Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-nl] PR in the War
Eveline Lubbers on Fri, 21 Sep 2001 12:09:42 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-nl] PR in the War

Nog een mooie verzameling bronnen, gemaakt door
PR Watch, deze selectie heeft als invalshoek 
media en het bespelen ervan.

[ Double-click this line for list subscription options ]

The Weekly Spin, Wednesday, September 19, 2001
SPONSORED BY PR WATCH (www.prwatch.org)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. Feel free to forward this message to
  For decades opponents of nuclear energy have warned that each
  reactor and disposal site is a potential bomb capable of causing
  thousands of civilian deaths and billions of dollars in damage if
  struck by the type of terrorist attack witnessed September 11th.
  Such precautionary warnings were given little credence or dismissed as
  anti-nuclear fearmongering in the past. Now that the unthinkable has
  occurred, the terrorist threat to nuclear facilities is being generally
  acknowledged. An article on today's Associated Press wire by William
  Kole in Vienna, Austria, states that "little can be done to shield a
  nuclear power plant from an airborne assault. ... A direct hit of a
  nuclear plant by a modern jumbo jet traveling at high speed 'could
  create a Chernobyl situation,' said a U.S. official who declined to be
SOURCE: Wisconsin State Journal, September 18, 2001

  Like everyone else in the United States, the staff at PR Watch has
  been struggling to understand the horrors of last week and the best path
  forward. The following stories provide some valuable perspectives that
  have been largely absent from mainstream media coverage: 
       * The Atlantic Monthly reported in May 1996 on the U.S.
  government's own role in training and organizing both the Taliban
  and Osama Bin Laden to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
  Another, more detailed report on this history appeared recently in
  Jane's Defense Weekly. 
       * More recently, a former CIA operative wrote an article in
  July 2001 deploring the failings of U.S. intelligence in the
       * The Independent of London has published a detailed biography
  of Osama bin Laden, and Esquire magazine has posted a lengthy 1999
  profile and interview with bin Laden. (Interviewer John Miller
  notes that "bin Laden's approach to questions could have been
  taught by an American public-relations adviser: First, get out your
  message. Then, if you like, answer the question.") 
       * The Guardian of London examines the reasons why some people
  hate the United States, and warns, "for every 'terror network' that is
  rooted out, another will emerge -- until the injustices and inequalities
  that produce them are addressed." 
       * For those who favor a military solution, Robert Fisk paints
  a chilling picture of the dangers awaiting U.S. ground troops in
  The Lessons of History: Afghanistan Always Beats Its Invaders. Fisk
  warns that Bush is walking into a trap, "heading for the very disaster
  that Osama bin Laden has laid down for him." 
Web links related to this story are available at:

  "Suddenly, dramatically, unalterably the world has changed,"
  observes Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz. "And that means
  journalism will also change, indeed is changing before our eyes. The
  presidency will become a constant focus in ways not seen since the
  height of Ronald Reagan's struggle against the so-called Evil Empire.
  Reporting on the military, the spy services, diplomacy and global
  terrorism will heat up after years of back burner status." Kurtz also
  thinks that government censorship of the press may see a revival.
  "During World War II, reporters wore uniforms and submitted to
  censorship," he writes. "During Vietnam, much of the press turned
  against that agonizing conflict, fueling the Nixon administration's
  covert war against the Fourth Estate. ... 'We have lived in an
  environment where the media in this country has been able to establish
  an independent and adversarial relationship, even when American lives
  could be lost,' says Alex Jones, director of Harvard's Joan Shorenstein
  Center on the Press. 'I think the government and the military are going
  to want to renegotiate the deal.' The terms will include 'what is
  considered fair game, what is considered appropriate lines of
  questioning, what is reasonable disclosure of embarrassing information.
  ... There's going to be pressure to get in line -- much more pressure
  for self-censorship and coerced censorship of any information on what
  our intelligence capabilities are.'&nbsp"
SOURCE: Washington Post, September 17, 2001

