Guatemala remains of the most horrifying legacies of the work of Edward Bernays, the legendary "father of public relations." On behalf of the United Fruit company, Bernays orchestrated the propaganda behind a military coup that overthrew Guatemala's elected government, ushering in decades of tyranny under regimes whose brutality rivaled the Nazis as they condemned hundreds of thousands of people (mostly members of the country's impoverished Maya Indian
"The United States is doing a poor job of countering growing anti-American sentiment overseas and must revamp the way it promotes its foreign policies abroad, the Council on Foreign Relations contends," the New York Times writes. "In a report to be released this week, the council asserts that many countries, in particular predominantly Islamic ones, see the United States as 'arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical, inattentive and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue.' ...
The White House allegedly threatened a Judicial Watch process server with arrest while he was trying to provide legal notification of a lawsuit to Vice President Dick Cheney. The conservative organization Judicial Watch has brought a lawsuit against Cheney for fraudulent accounting practices at Halliburton Corporation while Cheney was the company's chief executive.
Ever since September 11, politicians like Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde have been wondering why "the popular press overseas, often including the government-owned media, daily depict the United States as a force for evil." Hyde thinks that "public diplomacy" (the government's term for "public relations") can turn the tide.
According to Harold Evans, the real mystery surrounding the president's shady stock dealings with Harken Energy is "why the watchdog media didn't bark during the 2000 presidential election, when new unflattering evidence emerged in the month before the vote. ...
Richard Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, has written a letter protesting the U.S. State Department's "slipshod, deceptive, and, now, even thuggish" treatment of one of its reporters.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is pushing a series of sweeping proposals that would weaken congressional oversight of the Pentagon. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Pentagon officials also are drafting proposals to ban strikes by contract workers, eliminate federal personnel rules protecting civilian workers at the Pentagon and bypass environmentalists in Congress. Some proposals are more provocative. They include allowing the Pentagon to send its initiatives directly to Capitol Hill before other agencies could review them.
Investigative journalist Dan Moldea has created a web service providing links to public-information sources for investigating members of the Bush family and their political and financial interests, including lots of information that has been under-reported in the mass media.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy in warning that the Bush Administration's proposed new cabinet-level Homeland Security Department threatens long-standing American freedoms while eliminating legal safeguards necessary to keep the agency open and accountable to the public.
The target="_blank">Ad Council, a non-profit advertising company funded by corporations, is launching an advertising "campaign for freedom" in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. The New York Times notes that the Ad Council was launched in 1942 to propagandize for the US war effort. A Stay Free magazine interview with professor Inger Stole notes that the Ad Council bragged then it would