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Cancer and Monsanto

Be forewarned this is not a fun article.  It is a very depressing article.

This is an article about men who lie and corporations who think it is okay to deceive us.

Every day I see another story about some man who refuses to do the right thing or who is willing to absolutely lie to our faces.  As you read this story, you will read about lawyers who willingly accept money to suppress critical facts that would clearly benefit the public interest.  They do this to protect their own corporation’s bottom line.  What kind of values do these men possess?

The Medical Industry

Nor do I trust all doctors like I once did.  I just finished watching an excellent remake of “Coma”, the story of hospital executives who deliberately put otherwise healthy patients into comas to harvest body parts as well as to do risky medical research on their bodies.

Why is it that this plot is totally believable?   Every day of the week I see one hospital after another that advertises that their cancer treatment is so great that you won’t even feel a thing. 

Last night I heard one on the radio that actually said their radiation is so accurate that no healthy tissue will be damaged.  Can you imagine a more absurd statement?  Radiation is closer to sledgehammer than a laser.

Another cancer hospital advertises that their staff actually promises to care about their patients!  Really?  How much extra does that cost?  Modern health care has become so impersonal that now they advertise they will care about you.

How does a hospital say stuff like this with a straight face?  What have we come to?  

Hospitals are having a field day with cancer.  Today cancer means so much money that it isn’t hard to believe a hospital would say or do anything to gain an advantage.

Do we even trust hospitals anymore?   Dealing with the medical industry has never been more frightening because often we are forced to take the word of strangers whose true motives are so murky.  Are they looking out for our best interests or simply trying to prolong our stay till the insurance runs out?  If you can’t trust your doctor, who can you trust?  

Mind you, I am not issuing a blanket condemnation of all health care workers.  Every individual I know on a personal basis seems pretty decent to me.  But I have met one evil doctor in my life.  Once you meet a person who deliberately lies to a vulnerable patient for his own benefit, it is difficult to ever completely surrender your trust again.

Who among us hasn’t heard an “evil doctor” story?  Lurking in the background are horror stories about the medical industry. Just read the paper.  The hospitals are well aware of this public suspicion. 

Where do you suppose this growing suspicion comes from?  My guess is a groundswell of bad experiences.

For example, back in June 2012 I encountered a person who was so bitter towards the health industry that he/she lashed out at me for having the nerve to support mainstream medicine.  This person soundly chewed out me out for asking people to donate to my daughter’s Texas 4000 campaign to raise money for cancer research. 

"Rick, I know you are trying to be Mr. Nice Guy and you honestly believe that they are actually trying to find a cure for cancer.  But that is one of the biggest hoaxes and lies ever invented. 

Maybe you have an ulterior motive?  Maybe you want to piggyback on this ‘help find a cure for cancer’ so you can make some money.  If so, then you are no better than the rest."

I was stunned.  This person actually had the nerve to suggest that either I or my daughter must be benefitting from the money for me to support such a terrible cause.   I was offended.  Yet I was also curious. 

I asked why was this person so bitter towards the medical profession?

It turned out this person's mother had been badly mistreated during her cancer scare.  The experience was so horrible that this person began to investigate every angle of the business.  This person concluded that the “Cancer Industry” was one long horror story created by the profit-seeking drug industry known as “Big Pharm” and the hospitals.  How could I possibly dream of supporting these crooks?   In this person’s opinion, anyone associated with mainstream cancer treatment was in cahoots with the evil doers.  

Strong words.

For the record, this is my position.  There is clearly a cancer epidemic in our country.  I don’t want to get cancer and neither do you.  And if I do get it, knock on wood, I want to have a fighting chance to lick the problem. 

Therefore I support all the research efforts that goes into understanding what causes cancer and finding ways to prevent it and to cure it.  I am almost certain that amazing medical discoveries will come from supporting the research.  Just like the untold benefits that came from the space race, anything that improves our country’s medical technology is just as valuable.  Therefore I will help raise money for cancer research with pride... and certainly not with any sense of shame.

