The American Red Cross has hired the Edelman PR firm and the firm of Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates to handle criticism that arose when the Red Cross revealed that it only planned to give out $300 of the $560 million-plus dollars collected for victims' families of the assaults on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Notwithstanding the Bush administration's calls for national unity, right-minded Republicans are still trying to demonize Democrats. American Renewal, the lobbying wing of the Family Research Council, has launched an advertising campaign suggesting that Tom Daschle is a Saddam Hussein sympathizer. "What do Saddam Hussein and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle have in common?" stated a news release announcing the ad campaign.
In an article headlined "Anthrax attacks have bolstered consumer perceptions of food irradiation," the livestock industy website MeatingPlace.com reports: "American consumers may be warming up to the idea of irradiation, according to a news survey by Porter Novelli. Apparently, news coverage of bioterrorist activity in the United States, combined with the well-publicized news about the use of irradiation technology to eradicate anthrax spores in potentially contaminated U.S.
Special agents in the United States probing relatives of Saudi-born terror suspect Osama bin Laden before September 11 were told to back off soon after George W. Bush became President, according to Newsnight, the BBC's current affairs program. The US strategic interest in Saudi Arabia, which has the world's biggest oil reserves, may have blunted its inquiries into individuals with suspected terrorist connections.
"Rare are the moments in American history when a Congress has surrendered so many cherished freedoms in a single trip to the altar of immediate fear," writes John Nichols regarding the ambitiously named Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act which was recently approved by Congress. In addition to authorizing unprecedented levels of surveillance and incarceration of both U.S.
When the White House, via National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, requested recently that the networks not air any future unedited videos of Osama bin Laden, the broadcast media's top managers meekly complied. "Thanks to the White House and its high-level courtiers in the media, we Americans -- or those of us without the proper hardware -- are now the only people in the whole developed world who can't actually hear what our enemy is saying about us. That's an odd distinction, considering we are also his main targets," writes Mark Crispin Miller.
Pacifica Foundation vice chairman Ken Ford is playing the "terrorist card" at the formerly progressive radio network, currently in a financial crisis as it faces mounting bills from lawyers and PR firms. Outside vendors are not being paid, employee paychecks are in question, and four lawsuits alleging everything from financial malfeasance to by-law violations are scheduled to go to trial in January. Responding to charges of mismanagement, Ford characterized critics of Pacifica as "zealots," adding, "I see parallels between this group and al Qaeda, the terrorists who bombed New York.
Within 48 hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center, airport security companies formed their own trade organization, the Aviation Security Association, retained a former transportation department official to lobby for them, and hired international PR giant Burson-Marsteller. According to the Holmes Report, in the past month, B-M has designed a website for the association, written position papers that were distributed to Capitol Hill, sponsored meetings with congressional staffers, and set up editorial board meetings.
Public Citizen has taken the San Diego-based SureBeam Corporation to task for falsely claiming that its food irradiation technology can kill anthrax bacteria. "SureBeam has made these claims without any supporting scientific evidence that the company's 'electron-beam' irradiation equipment is capable of killing the anthrax bacteria or its spores," states a Public Citizen news release.
Like many Americans, Pam Bottaro reacted to the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington with a mixture of horror and utter incomprehension. Although well educated and politically engaged, nothing she had read or seen on television had prepared her for an anti-American backlash. "Why do these people hate us so much?" was the question she kept hearing all around her. As Americans wake up to the need to better understand the world around us, "teach-ins" have come roaring back into fashion.