Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Truth is a commodity for J&J, Wells Fargo, Wall Street & Media

Johnson & Johnson got busted selling baby powder even though it had asbestos in it and caused cancer!

This won't look to good for them for a little while but that's OK they're just going to buy a new version of scientific facts and indoctrinate us to believe them and the mainstream med appears willing to let them as long us they get a cut of the loot!

After all the truth is a commodity on commercial media and can be sold to the highest bidder!

Think I'm kidding?

I wish I was, but it's true as indicated in the following article, and others showing that the media routinely reject ads that interfere with profits, even if they might be true, while allowing ads that are fraudulent, paid for with money obtained from consumers through deception, and even contribute to violence or other social problems:

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder 12/14/2018

Facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that its talc caused cancer, J&J insists on the safety and purity of its iconic product. But internal documents examined by Reuters show that the company's powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J kept that information from regulators and the public.

Darlene Coker knew she was dying. She just wanted to know why.

She knew that her cancer, mesothelioma, arose in the delicate membrane surrounding her lungs and other organs. She knew it was as rare as it was deadly, a signature of exposure to asbestos. And she knew it afflicted mostly men who inhaled asbestos dust in mines and industries such as shipbuilding that used the carcinogen before its risks were understood.

Coker, 52 years old, had raised two daughters and was running a massage school in Lumberton, a small town in eastern Texas. How had she been exposed to asbestos? “She wanted answers,” her daughter Cady Evans said.

Fighting for every breath and in crippling pain, Coker hired Herschel Hobson, a personal-injury lawyer. He homed in on a suspect: the Johnson’s Baby Powder that Coker had used on her infant children and sprinkled on herself all her life. Hobson knew that talc and asbestos often occurred together in the earth, and that mined talc could be contaminated with the carcinogen. Coker sued Johnson & Johnson, alleging that “poisonous talc” in the company’s beloved product was her killer.

J&J didn’t tell the FDA that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc – in one case at levels reported as “rather high.”

J&J denied the claim. Baby Powder was asbestos-free, it said. As the case proceeded, J&J was able to avoid handing over talc test results and other internal company records Hobson had requested to make the case against Baby Powder.

Coker had no choice but to drop her lawsuit, Hobson said. “When you are the plaintiff, you have the burden of proof,” he said. “We didn’t have it.”

That was in 1999. Two decades later, the material Coker and her lawyer sought is emerging as J&J has been compelled to share thousands of pages of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents with lawyers for some of the 11,700 plaintiffs now claiming that the company’s talc caused their cancers — including thousands of women with ovarian cancer.

A Reuters examination of many of those documents, as well as deposition and trial testimony, shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, and that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public.

The documents also depict successful efforts to influence U.S. regulators’ plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic talc products and scientific research on the health effects of talc.

A small portion of the documents have been produced at trial and cited in media reports. Many were shielded from public view by court orders that allowed J&J to turn over thousands of documents it designated as confidential. Much of their contents is reported here for the first time.

The earliest mentions of tainted J&J talc that Reuters found come from 1957 and 1958 reports by a consulting lab. They describe contaminants in talc from J&J’s Italian supplier as fibrous and “acicular,” or needle-like, tremolite. That’s one of the six minerals that in their naturally occurring fibrous form are classified as asbestos. Complete article

This may look very bad for them especially after a recent report Johnson & Johnson Loses Bid to Overturn a $4.7 Billion Baby Powder Verdict 12/19/2018; however, they're well aware of the most fundamental principles of propaganda, and this appears to be only a temporary setback. One of the most fundamental principles of propaganda is that most people have a very short memory, and they often don't even pay attention to the news so they don't even know much about this, especially if it's only reported widely in long print articles, many working class people don't take the time to read.

Another of the most fundamental principles of propaganda is "a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth," or at least it seems to, especially if no one is trying to challenge it; and they can count on commercial media to move on to one obsession du jour after another without reminding the public about this for years once the recent flurry of news dies down especially if they spend an enormous amount of money on these new ads telling the public their products are safe.

