Edition, October 31, 2001, Page 1
DRAFTS RENDON FOR WAR PR
The Pentagon has given The Rendon Group a "sole source"
four-month contract worth $397,000 to help shape the military's
message about the War on Terror, according to Lt. Col. Kenneth
The Pentagon didn't have the luxury of putting the contract
up for bid because the "war on terrorism started without
TRG, according to the Pentagon PA officer, was selected
because of its "experience in message development and
delivery strategies and tactics used by the government in
similar wartime situations."
The firm represented the exiled Kuwaiti royal family (the
so-called Citizens for a Free Kuwait) during the Persian
Gulf war and the country's Ministry of Information. It also
has run USAID programs in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
McClellan told this NL that CEO John Rendon is the person
to talk to about who is working on the account and what
specific things the firm plans to do for the military. Rendon
could not be reached for comment.
The Pentagon, however, has given the firm the mission to
communicate around the world to various groups in real time
and across all media.
TRG has done PR in 78 countries. Its Pentagon contract has
an option to extend up to one year.
Rendon was executive director and national political director
of the Democratic National Committee. He has served as an
news analyst for CBS News, BBC World Service TV and CNN's
OGILVY HITS THE BOOKS
Ogilvy PR Worldwide has picked up a $945,000 six-month contract
to promote READ California, which stresses the importance
of reading and encourages parents and caregivers to read
with their children, according to Alicia Ritter, a staffer
on the account.
Ritter said Ogilvy will pitch "reading as a key to
life and the responsibility of all Californians" to
embrace. There also will be a "teen component"
to the campaign, she added.
Channa McNeil, VP in Sacramento, and Cattalya Snider in
Los Angeles are key staffers on the account.
Incumbent Porter Novelli and Phelps Group also pitched the
The PR firm will coordinate its efforts with ad firm Lawrence,
Mayo & Ponder which is responsible for the $3M campaign
to stress reading that is funded by the Gov.'s Office of
the Secy. for Educ.
WPP GROUP SLICES SIX PERCENT OF STAFF
WPP Group has cut six percent of its staff since the beginning
of this year to deal with the "sharp deceleration in
the growth rate of the world economy," said CEO Martin
Sorrell in releasing the company's financials.
WPP, the parent of Hill and Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller,
Cohn & Wolfe and Ogilvy PR Worldwide, employed 49,834
on Sept. 30.
WPP felt the economic slowdown mainly in technology, media
and telecommunication sectors of the economy though, Sorrel
noted, "there was some spill over into the 'old' economy"
Sorrell said the Sept. 11 terror attacks cost WPP at least
$30 million in lost revenues "without any opportunity
to reduce operating costs."
Combined WPP and Y&R "constant currency revenues"
dropped more than three percent due to the terror attacks.
WPP could report a two percent decline in full year revenues
if the fourth quarter shapes up as bad as the third period
The holding company, according to Sorrell, will be hard-pressed
to reach its 15 percent operating margin this year.
MAKOVSKY COUNSELS CONSULTANT
Co. picked up the Booz Allen & Hamilton account in a
pitch against four other firms, according to Mike Bulger,
PR head at the New York-based management consultant firm.
Bulger, had used WPP Group's Robinson Lake Montgomery unit
but "our needs changed."
Tim Wallace, EVP
at M&Co., leads the account.
He said M&Co.
will pitch BA&H's intellectual capital and offer its
executives as resources to the business and financial media.
will promote BA&H's strategy + business quarterly magazine
to top executives and key "influencers." That
quarterly publication is edited by Randy Rothenberg, who
once wrote the New York Times' advertising column.
than 10,000 staffers generate $2 billion in annual revenue
from commercial and public sector clients.
laid off a "handful" of staffers in New York last
week, according to Peter Verrengia, regional president.
