Archive for March 2003

(From 2002 until 2005, this mailing list was called the ECCR mailing list)
[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[eccr] Fwd: The Weekly Spin, Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Wed Mar 05 14:45:44 GMT 2003

>THE WEEKLY SPIN, Wednesday, March 5, 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. No More Beers for America
>2. Hot Flash, Cold Cash
>3. Feed a Flack, Bomb Iraq
>4. Unleashing "Shock And Awe" At Home & Abroad
>5. Star Wars
>6. Psyops in Iraq
>7. Words vs. Deeds
>8. Swallow This
>9. Marching on Washington for Peace - Virtually
>10. Grassroots PR for Nuclear Power
>11. Pentagon Denies That Depleted Uranium Keeps On Killing
>12. MSNBC Cans Donahue
>13. US Radio Station Alter Playlists for War on Iraq
>14. TV Networks Censor Anti-War Ads
>15. Media Questioned Over War Protest Coverage
>16. Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas
>17. Bogus "Consumer Group" Stripped of Domain Names
>   "Charlotte Beers, the former advertising executive who has been in
>   charge of the Bush administration's global campaign to enhance the
>   image of the United States among Muslims, resigned today for what
>   she said were health reasons," reports Steven Weisman. Under Beers'
>   supervision, the U.S. State Department produced videos, pamphlets,
>   booklets and other materials, but her efforts were largely seen as
>   ineffective. Most of the comments on the O'Dwyer's PR web site
>   celebrated her departure, saying "Good riddance!" and "About time!
>   She was horrible and the U.S. has lost all post-9/11 support."
>SOURCE: New York Times, March 4, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Last April, several hundred black-tie and couture-clad worthies
>   crowded into the ornate ballroom of the Washington Ritz-Carlton for
>   one more dinner on the spring charity circuit," writes Alicia Mundy
>   - namely, the annual gala of the once-respected Society for Women's
>   Health Research (SWHR), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit
>   organization whose stated mission is "to improve the health of
>   women through research." In recent years, however, SWHR has become
>   increasingly dependent on corporation contributions from
>   pharmaceutical companies. Last year's gala was underwritten by
>   Wyeth, which makes Prempro, the drug most widely used in
>   hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) for post-menopausal women. The
>   event celebrated HRT, complained one participant, "like they were
>   doing an ad for Wyeth." Worse yet, SWHR has attacked research by
>   the National Institutes for Health showing that Prempro increases
>   women's risk of heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, and breast
>   cancer.
>SOURCE: Washington Monthly, February/March 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Let's have this damn war and get it over with it," said Doug
>   Dowie, a senior vice president at the Fleishman-Hillard PR firm.
>   Speaking at a Los Angeles meeting of the Public Relations Society
>   of America, Dowie complained that uncertainty connected with the
>   Iraq war has paralyzed client spending. "The sooner we get there
>   the better off most of us are going to be," he predicted.
>SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, March 3, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "[O]n the first day of Gulf War II: Die Harder, the Pentagon
>   reportedly intends to launch 300 to 400 cruise missiles at targets
>   in Iraq -- more than during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf
>   War. '[Y]ou have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear
>   weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes,"
>   says Harlan K. Ullman, who ... did co-author the 1996 book that
>   defined the strategy that the U.S. military will be following.
>   Euphemistically known as 'Shock and Awe,' the plan is designed to
>   cow those Iraqis it doesn't blow up into immediate submission. A
>   similar strategy has been employed here at home. ... Seeking to
>   unite the republic with fear, the government has cranked up the
>   scare tactics -- orange alerts, anti-aircraft missiles on the Mall,
>   talk of Iraqi drone planes dropping biochemical weapons on American
>   cities. Meanwhile, in an infuriatingly circular bit of reasoning,
>   Vice President Dick Cheney has argued ... that we must use our
>   troops precisely because we've committed them -- if not, we'll seem
>   weak." It might shock some to learn that  Mr. Ullman himself is
>   rather skeptical of Bush's pending attack on Iraq. The St.
>   Petersburg Times reports that "Having fought wars, studied them and
>   written about them, he's not convinced that this one, at this time,
>   makes sense."
>SOURCE: LA Weekly, St. Petersburg Times, March 2, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The conservative organization Citizens United has teamed with Fred
>   Thompson, the former U.S. Senator turned actor on NBC's "Law and
>   Order," to produce and air a TV commercial supporting war on Iraq.
>   Citizens United president David Bossie says his ad is necessary to
>   "combat the left-wing propaganda" he says has come from such stars
>   as Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon and Janeane Garofalo. Other
>   celebrities who have expressed anti-war sentiments include Sean
>   Penn, Ed Norton, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, Dustin
>   Hoffman and Richard Gere.
>SOURCE: USA  Today, March 2, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The U.S. has already launched psychological warfare operations in
>   Iraq, including "leafleting, radio and TV broadcasts, even personal
>   phone calls and e-mails, as well as secret techniques the public
>   knows little about," reports Michael Kilian. "Since Jan. 18, U.S.
