August 20, 2008

Brenda Norrell censored?

Brenda Norrell is a non-Native journalist who's been writing left-leaning articles about Natives for decades. I've met her before and she's obviously passionate about her cause.

But in September 2006, she was terminated from her position at Indian Country Today. You can read the whole story in her blog, but here are the key paragraphs:

Censored in the USA:  Hush wordsIn Indian country news, there are also hush words, words to be used sparingly, if at all. For editors, those words include two names "Russell Means" and "Leonard Peltier." Also, in Indian country, reporters know it is unlikely that editors will publish any serious criticism of the war in Iraq or the Bush administration. Reporters also know it is unlikely that their articles will be published if they point out how the elected American Indian tribal councils sell out their people and their land, air and water for energy royalties and energy leases. At the same time, those councilmen and tribal chairmen give voice to the need to protect sacred Mother Earth.And:At ICT, I was terminated after one of my articles was rewritten, turning the exposure of Donald Rumsfeld profiteering from the bird flu's Tamiflu into a near advertisement for the product. Also before I was terminated, I was instructed to never write about, or even investigate, the fact that the Navajo commercial farm, Navajo Agricultural Products Industries, has a Raytheon Missile factory on the same land where it grows potatoes, corn and other commercial crops. The Navajo Nation owned NAPI also boasts that it uses genetically-modified seeds; seeds leading to widespread misery for the world's Indigenous Peoples.

I was also told I could not publish a news probe into whether Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell was actually Portuguese or Northern Cheyenne.
Comment:  Norrell notes that she was fired without a reason. She does give one example of a paragraph in a Longest Walk article that another newspaper "censored." Here it is before:It was in Greensburg, Kansas, that another dimension of the west opened up, the force of a tornado to rip out a town. The debris was still piled high nearly one year after the tornado of May 4, 2007. I could only think of the billions of dollars going to rebuild Iraq, after the US bombed it; the billions going to the corporate friends of the Bush family. Still, there was hope and abundant love in this town as the people were rebuilding green, focused on solar and wind power and sustainable gardening.And after:It was in Greensburg, Kan., that another dimension of the West opened up to the group--the force of a tornado to rip apart a town. Debris was still piled high nearly one year after the tornado struck on May 4, 2007. Still, there was hope and abundant love in this town as the people were rebuilding “green,” focusing on solar and wind power.Even though the article was a personal essay, I could see deleting the Bush remarks. They were kind of out of place. The article was supposed to be an overview of the Longest Walk, not a critique of Bush. If it had been an analysis of how we're underfunding necessary Indian services or our national parks and forests, then the Bush-bashing would've been appropriate.

It's possible to imagine why Norrell got fired. Her articles are a little "out there" for a mainstream publication. What does Rumsfeld profiteering from Tamiflu have to do with Native issues, for instance?

Still, she keeps fighting the good fight in various publications and on her blog. And we post her articles on to give them wider exposure. You go, Brenda!

For more on the subject, see Native Journalism:  To Tell the Truth.


Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Thanks for covering these important issues. However, I was fired in September of 2006 by Indian Country Today, not in July. Two of the issues that the managing editor insisted that I stop covering were: grassroots people and the genocide of American Indians. It was for this reason that I created Censored News, to let people know what the censored issues are. (If you research the issue on Rumsfeld, you will see that he profiteered from the sale of stocks on the medication Tamiflu for the bird flu.) In many cases, people are just not aware of the facts and write the articles off as "leftwing" thinking. I now serve as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and just began as human rights columnist for the Sri Lanka Guardian. Best, Brenda

Rob said...

Okay, Brenda, I'll correct the date in my posting. I was misled because you posted the news in July 2008 and it sounded as if it had just happened.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Censorship happens everywhere and for every reason in American (even Native) journalism. As a Native journalist himself, writerfella knows it even happens here on NEWSPAPER ROCK because the blogmaster's opinions are written on stone...
All Best
Russ Bates

dmarks said...

How can there be censorship on Newspaper Rock? The government is not involved, for one thing. But even more importantly, anyone, including Writerfella, can easily set up the the exact same sort of blogspot/blogger blog that Rob has here. It just takes a half a minute or so to create it, and then you have your voice.

I don't recall the meaning of censorship to include someone choosing what to include or not to include in their privately-run journal.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
When one of writerfella's posts EVAPORATED about a year ago, Rob was asked by writerfella if Rob had deleted it. And Rob said, right here on this site, no, he didn't know how to do that and even if he did know, he would not. BUT -- if you wish to see the proof of that lie, writerfella can forward you the e-mails where Rob has said in so many words that he would delete any comment with which he did not agree. Ready to learn that Rob IS and ALWAYS will be...the White Man?
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Russ, you've stupidly misstated the facts yet again. You really are as weak a reader as you are a writer, aren't you?