Dark Forces and the Cancer Epidemic

On the other hand, I strongly agree that something is terribly WRONG in our Health industry. For starters, the Health industry has some very ugly allies in the Drug industry.

Although I didn’t particularly appreciate being insulted by my conspiracy theory friend, you might be surprised to know I believe there are dark forces operating in America that DIRECTLY contribute to our country’s cancer problem.  

And who are these "Dark Forces"?  Well, the usual suspects of course.  The Tobacco Industry, the Drug Companies, and the Chemical Companies for starters.  I also believe these dark forces have lawyers, politicians and much of the media behind them. 

You would be proud of me.  Rather than just blow my accuser off, I took the time to actually listen to the arguments.  In particular, I watched one of the documentaries suggested to me, Cancer the Forbidden Cures.

The documentary was alarming to say the least. 

One point in particular caught my attention.

The documentary said this:

One person in 20 got cancer in 1900.
One person in 16 got cancer in 1940. 
One person in 10 got cancer in 1970.
One person in 03 got cancer in 2000.

The most recent statistics suggest that
1 in 2 men will develop cancer at some point in their life.
1 in 3 women will develop cancer at some point in their life.

This is ridiculous.  Something is causing this epidemic. 

There are several theories to explain the increase.  You have surely heard them yourself.

1 – Smoking
2 – Air Pollution
3 – Contaminated Drinking Water
4 – Tainted Food Supply

To quote Hamlet, “Something is rotten in Denmark”.   That said, something is clearly rotten in the United States as well. 

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand

So why don’t we do something about it?   Well, those “dark forces” I alluded to will strike down anyone willing to take a stand.  More people would do something about the problems if they didn’t have to risk their lives and their livelihood just to do the right thing.

Anyone who dares to stand up to the “dark forces” risks everything.  It is one thing to be brave all by yourself.  However, if you have a family, do you dare take a stand and risk losing it all? 

Let’s study the story of one man who attempted to do this very thing in face of all the dire consequences. To date, the one man I admire the most is Dr. Jeffrey Wigand. 

Dr. Wigand is the man who blew the lid off the Tobacco Industry’s lies in a famous interview on 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace.

Dr. Wigand had his life threatened.  He lost his job.  He lost his marriage.  His wife left him and took his kids.  He lost his home.  He lost his health insurance which was important since his daughter had acute asthma. 

The tobacco industry went all out to discredit Wigand and ruin his reputation.  No one would hire him after that.  Wigand was sued for his whistle-blower activities and threatened with incarceration. Big Tobacco said Wigand violated his Confidentiality agreement, so they took him to court for having the guts to tell the world that Tobacco was deliberately concealing studies that proved the link between smoking and cancer.   Wigand also said the Tobacco industry was sitting on reports that proved that nicotine was highly addictive.

In short, Dr. Wigand suffered tremendously for his courage.  And you know what?  It didn’t stop him.  To get a very good idea of the sacrifices Jeffrey Wigand made and the terrors he faced, watch the excellent movie The Insider with Al Pacino as Mike Wallace and Russell Crowe as Dr. Wigand.   Here is a look at one of the scenes from the movie:

Looking at the movie set in the temporary courtroom in Pascagoula, where the deposition actually took place, Mississippi Attorney General Moore was surprised by the attention to detail, both in the set and the depiction of courtroom activity.

"I remember the original showdown vividly.  There were about fifty or sixty tobacco lawyers piled up over there," Moore recalled, pointing to the far side of the room.

"Some of them were actually smoking cigarettes, blowing smoke rings. They were the most arrogant bunch I've ever seen. But when we finally got the word that Jeffrey would give his deposition, I walked in and gave the signal.  And all those guys went nuts. They were incredulous that this man had defied all their threats."

That was the day that Wigand took the SOBs down.

Tobacco has never been the same since.   

