Archive for April 2003

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[eccr] Fwd: The Weekly Spin, Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Wed Apr 30 11:12:02 GMT 2003

>THE WEEKLY SPIN, Wednesday, April 30, 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. PR's "Deleterious Impact on the Democratic Process"
>2. How Bush Spun Iraq:  It's Not Lies, It's Empahsis
>3. News By The Grace Of God
>4. Former Iraqi TV Anchors Criticize U.S. Produced News
>5. Road To War Paved With Disinformation and Falsehood
>6. Propaganda Nation
>7. The Peace Curveball
>8. Boycott of French & German Products Faces Confusion
>   "Every organisation that interacts with other agencies may be said
>   to engage in public relations. Organisations by and large wish to
>   project as good an image as they can, and often wish to communicate
>   a particular message," Corporate Watch UK writes in the
>   introduction to their new online report on the PR industry. "There
>   is nothing essentially wrong in wanting to present one's own case
>   in as effective manner as possible. However, in spite of frequent
>   protestations to the contrary from the PR world, this is only a
>   part of what modern PR does. There is a considerable body of
>   evidence emerging to suggest that modern public relations practices
>   are having a very significant deleterious impact on the democratic
>   process." Corporate Watch's reports looks at how the PR industry
>   has "often engaged in deliberate deception on their clients' behalf
>   and have developed a deeply unhealthy relationship with the 'free
>   press'."
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Paul Krugman notes that, " 'We were not lying,' a Bush
>   administration official told ABC News. 'But it was just a matter of
>   emphasis.' ... Does it matter that we were misled into war? Some
>   people say that it doesn't: we won, and the Iraqi people have been
>   freed. But we ought to ask some hard questions - not just about
>   Iraq, but about ourselves. ... Thanks to this pattern of loud
>   assertions and muted or suppressed retractions, the American public
>   probably believes that we went to war to avert an immediate threat
>   --just as it believes that Saddam had something to do with Sept.
>   11.'
>SOURCE: New York Times, April 29, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "The U.S. government this week launched its Arabic language
>   satellite TV news station for Muslim Iraq. It is being produced in
>   a studio -- Grace Digital Media -- controlled by fundamentalist
>   Christians who are rabidly pro-Israel," Washington D.C.-based
>   journalists Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman report. According
>   to its web site, Grace News Network is "dedicated to transmitting
>   the evidence of God's presence in the world today. ... Grace News
>   Network will be reporting the current secular news, along with
>   aggressive proclamations that will 'change the news' to reflect the
>   Kingdom of God and its purposes." The Broadcasting Board of
>   Governors (BBG) -- a U.S. agency which also runs Radio Free Europe,
>   Voice of America, and Radio Sawa -- is responsible for the Iraq TV
>   news broadcasts. BBG told Mokhiber and Weissman they will
>   "broadcast accurate and objective news about the United States and
>   the world. ... Grace will have nothing to do with the editorial
>   side of the news broadcast." According to Mokhiber and Weissman,
>   BBG couldn't say how Grace Digital was chosen as the production
>   studio. Grace Digital Media also controls Federal News Service, a
>   transcription news service.
>SOURCE: Corp-Focus, April 28, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Former television announcers from Iraqi state television have
>   criticized the U.S. news broadcasts into the country. The New York
>   Times reports that TV anchors, technicians, and others are trying
>   to get Iraqi produced programming back on the air. "The anchors
>   said that one of the reasons prompting them to return to work was
>   what they considered the poor quality of nightly television
>   broadcasts that the United States has started beaming into Iraq.
>   ... The broadcasting has been developed by the Broadcast Board of
>   Governors, a United States agency that oversees the Voice of
>   America and other government-sponsored media projects. The anchors
>   for the 50-minute news segment, called 'Iraq and the World,' are
>   exiles who read news snippets about the day's events. The Iraqi
>   anchors criticize the American show as technically 'primitive' and
>   lacking in sound news judgment," the Times writes. "It's disgusting
>   -- they are showing us the things they want to show us," a woman
>   who worked as an announcer for Shabab Television told the Times.
>SOURCE: New York Times, April 28, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "The case for invading Iraq to remove its weapons of mass
>   destruction was based on selective use of intelligence,
>   exaggeration, use of sources known to be discredited and outright
>   fabrication," The Independent writes. "A high-level UK source said
>   last night that intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic
>   were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were
>   distorted in the rush to war with Iraq. Quoting an editorial in a
>   Middle East newspaper which said, 'Washington has to prove its
>   case. If it does not, the world will for ever believe that it paved
>   the road to war with lies,' he added: 'You can draw your own
>   conclusions.' ... Some American officials have all but conceded
>   that the weapons of mass destruction campaign was simply a means to
>   an end n a 'global show of American power and democracy,' as ABC
>   News in the US put it. 'We were not lying,' it was told by one
>   official. 'But it was just a matter of emphasis.'"
>SOURCE: Independent (UK), April 27, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "As Americans, it's hard for us to see the roots of
>   anti-Americanism," Nancy Snow, author of Propaganda Inc., told the
>   Orange County Weekly. "We don't hear a lot about imperial power,
>   but in a lot of the world the U.S. is seen as a major imperial
>   power -- militarily, economically and culturally. We keep saying we
>   need to get our message out, but often the world is saying, 'We get
>   your message; we hear it all the time.' ... We need to have our
>   voice in the world but also to understand that ours is not the only
>   voice. Right now, the world sees us as the big megaphone."
>SOURCE: Orange County Weekly, April 25, 2003
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian web site, has obtained
>   and published a PR strategy document prepared for pro-Israel
>   activists by Luntz Research Companies, which has provided similar
>   polling and advice for Israel in the past. Ttitled "Wexner
>   Analysis: Israeli Communication Priorities 2003," the document
>   counsels pro-Israel advocates to keep invoking the name of Saddam
>   Hussein because "Saddam is your best defense, even if he is dead."
>   It also says that Yasser Arafat has been a great asset to Israel
>   because "he looks the part" of a "terrorist." The emergence of
>   Mahmoud Abbas as a potential replacement for Arafat "comes exactly
>   at the wrong time," the document states. "His ascent to power seems
>   legitimate. He is a fresh face, and a clean-shaven one at that. He
>   speaks well and dresses in Western garb. He may even genuinely want
>   peace. Just as President Bush had begun to make headway in drawing
>   attention on the need for a reformed Palestinian leadership, the
>   Palestinians throw us this curveball."
>SOURCE: Electronic Intifada, April 25, 2003
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "More than half of U.S. consumers say they would take into account
>   whether a company is from a country that did not support the U.S.
>   invasion of Iraq before buying stock, according to a
>   Fleishman-Hillard/Wirthlin Worldwide poll of 1,000 adults,"
>   O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "Consumers who advocate and have taken
>   part in boycotts of goods made in those countries were found to be
>   white, mid- to upper-income, conservative Republicans, according to
>   the survey." There is some confusion, however, among those surveyed
>   as to country of origin of many brands. For example, 64 percent
>   said Grey Poupon mustard is French (it's from the U.S.). Despite
>   its well-chronicled PR efforts, French's mustard was identified by
>   29 percent of respondents as French. Seventy-eight percent said
>   Universal Pictures is a U.S. company (it's owned by France's
>   Vivendi). Then there's the 42 percent who said Saab is German
>   (originally from Sweden, it was bought by General Motors), the 55
>   percent who said Bayer is from the U.S. (German), and the 70
>   percent who said Heineken is German (it's brewed in the
>   Netherlands).
>SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, April 24, 2003
>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)
Office: C0.05
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
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E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

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