Front Groups

Fighting Junk Mail via 'Do Not Mail' Lists: Devilish Details and Front Groups

Buried in junk mail...what to do?A recent blog about the pro-junk mail lobby and its front group, Mail Moves America, drew many comments. Mail Moves America is a coalition of businesses that oppose efforts to create a legislated "Do Not Mail" list to protect citizens from being showered with unwanted junk mail,Junk mail is clearly a hot topic that arouses strong emotions on all sides. As electronic mail moves closer to overtaking paper mail as the medium of choice for written communication, it is clear that the Post Office remains an essential way to communicate and transfer goods. Still, many people are overwhelmed with junk mail and have little idea how to stop it.

Ultraviolet Without the Sunlight

A review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggested that tanning at the beach or an indoor tanning booth can help avoid the dangers of vitamin D deficiency. However, the NEJM didn't disclose that the article's author, Michael Holick, has received more than $150,000 in research funding from the artificial tanning industry.


This Earth Day, Let's Scrape off the Greenwash

Today marks the 38th annual celebration of Earth Day, and once again the event comes with its fair share of PR hype and misleading marketing campaigns. In the spirit of dedicating ourselves to genuine concern for the planet, today is therefore a good time to look carefully at corporate environmental claims, some of which consist more of empty rhetoric than real substance. Companies like Wal-Mart are announcing environmental initiatives. General Electric has its "Ecomagnation" advertising campaign. In Singapore, a shopping center is advertising that customers can "shop to save planet earth" -- and if they buy enough, they might win a new car! The ritual of green hypocrisy frequently requires that companies and politicians redefine environmental progress in increasingly creative ways. Last week, for example, George W. Bush announced a plan to address the problem of global warming by "halting the growth" of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2025. Beyond the fact that this target date is 17 years in the future, what really means is that during those 17 years not only will greenhouse gas emissions continue, the amount of those emissions will continue to grow. As columnist Gail Collins observed in the New York Times, this would be akin to having an overweight person announce a plan to achieve "an 18 percent reduction in the rate at which he was gaining weight, to be reached within the next decade."

Audit Reveals the PR Machine Behind Canadian Global Warming Skeptics

An audit review (pdf) of over $507,000 (Canadian) contributed to two University of Calgary "research accounts" has revealed that C$123,427 was routed to Friends of Science (FoS) -- a group lobbying the Canadian government against taking action on global warming.


Obama and Clinton Get Down & Dirty with "Clean" Coal

The Associated Press reports, "Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are walking a delicate line as they promise to aggressively tackle global warming while trying to assure voters that they continue to believe in the future of coal," the energy source responsible for "nearly 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, each


State Legislators Have a Telecom Front Group's Number

"," a group that's "working hard to kill a cell phone reform bill at the Minnesota legislature," describes itself as "a non-profit consumer advocacy organization" formed to protect cell phone users' "freedom, value, security and mobility." But it's "staffed almost entirely by telecommunications industry executives, drawn mainly from the ranks of the


Featured Participatory Project: Outing Front Groups

Citizen journalism logoOften readers and citizen journalists will come across a name of a group that seems a little at odds with the policy message they are promoting. Some of these names were added to the SourceWatch page on front groups with the intention of returning to create an article on that at a later date.



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