  Boeing is using Interpublic's Powell Tate unit to build PR support
  for President Bush's missile defense system. Bush's request for
  $8.3 billion for missile defense was expected to be sliced due to
  the vanishing surplus, but now has gotten new life in aftermath of
  last week's terror attacks. This contradicts Kevin McCauley's
  prediction in last week's O'Dwyer's PR Daily. McCauley wrote that
  the terrorist attacks "killed Bush's missile defense program. No
  Star Wars system would have been effective against the grisly
  attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. ... The country does not need
  Star Wars to fight terrorism. It needs better intelligence. America
  needs agents who can infiltrate terror organizations so they can been
  destroyed from within."
SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily, September 17, 2001
More web links related to this story are available at:

  As might be expected, last week's terrorist bombings have energized some
  of the most extremist and intolerant segments of American society.
  Conservative hatchet-gal Ann Coulter wrote a vitriolic column for the
  National Review, calling for an American jihad against Muslim nations
  "to invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to
  Christianity." Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson mused together on
  Robertson's TV network that the attack was "probably what we deserve"
  because of American tolerance for "the pagans, and the abortionists, and
  the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians." To get an idea of how
  Falwell's anti-feminist views match up against those of the Taliban,
  check out the Feminist Majority Foundation's campaign to Stop Gender
  Apartheid in Afghanistan.
More web links related to this story are available at:

  Common Dreams is one website providing an important alternative to
  mainstream TV coverage. TV commentators are increasingly fanning
  flames of war and rapid retaliation. "Americans are anxious to have some
  sort of retaliation take place," National Public Radio and FOX TV
  commentator Juan Williams stated today during FOX coverage featuring
  stirring music videos of Tuesday's attack set to patriotic songs. Actor
  and action-figure Chuck Norris appeared on Fox to declare that "good is
  white and evil is black," saying he was "always against eliminating the
  draft" and has been riveted to Fox TV. Another FOX guest commentator, a
  retired military officer, declared this "World War Three." In the midst
  of such rhetoric it is important to remember that after the 1991 war
  against Iraq researchers from the University of Massachusetts found that
  "the more television people watched, the fewer facts they knew; and the
  less people knew in terms of basic facts, the more likely they were to
  back the Bush administration," as reported by Lee and Solomon in their
  book Unreliable Sources.

  During part of Friday, Spin of the Day provided a link to a story
  by Robert Sheer of the Los Angeles Times titled Bush's Faustian
  Deal with the Taliban. We have discovered, however, that Sheer's
  story was misleading and inaccurate. His story, written on May 22,
  2001, reported that the Bush administration had given $43 million
  to the Taliban as "an ally in the drug war. ... The gift ... makes
  the U.S.  the main sponsor of the Taliban." While it is true that
  the Bush administration allocated aid to Afghanistan in May, the
  aid package (which consisted in large part of surplus U.S. wheat)
  was intended to prevent millions of Afghans from starving to death. In
  announcing the aid package, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a point
  of criticizing the Taliban, not just for failing to cooperate with U.S.
  efforts to extradite Osama bin Laden, but also for contributing to mass
  hunger in Afghanistan. Powell said the U.S. aid would be administered by
  the United Nations and non-governmental organizations and would bypasses
  the Taliban, "who have done little to alleviate the suffering of the
  Afghan people, and indeed have done much to exacerbate it." Powell's
  announcement was supported even by the Feminist Majority Foundation,
  which of course deplores the Taliban's discrimination against women. The
  actual facts surrounding this aid package were reported at the time on
  CNN. For a further critique of Sheer's misleading story, see the
  critique on Spinsanity.org. We apologize for our role in circulating,
  however briefly, misinformation at this difficult moment in America's
Web links related to this story are available at:

  Now that the U.S. government has declared war in response to
  Tuesday's horrific act of terrorism, the often impressive reporting of
  the past few days by mainstream media could, as in previous wars, give
  way to a resonant drumbeat for revenge. Just when cautious response,
  political criticism, wise analysis, public education and more just
  international policies are most needed, diverse voices and opinions may
  be drowned out or declared un-American. Fortunately, unlike previous
  U.S. wars, today there exist alternative sources of news, analysis and
  commentary that are accessible by anyone on the globe with a computer
  modem. Alternet is one leading source beating the drum for peace,
  understanding and justice.