Less than 10 staffers were let go. F-H has made cuts this
year throughout its office network to cope with the economic
Edition, October 31, 2001, Page 2
DELAYS EARNINGS REPORT
Interpublic, which controls PR firms with nearly $1 billion
in reported fees in 2000 (Weber Shandwick, Golin/Harris),
is delaying releasing its earnings report until Nov. 13
in order to provide balance sheet information, according
IPG has for many years released its quarterly earnings within
a day or two of rival Omnicom's earnings announcements.
OMC reported on Oct. 23 that its third quarter net was up
8% to $92.4 million, or 50 cents a share, as expected by
analysts. As usual, OMC did not provide a balance sheet.
That will be available from SEC filings on Nov. 13, 45 days
after the close of the quarter. OMC distributes the earnings
statement but not the balance sheet to the press.
IPG's earnings report will be released after the New York
Stock Exchange close at 4:30 Nov. 13.
A press release from IR specialist Susan Watson gave no
reason for the delay.
However, analysts and investors said they complained to
IPG management after the last conference call, saying management
was unable to supply vital data including the status of
Fitch, Standard & Poor's and Moody's have lowered their
credit ratings of IPG in recent months. IPG stock has declined
from a high of $58 nearly two years ago to the $22 level,
chipping about $10 billion from its capitalization. Its
sales ($7.2 billion in 2000) are now larger than its capitalization.
Have Far-Flung Operations
Analysts said OMC and IPG have operations around the world
and that it takes a long time to collect the information.
Balance sheets are usually not filed with the SEC until
the last possible day.
While OMC and IPG make press releases of their earnings,
they do not do this for the balance sheets, which show the
debt owed by the companies.
Analysts are looking for IPG to take at least a $550M charge
for costs related to its acquisition of True North and other
restructurings and acquisitions.
IPG does not want to release earnings without having a full
discussion of its balance sheet, said the analysts. Investors
and the public can listen to the conference call via www.interpublic.com.
RUBIN IS LEAVING INTERPUBLIC
Bruce Rubin, a
principal of Rubin, Barney & Birger, Miami, which was
sold to Interpublic in 1997, is leaving the company to open
his own PR practice specializing in crisis, emergency and
litigation management. Offices will be in New York and Miami.
Rubin, 54, said
he is not leaving IPG voluntarily. He has been executive
VP of IPG's Weber Shandwick Worldwide with offices in Miami
and New York and CEO of Latin America for Weber Shandwick.
IPG has been downsizing
its staff lately in the wake of reduced ad revenues. Its
stock has gone from a high of $58 nearly two years ago to
about $20. Credit rating services recently lowered their
ratings for IPG.
RB&B was sold
to IPG when IPG's stock was $48. Rubin, who was chairman
of the Counselors Academy of PRSA in 1987, said he received
stock from IPG and sold it but would not say at what price.
He will continue
to be "of counsel" to Weber Shandwick for the
next six months. He and his wife, Cheryl, have an apartment
in New York City but he said he will open a separate office
for what will be a one-person firm.
He would not discuss
the final financial arrangements he has made with IPG.
RB&B had 47
employees when it was sold to IPG in 1997 and now has about
20. It had a large healthcare unit and reported $3.4M in
fees in 1996.
experience in litigation PR while working for the three
major tobacco companies on various lawsuits. He founded
his own firm in 1975. It was owned by the Beber, Silverstein
ad agency from 1990-92.
S&H UNVEILS RESTAURANT
The National Restaurant
Assn. has tapped Alexandria, Va.-based Smith & Harroff
for an ad campaign to encourage Americans to dine out as
a boost to the economy, the food service industry, and as
a return to daily life after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Business in restaurants
in cities such as San Francisco is down up to 40 percent
in wake of the terror attacks.
More than 15,000
restaurant workers in New York (and another 85,000 nationwide)
have been laid off due to the collapse of business.
S&H's ads are
tagged "Help America Turn the Tables" and tout
the restaurant industry as a $1 trillion "cornerstone"
of the U.S. economy, saying "every dollar spent dining
out generates more than two dollars for other industries."
