MADISON--Is your underwear undermining your values? The new scrutiny of CEOs that has been ignited by the historic Wisconsin labor protests has turned up concerns close to home, very close to home--for the vast majority of people who wear underwear. To take a page from the ubiquitous Capitol One ad campaign, what's in your blue jeans? Is your underwear choice unwittingly paying the salary of a CEO who shares your values or who actively works against them?
News Articles By Lisa Graves
In the midst of the controversy of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's ties to David Koch and Koch Industries, the Center for Media and Democracy has conducted an analysis of the headliners at Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) conventions in the state in the past two years.
Some of the Wisconsin politicians who just voted to destroy worker's rights are headed to Washington, D.C., to be showered in money from lobbyists for some of the biggest national and international corporations and banks.
(Updated 3/6/11) MADISON--Responding to claims by the Walker Department of Administration that the cost to clean up the tape from citizens' signs in the Capitol would be $7.5 million, the Center for Media and Democracy today announced that it was willing to clean up the tape on the capitol's walls for a much lower bid, $75,000, although the actual cost for acetone and cotton balls and a little bit of elbow grease could be much closer to $7,500 or less.
MADISON--Citizens from across Wisconsin have been calling the Center for Media and Democracy to complain about robo-calls they received pushing Scott Walker's agenda against public workers. The robo-calls have been bought and paid for by a shadowy Washington, DC-based group that calls itself the "League of American Voters" (LAV).
As the Center has reported previously, LAV has one employee, a failed politician from West Virginian named Bob Adams, and is the pet project of FOX "analyst" Dick Morris, a pollster who was fired in disgrace in 1996 for conducting phone calls with the President while conducting business with a prostitute serving his foot fetish at DC's Mayflower Hotel. After Morris' falling out with Democrats in the aftermath of the scandal, he became a frequent talking head on FOX and a serial author of books bashing Democrats. The latest book he is pushing is one that praises the reactionary positions of some of the politicians elected last year, like Walker: "Revolt! How the Governors Are Changing American Politics ... Permanently." His pulp pieces are peddled on LAV's website as rewards for donations.
MADISON--A Special Report from the Center for Media Democracy, part one of a new series. A gaggle of secretly funded DC groups has launched an expensive PR blitz in Wisconsin in support of Scott Walker's controversial efforts to undermine union rights, part of a national assault on worker rights. A few unions have also begun running public education ads, but their sources are not kept hidden from public view; union dues are used for collective bargaining and union members can choose to make a separate donation to a Committee on Public Education fund for advertising. The total amount of anti-union spending in the works by groups funded by corporations or corporate CEOs or their foundations is unknown. What is known is that many such groups hide behind tax provisions that allow them to keep the identities of their major funders secret, insulating from public scrutiny the wealthy financial interests they are fronting and that are largely bankrolling their general operations.
(Editor's note: As we've noted, Josh Fox's documentary, GASLAND, is an Oscar contender this weekend, and the Big Gas industry has been doing everything it can to block this powerful film from winning. Below is the latest in this saga against a film which will open your eyes to the expanded drilling operations and the devastating consequences so far. Josh's film is just a day away from the Oscar ceremony. Visit our water portal page on SourceWatch to find out more about the dangerous practice of horizontal fracturing, "fracking," of the earth with a cocktail of chemicals. Here is a note from Josh on the latest news in the corporate PR spin campaign.)
From Documentary Filmmaker Josh Fox--
Something bizarre just happened at the Wall Street Journal. At 6 p.m. I was reading a home page story on WSJ.com called "Oscar's Attention Irks Gas Industry" by Ben Casselman which contained perhaps the most honest and revealing quote from the gas industry that I have read to date about their obsession with attacking my film GASLAND. The quote reads "We have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror," said Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp. Just thirty minutes later the quote mysteriously disappears, edited out and in its place is a far more typical spin controlled statement from Tom Price of Chesapeake energy saying, "We need to be able to respond objectively and accurately." Sounds like a robot at a PR agency, more than a person.
Madison, Wisconsin -- The Capital Times reported on Tuesday that Koch Industries had quietly opened a lobby shop in Madison. This news comes amid concerns about the influence of the company and the billionaire brothers who lead it, and the bankrolling of multi-million dollar ad campaigns like the one that helped sweep controversial governor Scott Walker into office.
In an email sent this week, the "Tea Party Nation" urged members to impersonate SEIU organizers at upcoming labor rallies in an attempt to embarrass and discredit the union and the protestors. Former Tea Party leader Mark Williams urged the plan, according to Think Progress.
The plan includes signing up with the Service Employees International Union, wearing SEIU T-shirts, and then approaching television crews and camera operators with signs that say things like "You OWE me" and "Screw the taxpayer." It also urged tea partiers, in disguise, to make outrageous comments to reporters to make the gathering look "greedy," and undermine the protestor's credibility with the press.
The plan even suggested that it would not matter if Tea Party Nation's planting of operatives became public because "the quotes and pictures will linger as de facto truth."
Madison, Wisconsin -- The Associated Press (AP) has been covering the Wisconsin protests this past week, in a way.
With the wave of cutbacks at papers across the nation, big and small circulation papers rely on the AP for wire stories that are re-published in local papers. It describes itself as "the largest newsgathering organization" in the world. With few national outlets having reporters located in Madison or Wisconsin, the AP is a dominant vehicle for sharing information about what is happening in the state with the rest of nation. The AP is also the dominant news feeder for Yahoo News, and Yahoo is now one of the top five most-trafficked websites in the world. So it matters whether the AP is fairly covering the news, in the headlines and in the bodies of its stories. (The Center for Media and Democracy is on record as a strong critic of corporate media, like the AP.)