Chemical Industry Wages War on Environment & Health

A news release from the Environmental Working Group reveals that "the chemical industry plans to conduct a covert campaign attacking the growing movement in California for more chemical safety testing, with tactics including the creation of phony front groups and spying on activists, according to an internal American Chemistry Council (ACC) memo. ...


The Birth of "Journo-Lobbying"

"James Glassman and TCS have given birth to something quite new in Washington: journo-lobbying. It's an innovation driven primarily by the influence industry. Lobbying firms that once specialized in gaining person-to-person access to key decision-makers have branched out. The new game is to dominate the entire intellectual environment in which officials make policy decisions, which means funding everything from think tanks to issue ads to phony grassroots pressure groups.


McDonald's Scores PR Week's 'PR Play of the Week'

"McDonald's chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo sent an open letter to the press last week complaining about the inclusion of the pseudo-word 'McJobs' in the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary," PR Week writes in its PR Play of the Week feature.


Street Poet As Stealth Huckster for Nissan

"Nissan Motors is planting actors in movie theaters to
perform live commercials before the start of showings of
'The Matrix Revolutions' in an effort to expose jaded,
skeptical consumers to advertising by masking it as
something else. The brief in-person pitches feature actors scattered among
the ticket-buying audience who stand and deliver lines that
evoke the words spoken by poets at events known as slams or
jams. Their performances are timed to accompany a
commercial the audience sees on the movie screen, which


Recovery or Snow Job?

Recent news reports have heralded a recent jump in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as signs that the economy is turning around. The question, however is, "Which economy?" While the GDP grew 7.2% last quarter, 146,000 jobs were lost. That's good news for corporate CEOs, but bad news for most of the rest of us. And economists warn that even the boost to the CEO economy is a temporary "sugar high" that won't last once markets respond to tolerate the fiscal recklessness and heavy debt the White House has embraced.


Copyright vs. Democracy

"Diebold Election Systems, which makes voting machines, is waging legal war against grass-roots advocates, including dozens of college students, who are posting on the Internet copies of the company's internal communications about its electronic voting machines," reports John Schwartz.


Sheep's Clothing

A group calling itself Partnership for the West (PFTW) was formally unveiled in late October and aims to influence environmental legislation in Washington. "The group plans to work on 'restoring a common sense balance to economic growth and conservation in the West,'" notes Bill Berkowitz, adding that this "sounds nice, until you see who's behind it. Claiming to be a grassroots lobby group, PFTW actually represents a kinder, gentler and more politically savvy brand of anti-environmentalism. ...


Chemical Industry PR to Counter Health Activists

Monique Harden and Nathalie Walker, two public interest lawyers, report that they attended "the recent conference of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), called 'Communicating in a Volatile World.' ACC is the trade association for the 180 largest manufacturers of chemicals in the U.S. Until recently, ACC was known as the Chemical Manufacturers Association. The ACC conference was a real eye-opener. It revealed the ACC's genuine fears about the accomplishments of environmental health activists.


Fox Gets the Memo

Charlie Reina, a former producer for Fox News, has posted a letter to the Poynter Institute's online journalism forum, explaining how the network deliberately slants the news. "Editorially, the FNC newsroom is under the constant control and vigilance of management," he writes. "The pressure ranges from subtle to direct. First of all, it's a news network run by one of the most high-profile political operatives of recent times. ... The roots of FNC's day-to-day on-air bias are actual and direct.



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