"Although we're not yet through the national conventions, 2004 is emerging as a snakebitten election for America's media 'Bigfeet' - our news organizations and TV's non-stop talking heads," writes Joel Connelly. "They've been wrong so much of the time already." During the Democratic primaries, the punditocracy erroneously anointed Howard Dean the frontrunner; more recently, they've largely ignored the worsening mess in Iraq while declaring that Iraq is putting Kerry on the defensive. Why are the big media doing such a poor job?
"Stung by criticism of its labor practices, expansion plans and other business tactics," Wal-Mart "has become a sponsor on National Public Radio," underwritten the "Tavis Smiley" talk show, and "plans to award $500,000 in scholarships to minority students at journalism programs around the country." A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said there's "no hidden agenda," but "we've really been in the spotlight and I think t
"An event once notable for celebrating the spirit of amateurism has achieved an almost unimaginable level of crass commercialism," writes PR commentator Paul Holmes. The Olympics' organizers "are clamping down on anything that might allow TV audiences a glimpse of a non-sponsor's logo. People carrying bottles of Pepsi (or any bottled water not made by Coca-Cola) will have them confiscated ...
"Remember how the broadcast networks explained that they would cover only three hours of each of the four-day Democratic and Republican conventions because they are nothing more than infomercials?" asks Lisa de Moraes. Well, ABC and CBS will run "infomercials for products in which the networks have a financial interest" on their Friday newsmagazines. ABC will feature Victoria Gotti, of "Growing Up Gotti" on A&E, owned in part by ABC.
"At this late stage, media companies have grown so large and powerful, and their dominance has become so detrimental ... that there remains only one alternative: bust up the big conglomerates. ... We've done this before: to railroad trusts in the first part of the 20th century, to Ma Bell more recently.
Cyndy Brucato recently returned as a news anchor on Minneapolis-St Paul's ABC affiliate - after nearly two decades of doing PR.
"I think there are a lot of reasons to be critical of the media in America. I think that a lot of times the media sensationalize or magnify things that aren't - that really shouldn't be. I do think there's a big move away from actual reporting, trying to report facts.
Just 13 percent of Americans think pharmaceutical companies are "generally honest and trustworthy," according to a recent survey.
Montana's citizen-passed ban on cyanide leach mining may be repealed in a November initiative supported by the group Miners, Merchants and Montanans for Jobs and Economic Opportunity. The group receives almost all of its funding from Colorado's Canyon Resources Corp.
"Two senior United States trade negotiators who sealed the trade deal with Australia have accepted plum jobs representing U.S. medical and drug companies," reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Ralph Ives, the current U.S. trade representative for pharmaceutical policy, will become the industry group AdvaMed's vice-president for global strategy. Claude Burcky, head U.S.