Johnson & Johnson uses revenue they collect from consumers to buy their ads; however consumers have no influence over the ads, even though they indirectly pay for them; nor is there any peer review from researchers that don't have an incentive to skewer the research in favor of J&J. In Lawrence Lessig's book, Republic Lost (PDF) he writes about other studies about about studies about BPA saying "In a single line, none of the industry-funded studies found evidence of harm, while more than 85 percent of the independent studies did." He also cites several other statistics where industry funded studies can be biased, and there're plenty more examples of other studies from other sources, in most cases from relatively low profile sources the majority of the public rarely reads.

But it doesn't take a genius to suspect that academic studies funded by industries might be more likely to favor the findings the industry wants to find, especially if that industry gets caught red handed hiding documents that show their product causes serious health effects!

It's bad enough when rich industries with an enormous amount of money can buy up much more air time than those without obvious conflicts of interests; but in many cases even when those without obvious conflicts of interests try to buy air time the mass media has apparently censored them, although it's hard to tell how often this happens, since we rely on the media outlets carrying out the censorship for a large portion of our information.

One example that has gotten a moderate amount of attention are a series of ads that Adbusters has attempted to buy over the years, often telling people to "buy nothing" on Black Friday or other times of the year discouraging excessive consumerism and ridiculing consumer products that do far more harm than good including cigarettes. To the best of my knowledge they don't directly report on research that reduces violence; however, as the following article and some additional studies show they do indirectly try to advertise activities that would reduce violence while some of the ads from major corporations increase it:

Adbusters’ Ads Busted 04/04/2008 by James Ewert Jr.

Kalle Lasn is a fighter for the right to communicate. A privilege, says the founder of Adbusters magazine, that goes one step farther than the freedom of speech.

“You can stand on the corner and shout at people as they are going by,” Lasn says. “But if a handful of corporations have media in their pocket, they can totally hoodwink the public.”

From his home in Vancouver, Lasn himself communicates to the masses on the pages of Adbusters–a 10-year-old culture-jamming magazine published through the Adbusters Media Foundation.

On Feb. 18, the Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed a case that Lasn brought forth, which argued that Canadian TV conglomerate CanWest Global was obligated, under the Canadian Broadcasting Act, to sell television advertising time to Adbusters.

The court’s dismissal reiterated the rulings of North American courts that have found private TV broadcasters under no obligation to allow the public access to public airwaves.

“This case goes right to the very heart of democracy–[about] who has a voice and who doesn’t,” Lasn says. ...... “It’s pretty ridiculous that a nonprofit, public interest group can’t buy advertising on the public airwaves,” says Steve Anderson, coordinator of the nonprofit Canadian Campaign for Democratic Media. “What’s interesting is that the CBC, specifically, wouldn’t allow this, because the CBC, unlike PBS [in the United States], runs advertisements.” ......

“This actually happens fairly frequently [in the United States], that groups try to buy ad time and networks refuse to sell it,” says Angela Campbell, a law professor at Georgetown University and director of its Institute for Public Representation, a program at the school that specializes in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issues. “The court almost always sides with the broadcasters,” she says.

Campbell points to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in CBS v. Democratic National Committee. Major news networks were pressured to air ads opposing the Vietnam War, and the high court ruled that broadcasters can control editorial content, and are thus free to choose what ads they want to run. Complete article

In my most recent article Research On Preventing Violence Absent From National Media I pointed out how some of the most important research showing how to reduce violence is almost completely absent from the mainstream media; this focuses mainly on the use of corporal punishment, including the use in schools. States that allow corporal punishment in schools consistently have higher murder rates than those that don't going back decades; however this isn't the only contributing factor to escalating violence and this article provides a list of additional studies that I've reviewed in the past, some on my own but mostly crosschecking with peer reviewed studies from other sources.

