Archive for April 2004

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[eccr] The Weekly Spin, Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Wed Apr 21 18:29:05 GMT 2004

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>THE WEEKLY SPIN, Wednesday, April 21, 2004
>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?
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>1. Regulation without Representation
>2. Flag-Draped Coffins
>3. Even Less Than Cosmetic Changes
>4. Friendly Fire?
>5. Open the Government
>6. A Cost-Cost Analysis
>7. Vanunu Moves from Prison to House Arrest
>8. No, Supersize Me!
>9. Beyond Posturing
>10. Kerry Crafts His Image to Sell to Republicans
>11. Will Shill for Nukes
>12. A Not-So-Volunteer Force
>13. An Ounce of Coup Prevention Is Worth $1.2 Million
>14. Like a Bridge over Troubled Blackwater
>15. The Battle for Hearts and Minds
>16. The Jefferson Muzzles
>   "Outsourcing, the shifting of well-paid and skilled manufacturing
>   and service sector jobs overseas, has emerged as a defining issue,"
>   but Republicans in the House of Representatives want to change the
>   subject, according to The Hill. In mid-May, the House leadership
>   will begin "eight weeks of debate and votes on what they say are
>   'populist' measures to reduce healthcare costs, eliminate red tape,
>   curb abusive lawsuits, simplify the tax code, improve
>   worker-training programs, enforce trade law and reshape energy
>   policies." The "competitiveness agenda" also includes "a
>   long-standing proposal that Congress should vote on regulatory
>   actions, such as examining whether to raise the corporate average
>   fuel economy standards in cars." The Competitive Enterprise
>   Institute's president noted approvingly: "Regulations have become a
>   form of taxation without representation."
>SOURCE: The Hill, April 20, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Last week, photos of flag-draped coffins in Kuwait containing the
>   bodies of Americans killed in Iraq surfaced on scattered Internet
>   sites, such as the Drudge Report," reports Charles Geraci. "The
>   photos were not credited and no major news organization would touch
>   them. But Sunday, a similar image appeared on the front page of The
>   Seattle Times. The picture arrived amid rising debate over the Bush
>   administration's strict ban on media outlets taking photos of
>   soldiers' coffins offloaded at U.S. military bases."
>SOURCE: Editor and Publisher, April 19, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "While U.S. regulators tend to wait for clear evidence of problems,
>   the [European Union] has been moving aggressively to remove
>   chemicals with the potential for trouble." Case in point:
>   phthalates, a class of chemicals found in many cosmetics, which
>   have been linked in animal experiments to "adverse reproductive
>   effects." The industry group the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance
>   Association dismissed calls to stop using phthalates, claiming
>   "this is more a matter of politics than of science." The U.S. Food
>   and Drug Administration takes its lead on such matters from the
>   Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel, which is "funded by the industry
>   trade group." The head of the Environmental Working Group remarked:
>   "It's not just the fox guarding the henhouse, it's the fox
>   designing and building the henhouse."
>SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Two employees of a Pentagon-funded television station were killed
>   by U.S. troops in Iraq today. Al-Iraqiya correspondent Asaad
>   Kadhim, driver Hussein Saleh and cameraman Bassem Kamel came under
>   fire as they drove along the road to the central city of Samara.
>   Kadhim and Saleh were killed, while Kamel was wounded. According to
>   the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 24 Iraqi and foreign
>   journalists and media workers have been killed since the U.S.
>   invasion, not counting the latest deaths. Al-Iraqiya and two
>   Baghdad radio stations are run by the Iraq Media Network, on behalf
>   of the Coalition Provisional Authority and under U.S. Defense
>   Department contracts with the San Diego, California-based company
>   Scientific Applications International Corporation.
>SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   A new coalition has formed to fight the expansion of government
>   secrecy at all levels of government in the United States. "Open the
>   Government" which bring together groups from the worlds of
>   journalism, organized labor, the environmental movement and others
>   interested in open government. It has issued a report listing what
>   it calls the "Ten Most Wanted" government documents on topics
>   ranging from September 11 intelligence failures to contaminants in
>   drinking water and gifts from lobbyists to Senators and their
>   staff.
