The Canadian government, working closely with the biotech industry, is spending millions getting Canadians to accept genetically modified foods. Lyle Stewart describes the "spider's web of influence" that brings together the biotech and agri-food industries, large grocery distributors, the Hill & Knowlton PR firm, and industry-created front groups such as the Food Biotechnology Communications Network, and co-opted NGOs including the Consumers' Association of Canada.
"Phony earnings, inflated revenues, conflicted Wall Street analysts, directors asleep at the switch--this isn't just a few bad apples we're talking about here," writes Fortune magazine. "This, my friends, is a systemic breakdown. Nearly every known check on corporate behavior--moral, regulatory, you name it--fell by the wayside, replaced by the stupendous greed that marked the end of the bubble. And that has created a crisis of investor confidence the likes of which hasn't been seen since--well, since the Great Depression." And the crisis hasn't even peaked yet.
A new study by Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR) shows that 92 percent of all U.S. sources interviewed on the nightly network news in 2001 were white, 85 percent were male and, where party affiliation was identifiable, 75 percent were Republican. Big business, too, was overrepresented. In a year in which the country lost 2.4 million jobs, corporate representatives appeared about 35 times more frequently than did union representatives.
"Despite the colder realities of the business, the gun industry packages firearms in the sepia tint of nostalgia, conjuring up the Western frontier, fathers and sons hunting at the turn of the century, and grand moments of martial history," writes Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center. "For decades, the gun industry has portrayed itself in this way as a repository and guardian of fundamental U.S. cultural values.
The corporate media pay little attention to the growing grassroots movement seeking to do something about corporate power and propaganda run amok. All over the US groups of citizens are organizing meetings, discussions, conferences, protests, websites, initiative campaigns and other efforts focused on a common problem: corporate power's subversion of American democracy. The Democracy Revitalization Project is hosting its inaugural conference in Duluth, Minnesota, July 28 - 30.
Gary Winnick, the Global Crossing founder/chairman who is trying to raise $1 billion to rescue his once-mighty company from bankruptcy, has hired Rubenstein and Associates, the PR firm that specializes in "reputation management" for clients such as Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, Adnan Khashoggi, Kathie Lee Gifford and the state of Israel.
"CEOs, once admired as the bastion of ethical leadership, are today in decline and disgrace," writes PR counselor Fraser Seitel.
"A series of revelations of corporate malpractice and number fiddling" have destroyed investor faith in Wall Street, reports the Economist. "Investors have not only lost patience with corporate America's greed and its inability to do what it says it is doing; they have also lost confidence in Wall Street's ability to act as an honest broker between them, the providers of capital, and the corporate users of it.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (ADTI), a libertarian think tank that gets part of its funding from Microsoft, has issued a new white paper that seems calculated to tell computer buyers, "If you are not with Microsoft, you are with the terrorists." Some government agencies, including the U.S.
Dave Itzkoff has written a confessional based on his two and a half years editing Maxim, one of the so-called "lad magazines" that cater to male interest in topics like beer, sex and gadgets. Itzkoff describes the magazine's formula as "unrealistically retouched photographs, patently invented pillow talk, obvious editorial concessions to advertisers and a pervasively smug attitude. ... We didn't do issue-oriented news features or authoritative first-person narratives, and hadn't published a proper profile in almost a year -- all hallmarks of basic magazine journalism.