I can personally say that the incidence of smoking in Europe is two or three times higher than it is in America.  I give the credit to Dr. Wigand for exposing Tobacco at great personal risk.  His heroic action helped turn American opinion so strongly against this evil industry that I have witnessed an incredible decrease in smoking in my own country.  Too bad Europe doesn’t have someone like him.

In Dr. Wigand’s own words…

“I am honored that people think I am a hero.  I do not accept that moniker as others are much more deserving of it.  I did what was right.  I have no regrets and would do it again.  As you see, we were just ordinary people placed in some extraordinary situations who did the right thing... as all people should do.”


Tainted Food

Okay, so what about our food supply? 

Have you ever heard the rumor that red meat and cancer are linked?  It takes about a nanosecond to find articles all over the Internet that suggest red meat might be dangerous. 

Here’s one in the New York Times: Red Meat Linked to Cancer and Heart Disease

It doesn’t take long to find a website willing to remind people that red meat may contain antibiotics, steroids, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and even “pink slime” (a goo made out of waste trimmings previously reserved for dog food and cooking oil). 

Okay, we’ve heard that before, but who believes that kind of stuff?  Last time anyone checked, the Big Macs were still flying off the skillet.

Hamburgers are one thing, but what about milk?   Milk is the very icon of health.  Milk is Mom, babies and the American Way all wrapped into one delicious package. 

What if someone told you the milk you drink might be spiked with poisonous contamination?

Would you drink it anyway?  Would you give it to your children?

Of course not. 

Heck, most of us don’t even drink water out of the faucet any more.  What if it turns out we can’t even trust our milk?  

There is cancer everywhere and none of us feel safe.   The threats are invisible.  We have no idea who or what is causing all these people to fall to right and left of us.  Every single one of us knows someone who is suffering from cancer as I write.  Cancer is so out of control it reminds me of the Black Plague of Europe. 

And then one day it could be you or me who gets sick.  As we wrestle with this terrifying news, we could go crazy wondering what could have caused this or how could we have prevented this.  It’s not just tobacco anymore.  I know lots of people who get cancer who have never smoked a cigarette in their life.   Something is in the air.  Or is it the water?  Or is it hidden asbestos in the wall?  Or is that hamburger?   What could it be? 

What if no one told you about the milk?   No one would ever suspect milk.   More than likely you would keep buying the milk and drinking it… over and over and over again.  And I bet your kids would drink the milk too.

And what happens when your own kid ends up with childhood leukemia?   It breaks your heart.   Go visit the Ronald MacDonald House in Houston where families of sick children stay.  You stare at the poor children and wonder how all these precious innocent kids could possibly get cancer. 

Let’s say you have a child who is fighting for his life with childhood leukemia and you are sick with grief and powerless to help.  Someone tells you the story of two investigative reporters who did everything in their power to report a dangerous cancer-causing milk situation in Florida only to be completely shut down by their very own news organization. 

Thinking back to all the times your kid drank the milk you gave him, I bet you would go nuts.  I know I would.  To think that a news organization would deliberately kill a legitimate health warning is beyond understanding.  And yet that’s exactly what happened!

Jane Akre and Steve Wilson

Recently a friend of mine turned me onto a link that shared the story of Steve Wilson and Jane Akre, two reporters who tried to break the story of a chemical produced by Monsanto that was poisoning the milk-producing cows of Florida.

They were about to go on air when Fox News, their employer, decided to shut them down.

The easiest way to get a feel for the story is to watch the same video I saw:
Monsanto Cancer Milk - FOX NEWS KILLS STORY - FIRES Reporters

You should see the video, but maybe you are busy or maybe you would prefer to keep reading.  If so, here is a brief synopsis of the story. 

Wilson and Akre were award-winning investigative reporters who were hired by Fox News in Tampa, Florida, to protect the public.

This husband and wife team did their job well.  Almost immediately they uncovered a story that was so important that they were later given the Goldman Environmental prize, considered the Nobel Prize for the environment.   They discovered that 90% of the cows in Florida were being injected with a bovine growth hormone known as Posilac.  It was manufactured by Monsanto.

