Professor Roger Scruton, a darling of the moral right in England, asked one of the world's biggest tobacco companies for $5,500 a month to help place pro-smoking articles in some of Britain's most influential newspapers and magazines. "We would aim to place an article every two months in one or other of the WSJ [Wall Street Journal], the Times, the Telegraph, the Spectator, the Financial Times, the Economist, the Independent or the New Statesman," says the note, sent last October under the name of Sophie, his wife and business partner.
Bernard Stamler reports: "Its advertising is aggressive, and deliberately so. (Remember the body bags piled up outside Philip Morris headquarters in New York?) But although tobacco companies have complained before about the commercials made by the American Legacy Foundation, one company is now formally threatening legal action against the organization, apparently for the first time. The aggrieved company is Lorillard Tobacco of Greensboro, N.C., a unit of the Loews Corporation .
A food industry website reports that lobbyist Rick Berman addressed Tuesday's annual meeting of the National Turkey Association. "What many of you don't understand is just how many different ways this industry is being attacked by groups. They are coming at you all from the animal rights side, as well as biotechnology, antibiotics hysteria, anti-corporate, labor and the factory farms angle. ...
The Wall Street Journal recently gave a plug to ActivistCash.com, a new website that claims to expose where "activists get their money." ActivistCash.com attacks environmental, health and animal rights activists as "nannies," "anti-choice zealots" and "hypocrites" who pretend to represent grassroots citizens while taking money from foundations.
Hollywood has negotiated a truce in the culture wars and won great PR for itself by enlisting in the propaganda war against Osama bin Laden. But Hollywood is squarely on the wrong side, with the bad guys, in a different 'good versus evil' showdown involving a politically powerful international cabal that kills and maims more civilians than Osama could dream in his most optimistic musings.
Former tobacco industry spokesman Thomas Lauria has been working for the Northern Alliance since mid-September when he became their media liaison. Lauria, with lobbyist Otilie English and Northern Alliance spokesman Haron Amin, worked to increase awareness of the Alliance, lobbied for American military support, and tried to "dampen" reports of Alliance human right's abuses. With Northern Alliance officials now occupying high posts in Afghanistan's interim government, Lauria has been picked as one of Afghanistan's Washington-based representatives.
Tobacco and food conglomerate Philip Morris wants to change its name to Altria, perhaps because the Latin-esque moniker connotes "altruism," as in the millions and millions of dollars the company donates each year to arts, culture and social welfare groups to whitewash its evil image. Now the whitewashing includes an alias. Philip Morris has waged perhaps the most successful, expensive and deadly PR campaign of the past century, misleading the public to prevent regulation of its addictive tobacco products.
Doctors Elisa Ong and Stanton A. Glantz have published a study documenting the tobacco industry's attack on so-called "junk science" to discredit the evidence that secondhand smoke -- among other environmental toxins -- causes disease. "Philip Morris used public relations firms and lawyers to develop a 'sound science' program in the United States and Europe that involved recruiting other industries and issues to obscure the tobacco industry's role," they write.
Big tobacco continues to pour money into lobbying Congress according to a story published in the Winston-Salem Journal. "Each day that Congress meets, the nation's four largest cigarette manufacturers spend more than $100,000 pushing their agenda on Capitol Hill." Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. spent $44.2 million lobbying Congress in two and a half years ending June 30, according to reports filed by corporations and lobbying firms with the U.S. House and Senate.