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The Weekly Spin (Sept 6, 2006)

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The Weekly Spin features selected news summaries with links to
further information about media, political spin and propaganda. It
is emailed free each Wednesday to subscribers.

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS

== BLOG POSTINGS ==
1. New Update: Exposing Earmarks

== SPIN OF THE DAY ==
1. Sept 7 in Milwaukee: Future of Media FCC Hearing
2. Coca-Cola's Demon Drinks
3. Inclusive Fake News Practices
4. Online References on Iraq Planning and Lying
5. Hijacking 9/11
6. Drug Company SLAPP's Over Lindane For Lice
7. Oil and PR Open Doors for Kazakh Leader
8. FDA Goes, Hat in Hand, To the Drug Industry
9. Kenneth Tomlinson Caught Horsing Around
10. Just What Iraq Needs: More Spin
11. GM Tries To Drive Young Journalists
12. Wanted: Wisconsin Media Activists for FCC Hearing

== UPCOMING EVENTS ==
1. Milwaukee, WI - FCC town meeting
2. Hold the Media Accountable: Fighting Bob Fest Kick-Off Benefit
3. Fighting Bob Fest

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== BLOG POSTINGS ==

1. NEW UPDATE: EXPOSING EARMARKS
by Elliott Fullmer

  The secret is out! 
       After the blogging community helped produce denials from 98
  senators, spokespersons for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Sen.
  Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) finally admitted that they had placed
  anonymous holds preventing the Coburn-Obama-Carper-McCain earmark
  reform bill from reaching the floor.
For the rest of this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5142

== SPIN OF THE DAY ==

1. SEPT 7 IN MILWAUKEE: FUTURE OF MEDIA FCC HEARING
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5112
  Do you want more quality journalism? Are you concerned about the
  consolidation of media ownership? Is your community fairly
  represented in the media? Tell the U.S. Federal Communications
  Commission directly, at tomorrow's "Town Meeting on the Future of
  Media" in Milwaukee! The Center for Media and Democracy is
  co-sponsoring the September 7 event, at which members of the public
  will share media concerns with FCC Commissioners Copps and
  Adelstein. See our website or Free Press' website for more
  information. At a similar hearing in Los Angeles this week, FCC
  Commissioners heard from people concerned "that the consolidation of
  station ownership had led to a pronounced decline in in-depth news
  reporting, diversity of viewpoints and quality children's
  programming," and from Hispanic community members concerned about
  media labor practices and racist radio programming, reports the LA
  Times.
SOURCE: Center for Media and Democracy, September 6, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5153

2. COCA-COLA'S DEMON DRINKS
http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2006/09/03/1157222010877.html
  Coca-Cola's new advertising campaign - titled "Drink, Choose, Live"
  - is aimed at reassuring parents that it has products other than
  soft drinks. The company states, "If you're not in the mood for
  water, it's OK to also reach for something else you enjoy, like
  juice or a soft drink. Of course water is always the best choice;
  it's just not the only one." Earlier in the week, the company's
  Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness organized a breakfast
  session for those attending the International Congress on Obesity in
  Sydney. One of those speaking at the session was John Foreyt, the
  director of the Behavioural Medicine Research Centre at the Baylor
  College of Medicine in Houston. High-sugar drinks, he complained,
  have been "demonised ??? it's a single-culprit theory."
SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald, September 4, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5152

3. INCLUSIVE FAKE NEWS PRACTICES
http://www.prweek.com/us/features/article/589308/Sponsorships-steady-despite-tough-times/
  PR Week has good news for marketers and PR professionals seeking to
  reach Black audiences: there are "about 1,100 [radio] stations in
  the U.S. programmed toward African Americans. ... And even in the
  age of new media, these hip-hop, urban contemporary, R&B, jazz, and
  gospel stations are often the first source of news for this
  audience." Medialink Worldwide's Michele Wallace said there's no
  need to produce different audio news releases (ANRs) or public
  service announcements for each city, but to include "market-specific
  information in your support materials." PR Week counsels against
  relying on ANRs, since "most African-American radio stations prefer
  their own hosts to handle interviews."
SOURCE: PR Week (sub req'd), August 24, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5150

4. ONLINE REFERENCES ON IRAQ PLANNING AND LYING
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB198/index.htm
  Newly-available documents detailing the early work of the "Future of
  Iraq Project," the U.S. State Department's massive planning effort
  for post-regime change Iraq, have been posted online by the National
  Security Archive, a non-profit research institute. The new documents
  "provide a behind-the-scenes look at the formation of 17 working
  groups consisting of 'free' Iraqis and experts, 14 of which met
  throughout 2002 and early 2003 to plan for a post-Saddam Hussein
  Iraq," according to the National Security Archive. "The first
  planning meeting with Iraqis took place at the Middle East Institute
  in Washington D.C. from April 9-10, 2002." In other Iraq news,
  Mother Jones magazine has launched "Lie by Lie," a timeline seeking
  to answer the question, "What did our leaders know and when did they
  know it?" The online reference currently covers from August 1990 to
  March 2003.
SOURCE: The National Security Archive, September 1, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5149