Research had shown that ‘Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone’ (rbGH) definitely caused cows to produce more milk.  It increased a cow’s output by 5%. 

There you go.  To get an extra 5%, why bother adding one cow to the herd of twenty when you can inject the animals with a convenient growth hormone?

Unfortunately rbGH did more than make Elsie the Cow make more milk.  The milk from treated cows has been dangerously linked to cancer.

According to an article written by Jeffrey Smith of the Huffington Post:

Milk from treated cows is different from normal milk. It has more pus, more antibiotics, more bovine growth hormone, and most importantly, higher levels of the hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

IGF-1 is one of the most powerful growth hormones in the human body and is naturally present in cows' milk.

Milk drinkers increase their IGF-1 levels. One study showed a 10% increase. Another, analyzing diets of more than 1,000 nurses, showed milk was the food most associated with high IGF-1 levels.

Neither of these studies used milk from cows treated with rbGH. If they had, the results may have been considerably more significant, since levels of IGF-1 in milk from treated cows can be up to 10 times higher, and according to rbGH expert Samuel Epstein MD, detection methods may underestimate the amount and impact of this increase by up to forty fold.

High IGF-1 levels is a huge cancer risk, according to more than three dozen studies.

Rick’s Note:  For the record, I have no idea just how "dangerous" the risk isI have no science background and no medical background. Nor do I have any personal knowledge that this Florida milk is as bad as they say it is.  I have simply reprinted the words of others.  I also printed the source, now it’s up to you to decide for yourself whether you accept that the risk listed above is real or bogus.

One thing I need to add is that Steve Wilson and Jean Akre discovered that authorities in Canada, the UK, and parts of Europe had all banned the use of rbGH based on this research. 

And yet here in the United States, this same hormone had been approved by the FDA. 

What Wilson and Akre discovered was that anyone in Florida who fed regular milk to their family had a 90% chance of using milk from a cow injected with rbGH, a growth hormone linked to cancer that was feared in Europe and Canada but ignored by our own American health officials.

Incredulous, Wilson and Akre put together a documentary that was scheduled to be aired.

However, from the perspective of Fox News, Wilson and Akre had done their job a bit too well.  Fox News pulled the story before it could air.

In a situation that eerily parallels how Tobacco managed to initially get CBS to back off from Jeffrey Wigand’s incredible ’60 minutes’ interview, Monsanto accomplished the same thing with Fox News.

On the Friday before the Monday air date, Monsanto's lawyer faxed a letter to Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News in New York, claiming that the series was biased and unscientific.

The letter threatened, "There is a lot at stake in what is going on in Florida, not only for Monsanto, but also for Fox News and its owner."

Rupert Murdoch, of course is the owner.  What was at stake was lots of Monsanto advertising dollars for the Florida station, the entire Fox network, and Murdoch's Actmedia, a major advertising agency used by Monsanto.

Monsanto spoke and Fox listened.  Fox pulled the series for "further review."

The Florida station's general manager was warned about Monsanto’s threats. Fortunately, he had a background in investigative reporting.  The general manager looked at the research and meticulously vetted the show.  Then he verified that every statement made by Wilson and Akre was accurate and unbiased.  Afterwards, he allowed the station to reschedule the series for the following week.

Monsanto's attorney immediately sent another, more strongly worded letter to Ailes, this time indicating that the news story "could lead to serious damage to Monsanto and dire consequences for Fox News."

The airing was postponed indefinitely.

Now a drama unfolded.  The general manager who had approved the piece was fired and a new manager was installed at the Tampa station.  Wilson and Akre were called into his office.

“Dave”, as he was referred by Wilson and Akre, began the meeting by saying, “What if I killed this piece?  Would you tell anybody?”

Wilson replied, “I’m not going to lie for you.” 

End of meeting.

A week later they were back in Dave's office.  This time Dave tried to intimidate them.  Dave said, “I have some changes I want you to make to your story.  You will make these changes.”

