The TRUTH versus The Associated Press and Controlled Mainstream Media
In this article, I lay out how the Mainstream Media is carefully controlled. The control is so pervasive that an entire article will contain made up quotes from real people saying things that they would never ever say.
The Corruption of The Associated Press
The Truth and the Associated Press
by Carol Sterritt
In the mid 1990's a gas additive was being mandated for use in the fuels for California gasoline.
It was called "MTBE" and even various ecology-minded groups like the Sierra Club were among those pushing to legislate its use.
I began researching the story - happy at last to research a story that seemed to be "Win-Win." For the first time since Henry Ford switched the automobile to gasoline use, Corporate America was joining forces not only with scientists but also with the environmental movement for cleaner fuel.
Or so it seemed.
But on my first day of making calls, Chevron immediately began stonewalling me. They would not release any information.
I began to have California Air Resources Board send me information on MTBE. Soon, it became evident that that the scientific evidence between the product's touted safety and its touted health benefits was contradictory at best and possibly erroneous at worst.
After six months, I had some damning evidence against MTBE. I approached several large West coast papers. Including the Mercury News in San Jose and the San Francisco Chronicle.
My press release stated that I had ample research on what was promising to be the largest story of the decade in terms of public policy affecting human health and water quality.
Initially several newspapers responded to my press release. But when they found out the the story involved Big Oil, they all backed off.
Mind you, at the time, I was not expecting these newspapers to have me do the reporting. I was willing to turn over my research to whatever
news organization wanted it. I'm a tech writer, Gul Darn it! Not a reporter. But still, there was no response.
The story and its research sat on my shelves. As it gathered dust, the public mobilized. The toxic stuff was getting in the drinking water. Even at levels as low as four parts per billion, MTBE could make your local water supply taste like it was 100% kerosene.
People who drank and showered in MTBE-tainted water had immediate health problems. Surveys showed that the chance of any water aqueduct being impacted by this pollutant were as high as 50-50. A neighborhood in San Diego had to find an alternate water source when its water supply was contaminated.
The state of California's own research showed that a high proportion of the substance would be converted into formaldehyde, a seriously toxic chemical, once the MTBE hit the automobile's compression cycle.
Finally an independent newspaper, "The Coastal Post," wanted my story on MTBE. I wrote it and it went out. (www.coastalpost.com)
That issue came out in June of 1997. After that, Paul Hersch of "Water Online" re-edited my copy and put the word out on the Internet. Three months later, at the end of September, the SF Chronicle finally tackled the story. Yes, the independent monthly that published me beat out the San Francisco Chronicle by months!!
Next, a Blue Ribbon Panel was appointed by CA Gov Davis. It would be headed by John Froines. His team of researchers would look into MTBE and then determine if it posed a serious risk to the public's safety.
In late 1998, while browsing through a local paper, I saw a headline. It read: "MTBE PROVEN TO BE NON-CARCINOGENIC." The article carried an Associated Press byline. Apparently Froines had sold out. And thus he had compromised the Blue Ribbon Panel? How dare he!!
I was so mad, I was frothing. Various activists had told me that John Froines would never, ever be bought out. His respect reached across party lines. His years as an independent researcher encouraged most anti-MTBE activists to believe that his research on MTBE would remain independent as well. Most people felt that he was someone beyond the reach of the millions of bucks that the oil companies would offer for a scientist to taint the research.
From my research, I had conclusive evidence that the main reason that the oil companies loved MTBE was a sinister tale. Their love for MTBE was not because of its supposed environmental charms, but because it would save them money. MTBE was so entirely noxious, due to both its content of ether, and its propensity to turn into formaldehyde once inside a car's compression system, that it should have been carted off and buried at a SuperFund site. But instead of being placed in a SuperFund site, the MTBE was placed into the gasoline and then sold to the public.
The news that Froines had possibly sold out troubled me. He had been a childhood hero - he was one of the original Chicago Seven. The trial of these activists had given me hope at a time when the war in Vietnam oppressed the spirits of many young people.
By March or April of 1999, there were hearings in Sacramento. I heard Froines would be there. I decided I would attend - feeling that he was owed a punch in the face, if nothing else.
Got to the hearings. Told Froines why I was there. He said, "Well why are you upset with me?" I showed him the news copy and he laughed.
"Carol, please believe me, I SAID EXACTLY THE opposite of what that headline reads. I would never ever say that MTBE was not carcinogenic. In fact, all of my panel's study of that compound indicates that it deserves a prominent spot on Prop 65 list." (Prop 65 is a CA state law that requires that any chemical deemed a potent health risk must be listed as such, and that any place of business using a listed item must disclose that fact to the public.)
I felt relief that Froines had proven to stay above the corrupting processes of Big Industry. Apparently though, the media was not afraid of being corrupted by the Oil Companies. Apparently, Mainstream Media liked being corrupted.
Froines continued: "So Carol, all of the quotes attributed to me inside that AP article are made up as well. They simply fabricated my words!" He went on to explain that although the Blue Ribbon panel could not yet PROVE that MTBE was a carcinogen, they felt that they were close to proving that.
But it taught me an important concept- it takes a long time for a story against the better interests of the Big Oil, Big Banking, Military interests etc to arrive on the printed page.
And even then, its presence will be altered so that the Powers that Be can make the sale on their product. If lies are required to do that, the Press will go down as a willing accomplice!
Truth be Damned!