5. HIJACKING 9/11
http://www.firedoglake.com/2006/09/04/hijacking-911
  The FireDogLake weblog has featured an article by Sheldon Rampton
  describing the ABC television network's plan to broadcast a
  right-wing "docudrama" that attempts to place a lion???s share of
  the blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on alleged failures of the
  Clinton administration. Under fire, ABC has erased the show???s
  official blog, after it attracted multiple comments from the public
  criticizing the film's inaccuracies. However, a Google cache of the
  blog still exists, and ThinkProgress.org has save a copy of some of
  the content that the Google cache missed.
SOURCE: FireDogLake, September 4, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5148

6. DRUG COMPANY SLAPP'S OVER LINDANE FOR LICE
http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=9574
  The specialty drug manufacturer Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals has
  filed a legal suit against the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor,
  Michigan. The drug company is upset at the Center's opposition to
  the continued use of lindane as a fallback treatment for head lice.
  The suit, filed in the federal court in Chicago, accuses the Ecology
  Center and two pediatricians of "disseminating false, misleading,
  and libelous statements about the safety profile and effectiveness
  of Lindane." In early August, the Environmental Protection Agency
  announced the withdrawal of all agricultural products in the U.S.
  containing the pesticide. "It makes no sense that lindane can't be
  used on pets or plants or persons serving in the military, but it
  can still be used on children," Mike Garfield, director of the
  Ecology Center, wrote in a statement. "It's a clear and simple
  harassment lawsuit intended to silence us."
SOURCE: Metro Times (Michigan), August 23, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5147

7. OIL AND PR OPEN DOORS FOR KAZAKH LEADER
http://www.odwyerpr.com/members/0829kazakhstan_beacon.htm
  "SML Strategic Media, the Washington, D.C. PR and editorial shop,
  placed a four-page advertorial in the September / October Foreign
  Affairs, the high-brow political journal, extolling progress made in
  Kazakhstan under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev." But
  Gregoire de Bourgues, who coordinated the "advertorial," was stabbed
  to death in Kazakhstan while doing research for it. According to
  O'Dwyer's, "An official at Kazakhstan's Journalists in Danger
  organization suspects that de Bourgues may have uncovered
  information about the recent murders of two prominent opposition
  leaders." Kazakh president Nazarbayev will "visit the White House
  later this year, and spend some time at the Bush family compound in
  Maine." The Washington Post reports that Nazarbayev "has banned
  opposition parties, intimidated the press and profited from his
  post. ... But he also sits atop massive oil reserves that have
  helped open doors in Washington."
SOURCE: O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), August 29, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5145

8. FDA GOES, HAT IN HAND, TO THE DRUG INDUSTRY
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115707824013151485.html
  "Regulators usually don't negotiate their budgets with the
  industries they oversee," writes Anna Wilde Mathews, but the U.S.
  Food and Drug Administration does. In the early 1990s, drug
  companies started paying the FDA millions of dollars in user fees,
  to speed the drug approval process. The fees "now fund more than
  half the agency's critical drug-review process." Industry groups and
  the FDA renegotiate the fees and how they're used every five years,
  giving drug makers "considerable input into which programs receive
  funding." The FDA is currently negotiating the next agreement, with
  the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and
  Biotechnology Industry Organization. The industry groups are pushing
  for faster decisions on "labels and other conditions on approval" of
  new drugs, and faster review of ads voluntarily submitted to the
  agency. The FDA wants more funding to monitor drugs' safety
  following their approval.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), September 1, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5144

9. KENNETH TOMLINSON CAUGHT HORSING AROUND
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/washington/30broadcast.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin
  The State Department Inspector General has released a report finding
  that Kenneth Tomlinson, the head of the agency overseeing most
  government broadcasts to foreign countries has used his office to
  run a ???horse racing operation??? and that he improperly put a
  friend on the payroll. Tomlinson was ousted from the Corporation for
  Public Broadcasting last year when another inquiry found evidence
  that he had violated rules meant to insulate public television and
  radio from undo political influence. Congress is currently
  considering Tomlinson???s renomination to a new term as chair of the
  Broadcasting Board of Governors, the State Department office that
  oversees foreign broadcasts, including the Voice of America and
  Radio Free Europe.
SOURCE: New York Times, August 29, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5143

