PR crisis manager Nick Nichols, who advises companies to use attack-dog strategies against pesky activists, delivered another fiery speech this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference, branding environmentalists as terrorists and comparing them to Hitler. "A lot of [my] clients look like food to the more extreme environmental groups," he said.
"This is George," a girl's voice says. "This is the gas that George bought for his S.U.V." The screen then shows a map of the Middle East. "These are the countries where the executives bought the oil that made the gas that George bought for his S.U.V." The picture switches to a scene of armed terrorists in a desert. "And these are the terrorists who get money from those countries every time George fills up his S.U.V." The ads, modeled after the Drug Council's TV commercials alleging that drug users support terrorism, are the brainchild of author and columnist Arianna Huffington.
"The expressions of concern about the nation's safety by Mr.
Bush's prospective challengers, voiced in interviews,
speeches and television appearances over the last three
weeks, suggest that the focus of the Democratic White House
candidates in 2004 will go well beyond the traditional
Democratic fare of education, the economy, jobs and health
care. While so far the criticisms lack many specifics beyond
asking for more money for police agencies or the creation
of an additional intelligence force, campaign aides said
Prompted in part by reports that a leaders of the Hezbollah has urged Palestinians to step up their suicide bombings, the Canadian government has banned the Lebanese group. Only problem is, the alleged statement from Hezbollah was probably invented by Washington Times reporter Paul Martin, who has a history of fabricating news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The congressional Joint Inquiry into September 11 is recommending revising government information policies not only to promote information sharing among government agencies, but also to expand public access to government information, because ""an alert and committed American public" could be "the most potent weapon" in the war against terrorism.
"Saudi Arabia's latest public relations
problem may be with its public relations firm. Three of the founding partners in the Washington firm, Qorvis Communications, have announced that they are leaving, and associates say their departure reflects a deep
discomfort in representing the government of Saudi Arabia
against accusations that Saudi leaders have turned a blind
eye to terrorism. The firm, hired by the Saudi government in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, has been paid about $200,000 a month
By stating time and again that terrorism insurance is a jobs bill, the White House "delivered a big plum to the insurance industry," writes Steven Rosenfeld. Now taxpayers are obligated to cover the industry's back by paying up to $300 billion if another terrorism attack occurs -- even though there's no evidence that the legislation will protect a single worker's job. "It has nothing to do with reality," the former top federal insurance regulator said earlier this fall, when discussing his studies examining the issue. "It was hype back then and it's still hype."
Last year PR Watch noted that since 9/11 Hollywood is working with the White House on US global propaganda efforts. Apparently some in Hollywood see film censorship as part of their patriotic duty. The New York Times reported this October that "a cataclysmic event can change the fate of a movie. One example is The Quiet American, the ... adaptation of Graham Greene's 1955 novel. ... Miramax executives worried ... [it] ...could be seen as a searing critique of United States imperialism.
The Homeland Defense Bill currently working its way through Congress adds a new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act, protecting the secrecy of information that companies submit voluntarily to the government. Supporters say the exemption makes it easier for companies to share information with the government to assist the "war on terrorism." Critics, like Rep.
"It is worth stating clearly and unambiguously what official U.S. government spokespersons have not," states a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations. "For years, individuals and charities based in Saudi Arabia have been the most important source of funds for al Qaeda, and for years the Saudi officials have turned a blind eye to this problem."