== BLOG POSTINGS ==
1. A Flood of Evidence
2. Meet the Nuclear Power Lobby

== BE A CITIZEN JOURNALIST ==
1. Featured Participatory Project: Help Publicize What the Candidates for Congress and the White House Stand For

== SPIN OF THE DAY POSTINGS ==
1. American Association of Public Health Physicians: “Tobacco Bill Is a Scam”
2. “Voluntary Marketing Standards” Mask Marketing Reality
3. Analyze This: Cable News Gets Loose with Its Labels
4. Nevada Wary of Nuclear Industry Executives Bearing Gifts
5. PR Firms Holding Their Own, for Now
6. People Want to Know What Docs Are Taking
7. Weekly Radio Spin: Sending in the New Swift Boats
8. The Hidden War: Big Tobacco and the GOP Team up Against Southern Democrats
9. Vets Face Suicide Risk Thanks to VA Study
10. Alhurra Controversies Grow
11. The Swift Boating Begins in August
12. Proposed Bush Memorial May Become More than a Pipe Dream
13. Image and Reality in Zimbabwe
14. Nestle and Namco Thirst for Absolution and Market Share

== UPCOMING EVENTS ==
1. Rejuvenating Public Sector Science

——————————————————————–

== BLOG POSTINGS ==
1. A FLOOD OF EVIDENCE
by Sheldon Rampton
       Next week, I will moderate a panel titled “Beyond the Phony
  ‘Debate’: Government Science and the Climate Crisis” in Washington,
  DC. In case I needed any proof that the climate is important, last
  month’s flooding in the Midwest gave me a personal look at what the
  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was talking about last
  year when it warned of “an increased chance of intense precipitation
  and flooding due to the greater water-holding capacity of a warmer
  atmosphere.”
       The photograph at right shows a road not far from my home in
  Portage, Wisconsin that was damaged during the floods. In Sauk
  County, just a few miles from where I live, officials estimated that
  95 percent of the roads were damaged. The seven states where the
  flooding occurred are still trying to assess the cost of the
  disaster, but it is already clear that the damages will run into
  billions of dollars.
To read the rest of this item, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7510

2. MEET THE NUCLEAR POWER LOBBY
by Diane Farsetta
       The following article appeared in the June 2008 issue of The
  Progressive magazine.
       The nuclear power industry is seeing its fortunes rise.
  “Seventeen entities developing license applications for up to
  thirty-one new [nuclear] reactors did not just happen,” boasted
  Frank “Skip” Bowman. “It has been carefully planned.”
       Bowman heads the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the main
  lobbying group for the industry. His remarks (PDF), at a February
  gathering of more than 100 Wall Street analysts, were part of a
  presentation on “reasoned expectations for new nuclear plant
  construction.”
       Bowman knew it was important to impress his audience of wary
  potential investors. “We are where we are today because this
  industry started many years ago on a systematic program to identify
  what went wrong the last time,” he said, “and develop ways to
  eliminate or manage those risks.”
To read the rest of this item, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7506

== BE A CITIZEN JOURNALIST ==
1. FEATURED PARTICIPATORY PROJECT: HELP PUBLICIZE WHAT THE CANDIDATES FOR CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE STAND FOR
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7509
  The online world is rife with complaints that it’s hard to tell
  what positions and records Barack Obama and John McCain really have
  on the issues. Fortunately, the Congresspedia staff have come up
  with a handy guide to tracking down their positions – and those of
  every congressional incumbent and candidate.
  Who supports continuing the War in Iraq? Who wants to make
  abortion illegal? Who voted for the Bush tax cuts?
  These are things the public needs to know and we need your help to
  make it happen by adding the information to the candidates’
  Congresspedia profiles, which thousands of people read every day.
  It’s easy to get started and the staff are ready and able to assist
  in any way. Here’s how to get started.
SOURCE: Congresspedia

