The National Rifle Association and its supporters are struggling to cope with the bad publicity generated by America's latest gun-toting mass murderer. In an essay that has circulated widely on right-wing and pro-gun web sites, Michael S.
"This month marks the end of one of the most successful and respected conservative PR teams in Washington, as Herb Berkowitz and Hugh Newton retire from the Heritage Foundation," PR Week writes. "Heritage, a conservative think tank founded 25 years ago, became one of the foremost purveyors of right-wing public policy in Washington with Berkowitz and Newton at the PR helm. The two are credited with helping win credibility for conservative ideals among often-hostile liberal journalists in Washington."
What do former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr., former CIA director James Woolsey, White House advisor Richard Perle, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, American Enterprise Institute's Michael Ledeen, and dissident Iraqi nuclear scientist Dr. Khidir Hamza have in common? For one thing, they all have the PR expertise of Eleana Benador behind them.
Ever since TV talking head Paula Zahn jumped to CNN from Fox News Channel last fall, her former employers have badmouthed her relentlessly. "The jibes are sometimes brutal, sometimes humorous and once even profane," writes David Bauder. "The underlying message seems clear: It's not wise to cross Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes." In an interview, Ailes compared Zahn to a "dead raccoon." Radio shock jock Erich "Mancow" Muller, a vassal of the Fox empire, called her a "knucklehead" and said, "I just want to punch her in the face. ... I'll kill you, Paula. We will kill you, Paula."
Thanks to the internet archives, we can see what the Cato Institute's "Project on Social Security Privatization" looked like last year and compare that with its new look, now that the stock market crash has reminded the public about the reality of privatization. In the Orwellian new version, all references to "privatization" have been airbrushed out of history and replaced with the word "choice."
"The myth that the National Educational Association told teachers not to blame Sept. 11 on al-Qaida continues to unravel," reports Brendan Nyhan. "It's now clear that Washington Times reporter Ellen Sorokin based her original myth-creating article on a preliminary NEA Web site that clearly wasn't complete, misconstruing quotations from a recommended sample essay allegedly written by a professor named Brian Lippincott and attributing them to the NEA.
The Republican Party in Kansas City is backpedalling after running an advertisement on black radio stations attacking Social Security as a form of "reverse reparations" to blacks. "You've heard about reparations, you know, where whites compensate blacks for enslaving us," says the ad. "Well guess what we've got now. Reverse reparations ...
Did America's largest teachers union construct a subversive web site concerning September 11? This nasty slander against the National Education Association has been spreading across the Internet, sparked by a series of articles in the Washington Times.
Fox TV pundit Sean Hannity has a book out, titled Let Freedom Ring. Spinsanity.org analyzes its rhetoric, calling it "a poorly researched effort full of blatant falsehoods and highly distorted versions of the truth. ... Hannity seems on the brink of becoming America's leading conservative pundit. Let Freedom Ring is troubling evidence that Hannity won't let a little thing like truth get in the way of his rapid ascent."