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.
"To fabricate an alibi for his nonfeasance, and to cover up his department's embarrassing cut of the counterterrorism budget last year, Attorney General John Ashcroft - working with his hand-picked aide, F.B.I. Director 'J. Edgar' Mueller III - has gutted guidelines put in place a generation ago to prevent the abuse of police power by the federal government," writes conservative pundit William Safire.
Writing for the New Republic, Jonathan Chait humorously deconstructs White House spokesman Ari Fleischer's spin tactics, which he first encountered when Fleischer represented Republicans on he House Ways and Means Committee. "Fleischer has a way of blindsiding you, leaving you disoriented and awestruck," he writes. "Much of the time Fleischer does not engage with the logic of a question at all. He simply denies its premises - or refuses to answer it on the grounds that it conflicts with a Byzantine set of rules governing what questions he deems appropriate.
"Lauri Fitz-Pegado, the former Hill and Knowlton staffer who promoted the story about armed Iraqi troops tossing Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators - one of the biggest PR stories of the `90s - is now handling PR for the Cayman Island Cultural Center in New York," noted O'Dwyer's PR Daily on May 28. "H&K, on behalf of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait front group of exiled royals, produced a 15-year-old girl 'Nayirah' who testified that she saw Iraqi troops committing the atrocity in a Kuwaiti hospital. She testified before the Congressional Human Rights caucus in Oct.