== SPIN OF THE DAY POSTINGS ==
1. AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIANS: “TOBACCO BILL IS A SCAM”
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7505
  The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) has
  published an updated analysis of H.R. 1108, the massive bill
  currently under consideration by Congress that would give the U.S.
  Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products.
  AAPHP concludes, “This bill is a scam. It gives the image, but not
  the substance of effective federal regulation of the tobacco
  industry. If passed in anything close to its current form … it
  will assure continuing high levels of cigarette-related illness and
  death for years to come. The principle benefactor will be the
  Altria/Philip Morris Company (PM). This bill will assure their
  continuing dominance of the domestic cigarette market and continuing
  high levels of sales and profits.” The bill would make it illegal to
  add fruit and spice flavors to cigarettes, but specifically exempts
  menthol, a flavoring used disproportionately by African-Americans,
  who also suffer higher rates of tobacco-related illness. AAPHP
  denounced the menthol exemption in the bill as “institutional
  racism.” However, a coalition of health groups, including the
  American Heart Association and the American Lung Association,
  reiterated their support for the current bill.
SOURCE: American Association of Public Health Physicians, June 19, 2008

2. “VOLUNTARY MARKETING STANDARDS” MASK MARKETING REALITY
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7501
  A BBC investigation has found British American Tobacco (BAT)
  violating its own voluntary international marketing standards in
  Nigeria, Malawi and Mauritius, using tactics that appeal to youth
  and circumvent advertising restrictions. BAT promotes and sells
  single cigarettes in these countries, a marketing strategy that
  appeals to youth, who often can’t afford to buy an entire pack. BAT
  also sponsored musical events that had no formal age checks at the
  door. Celebrities at these events wore clothing bearing cigarette
  brand logos. In Mauritius, where cigarette advertising was banned in
  1999, BAT paid to paint retail stores the same color as their
  leading brand, Matinee. In Malawi and Nigeria, posters were seen
  depicting single cigarettes and pricing cigarettes individually. BBC
  observed children as young as eleven buying single cigarettes. BAT’s
  website says the company’s voluntary marketing standards “embody …
  our commitment to marketing appropriately and only to adult
  smokers.” They promise their tobacco advertising will not “be aimed
  at, or particularly appeal to youth,” will “not feature a
  celebrity,” and that the company will engage in “no event
  sponsorship unless the participants and audience are adults.”
  Previously-secret tobacco industry documents show that BAT adopted
  voluntary marketing standards as a way to “demonstrate
  responsibility” while staving off stricter government regulation of
  their products.
SOURCE: BBC News, June 28, 2008

3. ANALYZE THIS: CABLE NEWS GETS LOOSE WITH ITS LABELS
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7499
  Daniel Libit of The Politico reports that “among the things that
  the proliferation of TV cable news has wrought is slackened
  standards for what constitutes a political strategist,” a term which
  has lost its meaning now that it is “used as a catchall tag for a
  whole host of people with varied — and often peripheral —
  backgrounds in electoral politics.” Jane Fleming Kleeb, a so-called
  “Democratic strategist” — a label which she openly admits is
  misleading — says “this group of make-believe strategists has
  become something of a pundits club, with participants working
  together to compensate for each other’s experiential or
  informational deficiencies.” Bona fide strategist Ed Rollins “blames
  the cable news networks for ‘dumbing down’ good analysis in the name
  of multitudinous voices.” Independent TV analyst Andrew Tyndall
  “thinks the ‘mislabeling’ is also the product of the media’s
  unyielding ‘bid to seem as though they are inside the horse race.'”
  Fleming Keeb says, “If you had a bunch of us in a room and asked if
  we are political strategists, I think you would get a lot of
  laughter.”
SOURCE: The Politico, June 24, 2008