First, I said I could delete messages but couldn't edit them. Again: Delete yes, edit no. How many times do I have to say this before you'll get it through your thick skull?

Second, I told you (and everyone) that I'd delete your lies and personal attacks whenever they have nothing to do with the issues. Since you've posted lies and personal attacks before, I've deleted them. I'll continue to do so whenever you try to boost your pathetic ego at my expense.

Readers don't need to reread your lies since I've linked to them often enough. But I'll do it again for new readers. If you want to see Russ's previous lies in black and white, click here:

"Russell Bates" liar

Be sure to click on the "More results from" link for more of Russ's lies.

Rob said...

Yeah, go ahead and forward my e-mails, liar. People will see that I've said in private exactly what I just said in public. What they won't see is my saying that I'll delete anything I disagree with.

Here, yellow belly, I'll quote an e-mail exchange for you. This message is from 7/12/08 and your comments are in brackets. Read 'em and weep:

>> If everyone but you ostensibly is wrong, then you never wanted 'comments.' You wanted approbation. <<

Stop wasting my time with this stupidity. If you're too ignorant to know the difference between an intellectual argument and a personal attack, I'll spell it out the next time you attack me. You'll recognize it because it'll be an unfounded opinion that has little or no relevance to the issue at hand.

>> But you were not seeking, it would seem, either discourse or discussion, and most certainly not debate. <<

That's hysterical considering you're the fraidy-cat who almost never backs his outlandish claims with facts or evidence. Our usual "debate" consists of your posting some cockeyed theory, my demanding evidence, and your turning tail and running from anything resembling an intellectual exchange.

>> Is NEWSPAPER ROCK a two-way street or simply a one-way alley leading out of town? <<

It's a two-way street where the civilized rules of decorum apply and I'm the sheriff who applies them. It's not the Wild West where anyone can shoot off his mouth about anything he wishes, regardless of whom it attacks or insults.

Next time you post a personal attack with no merit, I reserve the right to delete it. I'll give you every chance to rephrase the comment and post it again. You can repeat the intellectual content, if any, as long as you lose the personal attack.

Again, if you don't like it, start your own blog. You're delusional if you think my blog exists for you to say anything that pops into your mind. I've been more tolerant than almost every blogger in existence, but that's coming to an end.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Humorous, as you are the white man but it is writerfella who is being called the liar. Very well, Rob, as writerfella still has the e-mail where you SPECIFICALLY DENIED being able to do anything of EITHER kind. For ya see, writerfella archives, too. All the way up to the most recent one where you said you would and could delete any e-mail, ending with that hoariest of cliches, "How do you like them apples?" How jejune...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

I said I could delete comments because I can. What I can't do is edit comments. Nor have I ever said I could.

I see you're still lying to people. In the e-mail you referred to, I explicitly mentioned deleting personal attacks, not any message I feel like. Here's the exact quote:

"FYI, if I catch you posting a last-minute attack, I'll delete it and you won't even know it. How do you like them apples?"

As for your threat, bring it on, old man. I'm not the slightest bit worried. Either you'll post the truth or I'll delete another of your lies.

It's already been 36 hours since you issued your threat. So where's the e-mail, mouth? Put up or shut up, you pathetic joke.

Most likely you'll turn tail and run at the thought of getting your butt kicked again. That's what you've done in the past, at least. Indeed, I think I can see the yellow streak down your back already.

Rob said...

I gave Russell Bates plenty of time to respond. After two months...nothing. The big fat liar lied about having an e-mail of mine. Specifically, an e-mail where I explicitly said I couldn't delete blog comments.

I'd never say that because anyone who blogs knows I can delete them. What I can't do is edit them. I've said that several times and I've never said otherwise.

Once again, we've caught Russ lying through his teeth. And then turning tail and running when he couldn't justify his lies. Amazing how this self-proclaimed "genius" is such an intellectual and moral coward.

All I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, you worthless piece of trash. Get lost and don't come back until you can speak and write honestly.

P.S. For more of Russ's lies, see "Russell Bates" liar.

Anonymous said...

My name is Maura Logan and i would like to show you my personal experience with Tamiflu.

I am 63 years old. Have been on Tamiflu for 5 days now. Formerly had no negative feelings about "Big Pharmaceutical" but this medication has changed my mind. Definitely needed more extensive testing by the FDA.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Horrible itching started after 8 pills (fourth day) and has lasted for six more days--and counting. Also suffering insomnia, and mood swings--crying and sour temper. Dr. wasn't even sure I had the flu (headache, severe body ache, exhaustion but no cold symptoms). Med seemed to help, but the after-effects are totally miserable. Hugely expensive med and not worth the risk. Absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE this medication!

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Maura Logan