Brian Smith, CEO
of S&H, says the goal of the ads is to "demonstrate
how integral restaurants are to our way of life" as
well as to the economy.
MT INKS $420K TRADE
PACT WITH NIGERIA
is helping Nigeria line up investors to develop its non-energy
sector under a contract worth $420,000 a year. Mining, textile
production and food processing are the country's leading
MT president Steve
Lande is also drawing up a list of Nigerian companies that
either have the capability or potential to export their
goods to the U.S.
The country is eager to reap trade benefits offered under
the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
is Africa's biggest energy producer, exported $15 billion
in goods in 1996. Forty percent of that went to the U.S.,
while European Union countries took in 21 percent. Cocoa
and rubber are Nigeria's leading non-petroleum exports.
Lande reports to
Nigeria's Commerce Minister Mustapha Bello.
Edition, October 31, 2001, Page 3
UNVEILS ONLINE MEDIA DATABASE
PR Newswire has unveiled an online media database that it
says will put an end to the animosity between publicists
and news people that stems from pitches to the wrong journalist.
PRN said its Online MediaAtlas will provide more than 433,000
journalists and 138,000 media outlets in 172 countries,
making it the largest global database of journalists.
The company developed its database of newspapers, radio
stations and programs, TV stations and programs, consumer
magazines and trade publications over the past year through
a team of 60 researchers, who update the system daily.
The Online MediaAtlas lets users send news releases to reporters
and editors in the manner the journalists have requested.
While the database may provide other contact data, news
releases may only be sent from the system in the journalists'
PRN said the service also is the only web-based media management
system that contains global data and allows multiple ways
is adding new sections, starting with the January number,
to provide additional information on investing and financial
John Curran, who
is managing editor of the monthly magazine, said the new
departments will focus on investing directly in stocks,
sector analysis, and financial and retirement planning.
As a result of
acquiring subscription lists from the now-defunct Consumers
Digest and its sibling Your Money, Mutual
Funds will increase its rate base to 825,000 in January.
a health magazine published by Rodale's Women's Health
Group, has started a new website with iVillage Network,
a women's online media company.
The magazine will
own and produce the new Prevention
Center.com site as well as provide reports on health
and wellness issues and give advice on how to solve them.
iVillage will host the Prevention Center.com message boards
and sell ads.
is editorial director for RWHG, based in Emmaus, Pa. 610/967-5171;
Latino lifestyles magazine published monthly in English,
will begin statewide distribution this month in Texas.
The magazine, which
was started a year ago, had been available in Dallas and
Fort Worth. It will now be sold in Houston, Austin, El Paso,
Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
includes features, profiles and departments in business,
culture, fashion, home decor, cuisine, health, the arts
offices are at 6000 Custer rd., Plano, TX 75023. 972/517-2700;
NETWORKS LET RELEASES
From fan mail to
press releases, letters to networks are being trashed in
the wake of anthrax contamination, according to Broadcasting
& Cable magazine.
John Higgins, a
reporter for B&C, said there are giant piles of unopened
mail behind MSNBC.com's
studios in Secaucus, N.J., a New York suburb.
the same thing is happening at Fox News Channel and mail
now sent to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw isn't making it into 30
Rock at all anymore," said Higgins.
Is Not Tossing Mail
Services, a leading mailer of press releases, said The
New York Post is not burning or throwing out its mail
due to the anthrax scare, as rumored.
MDS checked with
the Post after a client said they wanted to pull their address
from any future mailings to the paper.
What MDS found
was the Post is installing a new system to scan mail better.
In the meantime, the paper's mailroom has been holding mail
longer before it is distributed throughout the company.
MDS also found
other big papers will deliver mail if it is addressed to
a specific editor with a return address and is not handwritten.
As far as sending
packages that contain video tapes or products, the mail
department will scrutinize more carefully and handle with
care, MDS said.
The New York
Times closed down its mailroom on Oct. 23 after a mailroom
employee opened a letter containing a white, powdery substance.
