Politics

Convention 'Hospitality'

Candidates, delegates, protesters and media aren't the only folks attending the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer. Lobbyists, by the thousands, are doing "what amounts to the only real work going on at the convention - the nonstop currying of favor of elected officials by the most powerful interests in the country," the Washington Post writes.

No

CIA's Favorite PR Firm, Rendon Group, Rocks The DNC

The CIA's favorite PR firm, "the Rendon Group is playing a major behind-the-scenes role at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, arranging first-time/real-time video broadcasts each morning to each of the 56 caucuses, serving as the event's project manager, and coordinating 20 convention-related events, Rick Rendon, co-founder of the firm, told O'Dwyer's. Rendon hired Polycom Video Systems to set up secure servers in 22 hotels so leading Democrats can address each caucus at their 8 a.m.

No

A Different Kind of Workplace Organizing

"The Business Industry Political Action Committee's 'Prosperity Project' program targets 20 million employees in battleground states" and "pushes their companies' views of political candidates to employees via Web sites and interoffice e-mails," reports Advertising Age.

No

Democratic National Ritual 2004

In his essay, "A Cultural Approach to Communication," Columbia University journalism professor James W. Carey identifies two views of communication -- "transmission" and "ritual." In Carey's words, the "ritual view" is communication "linked to terms such as 'sharing,' 'participation,' 'association,' 'fellowship,' and the 'possession of a common faith.' ...

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Conventional Coverage

PBS anchor Jim Lehrer blasted the major TV networks for limited coverage of the political conventions, since "we're about to elect a president of the United States at a time when we have young people dying in our name overseas, [and] we just had a report from the 9/11 commission which says we are not safe." NBC's Tom Brokaw countered, "These conventions are so managed, so over-managed" there's not much to report.

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Not-So-Democratic Convention

"One cannot conceive of other elements [that could be] put in place to create a space that's more of an affront to the idea of free expression," said U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, after touring the Democratic National Convention's "free speech" protest zone in Boston. The zone is "bordered by cement barriers, a double row of chain-line fencing, heavy black netting, and tightly woven plastic mesh," with "coils of razor wire" along elevated train tracks.

No

CSE, Nader and the Hidden Power of the Brothers Koch

Center for Public Integrity examines the hidden power of the Koch brothers, the billionaires who launched the corporate front group Citizens for a Sound Economy. "CSE has found itself in hot water in recent weeks over charges it has been working illegally to get consumer activist Ralph Nader on the presidential ballot in Oregon.

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