4. NEVADA WARY OF NUCLEAR INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES BEARING GIFTS
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7497
  “The State of Nevada faces almost a billion dollar budget
  shortfall,” reports Edward Lawrence. “The Nuclear Energy Institute
  says there is a solution … but it comes with one very large string
  attached” — that the state end opposition to the proposed nuclear
  waste repository at Yucca Mountain. “In exchange for dropping any
  objection to shipping the waste here, [NEI’s Paul] Seidler says
  Nevada can get access to the nuclear waste fund.” That fund, which
  is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, has a balance of
  “more than $20 billion.” An Energy Department spokesperson agreed
  that “even though a benefit package clause in the original Nuclear
  Waste Act expired, nothing prevents the state from starting a
  negotiation that could be worth $1 billion a year.” But Nevada
  Governor Jim Gibbons said he would “not sell away the safety of the
  state to the Yucca Mountain proponents.” In related news, the law
  firm “awarded a four-year $47.7 million contract to shepherd the
  licensing for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, has
  acknowledged conflicts of interest,” reports ABC. The firm, Morgan
  Lewis & Bockius, is “seeking damage payments from the government”
  for its utility clients, on nuclear waste issues, and has also
  lobbied for NEI.
SOURCE: KLAS-TV (Las Vegas, Nevada), June 26, 2008

5. PR FIRMS HOLDING THEIR OWN, FOR NOW
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7496
  U.S. PR firms seem to be doing well despite uncertain economic
  times, at least for now. The annual Best Practices Benchmarking
  Survey by StevensGouldPincus showed that while the industry didn’t
  match its 22% growth of 2006, in 2007 they still managed a 19.7%
  average profit.The survey found “a remarkable average of $221,388
  per professional in annual billings and a huge jump in average
  monthly fee minimums to $14,000 from $10,000 one year earlier. “But
  other indications in the survey might point to leaner times ahead.
  Billable hours as well as account managers’ salaries and bonuses
  were flat, and overhead costs were starting to rise. Total labor
  costs rose 1% over the previous year.
SOURCE: Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog, June 23, 2008

6. PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT DOCS ARE TAKING
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7495
  Americans think that doctors are influenced by drug companies and
  want to know about gifts given to their healthcare provider,
  according to a national survey by the non-profit Prescription
  Project. Over two-thirds of those surveyed would support legislation
  that would require drug companies to disclose gifts to doctors. But
  only about a third said that they would ask their physician about
  his or her relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.
  Two-thirds said that they would rather have experts with no ties to
  the drug companies give doctors information on drugs, as a hopefully
  more objective alternative to the current marketing-driven system.
  As CMD previously reported, the state of Massachusetts is
  considering legislation to ban perks given by drug companies to
  physicians.
SOURCE: White Coat Notes, Boston Globe, June 20, 2008

7. WEEKLY RADIO SPIN: SENDING IN THE NEW SWIFT BOATS
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7494
  Listen to this week’s edition of the “Weekly Radio Spin,” the
  Center for Media and Democracy’s audio report on the stories behind
  the news. This week, we look at the type of attacks Barack Obama can
  expect, PR firms’ involvement in the crisis in Zimbabwe, and cross
  marketing of bottled water and video games. In “Six Degrees of Spin
  and Fakin’,” we look at the client list of global marketing giant
  Young and Rubicam. The Weekly Radio Spin is freely available for
  personal and broadcast use. Podcasters can subscribe to the XML feed
  on www.prwatch.org/audio or via iTunes. If you air the Weekly Radio
  Spin on your radio station, please email us at editor@prwatch.org to
  let us know. Thanks!
SOURCE: Center for Media and Democracy, June 27, 2008

8. THE HIDDEN WAR: BIG TOBACCO AND THE GOP TEAM UP AGAINST SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7492
  When the major American tobacco companies signed the 1998 Master
  Settlement Agreement with the 46 states who sued to recover the
  costs of treating sick smokers, the companies agreed to nominal
  advertising restrictions and massive yearly payouts to the states.
  Lawyers who made money on the settlement began donating heavily to
  the Democratic Party, which opposes the corporate-organized “tort
  reform movement” that works to block such suits in the future.  The
  massive lawsuit,  subsequent settlement and increased donations to
  the Democratic Party (particularly in the South) sparked a vicious,
  under-the-radar war between Southern Democrats, the Republican Party
  and its corporate allies. Raw Story exposes the serious
  repercussions the tobacco settlement has had on the integrity of
  U.S. elections, particularly in the Southern U.S., as the Republican
  Party and corporate interests seek to cut off Democratic donations
  and exact retribution on lawyers and public officials involved in
  the original lawsuit.
SOURCE: Raw Story, June 24, 2008