One of the other leading causes of violence is abandoned inner cities where there are fewer economic or educational opportunities for the people forced to live their and they often have murder rates at least twice the national average, and often four to ten times the national average; and Europe, which does a much better job educating their people and providing child care, has murder rates about half of ours while the countries that do the best job, often banning corporal punishment at home in addition to at school often have murder rates one fifth of our.

All this information, and more is almost completely absent from traditional media. In addition to that there're plenty of studies showing that lower education, higher poverty, income inequality, or other types of corporate fraud all correlate with higher violence rates.

It's a matter of simple logic to realize that if income inequality and poverty increase violent crime; and epidemic levels of fraudulent averting on products the public doesn't need increases income inequality and poverty; then this fraudulent advertising increases violent crime. And this is what Adbusters are trying to discourage, so their advertising will inevitably reduce violence while deceptive ads that increase poverty will increase it; but since the media is getting a cut of the loot through selling ads they allow the ones that increase violence and censor the ones that decrease it!

There are plenty of stories about kids being killed for Nike sneakers that are hyped way beyond their real value, and riots during the holiday season, when violence goes much higher than the rest of the year. There's also a long list of stories every holiday season about people stealing petty Christmas decorations; or people getting outraged about that or many other petty things that really shouldn't matter, which often leads to more violence among family members that have their values mixed up.

People spend an enormous amount of money on exercise equipment they never use often as a result of these ads hyping how simple it is to lose weight if you buy their products but better informed people know that they can do far more to stay in shape by eating less and exercising more without spending money, and they tend to be the ones that succeed in losing money; and the list goes on.

In Florida on Christmas-day and the day after alone, there were two police shootings killing people, another shooting where a father killed his own son in an argument and another incident where seven people were arrested in a high profile argument, among many other crimes that are only reported at the local level in a low profile manner. A look at the news reports often seems to indicate that there's a spike in domestic violence or other forms of violence, and there are plenty of articles backing this up but there are also plenty saying the opposite. I haven't found a conclusive study on the subject, but suspect that it almost certainly does spike during the holidays. One articles says that many people are reluctant to report domestic violence during the holidays, while others argue the opposite; and there's Technical Assistance Guidance to domestic violence and the holidays from December 2011 PDF that says, "To date, there is no comprehensive national study linking the holidays with an increase in domestic violence." several other articles repeat the same claim although some of them seem to report a higher rate of violence during the holidays, and there's definitely a much higher rate of crime at departments stores like Walmart during the holidays.

Why isn't there a study on whether or not domestic violence rises during the holidays? Could it be that they don't want a conclusive answer that might indicate that obsessive pressure to shop might be contributing to escalating violence?

Our entire economic system is designed to glorify constant shopping even when it doesn't improve the quality of life; but ads that point this out are censored; but perhaps a couple of the worst industries which are heavily advertised by commercial media are organized gambling and insurance, which I included in my past reviews, and they both correlate with higher rates of violence.

There are dozens if not hundreds of stories from both gambling and insurance where they contribute to violence and murder every year. In one of my past reviews on insurance I found that over five percent of the murders on Murderpedia had a potential insurance motive to them, with over one percent successfully collecting on the policy for months if not years before they got caught; which means if this is statistically representative that there would be about seven-hundred-fifty murders every year with a potential insurance incentive and one-hundred-fifty collecting on it until they get caught. In many of the cases where they did successfully collect on life insurance policies after committing murder the public only found out about it because they killed again; which means we have no way of knowing how many people knew when to quit while they were ahead.

When I reviewed this as well I found that there were few comprehensive studies on that either and the vast majority of information available on the subject showed obvious bias by the industry which often funds it's own propaganda on the subject although I wouldn't consider this a reliable study. Even though my own reviews haven't been peer reviewed, there's no doubt that there are an enormous number of stories about people committing murder partly because of a life insurance motive.