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "In a report analyzing the economics of protecting a threatened
>   fish in the Pacific Northwest, the Bush administration this month
>   deleted all references to possible monetary benefits" from
>   conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report included
>   the estimated habitat protection cost - $230 to $300 million over
>   10 years - but omitted "55 pages that detailed the benefits of
>   protecting bull trout." The benefits, according to a consulting
>   firm, would include "revenue from sport fishing, reduced drinking
>   water costs and increased water for irrigation farmers," totaling
>   some $215 million over 20 to 30 years. A Fish and Wildlife Service
>   official said the benefits analysis was deleted because "it did not
>   conform to analytical standards."
>SOURCE: Washington Post, April 17, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is scheduled to be released
>   soon from prison after serving an 18-year sentence for blowing the
>   whistle on Israel's weapons of mass destruction. However, Israel is
>   also forbidding him from communicating with foreigners or moving
>   about without permission and has been told that any infraction of
>   these rules will land him back in prison without trial. In 1986,
>   Vanunu provided photographs to back up a major story in the Sunday
>   Times newspaper in London, which detailed his work for Israel's
>   covert nuclear arsenal at its Dimona plant. In retaliation, an
>   American Jewish woman working for Mossad, Israel's secret service,
>   lured him from London to Rome, where he was kidnapped back to
>   Israel, convicted of treason and espionage in a secret trial, and
>   subjected to long periods in solitarity confinement.
>SOURCE: The Age (Australia), April 17, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   As McDonald's unveiled its latest marketing ploy - healthier menu
>   options, including "Go Active!" Adult Happy Meals - one free
>   enterprise and "personal freedom" activist is trying to prove that
>   the fast food giant's current menu isn't so bad. Soso Whaley, an
>   adjunct fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an animal
>   trainer and the host of the "Camo Country Outdoors Show," has
>   placed herself on a month-long McDonald's-only diet. She's also
>   making a film about her experience, in direct response to Morgan
>   Spurlock's unflattering documentary "Super Size Me." Whaley called
>   Spurlock's film "anti-corporate," "anti-fast food" and "junk
>   science." McDonald's has not endorsed Whaley's project.
>SOURCE: Associated Press, April 16, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Four years ago BP - the company formerly known as British Petroleum
>   - launched a $200 million ad campaign to rebrand itself as "Beyond
>   Petroleum" and to strut the company's avowed commitment to
>   corporate social responsibility. At its April 16 annual general
>   meeting in London, however, its real face was more visible. A
>   resolution proposing the company stay out of the Artic National
>   Wildlife Refuge and other environmentally important areas was voted
>   down, protests against cuts to health benefits for new employees
>   were brushed off, and a 65-year old Azerbaijani woman campaigning
>   against the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline to Turkey was not
>   even allowed into the meeting.
>SOURCE: Guardian (UK), April 16, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   Can John Kerry beat George Bush by selling himself to disgruntled
>   Republican voters as the kinder, gentler, more compassionate and
>   centrist candidate? After appealing to a left/liberal base during
>   his primary victories juggernaut, the presumed Democratic
>   presidential candidate is moving quickly to the right. "Declaring
>   that he is 'not a redistribution Democrat,' Senator John Kerry told
>   a group of wealthy and well-connected supporters on Thursday that
>   he would soon start an aggressive campaign to define himself as a
>   centrist, in hopes of peeling moderate Republicans from President
>   Bush. Tacitly acknowledging his vulnerability to harsh portrayals
>   in a barrage of Mr. Bush's advertisements over the past month, Mr.
>   Kerry urged Democrats at a $25,000-a-plate breakfast at the '21'
>   Club in Manhattan to help him paint his own portrait. ... 'We've
>   got to reach out,' Mr. Kerry said. 'There are so many Republicans
>   who have said to me: `You know, for the first time in my life, I'm
>   going to vote for a Democrat. I'm ready to switch over.' "
>SOURCE: New York Times, April 16, 2004
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   University of Texas professor Sheldon Landsberger has admitted that
>   a pro-nuclear column he submitted under his own name to the Austin
>   American-Statesman was actually written by the Potomac
>   Communications Group, a Washington PR firm that works for the
>   nuclear power industry. "For at least 25 years," reports William
>   Adler, an employee of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee
>   named Theodore M. Besmann (who moonlights for Potomac
>   Communications) "has had published nuclear love songs in newspapers
>   across the country, under his own or others' names."
