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Today's Adventures of Spinspin: Alistair Campbell's media whirlwind

Tony Blair's ex-Master of Spin and closest adviser is on a media whirlwind promoting his diary. Campbell's apparently straight talking nature gives the prospects of some tantalizing insight into the inner workings of number 10 for the majority of Blair's premiership. He's not getting it all his own way, though. BBC Radio 4's John Humphrey's on the Today Programme (Real audio) (MP3) was more interested in the failings of a government and political movement for which he was an architect and key player, and particularly Campbell's legacy of elevating the role of spin in British politics, even in the inner working of government, allegedly sexing up an intelligence dossier in order to make a more compelling case for war in Iraq (See 10 ways to sex up a dossier). The Guardian, in an article titled Did he mean me?, invited some of those named in his diaries to give feedback, or should that be biteback?
posted by nthdegx on Jul 11, 2007 - 7 comments

"LOCK UP THE DATE!" --FBI for writers

FBI 101 -- "Essentials for Writers," an "exciting and informative" interactive workshop for writers being offered to members of my union -- the Writers Guild of America, East - by the FBI Office of Public Affairs and FBI New York. ... -- Very interesting account of a workshop the FBI puts on for writers in NY. What's in it for the FBI? ...The only question we have for you is 'Will it show us in a good light?'" ...
posted by amberglow on Jun 9, 2007 - 13 comments

"The station's gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah..."

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, ... from their About US page: Alhurra is operated by non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the American people through the U.S Congress. US Govt. Accountability Office abstract about other MBN problems here.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2007 - 44 comments

The First Casualty of War? Truth

War vs. Democracy: Untold Stories from the Lynch / Tillman Hearing -- ...U.S. soldiers whose injuries or deaths remain mired in secrecy. Pat Tillman's brother and fellow Army Ranger Kevin Tillman advocated strongly for other families still waiting for answers. ... "The family was told, it was -- quote -- 'an ambush by insurgents.' Two years later, they found out that those -- quote -- 'insurgents' happened to be the same Iraqi troops that he was training. Before his death, he told his chain of command that these same troops that he was training were trying to kill him and his team. He was told to keep his mouth shut." ... Thorough and eye-opening examination of the many ways the military spun, lied, withheld information on soldier deaths and injuries for propaganda purposes (and even delayed action until cameras were present in the Jessica Lynch rescue).
posted by amberglow on May 12, 2007 - 29 comments

Spinning openness

How to control your look of openness by Microsoft. An inside look at how Microsoft spun wired's article covering Microsoft's video site Channel 9. It's an interesting peek at how PR works.
posted by srboisvert on Mar 28, 2007 - 37 comments

any color you want as long as it's black

To hear Rupert Murdoch's newspaper The Australian tell it, "Science" is now tempering its claims about the urgency of Global Warming. Arts and Letters Daily goes even further, declaring a "Catastrophe Postponed" on its front page. But a closer look at the meager factual content of The Australian article (as opposed to the specious inferences and dramatic allusions to "leaked IPCC documents") suggests that, in fact, "Science" has just gotten more specific about its Global Warming claims, and the real situation remains as urgent as ever if we continue on our current track. Meanwhile, in tangentially related news, Chevron is reporting a massive new oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. Not to imply any kind of conspiracy here (since, you know, "Science" has proven that actual conspiracies are an urban myth).
posted by saulgoodman on Sep 5, 2006 - 33 comments

...the emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from bigotry disguised as religious truth ...

Faith In America asks a simple question: Is using religious teachings to deny equal rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people any less wrong than using religious teaching to discriminate against people of color, against equality for women or against people of different cultures wanting to marry? (check their ad campaign too--some great ones) Meanwhile, clueless elected officials like Barack Obama continue to buy into the GOP lies that all people with faith are conservatives/Republicans, and that Democrats are hostile to people with religious beliefs.
posted by amberglow on Jun 28, 2006 - 116 comments

Russert: I’m afraid we’re out of time. Satan, I’ll give you the last word.

Meet The Press--in Hell with Jesus, Satan, Coulter, Malkin--... Russert: We’re back with our guests, Bob Satan and Jesus Christ, and our panel Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Ann, I’d like to read you a statement by the Virgin Mary, Chairwoman of Mothers Against Armageddon—
Ann Coulter: Oh please. This broad is a millionaire, lionized on frescoes and in scripture about her, reveling in her status as a saint, and stalked by Madonna-parazzies. I have never seen a woman enjoying her son’s death so much. ...

posted by amberglow on Jun 10, 2006 - 25 comments

often using “truth-based” information — to borrow from the vernacular of the military specialists who deal in the manipulation of words and images — as a substitute for truth.