Wilson looked at the changes and shook his head.  “Our research shows that this information you want me to broadcast isn't true.”

Dave replied, “I don't care about that.  That's what I have lawyers for.  Just write it the way the lawyers want it.”

Wilson said, “This is news, Dave.  This is important.  This is stuff people need to know to protect their families!”

Dave brushed him off.  “We just paid 3 Billion dollars for this TV station.  You aren’t going to tell us what the news is, we will tell you what the news is.  The news is what we say it is.   If you refuse, you'll be fired.”

Wilson replied, “Go right ahead.  I will go to the FCC.  I refuse to lie for you on the air.” 

End of meeting.

A week later, Dave called them back with a new strategy.  “How about if we pay you some money and you just go away?”

Wilson and Akre were going to get the rest of the year’s salary in return for Monsanto confidentiality.  They would never speak about this anywhere.

So Wilson said, “Okay, Dave, write it up!  Let’s see what the offer is.”

Dave wrote it up. Then he called them into his office. Dave eagerly asked, “Are you gonna sign it?”

Wilson smiled.  “Nah, Dave, we’re not going to sign that.”

Disappointed, Dave said, “Well, then send the contract back.”

Wilson said, “Nah, Dave, we aren't going to send it back.”

End of meeting. 

Then Dave moved on to a new strategy.  “Okay, if we can't buy you out and we can’t shut you up, then let’s rewrite the story a little bit.” 

Wilson and Akre would spend the next EIGHT MONTHS rewriting the story.  Almost every edit weakened the story in Monsanto’s favor.  

For example, they were told to take out the word ‘Cancer’ and substitute the phrase ‘human health implications’.  Let's compare.

“If you drink the milk, you might get cancer.”

“If you drink the milk, it has human health implications.” 

Change this, change that.  Remove this or minimize that.  83 times the script was rewritten. 

It didn't take long for Wilson and Akre to figure it out.  Obviously Fox didn't really want to put the story on the air.  They were just keeping Wilson and Akre busy with this runaround so they couldn’t cause any trouble.

Dave and his Fox lawyers were trying to wait them out or fire them if they made the slightest mistake.   Wilson and Akre did not make any mistakes.  They played the game.

Finally Fox just fired them anyway.

Steve Wilson wrote a letter to Carolyn Forrest, a Fox corporate lawyer.  Among other things, Wilson said, “You are firing us because we refused to put on the air something that is false and misleading.   We were fired because we stood up and said there should be a principle higher than just making money.”

The Fox lawyer replied, "You're right!  You stood up and that’s why we are letting you go.”

This reply was a mistake... You can’t fire someone for refusing to do something illegal... that’s retaliation.  This letter gave Wilson and Akre whistle blower status.  So they sued Fox News.

3 years later, the jury’s verdict came down in Acre and Wilson's favor.  $425,000 in damages.

However, Fox appealed to an appellate court.  It took three more years, but Fox won after the court declared that the FCC policy against falsification that Fox violated was just a “policy” and not a “law, rule, or regulation”. 

Since it was not against the law to lie on air, therefore the whistle blower law did not apply.

Acre wasn’t finished.  She took the same lawsuit to Florida, but her claim against Fox was denied again on the grounds that falsifying news is NOT against the law. 

In simple terms, yes, a corporation can’t fire someone for refusing to do something illegal… but if telling someone to lie on air is not necessarily “illegal”, then you can fire them. The Florida judges said Acre’s claim was no good because it is not against the law to put false news on the air. 

Since the FCC’s news distortion policy did not qualify as a rule, law, or regulation, the implication of this decision was powerfulThe court had just indicated it was completely permissible for a news agency to insist that its reporters lie on the air if the company told them to.

I understand that Fox News is very popular with many Newsletter readers, so accept my apology if I have stepped on any toes.  I will simply say that I didn’t make this stuff up.  If you wish to fact-check me, go right ahead.  Dial up Google and try these key words: “fox news monsanto right to lie”.  See what you get.

