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Exposing the Dark Forces Behind the Snowden Smears

Snowdon smearsSince journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed the existence of the National Security Agency’s PRISM domestic surveillance program, he and his source, the whistleblower Edward Snowden, have come in for a series of ugly attacks.

On June 26, the day that the New York Daily News published a straightforward smear piece on Greenwald, the website Buzzfeed rolled out a remarkably similar article, a lengthy profile that focused on Greenwald’s personal life and supposed eccentricities.

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AP boss: Sources won’t talk anymore

APAssociated Press’ president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear.

Pruitt said the department broke its own rules with the seizure, which he said was too broad, and by failing to give the AP notice of the subpoena. Pruitt questioned the DoJ’s actions concerning the subpoena — had the DoJ come to the news organization in advance, “we could have helped them narrow the scope of the subpoena” or a court could have decided, he said.

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Journalist Michael Hastings Killed in Car Crash

Michael HastingsJournalist Michael Hastings died in a car crash in Los Angeles early Tuesday at the age of 33, according to a statement from his employer, BuzzFeed.

Hastings, who was also a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, was perhaps best known for his candid Rolling Stone interview with General Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, that eventually led to McChrystal being relieved of his command.

He was also the author of two books about America's wars: The Operators, detailing the flaws of the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan, and I Lost My Love In Baghdad, about his experiences as a war correspondent in Iraq during his mid-twenties.

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Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter

Broadcast TV vs TwitterIn moments of political and military crisis, people want to control their media and connect with family and friends. And ruling elites respond by investing in broadcast media and censoring and surveilling digital networks.

So the battles between political elites who use broadcast media and the activists who use digital media are raging in other parts of the world, as well.

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The Road to War: How the U.S. blew $2 trillion on two wars in the 21st century.

Marvin KalbThe electronic media invariably beat the war drums, presumably in subconscious anticipation of higher ratings for blood and guts live from the scene of the action, what war correspondents called "bang bang" assignments.

This could be one of the reasons the United States has gone to war time and again since World War II without the constitutional requirement of a congressional mandate.

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A Word from Our Sponsor: Public television’s attempts to placate David Koch

David KochLast fall, Alex Gibney, a documentary filmmaker who won an Academy Award in 2008 for an exposé of torture at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, completed a film called “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream.”

It was scheduled to air on PBS on November 12th. The movie had been produced independently, in part with support from the Gates Foundation. “Park Avenue” is a pointed exploration of the growing economic inequality in America and a meditation on the often self-justifying mind-set of “the one per cent.”

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Patent filing claims solar energy ‘breakthrough’

Solar energy breakthroughIn a U.S. patent application, a little-known Maryland inventor claims a stunning solar energy breakthrough that promises to end the planet’s reliance on fossil fuels at a fraction of the current cost – a transformation that also could blunt global warming.

Inventor Ronald Ace said that his flat-panel “Solar Traps,” which can be mounted on rooftops or used in electric power plants, will shatter decades-old scientific and technological barriers that have stymied efforts to make solar energy a cheap, clean and reliable alternative.

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