And it doesn't take a genius to realize that the more money insurance companies spend on advertising, lobbying high CEO salaries, and even payments to people that literally get away with murder, even if this is a small percentage, the less they have to pay for legitimate claims which means it's an inefficient system of creating a safety net!

The In These Times article above about Adbusters also mentions that there were ads protesting the Vietnam war that the media refused to air; which means that propaganda goes beyond hyping epidemic levels of fraud but is also used to promote wars based on lies. To this day the vast majority of the public is probably not aware that one of our allies during World War II supported our cause because we were supposedly defending freedom and the right for people to choose their own government and came out with their own Declaration of Independence, based partly on both ours and Frances version. They asked our government to support their request, which is what our people were told they were fighting World War II for, to defend Democracy.

That country was Vietnam! But instead of allowing them to chose their own government or negotiate a neutrality compromise which JFK did in Laos, and might have done in Vietnam if he wasn't assassinated, our government propped up one tyrant after another pretending they were supporting democracy.

Protecting lies used to support wars while suppressing the truth began long before the Vietnam War and continues in new wars to this day; in Schenck v. United States one of the most famous justifications for suppressing speech of war protesters was "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic." However, there's no reason to believe that Charles Schenck or other protesters handing out leaflets were deceiving the public were lying to them; however, like many other wars the government was. The allies denied that the Lusitania which was bombed by Germany, bringing the United States into the war, was supplying weapons at a time when the United States was supposedly not involved in the war; but years after the war was over they admitted it had weapons.

This is just one of many lies to support wars based on lies which are covered much better in alternative media outlets than they are in the mainstream media, which is heavily censored, especially during war. Of course the most famous recent example is the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq that the government and well informed people knew didn't exist. Phil Donahue was also fired for speaking out against the war while the entire media establishment was relentlessly pushing it and keeping coverage well informed protest to a minimum, mentioning only that there are some without reporting the reasons of the protests, which were reported in alternative outlets that exposed government lies.

Another of the most famous lies, at least to those reading alternative media outlets, to get us into war was Wikipedia: Nayirah testimony which falsely claimed that babies were being removed from incubators and left to die. According to many sources, including Wikipedia "it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by an American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government."

Another article How PR Sold the War in the Persian Gulf 10/28/2004 reports on how shortly before Iraq invaded Kuwait, when Saddam was still an ally against Iran, "US Ambassador April Glaspie commiserated with Hussein over a 'cheap and unjust' profile by ABC's Diane Sawyer, and wished for an 'appearance in the media, even for five minutes,' by Hussein that 'would help explain Iraq to the American people.'" This shows how public relations people were controlling the message about one tyrant after another, including Saddam Hussein, depending on whether they're our allies or enemies, and in Hussein's case he switched from an ally that they were trying to help improve his image to the boogie man almost overnight; however thanks to control of the media the vast majority of the public isn't aware of this!

Prior to the invasion of Kuwait, in the same interview, April Glaspie told Saddam "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." as Stephen Walt reported in WikiLeaks, April Glaspie, and Saddam Hussein 01/09/2011 Walt refers to this as a "now famous interview," which for many people familiar with alternative media outlets might be an accurate description; however the vast majority of the public is almost certainly not as familiar with news or history from alternative media outlets, and never heard of this meeting at all.

And the list just keeps on going; with multinational corporations buying up propaganda versions of the truth to sell to the public, while the mass media get an enormous amount of profit selling their ads. And it's virtually impossible to tell whether or not they're letting it impact their media coverage in many cases; however when they minimize the coverage for the scandals, while selling ads to the corporations being exposed there's an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence indicating they are!

When Well Fargo got caught red handed creating fake accounts a few years ago they bought up an enormous number of public relations ads and people are already beginning to forget their scams. Remember the scams AIG, Firestone's shredding tires, GM's faulty ignition switches, and who knows how many more there have been? Who can keep track of them all?

No one, but the ads repairing their image just keep on coming long after the scandals are forgotten which is what makes them so effective as propaganda.

