ABC, CBS and NBC all decided not to carry President Bush's speech live at 8 Monday night. "They said yesterday that they made this call because the White House never asked them to carry the speech live," reports the Washington Post. "But the White House said it did not put in the usual formal request because it wanted to keep the American public from thinking we were going to war." However, the fact that we are going to war did manage to register with a few pundits.
Congressional Democrats accuse the Bush Administration of stacking the Center for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention with "individuals who are affiliated or openly sympathetic with the views of the lead industry." Their report "Turning Lead Into Gold: How the Bush Administration is Poisoning the Lead Advisory Committee at the CDC" details recent changes to the panel, noting the removal or rejection of several academic experts on lead poisoning.
A recent opinion poll shows that many Americans have serious misgivings about the war fever that currently dominates Washington politics. "A majority of Americans say that the nation's economy is in its worst shape in nearly a decade and that President Bush and Congressional leaders are spending too much time talking about Iraq while neglecting problems at home," reports the New York Times. "The number of Americans who approved of the way Mr.
"I'm astonished that anyone's astonished" at the failures of the American intelligence community to detect or prevent terrorism, writes information guru John Perry Barlow. "After a decade of both fighting with and consulting to the intelligence community, I've concluded that the American intelligence system is broken beyond repair, self-protective beyond reform, and permanently fixated on a world that no longer exists." How could it be otherwise, he asks, in institutions that were designed to be paranoid and secretive?
"If you are going to fairly represent the [military] institution to the media, you must know how the boss views various issues," PR Tactics reports Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Plummer saying. "You have to understand his position vis-a-vis the greater environment in which he works." According to Tactics, loyalty, "strategic communications" experience, "deep insight into the media environment," and "knowledge of all the 'skeleton-in-the-closet' issues" are other key ingredients needed to make a good public affairs officer.
During recent protests in Washington against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, police deliberately used mass arrests to round up protesters who had committed no crime, writes law professor Jonathan Turley. "All the students were arrested while trying to comply with the law," he writes. "The D.C. and National Park Service police had used the same technique in each instance: Surround the crowd. Tell its members to disperse or face arrest. And then, as people try to disperse, block their escape with rows of officers in riot gear and arrest them. ...
"Congressman Christopher Shays wants to know how U.S. propaganda efforts are being received on the 'Arab Street.'" O'Dwyer's PR reports. "The Connecticut Republican plans hearings Oct. 8 to explore to what extent the State Dept.'s public diplomacy 'understands Arab and Muslim social and political thought.'" Harold Pachios, chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the State Dept.'s Chris Ross, and Hafez Al-Mirazi, Al-Jazeera's Washington, D.C., bureau chief are scheduled to appear before the National Security, Veteran Affairs and International Affairs subcommittee.
After AIDS activists protested during a speech in Barcelona by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, federal investigators were sent to investigate the groups and their finances. "Federal auditors are now swarming all over American-based AIDS-service organizations," writes John Aravosis.
"More than 35,000 fish lay dead in the bed of the Klamath River and the death count continues to rise. These are not just any fish. They are wild salmon, both coho and chinook, the very totems of the Northwest. They suffocated from lack of cool water," writes Jeffrey St. Clair. "As the death toll mounted, Gale Norton, the grim boss of the Interior Department, acted befuddled and suggested that the die-off in these foul waters was a strange natural mystery.
"The world's biggest oil bonanza in recent memory may be just around the corner, giving U.S. oil companies huge profits and American consumers cheap gasoline for decades to come. And it all may come courtesy of a war with Iraq," writes Robert Collier. But the Bush administration and U.S. oil firms have stayed quiet on the subject of Iraqi oil.