Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Spin out of Control

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Spin out of Control

Article excerpt

IN AN INCREASINGLY MEDIA-SAVVY WORLD, public relations schemes need to be more and more elaborate to pull the wool over the public's skeptical eye. When the status quo is backed against the wall or threatened with change, institutionalized creativity must reach new heights if we are to be convinced that all is right with the world. Let's look at some public relations strategies that smack of a particular brand of desperation.

In March 2004, the Bush administration responded to public criticism of new medicare legislation by airing "information sessions" on US news stations. Nothing wrong with that--unless your information sessions are designed to look like news reports, and are presented by actors hired to play journalists. This might be akin to lying, though the administration didn't think so. When confronted by the absurdity of such a practice of misinformation, the administration shrugged it off as being standard practice.

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Smog may be difficult to gloss over, but leave it to science to find a way on our behalf. Sure, we could attempt to reduce our emissions and get to the source of the problem. But why would we go to all that trouble when we can simply cover it up--literally. A report in the New Scientist has found that by coating everything from park benches to buildings with a special anti-smog paint, levels of smog can be reduced. The paint would be able to trap nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are partially responsible for the creation of smog. …

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