And there should be little or no doubt that if many of these scandals, including Well Fargo's selling accounts to people that don't want them or various other banks getting caught in their robo-signing of loan documents by OneWest Bank, Bank of America and others, leading to a massive foreclosure crisis lead to much more poverty and that poverty leads to rising violence then there should be no doubt that the corporations involved in epidemic levels of fraud are indirectly responsible for a large moaunt of that violence; yet no one even considers holding them accountable for it; and shortly after they repair their image they gradually escalate their next scandal until they get caught at that to and repeat the cycle all over again!

How many people remember that Steven Mnuchin was head of one of these banks involved in robo-signing so they could foreclose?

Are people starting to forget about BP or the Exxon Valdez? In both cases they came up with massive public relations campaigns to convince the public they've changed their ways but lower profile news articles show they often fight tooth and nail to minimize their payments to victims while they spend all this money on public relations!

And after all that coverage about a "progressive Blue Wave" and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of Nancy Pelosi they just reported that Democrats Just Blocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Green New Deal Committee 12/20/2018 which says, "Rep. Kathy Castor’s appointment came as a surprise to proponents of a Green New Deal. The move also kicked off a controversy as the six-term congresswoman dismissed calls to bar members who accept money from fossil fuel companies from serving on the committee, arguing it would violate free speech rights." However Castor doesn't seem to be concerned with the rights to free speech of environmentalists who can't get any air time on TV!

A fraction of one percent controls over ninety percent of the media; and Nancy Pelosi, Kathy Castor and the rest of Congress have demonstrated that they're only concerned with their right to free speech not the majority of the public that may only be allowed to speak in "Free Speech Zones," where no one is listening, so politicians can continue ignoring us as they sell us out!

The First Amendment protects bribes far more than it protects speech!

For more on other causes of violence and how poverty, income inequality, gambling, insurance etc. see a full list of articles on various subjects on Research On Preventing Violence Absent From National Media Each article on any given subject also includes additional peer reviews studies in addition to my own review; but the best research is almost completely absent from mainstream media.

The following are some related sources or additional information:

Just in Time for Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s Cancer Powder Keg Blows Up - WhoWhatWhy 12/17/2018 Now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed by the Senate, sooner or later he may be asked to weigh some damning evidence — that his own father advocated for a product that he knew was carcinogenic to both mothers and fetuses. Unless he recuses himself. The ironies are piquant: While the son attended private, single-sex religious schools and adopted the traditional Catholic opposition to abortion, and even birth control, on the grounds the government should regulate women’s use of their own bodies and reproduction, the father made millions from the industry that marketed and sold female personal hygiene products — while keeping the government from guarding the consumers’ health and safety.

"Our Talc is safe" J&J online ad

J&J moves to limit impact of Reuters report on asbestos in Baby Powder 12/17/2018 "Science not Sensationalism"

Johnson Baby Products Always Does Better For Baby Ad 11/25/2018

Why Johnson & Johnson India’s print ad today irked me 06/30/2013

The War Against Too Much of Everything 12/22/2012

Fla. Police: Suspect dead after driving stolen Camaro through crowd of 200, attempting to run over police 12/26/2018

Clearwater Fla. police kill man during domestic welfare check 12/26/2018

82-year-old father shoots, kills son during argument on Christmas in Plant City Fla. 12/26/2018

Seven arrested on Christmas after large fight breaks out in Winter Haven Fla. 12/26/2018

Technical Assistance Guidance to domestic violence and the holidays December 2011

Sobering Stats for Domestic Violence Awareness Month 10/09/2015

Why It’s Dangerous To Claim Domestic Violence ‘Spikes’ Over The Holidays 12/13/2016

Domestic Violence Spikes During Holidays 11/28/2016 Experts say domestic abuse spikes during the holidays – and or victims of abuse, this can be a terrifying time. However, often times victims do not seek help during the holidays because they don’t want to take the children away from the abuser.

Domestic Violence Doesn't Take a Holiday 12/15/2014

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