Fake Press Conferences Aren't Just for FEMA

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a fake news conference in October, with FEMA staffers asking their boss softball questions about the California wildfires, Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff strongly co


A Victory for Ehren Watada -- and for Freedom of the Press

Ehren WatadaArmy First Lieutenant Ehren Watada saw his case move one step closer to resolution earlier this month when a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against a second court martial. The Army's prosecution of the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq has been in legal limbo since a February court martial ended abruptly when the military judge threw out a stipulation agreement and declared a mistrial.

The U.S. Propaganda Blitz in Post-War Japan

A report written in 1959 by Mark May, a Yale University professor and expert on psychological warfare, detailed the extensive operations by the United States Information Service (USIS) in Japan after the end of World War II. The report was recently uncovered in the National Archives in Washington by Kenneth Osgood, an assistant professor of history at Florida Atlantic University. The report reveals that 23 of 50 USIS-sponsored programs were not publicly identified as U.S. funded projects.


Al Jazeera's Struggle for U.S. Airtime

Andrew Stroehlein, the director of media and information at the International Crisis Group, reflects on why the English language version of Al Jazeera's television news operation "remains unavailable to most Americans." The quality of reporting from what is perhaps the best-funded television news network, he argues, is not the problem.


Hillary Clinton Follows in FEMA's Fake Footsteps

After a November 6 speech at a biodiesel plant in Iowa, Senator Hillary Clinton took questions. But "some of the questions from the audience were planned in advance," reports Patrick Caldwell. Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff said that "one of the senior [Clinton campaign] staffers told me what" to ask.


The How (But Not the Why) of FEMA's Fake News Conference

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) internal investigation into last month's fake news conference found that FEMA press secretary Aaron Walker "directed aides to pose as reporters, secretly coached them during the briefing and ended the event after a final, scripted question was asked," reports Spencer Hsu.


Wired's Game of Whack-a-Flack

Some public relations people are in an uproar after Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson published online the email addresses of 329 PR people who have sent him unsolicited email messages. "I've had it," he wrote on his blog. "I get more than 300 e-mails a day and my problem isn't spam. ... it's P.R.



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