Times spokeswoman, said the envelope, which was postmarked
Glasgow, Scotland, was sent with no department or individual
at the paper specified, and had no return address.
She said the employee
will be tested for exposure for anthrax. The mailroom will
remain closed until those test results and one on the letter
a quarterly magazine aimed at young men, will increase
its publishing schedule to 11 times yearly, starting with
its July/August number.
FHM, which was
launched in March 2000 by British publisher Emap, will guarantee
advertisers a circulation of 1 million, up from 750,000,
beginning with the January/February issue.
American Assn. of Advertising Agencies has suspended
publication of its quarterly magazine, Agency, for
John Wolfe, who
is editor-in-chief of Agency, said the fall 2001 issue will
be the last one until the economy gets better.
Agency, which had
a circulation of about 40,000, was published by Forbes Custom
Communications Ptrs., a division of Forbes Inc.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 31, 2001, Page 4
JAZEERA TELLS THE WAR STORY
Al Jazeera, an Arabic-language TV station based in Qatar,
has emerged as a key opinion maker because of its independent
The Arabic-language network has grown so popular that it
is considering recording broadcasts in English and expanding
its office in New York. The network has 40 million viewers,
including 150,000 Americans.
"The U.S. may control the Afgani air space, but in
this war the airwaves belong to Al Jazeera," says Hussein
Ibish, who is communications director, and Ali Abunimah,
a member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
The two men said Al Jazeera's coverage and its audience
have become more important than any other in the world.
"If CNN was made by the 1991 Gulf War, the current
conflict represents a similar global coming of age for Al
Jazeera," they wrote in the Oct. 22 edition of The
Los Angeles Times.
The writers lashed out against the Western press for criticizing
Al Jazeera's coverage, while relying on the station for
almost all hard news coming from the war zone.
The station, which broadcasts free of government restrictions
all over the Arab world, has become known for airing taped
statements by Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the
Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., and by the spokesman for bin
Laden's organization, al-Qaida.
Recently, the station has also presented comments from President
George Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary
of State Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, the top White House
national security advisor, British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Station Has New York Bureau
Ghida Fakhry, an Arab journalist who covers New York and
the United Nations for Al Jazeera, said criticism of the
network is unfair.
"I'm surprised at the charges about the network being
biased, because Al Jazeera has been criticized in (Arab
regions) for being too pro-American and too pro-Israeli,"
she told a reporter.
Fakhry, who is 31, said most people in the Middle East believe
American TV news reporting is biased in favor of Israel.
"Anyone you speak to in the Middle East will tell you
American TV is definitely biased. You'll never find the
word 'assassination' in the American press when it's about
the Israeli policy of assassinating political activists.
It's always called 'a targeted killing,'" she said.
Fakhry, who has been covering New York for two years, believes
her reporting has been even-handed.
Michael Moran, a senior producer for special projects at
also believes the attacks on Al Jazeera's correspondents
The TV channel, which is funded by the Emir of Qatar and
other Arab moderates, is the "lone Arabic broadcast
outlet to put truth and objectivity above even its survival,"
said Moran, whose views appeared Oct. 23 on MSNBC.com.
Einstein Communications, in London, was recently retained
to handle PR for Al Jazeera.
DOW JONES TO KEEP
SOME STAFF IN N.J.
Dow Jones plans
to permanently relocate about 250 jobs to its South Brunswick,
N.J., production facility, where it moved much of its staff
after the company's New York headquarters was badly damaged
in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
As part of the
move, the copy desks of the Wall Street Journal and
its overseas editions would be combined and moved to New
would be moved around as well, including WSJ.com,
which would have its operations consolidated in office space
in downtown Manhattan near Canal st.
Reporters and editors
of the WSJ have been at two locations in Manhattan since
the attacks, with the editorial center remaining in a temporary
newsroom in the New Jersey facility on Route 1, near Princeton.
DJ plans to move
the Journal's editorial headquarters back into its former
office space in the World Financial Center as well as its
corporate headquarters and the editorial offices of Barron's.