9. VETS FACE SUICIDE RISK THANKS TO VA STUDY
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7491
  Despite U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings, the Veterans
  Administration (VA) failed to alert 32,000 veterans using the
  smoking cessation drug, Chantix.  Nearly 1,000 of the vets were
  “enrolled in the Chantix study suffered from Post Traumatic Stress
  Disorder (PTSD) and had been recruited, with monthly $30 payments,
  for a behavioral study with the drug.” The combination of PTSD and
  Chantix puts the vets at particularly high risk for suicidal or
  violent behavior. There was a three month lag between the link being
  discovered and the vets being notified. Despite that, the White
  House said the VA “is doing everything they can to be mindful of the
  safety of these veterans … under wonderful leadership by Secretary
  Peake.” Deputy White House press secretary Tony Fratto said, “It
  hurts me to have anyone think we would treat our veterans as lab
  rats.” The initial warning letter to the vets did not mention
  suicide specifically, but a new letter currently being drafted will.
  As CMD previously reported, Pfizer has been working to counter bad
  press about the drug.
SOURCE: ABC News, June 19, 2008

10. ALHURRA CONTROVERSIES GROW
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7489
  The U.S. government-funded Arabic news channel Alhurra “paid
  former Bush and Clinton administration officials, lobbyists and
  high-profile Washington journalists tens of thousands of dollars in
  U.S. taxpayer money to appear on the network as commentators,”
  report Dafna Linzer and Paul Kiel. “While it is common for
  television networks to pay journalists who appear on their programs,
  many reporters decline to accept money from government-funded
  organizations.” Media ethics specialist Kelly McBride commented,
  “You wouldn’t let a reporter take money from a clearly partisan
  group. The same standard should apply to taking money from an
  operation set up by the government to influence opinion.” The
  highest-paid Alhurra commentator was Thomas Donnelly of the American
  Enterprise Institute, who received $10,300. Donnelly said his
  discussions of the U.S. presidential primaries on Alhurra were
  “useful” in highlighting “the competitive and participatory nature
  of an American democracy.” Other paid guests include Republican
  official turned lobbyist Chad Kolton and Democratic pollster Douglas
  Schoen. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recently called for an
  investigation of Alhurra, following reports on station practices and
  broadcasts of “anti-American and anti-Israeli viewpoints,” along
  with “pro-Iranian policies.”
SOURCE: ProPublica.org, June 24, 2008

11. THE SWIFT BOATING BEGINS IN AUGUST
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7487
  Saying “we believe the media whitewashed the candidate,” the
  president of Regnery Publishing announced an August release for a
  book titled “The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and
  Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate.” The PR firm
  Creative Response Concepts (CRC) is promoting the book.  In August
  2004, CRC publicized “Unfit for Command,” an attack on then
  Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s Vietnam War record.
  CRC also worked for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth; other clients
  include federal Republican Party committees, Concerned Women for
  America and the National Abstinence Education Association. David
  Freddoso, who authored the Obama book, is a former Ron Paul
  supporter who works at National Review Online. Regnery’s president
  said the book will “look closely at Obama’s relationships with
  Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah
  Wright, and onetime radical William Ayers, among other things.”
SOURCE: Muckety.com, June 24, 2008

12. PROPOSED BUSH MEMORIAL MAY BECOME MORE THAN A PIPE DREAM
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7486
  The Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is engaged
  in an effort to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant
  the “George W. Bush Sewage Plant.” The group has been gathering
  signatures at local festivals, events and city parks and has already
  collected 8,500 signatures, about 1,300 more than is needed to put
  the question on the city’s ballot in November. If the measure
  passes, the new name will become effective starting next January,
  when the new president is sworn in. Supporters plan to engage in a
  “synchronized flush” during the inauguration as a way to send a
  “gift” to the newly-renamed plant, saying they believe this will be
  a “fitting monument to this president’s work.” The chair of the San
  Francisco Republican Party called the group’s effort “loony bin
  direct democracy,” and vowed to defeat it. A spokesman for the San
  Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which owns the plant, says
  that while his agency understands the humorous intent of the
  endeavor, the award-winning facility has been efficient at keeping
  the streets and ocean clean, thus the plant should be “the last
  place” the group should use to make a negative statement about
  George Bush.
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle, June 24, 2008