10. JUST WHAT IRAQ NEEDS: MORE SPIN
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/30/AR2006083003011.html
  The U.S.-led military force in Iraq is asking for bids on a
  two-year, $20 million PR contract. The goal is "to effectively
  communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals, and build
  support among our strategic audiences." The work includes monitoring
  "Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and U.S. national and regional
  markets media in both Arabic and English," including U.S. TV, wire
  services and newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post and
  Los Angeles Times. News of "security, reconstruction activities,
  'high profile' coalition force activities and events in which Iraqi
  security forces are 'in the lead'" will receive special attention.
  An anonymous PR practitioner told the Post that military commanders
  want news "to be received by audiences as it is transmitted ... they
  don't like how it turns out." O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports that the
  contract is currently held by the Rendon Group, and "appears to
  mirror efforts initially handled by the Lincoln Group."
SOURCE: Washington Post, August 31, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5141

11. GM TRIES TO DRIVE YOUNG JOURNALISTS
http://weblogs.jomc.unc.edu/talkingbiznews/?p=1320
  "It seems what young student journalists would be 'learning' from
  this experience is how to take a free trip and meals from one of the
  company's larger corporations," wrote University of North Carolina
  business journalism professor Chris Roush. He had just received an
  email from one of General Motors' PR people, asking for help in
  promoting GM's "First College Journalists Event," in Las Vegas on
  September 9 and 10. "GM will pay for travel, hotel and meals for
  students that attend," GM's Diedra Wylie wrote. "While in Las Vegas
  the college journalists will have the opportunity to meet with
  professional journalists and GM executives." The event might be an
  extension of GM's previous efforts to buy favorable news coverage.
  Three of the 36 video news releases tracked in the Center for Media
  and Democracy's "Fake TV News" report were from GM, making it the
  most frequent fake news client of the report.
SOURCE: "Talking Biz News," University of North Carolina blog, August 30, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5140

12. WANTED: WISCONSIN MEDIA ACTIVISTS FOR FCC HEARING
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5111
  Do you want more quality journalism? Are you concerned about the
  consolidation of media ownership? Do you think important issues
  don't get enough air time? Is your community fairly represented in
  the media? If you live in Wisconsin, in a few days you can tell the
  Federal Communications Commission directly! The Center for Media and
  Democracy is organizing a September 5 workshop on FCC issues in
  Madison, and is co-sponsoring a September 7 "Town Meeting on the
  Future of Media" in Milwaukee. At the town meeting, members of the
  public will share their media concerns with FCC Commissioners Copps
  and Adelstein. CMD is also organizing buses from Madison to the
  Milwaukee town meeting; see our website or Free Press' website for
  more information.
SOURCE: Center for Media and Democracy, August 30, 2006
For more information or to comment on this story, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5139

== UPCOMING EVENTS ==

1. MILWAUKEE, WI - FCC TOWN MEETING
Date: 09/07/2006 - 18:30 to 09/07/2006 - 23:00
  Do you want more quality journalism? Are you concerned about the
  consolidation of media ownership? Do you think important issues
  don't get enough air time? Is your community fairly represented in
  the media?
       Here's your chance to tell the Federal Communications
  Commission!
       On Thursday September 7, FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein
  and Michael Copps will be in Milwaukee, for a "Town Meeting on the
  Future of Media." Members of the public will raise media issues with
  the Commissioners directly.
        Location: UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader Concert Hall, Helene Zelazo
  Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.
        Organizer: Free Press
        URL: http://freepress.net/future/=milwaukee
For the further information, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5112

2. HOLD THE MEDIA ACCOUNTABLE: FIGHTING BOB FEST KICK-OFF BENEFIT
Date: 09/08/2006 - 19:00 to 09/08/2006 - 22:00
  Fighting Bob Fest Kick-Off Benefit: Hold the Media Accountable!
       Featuring: Greg Palast, ???Armed Madhouse??? John Nichols, The
  Capital Times & The Nation Robert McChesney, Free Press, Univ. of
  Illinois Matt Rothschild, The Progressive John Stauber, ???The Best
  War Ever,??? Center for Media and Democracy Diane Farsetta, Center
  for Media and Democracy Ed Garvey, FightingBob.com 
       Tickets $5 per person at the door; all proceeds go to
  FightingBob.com
        Location: Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Avenue, Madison
        Organizer: FightingBob.com and The Capital Times
        URL: http://fightingbobfest.org/
For the further information, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5125

3. FIGHTING BOB FEST
Date: 09/09/2006 - 06:00 to 09/09/2006 - 06:00
  John Stauber, Amy Goodman, Jim Hightower, Tammy Baldwin, Greg
  Palast, Tom Harkin and Doris ???Granny D??? Haddock will speak at
  the fifth annual Fighting Bob Fest in Baraboo, Wisconsin on
  Saturday, September 9, 2006. The theme is perfect for the moment:
  ???Hold Them Accountable???. 
        Location: Sauk County Fairgrounds, Baraboo, Wisconsiin
        URL: http://fightingbobfest.org/
For the further information, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/5014

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The Weekly Spin is compiled by staff and volunteers at the Center
for Media and Democracy (CMD), a nonprofit public interest
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