>   psyops planes have made no fewer than 10 runs over southern Iraq,
>   dropping as many as 480,000 leaflets at a time." Other psyops
>   planners are discussing strategies such as sending misleading text
>   messages to the cell phones of Iraqi commanders, hacking computers,
>   jamming radar, and disrupting bank accounts.
>SOURCE: Contra Costa Times, March 2, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Democrats on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee have produced
>   a web page titled "Caught on Film: The Bush Credibility Gap," which
>   contrasts statements by George W. Bush at various photo ops around
>   the country with his actual deeds.
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   PR Watch has reported previously on the dietary supplement
>   industry's successful campaign to evade federal safety regulations.
>   Now O'Dywer's PR Daily reports that the Ephedra Education Council
>   (EEC), a PR front created by the PR firm of Aker Partners, is
>   "handling crisis PR to counter a media firestorm following the
>   death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler." A coroner's
>   report suggested that Bechler's death could be linked to ephedra,
>   and the Food and Drug Administration has reports of at least 100
>   deaths and thousands of adverse reactions linked to the supplement.
>   The EEC has been trying to suppress or attack scientific studies
>   critical of ephedra, including a study last year that found it was
>   "by far the most dangerous herbal product on the market."
>SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, February 27, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The burgeoning US anti-war movement is showing a sophistication for
>   grassroots lobbying normally only used by major corporate PR
>   efforts. Today, for instance, hundreds of thousands of US citizens
>   are participating in "a massive march on Washington without leaving
>   your living room. The Virtual March on Washington is a
>   first-of-its-kind campaign from the Win Without War coalition.
>   Working together, we will direct a steady stream of phone calls --
>   about one per minute, all day -- to every Senate office in the
>   country, while at the same time delivering a constant stream of
>   e-mails and faxes. Our message: Don't Attack Iraq. To register to
>   send a free fax and make phone calls to Senate offices and the
>   White House, visit:"
>SOURCE: Win Without War
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Less than a week before a Town Meeting Day vote on the future of
>   Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, a David-and-Goliath-style
>   public relations war is heating up between the multibillion dollar
>   corporation that owns the plant and a small group of volunteers who
>   want the plant closed in 2012," writes Eesha Williams. "Nuclear
>   Free Vermont, the citizens' group, is spending about $2,000 to
>   distribute 'Vote Yes' yard signs to supporters, mail literature,
>   and possibly air a handful of radio ads. Meanwhile, the
>   Entergy-funded Coalition Against Shutting Down Vermont's
>   Electricity Options is in the midst of a $200,000 public relations
>   blitz that includes mass-mailings, newspaper ads, and 'Vote No'
>   radio ads featuring the voice of a former Vermont governor."
>SOURCE: Brattleboro Reformer, February 26, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "If war again comes to Iraq, depleted uranium munitions will be a
>   mainstay of the American arsenal. For years, the Pentagon has
>   discounted reports that the shells and bullets, made of solid
>   nuclear-waste byproduct and used for the first time on a large
>   scale in the Iraq war, bore calamity. ... 'There just isn't any
>   scientific foundation to draw a connection between exposure and the
>   incidents of leukemia, other cancers or birth defects,' said
>   Michael Kilpatrick, deputy director of deployment health support at
>   the Pentagon. ... Last month, the Bush administration, intent on
>   launching those munitions again if war breaks out, accused Iraq of
>   tricking the media into reporting on false links to depleted
>   uranium arms and cancer deaths. ... Dr. Doug
>   Rokke...worked...securing depleted uranium depots for the army.
>   Today,  Rokke ... has become an opponent of depleted uranium arms .
>   All of the soldiers assigned to the cleanup in Iraq have suffered
>   chronic health problems, he said. ... 'When you go to war, you go
>   to kill. The problem with (depleted uranium),' he said, 'is that it
>   keeps on killing.' "
>SOURCE: San Jose Mercury News, February 25, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   MSNBC has abruptly cancelled the Phil Donahue show. To fill his
>   slot, the network is expanding the news show that precedes him on
>   the air, "Countdown: Iraq." Although the network cites poor ratings
>   as the reason for the cancellation, the New York Times reports that
>   Donahue "was actually attracting more viewers than any other
>   program on MSNBC, even the channel's signature prime-time program
>   'Hardball with Chris Matthews.'" According to an internal NBC
>   report, however, Donahue was axed because he presented a "difficult
>   public face for NBC in a time of war. ... He seems to delight in
>   presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the
>   administration's motives." The report went on to outline a possible
>   nightmare scenario where the show becomes "a home for the liberal
>   antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the
>   flag at every opportunity." A source close to Donahue says, "It's
>   not a coincidence that this decision comes the same week that MSNBC
>   announces it's hired Dick Armey as a commentator and has both Jesse
>   Ventura and Michael Savage joining the network as hosts. They're
>   scared, and they decided to take the coward's road and slant
>   towards the conservative crowd that watches Fox News."
