Project Censored just now. Anyway, that's my two cents. Rand0 (talk) 08:02, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I admit it can be a useful tool for finding out about under-reported news, just as SourceWatch can serve as a tool for finding out about corruption in business. That said, we shouldn't elevate this organization to the same level of repute and reliability as the average source, as they do have a lot of questionable (if not outright crank) material. My position is that they should be viewed in a "your mileage may vary" category and treated with a high degree of caution. It seems what you did was look up the stories and corroborate them elsewhere, which is what we should be doing. Much like SourceWatch, it's a resource with a visible slant and questionable trustworthiness which can still be used as a starting point so long as the viewer knows to fact-check rather than treat the source as Holy Flavor-Aid. Bringing under-reported news to people's attention is a noble endeavor, and PC started out doing that pretty straightforwardly without the baggage, so there has to be a more trustworthy equivalent somewhere. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find such a trustworthy equivalent at this moment. So far, the "media watchdog" or "underreported news" sites I've found have either wingut (where anti-Obamacare and Benghazi crap seem to be common themes) or moonbat (where anti-GMO crap seems to be a common theme) agendas, and while I did manage to find an "underreported stories" list on Cracked, it's not loading for me. As for the "police state" allegations, I think PC is promoting hysteria. While threats to civil liberties are certainly a valid concern, nothing's stopping people from coming out against surveillance they view as unconstitutional or from contacting their representatives and demanding legislation to combat it. I think the comparison at the bottom of our article's section to Orwell's comments on fascism is the most honest analysis of current "American police state" allegations. The One They Call Mars (talk) 22:38, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Maybe Project Censored merits an RW article. Rand0 (talk) 14:37, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I think so. My assertions that PC is to underreported news what SourceWatch is to business corruption could also support the idea of it being on-mission. The One They Call Mars (talk) 18:33, 11 April 2014 (UTC)