>SOURCE: Austin Chronicle, April 16, 2004
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   In an official notice signaling their intention to launch a new
>   "recruiting and advertising program to bolster and retain ranks in
>   the U.S. Army," the Pentagon, Defense Contracting Command and
>   Department of the Army observe that "the market dynamics recruiters
>   continue to face are as challenging as any faced in the history of
>   the All-Volunteer Force," according to O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Word of
>   the new Army ad campaign came just one day after Defense Secretary
>   Donald Rumsfeld announced that some 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq will
>   have their tours extended by at least three months. When asked if
>   troop levels would decrease after 90 days, Rumsfeld replied: "You
>   can't predict the future, you just simply cannot do that, so why
>   bother?"
>SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, April 15, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "The blame for all those deaths [in Iraq] has a name: George W.
>   Bush," declared Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday. An
>   employee of the Patton Boggs lobbying and legal firm said such
>   statements make their work "difficult but not impossible." Chavez
>   is paying Patton Boggs more than $1 million to improve the
>   Venezuelan government's image in America through media work,
>   government and grassroots lobbying. According to O'Dwyer's PR
>   Daily, the Venezuela Information Office has been established in
>   Washington DC to "prevent the U.S. Government from intervening in
>   the democratic process in Venezuela." A leaked Patton Boggs memo
>   advises Chavez "to demonstrate his commitment to combating drug
>   trafficking and his cooperation with Colombia in order to
>   neutralize" criticisms from the U.S. State Department.
>SOURCE: New York Times, April 15, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "They did not go out looking for the publicity and did not ask for
>   everything that happened to them," said a spokesperson for
>   Alexander Strategy Group, defending their new client, Blackwater
>   USA. Blackwater is the private military firm that's faced
>   increasing scrutiny from members of congress, the media and the
>   general public following the killing of four of its contractors in
>   Fallujah, Iraq last month. Alexander Strategy Group is providing
>   "crisis management" services, and will "help Blackwater provide
>   input into proposed regulations circulating in the Pentagon that
>   would establish rules of engagement for private security
>   contractors." Blackwater is a late-comer to the PR game; the MPRI,
>   Armor Holdings, SAIC and Dyncorp military companies already "pay
>   top dollar for lobbyists."
>SOURCE: The Hill, April 14, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   "Impartial information is increasingly hard to come by in Iraq,"
>   reports Fiona O'Brien. "As fighting has intensified on the ground,
>   U.S. authorities have stepped up a separate battle for public
>   opinion, tightly controlling the flow of information to journalists
>   whose ability to move freely in Iraq has been limited by increasing
>   danger." Although U.S. military officials refuse to discuss Iraqi
>   civilian casualties, other reports suggest that hundreds have died
>   in the past week in Fallujah alone. Reuters footage shows "dead
>   children, old men and women lying wounded in overfull makeshift
>   clinics." According to Indian Journalist Rahul Mahajan, who was in
>   Fallujah on Saturday and Sunday, "there's a big controversy now
>   with the Arab press, Al-Jazeera, in particular reporting U.S.
>   atrocities and war crimes in Fallujah, and the U.S. press tamely
>   reporting Brigadier General Mark Kim's claims no such thing is
>   happening. I can tell you from what I have seen with my own eyes
>   that Al-Jazeera is much closer to the truth."
>SOURCE: Reuters, April 12, 2004; and Democracy Now! April 13, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
>   The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
>   chooses April 13, the anniversary of Jefferson's birth, to issue
>   its annual "Jefferson Muzzles" award to call attention to "those
>   who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson's
>   admonition that freedom of speech 'cannot be limited without being
>   lost.'" This year's awards included:
>        * CBS Television, which passed on the miniseries "The Reagans"
>   amid conservative pressure, and which also refused to air
>'s 30-second commercial criticizing the Bush
>   administration during the Super Bowl, while it allowed erectile
>   dysfunction commercials and the halftime show featuring Janet
>   Jackson's bared breast.
>        * Martha Stewart's trial judge.
>        * Baseball Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey, who canceled
>   a 15th anniversary showing of "Bull Durham" because of opposition
>   to the Iraq war by its stars, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
>SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson Center, April 13, 2004
>More web links related to this story are available at:
>To discuss this story in the PR Watch Forum, visit:
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Carpentier Nico (Phd)
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