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Truthdig's Top 10 'Ear to the Ground' Posts of 2017

People demonstrating against the Dakota Access pipeline line up across from police in Cannon Ball, N.D. (Truthdig / Donald Kaufman)

Truthdig’s Ear to the Ground section in 2017 was flush with updates on the Trump administration’s fumblings and deliberate undoing of Obama-era policies. However, many of our top posts were on subjects largely overlooked by major news outlets: issues pertaining to immigration, the environment and health care, as well as the nationwide rise in protests and social activism surrounding these issues.

Our top 10:

10. Here’s What Happened While We Were Distracted by Donald Trump’s Tweets

Larry Gross charted stories that were underreported while major news outlets were distracted by the president’s inflammatory social media presence: changes at federal agencies, a WikiLeaks dump revealing that our “undermining of democracy is home-grown,” and more.

9. Journalist Robert Fisk: We Have Always Lived with Lies

“Can we really shake our heads in disbelief at electoral lies when [journalists] have been lying to our readers and viewers for years?” Fisk asked.

8. Sister of 16-Year-Old American Killed in Yemen in 2011 Dies in Raid Ordered by Trump

In January, the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 killed the 8-year-old sister of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old U.S. citizen who died in a 2011 drone strike ordered by former President Obama.

7. Sting Operation Targets Washington Post in the Roy Moore Scandal

A Post exposé revealed that a woman made a false rape charge against Roy Moore in an attempted plot to discredit women accusing the Alabama U.S. Senate candidate of past sexual misconduct. The woman was believed to be affiliated with Project Veritas, a conservative organization that calls for “undercover reporters” to “adopt an alias persona, gain access to an identified person of interest and persuade that person to reveal information.”

6. Colin Kaepernick Named GQ’s “Citizen of the Year”

The magazine honored the football player who started the “Take a Knee” movement for being a “powerful symbol of activism and resistance.” Kaepernick deserves recognition for raising awareness about police brutality and social injustice.

5. Did the Koch Brothers Take Down the GOP Health Care Bill?

Advocacy groups run by the billionaire siblings may have swayed enough congressional Republicans to torpedo the American Health Care Act. The AHCA, which was intended to replace President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), struggled to garner support from the GOP. The decision to pull the bill came two days after Koch-affiliated groups announced they would support Republicans who opposed it.

4. Paradise Papers Show Tax Havens Are Central to Western Capitalism

Author Thomas Frank discussed revelations surrounding tax avoidance by the world’s wealthiest people, revealed in an exposé called the Paradise Papers.

3. Can We Still Trust Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

Donald Trump Jr.’s private Twitter exchanges with WikiLeaks intensified the investigation of possible meddling in the 2016 presidential election by suggesting that Assange could have been a political operative for Trump Sr.’s campaign.

2. 2017 Has Been a Terrifying Year for Immigrants

Truthdig tracked the Trump administration’s relentless crackdowns on immigration in 2017 and how the threat of deportation was sparking new fear in undocumented communities.

1. #NoDAPL Live Blog

Truthdig provided live updates from the demonstrations taking place at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota and across the country in a series of Ear to the Ground posts. Coverage included an open letter by Sioux officials to then-President Obama, exclusive photo coverage of satellite protests in Washington, D.C., by Clara Romeo, and firsthand accounts from Standing Rock by correspondent Donald Kaufman.

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