Politics

CMD's "Coffee with the Troops" at Yearly Kos Features Iraq Veterans Against the War

UPDATE: Read the post-event report at: http://www.prwatch.org/node/6321

The Center for Media and Democracy is sponsoring a "Coffee with the Troops" in Chicago on Sunday, August 5, 9:30 a.m. during the Yearly Kos extravaganza in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. The room is Regency Ball Room C/D on the 2nd level of the Hyatt.

Join Sheldon Rampton and me for coffee, pastries and a moderated discussion of how online activists can better support our troops in their own resistance to the war in Iraq. We'll be discussing the war with Garett Reppenhagen, Aaron Hughes and other soldiers who are the backbone of Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW.

New Participatory Project: Following Rupert Murdoch's Money Trail

Some of the major shareholders of the Dow Jones company, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, are agonizing over whether to accept a takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate, News Corporation. With steady traffic to the Murdoch-related articles in SourceWatch, it would be good to include details of the donations he and his companies have made to U.S. politicians.

Yes

Dealing With Rupert Murdoch

Alastair Campbell, who was the chief media adviser for British Prime Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, recently released a book on his reign as a spin doctor. In The Blair Years, Campbell notes that in 1995 former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating offered Blair some advice on how to deal with Rupert Murdoch.

No

Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton and Big Tobacco

Mark Penn, CEO of the global PR firm Burson-Marsteller (B-M) and president of the polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates (PSB), feels misunderstood.

Penn was recently in the news when several union officials expressed concern that Democratic Presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton had hired him as a "key strategic adviser," even though B-M has a specialist unit that advises clients on defeating union campaigns. Not surprisingly, Clinton's campaign shrugged off the criticism, insisting that he is a "vital member of our team." In an email to Atlantic Online, Penn wrote that that he had "never personally done such [anti-labor] work" and insisted that he has "strong personal sympathies with the labor movement." (Why someone who proclaims their pro-labor sympathies would even head up a PR firm that runs an anti-labor unit went unexplained.) Even if one accepts Penn's explanation at face value, it left me wondering who he had worked for.

A little digging reveals that, for well over two decades, both Penn and his opinion polling company have advised the tobacco industry on how to counter the campaigns of the tobacco control movement. Based on internal tobacco industry documents, it is clear that Penn and his colleagues have little personal sympathy for those promoting policies that put public health ahead of the interests of the tobacco industry.

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