13. IMAGE AND REALITY IN ZIMBABWE
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7485
  “Horrified directors of global marketing giant Young & Rubicam
  have begun a sell-off of their holdings in Zimbabwe, after learning
  the company’s head was behind Robert Mugabe’s election campaign
  image makeover,” reports Rowan Philp. The head of the Zimbabwe firm,
  Imago Y&R, used “pop culture figures such as rapper Tupac Shakur and
  reggae icon Bob Marley to ‘sex up’ a campaign that Mugabe’s own
  advisers called dismal.” The firm also designed ads that labeled
  opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as being in “the losers club,”
  claimed that Tsvangirai’s party “has a reputation for violence,” and
  mocked British and U.S. leaders. The UK Sunday Times reported that
  Imago’s “benign images” of Mugabe “are a world apart from the cruel
  reality of Zimbabwe. Assaults with iron bars, clubs and guns were
  growing more frequent,” and “more gruesome murders were recorded as
  a vicious crackdown against Mugabe’s opponents intensified.” The
  violence led the United Nations Security Council to declare it
  “impossible” for Zimbabwe to hold a fair election on June 27.
  Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change party have been
  receiving PR assistance from Fleishman-Hillard since at least May,
  reports O’Dwyer’s.
SOURCE: The Times (South Africa), June 25, 2008

14. NESTLE AND NAMCO THIRST FOR ABSOLUTION AND MARKET SHARE
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7483
  To promote its bottled water for children, Nestle has “signed on
  as a strategic partner” for the launch of “Active Life: Outdoor
  Challenge,” a Namco video game for the Nintendo Wii that will be
  released in September. Nestle’s “Aquapod” water comes in a
  rocket-shaped bottle, and is marketed to “families with kids aged 6
  to 11.” The increased scrutiny of the link between soft drinks and
  childhood obesity led to the creation of bottled water for kids.
  But, after spending “billions to get children to crave their
  sugary-sweet, colorful drinks,” the beverage industry must now
  figure out “how do we get kids to prefer water,” as Nestle Waters’
  director of youth marketing pointed out. The “Active Life” game may
  help insulate both “the video-game and beverage industries from
  criticism that they contribute to childhood obesity,” notes
  Advertising Age. The Nestle / Namco deal includes one million
  bottles of Aquapod with branded packaging promoting “Active Life,”
  and coupons for Aquapod water in the video game box. However, there
  won’t be ads inserted into the game itself.
SOURCE: Advertising Age, June 22, 2008

== UPCOMING EVENTS ==
1. REJUVENATING PUBLIC SECTOR SCIENCE
       Do federal scientists fear for their jobs for speaking the
  truth? What about corporate-funded science? Increasingly, powerful
  institutions have tried to curb scientific independence and
  integrity regarding issues as wide-ranging as public health, the
  environment, the economy, and government energy policy. To address
  these concerns, the Integrity in Science project of the Center for
  Science in the Public Interest is sponsoring a July 11 conference in
  Washington, DC. Titled “Rejuvenating Public Sector Science,” the
  conference will feature sessions on the climate crisis; protecting
  and empowering scientists at federal agencies; insulating clean
  energy research from special interests; and how the scientific
  commumunity should handle conflict of interests. (CMD’s research
  director, Sheldon Rampton, will moderate the global warming panel.)
  For more information and to register, call (202) 777-8348 or visit
  http://cspinet.org/integrity/conflictedscience_conf.html
To read the rest of this item, visit:
http://www.prwatch.org/node/7459

——————————————————————–

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.

PR Watch, Spin of the Day, the Weekly Spin and SourceWatch are
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