Their view is that psyops can be directed toward global transregional audiences. My view is that that’s not possible because it directs psyops against our own friends and allies and even at our own public. ... In Mind Games, Columbia Journalism Review thoroughly examines the disintegrating lines between Public Affairs, Psy-Ops, IO, the public, and the truth. Some old friends are mentioned too: the Lincoln Group, the Rendon Group, the Pentagon, our own media, and others. If truth is our greatest weapon, as Rumsfeld has said, how can the administration hope to prevail in an information war when it is not honest with itself?
posted by amberglow on May 1, 2006 - 21 comments

an ever-widening gulf between official language and the reality of the actual situation in Baghdad

Prisoners of their Bureaus--the Besieged Press of Baghdad What it's like to be a journalist in Iraq now--and especially relevant given the current attacks on the media for not reporting all the good that's happening in Iraq-- ... an ever-widening gulf between official language and the reality of the actual situation in Baghdad. While official language is relentlessly upbeat, the already nightmarish reality has been getting worse with each passing day. ... the insurgent attacks on the US forces and Iraqi government and the sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shiites have become destructive beyond what most journalists have been able to convey ... (NY Review of Books)
posted by amberglow on Mar 25, 2006 - 35 comments

it's not just Armstrong, Gannon/Guckert and their pals

The Price of Payola and Fake News? 1.6 billion dollars for just 2003-5 alone. The GAO's new report lays it out. That's how much seven federal departments spent from 2003 through the second quarter of 2005 on 343 contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies, media organizations and individuals, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. ... The new report reveals that federal public relations spending goes far beyond "video news releases." (full report is a PDF download from there) And there's another scandal coming, if Wonkette has it right.
posted by amberglow on Feb 14, 2006 - 25 comments

... they want to set the record straight. ...

an example of Operation Homefront? --this news report about a Reservist back from Iraq is apparently part of a new Pentagon propaganda operation aimed at us. ...Did Diaz return to the U.S. on emergency leave with an agenda -- to offer a positive spin that could help counter growing concerns among Americans about the U.S. exit strategy? How do we know that's not his strategy, especially after he discloses that superior officers encouraged him to talk about his experiences in Iraq? ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 4, 2006 - 91 comments

The Matrix shatters in New Orleans

The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) -- and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft]
posted by digaman on Sep 3, 2005 - 100 comments

ources close to the White House say...

Source Code --ever wonder who it is feeding the media in DC? Meet "The 4 Horsemen", "The Übersource ", "The Troika ", and lower on the totempole, "Hill Dwellers" and "Ex-Bush Spokesbots".
posted by amberglow on Aug 4, 2005 - 11 comments

Watching the spinners paid by US

Ever wonder who gets the spin money from the government to sell us everything from wars to reforms to reconnect the Army with the American people. A rundown on the seven biggest PR firms doing business with the government, and their refusal to come clean about what it is they're doing with our tax money. PRWatch has much, much more, including exposing the funding and associations pushing Social Security "reform"
posted by amberglow on Mar 10, 2005 - 83 comments

"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda." This quote, captured in a USA Today article, came from Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti in response to allegations that CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."
posted by FormlessOne on Sep 15, 2003 - 37 comments

It's not censorship if it doesn't work

GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq They claim that the ad itself is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.” Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 23, 2003 - 74 comments

a sudden fakery of ideas

The keepers of the Bush image lift stagecraft to new heights. "We pay particular attention to not only what the president says but what the American people see," Mr. Bartlett said. "Americans are leading busy lives, and sometimes they don't have the opportunity to read a story or listen to an entire broadcast. But if they can have an instant understanding of what the president is talking about by seeing 60 seconds of television, you accomplish your goals as communicators. So we take it seriously."
posted by four panels on May 16, 2003 - 23 comments

The Information War

The Information War: "Every few minutes, another burst of satellite imagery and Internet information impacts among an interactive global audience. Ambushed by info, U.S. military commanders confident in their overwhelming firepower are increasingly expressing concern that the 'velocity of information' is spinning out of their control." [more inside]
posted by poopy on Mar 30, 2003 - 20 comments

White House media advisor spins the war in London.

White House media advisor spins the war in London. President Bush has sent "military advisors" to Yemen, Georgia and the Philippines to help with the war on terrorism. Did anyone know he sent his #2 media man, Tucker Eskew, to London as a "media advisor" to Tony Blair's #1 media man, Alastair Campbell, to help spin the war to the Brits?

Do you think a U.S. administration would ever agree to a foreign government rep "advising" them on how to talk to their citizens? Or do they already?
posted by busbyism on Mar 20, 2002 - 9 comments

Clinton speaks, pundits spin: The Washington Times and the spread of a media myth

Clinton speaks, pundits spin: The Washington Times and the spread of a media myth Yep, the loony right-wingers obsession with hating all things Clinton continues.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet on Nov 20, 2001 - 20 comments

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