If you wish to defend the Fox position, be my guest… send me an email.  I’ll be happy to print it. 

Do these People have any morals at all?

After the decision, even though Canada and Europe upheld the ban on this growth hormone, Florida continued to let the tainted milk flow.  I believe Monsanto then attempted to introduce the hormone drug to other states.  For example, I noticed a story where the governor of Kansas was petitioned to ban the product in the mid-2000s.

You might be surprised to learn this incident is not recent.  The only thing ‘recent’ about the Milk story is the fact that I just learned about it last week in September 2012.  I asked my wife.  Marla said she had never heard of this story before either.

The actual incident took place in 1997.  Thanks to the lawyers, that milk with all the pus and all the antibiotics has been given to Florida’s children for the past 15 years.   Of course, if any of the kids get sick, good luck proving what caused it.

As it stands, Monsanto and other companies like them create these genetic modifying drugs to increase corporate profits.  As this story suggests, some of these drugs are irresponsibly shoved down everyone's throats despite valid medical objections. You begin to wonder what kind of people run these companies.  This story makes Monsanto out to be a scourge of all life on planet Earth!! 

You say to yourself, “Surely the men who run Monsanto are decent human beings. They wouldn’t deliberately foist a bad product on the public.” 

And then you turn around and watch Jeff Wigand’s The Insider.  As you watch the scene where the heads of the five largest Tobacco companies lie through their teeth at a Congressional hearing, any naivety disappears.  

In that moment, you realize there is a type of human being who really is willing to poison an entire country with their product. 

And you realize the Monsanto mind-set is pretty much the same as that of the Tobacco industry.


Conspiracy Theory

So you ask yourself, "Can this be done?  Is it possible to get a dangerous product on the market?  If so, how is this done?"

Well, you start with money.  Money clearly buys the lawyers who are willing to defend these anti-life Tobacco and Chemical companies.  I don't think anyone who studied the Jeff Wigand story has trouble accepting the Dark Forces use lawyers to great advantage.

Since it is obvious that there are lawyers who don’t care, then why should the public health officials care?  Do we dare suggest some FDA officials might be willing to listen to Monsanto's version of the science in return for quasi-legal favors and benefits? 

There are also suggestions the Dairy industry is complicit with these drug makers as well. 

But to me, the biggest question is how does an American Court return a verdict that so absurdly violates all tenets of common sense? How does a court give a corporation permission to lie to the public? 

Do we dare ask if it is possible that dark forces using BIG MONEY are able manipulate our court system by electing cooperative judges? 

Any fan of John Grisham’s “The Appeal” would say yes.

Mississippi attorneys Wes and Mary Grace Payton have battled New York City-based Krane Chemical in an effort to seek justice for their client Jeannette Baker, who lost her husband and young son to cancer likely caused by carcinogenic pollutants the company knowingly and negligently allowed to seep into the town of Bowmore's water supply.

When the jury awards the plaintiff $3 million in wrongful death damages and $38 million in punitive damages, billionaire CEO Carl Trudeau vows to do whatever is necessary to overturn their decision and save his company's stocks.

Since Mississippi Supreme Court justices are elected rather than appointed, Trudeau plots with Barry Rinehart of Troy-Hogan, a Boca Raton firm that specializes in elections and does secret deals off shore.  Together they begin a search to select a candidate who can defeat Sheila McCarthy, a justice known for her tendency to side with the underdog.  When it comes time for the Appeal, it would be a great advantage to get one of their own guys on the court instead.

Now in all fairness, Grisham’s book is a work of fiction.  But it is said to be based on a true story.

Can I prove any of this?  Of course not!  For that matter, I could very easily be wrong about several of the things I have printed.  After all, everything I have typed was simply copied from various websites.  I have no way of knowing how accurate these websites are.

So take it all with a grain of chemically-altered salt. 

Does Anyone Still Believe We Can Trust Corporations? 

