"Since the onset of unrestrained Arab violence almost one year ago, no expression has been heard more often than the word, 'hasbara' (explaining Israel's position, or positive public relations)," says pro-Israel media advocate Michael Friedson. Friedson says Israel's spokespersons should stop feeling "compelled to begin briefings with apologies ... for loss of life and property" and should "seize the rage. ...
War / Peace
"In war, words are a weapon, we all know that," observes Sam Kiley in this essay explaining his reason for quitting his job as a reporter in Rupert Murdoch's media empire. In the battle between Israel and the Palestinians, "Both sides manipulate the use and meaning of language. ... But in the war of words, no newspaper has been more happy to hand the keys of the armoury over to one side than The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch
The U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center recently hired PR-firm Hill & Knowlton for a 5-year, $2-million-dollar contract to promote the Center's "morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs." According to a Center spokesperson, H&K's work on 250 various MWR activities will include concerts (Miller Genuine Draft Army Concert Tour), sporting events ("Bowl Hog Wild" tournament featuring a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as grand prize), theater, and social/health/education programs.
American coverage of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has almost always been sympathetic to Israel. For most U.S. news organizations, "objective" has long meant "pro-Israeli." This report in TomPaine.com details some of the behind-the-scenes PR aimed at keeping things that way. In the words of one Israeli official, "Engaging in a successful PR campaign is part of winning the conflict."
Rubenstein Associates, the PR firm that has represented clients such as Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, Adnan Khashoggi and Kathie Lee Gifford, has been hired to help the state of Israel spruce up its image in the deadly conflict with the Palestinians. His advice so far?
"The Pentagon admitted yesterday that the "Son of Star Wars" missile interception test flight over the Pacific on July 14 succeeded partly because the target, an unarmed Minuteman II ballistic missile warhead, had an electronic beacon on it to help to guide the "hit-to-kill" weapon. ... Critics of the missile defense program have said that earlier flight tests had been unrealistic because they made it easier for the target to be hit."
CNN has paid an undisclosed sum of money to settle a lawsuit by former CNN producer Jack Smith, who claims that he was unfairly fired for reporting on the U.S. military's use of nerve gas in Vietnam's "Operation Tailwind." Smith's $100 million defamation suit claims that he and fellow producer April Oliver actually got the story right, only to have their reputations and careers ruined when the network caved in to CIA pressure to retract the story.