U.S. Government

The 2008 Falsies Awards: In Memory of the First Casualty

There's nothing quite like a hotly contested election. The candidates have their devoted supporters and angry detractors. Then there are vigorous debates over the issues, while some people question the integrity of the entire process.

Coveted Falsie AwardsWe speak, of course, of the Falsies Awards.

This year marks the Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD's) fifth annual Falsies Awards. The Falsies are our attempt to shine an unflattering light on those responsible for polluting the information environment over the past year. We're happy to report that more people -- nearly 1,450 -- voted in this year's Falsies survey than ever before! We're also bestowing special recognition on one of this year's "winners."

Falsies recipients can collect their prizes -- a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, our two cents and a chance to atone for their spinning ways by making a detailed public apology -- by visiting CMD's office in Madison, Wisconsin. This year's Gold and Silver Falsies go to masters of war deception, while the Bronze Falsie recognizes a massive greenwash campaign. The first-ever Lifetime Achievement Falsie goes to a serial corporate front man, while a determined (if at times laughable) attempt at nation re-branding wins dishonorable mention. Then there are the Readers' Choice Falsies and Win Against Spin Awards, nominated by our survey participants.

"Car Czar" Will Become World's Most Powerful Ad Executive

The draft bailout for the U.S. automobile industry calls for the appointment of a "Car Czar" who, if the bill passes and is signed into law, would instantly become the most powerful marketing and advertising executive on Earth. The Czar would be charged with overseeing auto company expenses over $25 million, which means he or she would control the companies' media buys.


Obama's Idea Factory

Michael Scherer takes a look at the Center for American Progress (CAP), which has become "the most influential independent organization in Obama's nascent Washington." Scherer notes that CAP was founded just five years ago by John Podesta as a deliberate attempt to imitate the previous success of conservative


It's a Victory if We Say It Is

The White House says that the Iraqi Parliament's approval of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is cause for celebration and a sign that we have won the war. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino rejected the idea that the Agreement's stipulation of troop withdrawal in three years is in fact exactly the type of timetable that President Bush has consistently opposed.


Public Bailout for Private Jets

The heads of the Big Three U.S. automakers (General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford), and the president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) went to Capitol Hill to ask for a $25 billion bailout loan. But they didn't give enough thought to how they got there. Each man flew separately, on private corporate jets, to ask for help from U.S. taxpayers.


Bush Administration Quietly Working to Weaken Clean Air Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to relax air quality rules and make it easier to build coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other pollution-emitting enterprises near national parks and wilderness areas, even though half of the EPA's ten regional administrators have formally opposed the plan.


Military Matters and Public Diplomacy Urgent, Says GAO

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, has released its list of "urgent," "critical" and "time sensitive" policy concerns for President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress. Several are military-related, such as the "U.S.



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