  Following Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the
  Pentagon, U.S. television has repeatedly broadcast footage that shows
  Palestinians celebrating. The Electronic Intifida, which supports the
  Palestinian uprising in Israel, says this coverage is misleading. "The
  overwhelming number of Palestinians, like people of all nationalities,
  were sickened by the events in New York and Washington," it states.
  "Palestinians with relatives in New York and Washington spent much of
  yesterday worriedly trying to phone to check they were safe, exactly as
  many Americans did. Palestinian citizens of the United States will also
  turn out to be among the victims of the tragedy. Whatever a group of
  20-40 Palestinian children happened to be doing yesterday morning in
  Nablus is no more representative of all Palestinians than the Klu Klux
  Klan rally -- which happened recently just down the road from where I
  live, in St. Paul, Minnesota -- is representative of all Americans." The
  news section of the Electronic Intifada also features statements by U.S.
  Muslim and Arab groups, condemning the terrorist attacks and calling on
  Muslims nationwide to offer whatever assistance they can to help the
More web links related to this story are available at:

  "If, as appears increasingly likely, groups associated with
  terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden are found to be responsible
  for Tuesday's murderous attacks in New York and Washington, the
  United States would be fully justified in taking vigorous action to
  apprehend and punish him and to put his terror networks out of
  business," observes Michael Klare. "The question then becomes: What
  strategy will best accomplish this objective?" Klare recommends a
  strategy of "global law enforcement collaboration plus moral and
  religious combat." The war against terrorism is a war of ideas as well
  as weapons. "To prevent the recruitment of additional volunteers into
  bin Laden's networks (or others of their type), we have to successfully
  portray him as an enemy of authentic Islam," Klare says. "Bin Laden has
  succeeded in recruiting followers up until now -- volunteers who are
  willing to sacrifice their lives -- because he has been able to portray
  himself as the true defender of Islam. Now, we must seek out and ally
  ourselves with the vast number of Muslims who are repelled and horrified
  by the death of so many innocent people in New York and Washington. We
  must encourage influential Muslim clerics to condemn bin Laden as an
  enemy of true Islamic belief."
SOURCE: Salon.com, September 13, 2001

  John O'Dwyer of O'Dwyer's PR Services, which is headquartered in
  Manhattan, has written a firsthand account of the terrorist attack
  on the World Trade Center. Anthony Lappé at the Guerilla News
  Network has also written a personal dispatch, titled Terror from
  the Skies.
More web links related to this story are available at:

  "Terrorism is a new kind of warfare, tailor-made for the
  Information Age," observes John Rieger. "Terror spreads with the
  news. It's a war of impressions, of ideas, of symbols."
  TomPaine.com has also compiled a terrorism reader in an effort to
  comprehend the incomprehensible.
SOURCE: TomPaine.com, September 12, 2001
More web links related to this story are available at:

  PR Newswire opened its wires to companies whose crisis
  communications plans were activated by the attacks on the World
  Trade Center as a public service. The newswire sent out an e-mail
  to members at approximately 11a.m. The message read: “For PR
  Newswire members whose crisis communication plan has been activated by
  today's World Trade Center and Washington, D.C. crises, we are making
  the wire available as a public service without charge.” Reporters and
  editors looking for corporate updates on today's tragedies are being
  directed to a dedicated section of the PR Newswire news file. 
SOURCE: The Holmes Report, September 11, 2001
More web links related to this story are available at:


The Weekly Spin is compiled by staff and volunteers at PR Watch.
To subscribe, send an email to:
weekly_spin-subscribe {AT} yahoogroups.com

Daily updates and news from past weeks can be found at the
Spin of the Day" section of the PR Watch website:

Archives of our quarterly publication, PR Watch, are at:

PR Watch, Spin of the Day and the Weekly Spin are projects 
of the Center for Media & Democracy, a nonprofit organization 
that offers investigative reporting on the public relations 
industry. We help the public recognize manipulative and 
misleading PR practices by exposing the activities of 
secretive, little-known propaganda-for-hire firms that 
work to control political debates and public opinion.
Please send any questions or suggestions about our
publications to:
editor {AT} prwatch.org

Contributions to the Center for Media & Democracy 
are tax-deductible. Send checks to:
   520 University Ave. #310
   Madison, WI 53703

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
weekly_spin-unsubscribe {AT} yahoogroups.com

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ 

* Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet
* toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een
* open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek.
* Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities:
* http://www.nettime.org/.
* Contact: Menno Grootveld (rabotnik {AT} xs4all.nl).