>SOURCE: New York Times, February 25, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, listeners denounced many
>   radio stations for playing songs insensitive to a nation in
>   mourning. Now, program directors are planning to adjust their
>   playlists if the United States goes to war with Iraq. Expect to
>   hear more patriotic tunes, and songs that appear right for the
>   moment. ... Music stations will also increase their news reports if
>   war breaks out. Because radio has become so segmented in the last
>   15 years, news had vanished from many music stations. But since
>   Sept. 11, stations have added feeds at the top of every hour.
>   'We're certainly stepping up our news coverage,' said Gabe Hobbs,
>   vice president of news for Clear Channel Radio, part of Clear
>   Channel Communications, which owns 1,200 stations. 'We have all
>   sorts of plans and they vary from market-to-market. But overall,
>   we're prepared to offer news twice an hour on our music stations.'
>   "
>SOURCE: New York Times, February 24, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "The political battle over the Bush administration's planned war in
>   Iraq is filtering down to impact the U.S. media and advertising
>   industry. A growing number of groups opposed to the war allege
>   cable networks are censoring citizens' political views by refusing
>   to accept placements of their anti-war TV ads. Some peace groups
>   are thwarting the networks' rejection by buying local time in major
>   cities for the same anti-war ads. One set of spots seen last week
>   in Washington feature Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders
>   of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and were produced for
> by Too Much Media. Mr. Cohen, who has been active
>   in efforts by True Majority and the Business Leaders for Sensible
>   Priorities, expressed dismay last week that CNN would not allow
>   True Majority to buy time on Larry King Live. He said one spot that
>   was rejected by CNN features actress Susan Sarandon asking former
>   U.S. Iraq ambassador Ed Peck, 'Before our kids start coming home
>   from Iraq in body bags and women and children start dying in
>   Baghdad, I need to know what did Iraq do to us?' "
>SOURCE: Ad Age, February 24, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Did the media stumble on Iraq, downplaying opposition to war with
>   Saddam Hussein until the USA's recent confrontation with Germany
>   and France in the United Nations and worldwide protests gave them
>   no choice?" asks Peter Johnson. New York Times columnist Paul
>   Krugman writes, "For months both major U.S. cable news networks
>   have acted as if the decision to invade Iraq has already been made,
>   and have in effect seen it as their job to prepare the American
>   public for the coming war."
>SOURCE: USA Today, February 24, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "The messages from U.S. embassies around the globe have become
>   urgent and disturbing," reports the Washington Post. "Many people
>   in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat
>   to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein."
>SOURCE: Washington Post, February 24, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The Center for Consumer Freedom, a front group for the restaurant,
>   alcohol and tobacco industries, has been forced to give up the
>   domain names of two web sites used to attack the Center for Science
>   in the Public Interest (CSPI), in what CSPI called an "Orwellian"
>   effort to create confusion among Internet users looking for CSPI's
>   websites. CCF, part of a "shadowy trio of tax-exempt front groups
>   run by Washington lobbyist Richard Berman" has been involved in
>   several other failed attempts to impersonate web sites owned by
>   health, consumer and enviromental groups.
>SOURCE: CSPI news release, February 20, 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.
>To subscribe or unsubcribe, visit:
>Daily updates and news from past weeks can be found at the
>Spin of the Day" section of the PR Watch website:
>Archives of our quarterly publication, PR Watch, are at:
>PR Watch, Spin of the Day and the Weekly Spin are projects
>of the Center for Media & Democracy, a nonprofit organization
>that offers investigative reporting on the public relations
>industry. We help the public recognize manipulative and
>misleading PR practices by exposing the activities of
>secretive, little-known propaganda-for-hire firms that
>work to control political debates and public opinion.
>Please send any questions or suggestions about our
>publications to:
>(editor /at/
>Contributions to the Center for Media & Democracy
>are tax-deductible. Send checks to:
>    CMD
>    520 University Ave. #310
>    Madison, WI 53703
>To donate now online, visit:
>Weekly-Spin mailing list
>(Weekly-Spin /at/

Carpentier Nico (Phd)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University Brussels
Studies on Media, Information & Telecommunication (SMIT)
Centre for Media Sociology (CeMeSO)
Office: C0.05
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
T: ++ 32 (0)2-629.18.30
F: ++ 32 (0)2-629.28.61
E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

ECCR-Mailing list
To unsubscribe, send an email message to (majordomo /at/
with in the body of the message (NOT in the subject): unsubscribe eccr
ECCR - European Consortium for Communications Research
Secretariat: P.O. Box 106, B-1210 Brussels 21, Belgium
Tel.: +32-2-412 42 78/47
Fax.: +32-2-412 42 00
Email: (freenet002 /at/ or (Rico.Lie /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]