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[eccr] Fwd: The Weekly Spin, Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Mon Mar 03 14:13:44 GMT 2003

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>THE WEEKLY SPIN, Wednesday, February 26, 2003
>sponsored by PR WATCH (
>The Weekly Spin features selected news summaries with links to
>further information about current public relations campaigns.
>It is emailed free each Wednesday to subscribers.
>Who do you know who might want to receive Spin of the Week?
>Help us grow our subscriber list!  Just forward this message to
>people you know, encouraging them to sign up at this link:
>1. Weapons of Mass Amnesia
>2. PR Firm Protects Chemical Industry From Press Release
>3. U.S. Public Turns to Europe for News
>4. From Saddam to Shia Revolution
>5. Can a PR Front Group Run Iraq?
>6. Protests Move the Media
>7. Self-fulfilling Prophecies?
>8. Christian Coalition Sponsors Anti-Islam Speakers
>9. Homeland Security's "Get Ready Now" Gets PR Help
>10. Their Master's Voice
>11. Spin Caught in Web Trap
>   Here's a story that hasn't gotten covered in the U.S. press: As the
>   USA prepares for a war against Iraq, it is being sued by Iran for
>   its previous close relationship to Saddam Hussein. At the UN's
>   International Court of Justice (ICJ), Teheran is accusing the
>   United States of delivering dangerous chemicals and deadly viruses
>   to Baghdad during the 1980s. Reports on the case have appeared in
>   England, Pakistan and Malaysia. In the United States, Associated
>   Press writer Anthony Deutsch filed a report on the case, but it
>   does not seem to have been picked up by any U.S. newspapers.
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Within an hour of posting a press release headlined "Children,
>   Pregnant Women Need Immediate Protection From DEHP, Says Sweeping
>   New European Union Proposal" on its website, the public interest
>   group Health Care Without Harm received a call from PR Goliath
>   Fleishman-Hillard asking them to change the release. "They took
>   issue with our headline, arguing that a proposal to ban the toxic
>   chemical DEHP from various consumer products in the European Union
>   is 'a sweeping proposal to the EU' rather than a 'sweeping EU
>   proposal,'" HCWH's Stacy Malkan wrote PR Watch. "But the proposal
>   was actually submitted on behalf of the EU, so we're right and it
>   seems that all they have to argue about is a preposition. It felt
>   kind of creepy to realize that F-H saw our press release before any
>   reporters and probably before any of our 400 member organizations.
>   But to me this also seems like a last-ditch industry attempt to
>   spin the unspinnable. As the new EU proposal points out, there's
>   enough evidence about the risks of DEHP to warrant immediate action
>   to protect kids, women of childbearing age, and other people,"
>   Malkan wrote.
>Web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The threat of war in Iraq is driving increasing numbers of
>   Americans to international news websites in search of the broader
>   picture. Traffic to the UK's biggest news sites, BBC News Online
>   and Guardian Unlimited, has increased dramatically over the past
>   year, as has traffic to sites such as World News Network, German
>   Times, Israel's Ha'aretz Daily, and alternative news sites like
> and YearZero. "We have noticed an upsurge in traffic
>   from America, primarily because we are receiving more e-mails from
>   US visitors thanking us for reporting on worldwide news in a way
>   that is unavailable in the US media," said Jon Dennis, deputy news
>   editor of the Guardian Unlimited web site. The American public is
>   apparently turning away from the mostly US-centric American media
>   in search of unbiased reporting and other points of views.
>   According to the statistics, much of the US media's reaction to
>   France and Germany's intransigence on the Iraqi war issue has
>   verged on the xenophobic, even in the so-called "respectable"
>   press. "American visitors are telling us they are unable to find
>   the breadth of opinion we have on our website anywhere else because
>   we report across the political spectrum rather than from just one
>   perspective," Dennis said.
>SOURCE:, February 21, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Shia Muslims of southern Iraq will mount an uprising against
>   Saddam Hussein as soon as US and British troops invade," reports
>   Patrick Cockburn. "A rebellion by the Shia would complicate plans
>   by the US for an orderly occupation of Iraq. Earlier in the month,
>   American officials angered representatives of the Iraqi opposition,
>   much of which is Shia and Kurdish, at a meeting in Ankara, Turkey
>   by revealing that America planned a military government for Iraq
>   but would keep in place most of the Sunni establishment that had
>   served President Hussein. ... The problem for the US is much the
>   same as it was in 1991 when President Saddam had been defeated in
>   Kuwait and had lost 14 out of Iraq's 18 provinces to Shia and
>   Kurdish rebels. While the US wanted regime change and the Iraqi
>   leader toppled, it did not want revolutionary change. But if
>   democracy was introduced in Iraq, revolutionary change would be
>   inevitable because Shia and Kurds make up three-quarters of the
>   Iraqi population."
>SOURCE: Independent (UK), February 21, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   PR Watch has previously written about the origins of the Iraqi
>   National Congress (INC) as a PR front group created by the Rendon
>   Group, which has nevertheless become the Bush administration's
>   preferred source for "intelligence" about Iraq. Now an internal
>   fight is bubbling over INC's plan to actually become the government
>   of Iraq after a U.S. invasion. The INC's Ahmad Chalabi wants to
>   "declare a provisional government when the war starts," a plan that
>   has "alienated some of Mr Chalabi's most enthusiastic backers in
>   the Pentagon and in Congress, who fear the announcement of a
>   provisional government made up of exiles would split anti-Saddam
>   sentiment inside Iraq." Other opponents of Saddam Hussein, such as
>   Iraqi political exile Kamil Mahdi, warn that "the objective of the
>   US is to have regime change without the people of Iraq. ... The
>   prevalent Iraqi opinion is that a US attack on Iraq would be a
>   disaster, not a liberation."
>SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), February 21, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   A new survey by Editor & Publisher magazine shows that "the growing
>   rift at the United Nations and massive antiwar demonstrations
>   around the globe appear to have had an impact. E&P now finds that a
>   majority of top papers oppose any attack on Iraq without broad
>   international support." Previous surveys in January also opposed
>   President Bush's desire for a quick invasion, but pro-war
>   editorials surged immediately following Colin Powell's presentation
>   to the U.N. in early February. Following the protests, however,
>   newspapers have taken a more cautious position: "Of the 37 papers
>   publishing editorials on Iraq between Feb 15. and Feb. 19, the
>   hawks numbered 15 and doves 9, while the cautious camp became
>   solidly internationalist. Some that once reluctantly accepted a
>   quick war for different reasons are now calling for any invasion to
>   be backed by a stronger world coalition or with the full support of
>   the United Nations Security Council -- a noteworthy condition at a
>   time when the U.N. appears deeply fractured. Thirteen papers now
>   occupy this middle ground, meaning that almost two-third's of the
>   total sample oppose any war for the time being."
>SOURCE: Editor & Publisher, February 20, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   As the nation marches toward war in the Middle East, millions of
>   Americans believe in Biblical prophecies of Armageddon that predict
>   war and mass slaughters of Jews and Muslims. "Genocide, in short,
>   becomes the ultimate means of prophetic fulfillment," writes
>   historian Paul Boyer. "Without close attention to the prophetic
>   scenario embraced by millions of American citizens, the current
>   political climate in the United States cannot be fully understood.
>   ... [W]hen our born-again president describes the nation's
>   foreign-policy objective in theological terms as a global struggle
>   against 'evildoers,' and when, in his recent State of the Union
>   address, he casts Saddam Hussein as a demonic, quasi-supernatural
>   figure who could unleash 'a day of horror like none we have ever
>   known,' he is not only playing upon our still-raw memories of 9/11.
>   He is also invoking a powerful and ancient apocalyptic vocabulary
>   that for millions of prophecy believers conveys a specific and
>   thrilling message of an approaching end - not just of Saddam, but
>   of human history as we know it."
>SOURCE:, February 20, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   At a Christian Coalition symposium on Feb. 15, Don Feder, a
>   syndicated columnist for The Boston Herald for 19 years, and Daniel
>   Pipes, New York Post columnist and director of the right-wing
>   Middle East Forum, agreed that militant Islamists are the real
>   enemies of the U.S., reports O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Feder "railed
>   against U.S. leaders who insist Islam is a religion of tolerance
>   and compassion and charity," O'Dwyer's writes. "Islam is not a
>   religion of peace but has lent itself well over its 1,400 year
>   history to fanaticism, terrorism, mass murder, oppression and
>   conversion by the sword, according to Feder."
>SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, February 19, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Ruder Finn designed the Dept. of Homeland Security's
>   website and brochure that provides tips on how to prepare against a
>   biological, radiation or nuclear attack," O'Dwyer's PR Daily
>   reports. "Ruder Finn wants to be 'clear and accurate' in giving
>   tips to cope with terror attacks. 'We worked with the Ad Council on
>   its Smokey the Bear campaign, and AC staffers recommended us for
>   the Homeland Security work,' said [Ruder Finn senior VP Scott]
>   Schneider. The AC hopes to line up $50 million in space for the
>   'Get Ready Now' ad spots.' ... Schneider said RF's goal was to
>   compile information for the campaign that was as 'clear and
>   accurate' as possible and which could be easily understood by all
>   Americans."
>SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, February 19, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "You have got to admit that Rupert Murdoch is one canny press
>   tycoon because he has an unerring ability to choose editors across
>   the world who think just like him," writes Roy Greenslade. "How
>   else can we explain the extraordinary unity of thought in his
>   newspaper empire about the need to make war on Iraq?" Murdoch
>   publishes 40 million papers a week and dominates the newspaper
>   markets in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and none "has dared
>   to croon the anti-war tune. Their master's voice has never been
>   questioned." In France, Murdoch's paper distributed a story calling
>   French President Jacques Chirac a "worm." In the U.S., his New York
>   Post has called France and Germany an "axis of weasel" for refusing
>   to support Bush's war plans, and recently published a cover photo
>   with the heads of weasels superimposed over the faces of French and
>   Germany ministers at the U.N.
>SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), February 17, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "When Allied forces were last on their way to the Gulf in 1991, the
>   Internet was little more than a gaggle of bearded academics
>   swapping information on their latest computer programs," reports
>   Owen Gibson. Today, however, the web "is opening up a world of
>   different perspectives and viewpoints. ... Sites such as
>   Afghanistan Online and Islamic Gateway saw a thousandfold increase
>   in their traffic while web users also flocked to sites such as
> and Amnesty International. And just last week,
>   interested parties were able to flick from the French press to the
>   US tabloids and back again to see how differing views on the war
>   were taking shape.
>SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), February 17, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>The Weekly Spin is compiled by staff and volunteers at PR Watch.
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Carpentier Nico (Phd)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University Brussels
Studies on Media, Information & Telecommunication (SMIT)
Centre for Media Sociology (CeMeSO)
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Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
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E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

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