The only thing in this article that I think you can accept as ‘fact’ is that cancer is out of control. 

Something is killing us.  It’s in the ground, it’s in the air, and it’s in the water.  For that matter, it is probably in our walls too if you buy the mesothelioma arguments.  I am not a scientist.  I am just an average person like you who feels very vulnerable.  I am trying to figure out where the threats are and who I can trust.

I have already mentioned The Insider, the true story of a research chemist who comes under severe personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

And surely you’ve seen Erin Brockovich, the true story of an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Another good movie is A Civil Action.   This movie tells the true story of a court case that revolved around the issue of trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent, and its contamination of a local aquifer in Massachusetts.  A lawsuit was filed over industrial operations that appeared to have caused fatal cases of leukemia and cancer among the citizens of the town.

Let me repeat that all three movies are true stories.  Taken together, these movies show beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are some chemical companies and some tobacco companies that have no conscience.  Not only will these organizations pollute the environment and kill innocent people, they have no qualms about using amoral lawyers to escape responsibility. 

For example, I ran across a story where Monsanto was sued in Pennsylvania for asbestos manufacture.  Monsanto lost. 

But when you have deep pockets and plenty of lawyers ready to do your bidding, you never really lose, do you?  After a marathon series of appeals, seventeen years later (1990-2007), Monsanto won. 

The Media

If we can't depend on our legal system to protect us, we assume the media exists to protect us.  Surely well-meaning reporters like Woodward and Bernstein will cast light on all evil doers and help protect society from these menaces. 

However, if you remember, thanks to the lawyers, the Washington Post was terrified of taking on the corrupt Nixon White House.  For that matter, my article has shown that CBS also panicked in Wigand case thanks to the lawyers.  Fortunately, to their credit, the Washington Post and CBS did finally get it right.  As a result, the world was rid of Nixon and Tobacco is now back on its heels.

As for Fox News, make up your own mind.  When Fox won the appeal, the news agency immediately broadcast on the air that they had been vindicated.  Surely someone saw the irony of a news agency that openly celebrated winning the right to lie to the public.  

I ran across a fascinating video titled Media Lying & Distortion Of News is Not Against Law

The video featured a man named Thom Hartmann speaking for a show called the Daily Take.  Hartmann cut it right down the middle.  He just stated the facts and kept his opinions to himself. 

Hartmann explained that there was a ruling dating all the way back to 1886 that first gave corporations the right to lie.  Then Hartmann traced how that thread has affected court cases involving telling the truth all the way up to the famous Nike sweatshop court case (Kasky vs. Nike) as well as the Fox News situation. 

Hartmann pointed out this "corporate lying" stuff is very complicated.  Nike actually lost its case, but Fox won.  Apparently the media is held to a different standard.  Nike broke a law, Fox broke a policy.  Big difference.

In Hartmann’s words, the 2003 Fox News victory at the Appeals Court meant that as a corporation, Fox not only had the right to lie, it also had the right to force its reporters to lie with the threat of firing them if they did not comply. Their reporters must be willing to lie on the air when told to or risk being fired.   That decision still stands today.

Now that Fox has proven in court it has the right to tell its reporters to lie to protect corporate and political friends and advertising interests, businesses such as Monsanto are emboldened to say whatever it pleases them to say. 

Parting Thought

This has been a story that hints there is true evil that exists inside our country.  It seems that America is littered with countless numbers of men who, when given the choice, deliberately act in ways that are not in the public’s best interest.

For every hero like Woodward and Bernstein or Wilson and Akre or Jeffrey Wigand who stand up at great personal risk for what is right, it seems like there is an army of amoral lawyers who are more than willing to represent the faceless dark forces. 

What I want is the opportunity to ask those Fox lawyers a simple question… Where do you buy the milk that you serve to your children?   

And then I want to ask the Monsanto lawyers the same thing.

And then I want to ask the men who run Monsanto if they are willing to drink a cup of pus-filled Florida milk every day for a solid year.  Let’s see if they take the dare.

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