Corporations

Inside Bechtel's Spin Machine

As a top engineering and construction contractor, the Bechtel Group has had a leading role in a number of controversial public works projects, including Boston's "Big Dig," the failed privatization of Bolivia's water system, and the rebuilding of Iraq. "The bad public relations from just one these projects could sink a lesser firm, but somehow the well-connected, privately held corporation always seems to emerge unscathed and ready to score more big-ticket public works jobs," A.C. Thompson writes.

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Cheney Praises Fox News

"It's easy to complain about the press -- I've been doing it for a good part of my career," Vice President Dick Cheney told tens of thousands of Republican supporters in a conference call. "It's part of what goes with a free society. What I do is try to focus upon those elements of the press that I think do an effective job and try to be accurate in their portrayal of events.

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Big Pharma's Poison Pill

The British medical journal The Lancet published a review of "six published and six unpublished trials" studying antidepressant use by children that concluded that, in most cases, "the risks exceeded the benefits." More disturbingly, the review found evidence that pharmaceutical companies "had been aware of problems but did not reveal them." In a memo leaked last month from GlaxoSmithKline, the company w

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Like a Bridge over Troubled Blackwater

"They did not go out looking for the publicity and did not ask for everything that happened to them," said a spokesperson for Alexander Strategy Group, defending their new client, Blackwater USA. Blackwater is the private military firm that's faced increasing scrutiny from members of congress, the media and the general public following the killing of four of its contractors in Fallujah, Iraq last month.

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Thanks for the Opportunity

Leslie Green at Stapleton Communications has a bachelor's degree in Marketing Communications from California Polytechnic State University, which must be where she learned how to stonewall reporters while still sounding upbeat. A detailed new investigative report charges her client, AXT Inc., with poisoning its workers with gallium arsenide, a potent carcinogen used to make semiconductors.

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When FOX Attacks...

Shortly before former counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke's testimony to the September 11th commission, "the White House violated its long-standing rules by authorizing Fox News to air remarks favorable to Bush that Clarke had made anonymously at an administration briefing in 2002.

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