"Hollywood is churning out one war flic after another," notes Bill Berkovitz. "VH-1 recently premiered 'Military Diaries,' a first person POV series on life in the military; Country-Western stars are popularizing 'kick ass' patriotic songs; Iran/Contragate figure, Oliver North, is hosting 'War Stories' on the Fox News Channel. Welcome to America's escalating militarization -- designed by the Bush administration, in cahoots with defense contractors, and aided and abetted by America's culture mavens." Now the U.S.
Shortly after George W. Bush was selected president, the Onion joked that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over." Now Bush is making the same joke himself and using it as an excuse for breaking his campaign pledge to avoid defecit spending. "You know, when I was running for president, in Chicago, somebody said, would you ever have deficit spending?" Bush says. "I said, only if we were at war, or only if we had a recession, or only if we had a national emergency.
The Centers for Disease Control launch a $125 million advertising and PR campaign to encourage children to be more physically active. In an apparent effort to counter the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, the CDC begins airing paid advertising on TV and radio aimed at 9-to-13-year-olds. According to Ad Age, CDC decided to focus specifically on increasing physical activity and to not address another factor that contributes to childhood obesity, diet. The Publicis Group's Saatchi & Saatchi created the 15-second spot.
"From a ground-floor office in a nondescript building in
The news media is generally failing to report the historic verdict against the FBI in the 1990 bombing of non-violent environmental activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. That would not surprise Judi, were she alive today. In her book Timber Wars she described how the news media eagerly parroted the FBI's lies and deception, casting Bari and fellow bomb victim Cherney as terrorists. "The news quickly went national, with newspapers across the country screaming about Earth First!ers carrying bombs. It was the only time we ever made the front page of the New York Times.
A federal jury has awarded $4.4 million to Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, two Earth First! activists who accused the FBI and the Oakland, CA, police of framing them for a 1990 bomb blast that severely injured them. Who really blew up their car? What was Hill and Knowlton PR's role in smearing Earth First! as eco-terrorists?
"The Pentagon has made a decision that threatens to keep the American public and Congress in the dark about how things are going with the Bush administration's high-priority missile defense program," says Philip E. Coyle III, a former U.S. assistant secretary of defense. "Equally disturbing," he adds, is the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency "new policy of withholding information from the Pentagon's own independent review offices, such as the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.
Maryland Public Television has hired PR crisis manager Levi Rabinowitz in an attempt to counteract the bad press it has gotten for firing Louis Rukeyser from its program, Wall Street Week.
Tompaine.com has run an opinion page advertisement in the New York Times decrying the FBI's recent PR campaign to improve its image in the wake of now public disclosures that it dropped the ball in regard to the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "Americans are entitled to a full accounting of the problems at FBI headquarters -- Who is responsible? Who will be held accountable? Using public relations tactics to change the subject and to defuse the political consequences short-circuits needed reforms and does the nation a disservice."
"In an extraordinarily secretive maneuver, the Bush administration has subtly altered its position on global warming, officially admitting that there is a crisis while still declining to offer policies to combat it," reports the Guardian. "A government report to the UN says that global warming exists, that it is man-made, and that it will transform the environment - all points that the current US government, while never actually denying, has been reluctant to accept.