[Educator-Gold] FAKE NEWS: Propaganda, Fake News, and Media Lies: The Diabolical Business of Global Public Relations Firms

 

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FAKE NEWS:

Propaganda, Fake News, and Media Lies:
The Diabolical Business of Global Public Relations Firms

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Propaganda, Fake News, and Media Lies:
The Diabolical Business of Global Public Relations Firms

By Peter Phillips

Global Research

March 18, 2017

http://www.globalresearch.ca/propaganda-fake-news-and-media-lies-
the-diabolical-business-of-global-public-relations-firms/5580331

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/m2v8lde

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The expansion of  public relations and propaganda (PRP) firms inside news systems in the world today has resulted in a deliberate form of news management. Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant and ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites. Corporate media are increasingly dependent on various government agencies and PRP firms as sources of news.

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The PRP industry has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001. In 2015, three publicly traded mega PR firmsOmnicom, WPP, and Interpublic Grouptogether employed 214,000 people across 170 countries, collecting $35 billion in combined revenue. Not only do these firms control massive wealth, they also possess a network of connections in powerful international institutions with direct links to national governments, multi-national corporations, global policy-making bodies, and the corporate media.

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In The Practice of Public Relations, Fraser P. Seitel defined public relations as helping an organization and its public adapt mutually to each other. Propaganda can be defined as the dissemination of ideas and information for the purpose of inducing or intensifying specific attitudes and actions. Both PR and propaganda seek to change behaviors and ideas among the masses in support of the agendas of public and private institutions. (For an early history of state propaganda, see Jacuie LEtang, State Propaganda and Bureaucratic Intelligence: The Creation of the Public Relations in 20th Century Britain, Public Relations Review 24, no. 4 (1998): 413-41.)  As Douglas Kellner and other researchers have documented, since 9/11 public relations firms have contributed to increased levels of media propaganda.

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Consider the Rendon Group, one of the key PR firms supporting US propaganda efforts during recent wars. In the 1980s, it produced public relations propaganda for the ousting of Panamas president, Manuel Noriega. The Rendon Group also shaped international support for the first Gulf War, and in the 1990s created the Iraqi National Congress. The Rendon Group provided the images that mobilized public support for a permanent war on terror , including the fake news stories of the toppling of Saddam Husseins statue in Baghdad, the heroic rescue of US Army private Jessica Lynch, and dramatic tales of Iraqs weapons of mass destruction. As James Bamford reported in a 2005 article in Rolling Stone, Pentagon documents show thirty-five contracts with Rendon from 2000-2004, worth a total of between $50-100 million dollars.

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PRP firms have emerged as orchestrators of global informion and news. The world today faces a military-industrial-media empire, bolstered by PRP firms, that is so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported only in disconnected segments with little historical context.

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In late 1999, Ben Bagdikian, the author of Media Monopoly and former Washington Post editor, told me that he estimated that two-thirds of all news stories originated with PR firms; in 2003, an article from the Guardian conservatively estimated that 50-80% of news and business stories originated from public relations firms. The result is managed news by governments, corporations, and PRP firmsoften interlockedincluding both the release of specific stories intended to build public support as well as the deliberate non-coverage of news stories that may undermine capitalist elites goals and interests.

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PRP firms provide a variety of services to major corporations and institutions around the world. Brand enhancement and sales are undoubtedly among their key services. However, companies offer much more, including research and crisis management for corporations and governments, public information campaigns, web design and promotions, and corporate media placement. WPPs Hill & Knowton proudly brags on its website that they service 50% of the Fortune Global 500 companies from their offices in forty countries. Along with Omnicoms Fleishman and Hillard, Hill & Knowlton have been the key PRP firms working with Monsanto to protect its brand Roundup, which contains the herbicide glyphosate. Roundup is the most widely-used herbicide in the world, being sold in over 130 countries, but the World Health Organization recently declared glyphosate a human carcinogen. As countries begin to restrict its use, PRP firms gear up to protect Monsantos profits.

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WPPs Hill & Knowton is also well known for its early involvement with the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR), originally established in 1954 to counter the 1952 Readers Digest report linking cancer to tobacco smoking. In 1993, theWall Street Journal described CTR as the longest-running misinformation campaigns in U.S. business history (A.M. Freedman and L.P. Cohen, Smoke and Mirrors: How Cigarette Makers Keep Health Questions Open Year after Year, Wall Street Journal, February 11, 1993.)

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It was WPPs Burson-Marsteller who created the frontgroup Global Climate Coalition (GCC). From 1989-2001, the GCC helped the oil and auto industries downplay the dangers of global warming. Initial members of the coalition included Amoco, American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, Chrysler, Exxon, Ford, GM, Shell, and Texaco. In addition from 2007-2015 the US federal government spent over $4 billion dollars for PRP services. The US employs 3,092 public relations officers in 139 agencies. An additional $2.2 billion goes to outside firms to perform PRP, polling, research, and market consulting.

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The worlds top PRP firms reaped millions of US dollars in 2014 including Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens ($87.98M), WPP-Young & Rubicam Inc. ($57.5M), WPP-Ogilvy Public Relations  ($47.93M), Omnicon-FleishmanHillard ($42.4M), and Gallup ($42.0M). WPPs Burson-Marsteller won a $4.6 million contract with the US Department of Homeland Security in 2005 to develop public awareness and education for a major emergency, disaster, or terrorist attack in Washington DC.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Educator-Gold] FAKE NEWS: Propaganda, Fake News, and Media Lies: The Diabolical Business of Global Public Relations Firms

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