After all the moves
are made, DJ expects to occupy just three floors in the
WFC compared with seven before the attacks.
Media's building in Boca Raton, where Bob Stevens,
a photo editor, contracted a fatal case of anthrax, has
been declared a Superfund site. The designation will allow
the federal government to pay for the cleanup costs.
Binford has resigned as executive VP of PR and chief
spokeswoman for CNN News Group.
Simpson, a news correspondent and weekend anchor
for ABC News, was suspended for two weeks for spreading
false information about an anthrax investigation while speaking
at the International Women's Media Foundation in New York
on Oct. 16.
Oswalt, 48, a reporter for KCCI-TV, Des Moines, was
fired after he jokingly sprinkled face powder around the
newsroom in front of co-workers.
Ryan, managing editor, and Dale
Seth, city editor of The Oneida (N.Y.) Daily Dispatch,
were fired Oct. 17 as a result of repercussions from a Sept.
19 editorial that quoted an unidentified Pakistani as blaming
Jews for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Edition, October 31, 2001, Page 7
SAYS KIDS LURED/SHOT IN GAZA
Chris Hedges, investigative reporter for the New York
Times and Mid East bureau chief for the Times from 1991-95,
said in an article in the October Harper's that he
witnessed soldiers in an Israeli outpost next to the Khan
Younis refugee camp enticing children into rifle range and
then shooting them with rifles equipped with silencers.
a website dedicated to rooting out what it perceives to
be anti-Israel bias in the media, called the story "one
of the worst pieces of reporting from the Middle East in
recent memory." This NL asked the site to analyze the
Hedges, in one passage in the 11-page article in Harper's,
said that he was at the refugee camp on Sunday afternoon,
June 17, when a voice came over the Israeli loudspeaker
saying, "Come on, dogs, where are all the dogs of Khan
Younis? Come! Come!"
Boys, most no more than ten or 11 years old according to
Hedges, responded to the taunts by throwing rocks over an
electric fence at two armored Israeli jeeps. The fence separates
the camp from a Jewish settlement where the "whitewashed
villas and manicured lawns and gardens look as if they have
been lifted out of a southern California suburb." A
percussion grenade scattered one group of boys, writes Hedges.
Children Shot with M-16s
The soldiers, shooting with M-16 rifles equipped with silencers,
sent bullets that "tumble end-over-end through the
children's slight bodies," killing 11-year-old Ali
Murad and seriously wounding four more, three of them under
18, according to Hedges.
On the previous day, he writes, eight were shot under similar
circumstances, six of them under 18.
Hedges writes he has seen children shot in El Salvador,
Guatemala and Sarajevo, and mothers with infants lined up
and massacred in Algeria, "but I have never before
watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and
murder them for sport."
Hedges said the doctor in charge of a local hospital told
him he has records of 1,206 Palestinians killed and wounded
including 655 under 18 yrs. old.
Pure Propaganda, Says
The October edition of Harper's magazine contains
one of the most biased anti-Israel reports by an American
reporter in recent years, says HonestReporting.com,
a pro-Israel site.
Why do we consider "Gaza Diary" biased? There
are many points:
Hedges bemoans the Palestinian's horrible living conditions.
Had Arafat chosen the path of peace, tens of thousands of
Palestinians would be employed in Israel today, would be
working in jointly owned job-intensive jobs, would be building
projects funded by international investors. Israel offered
land adjoining Gaza for Palestinian additional housing as
part of a land swap on the West Bank. But Arafat rejected
Hedges chronicles a day-by-day death toll of Palestinian
teens in Gaza during his week visit. But nowhere does the
reporter present the Israeli casualties on those very same
days - an Israeli teenager wounded and four men killed in
four drive-by shootings by Palestinians. Nor does Hedges
report that the day after he visited one of his despised
Israeli checkpoints a suicide bomber killed two Israeli
soldiers at a checkpoint.
Hedges' strongest words are left for alleged Israeli shootings
of Palestinian teens. He makes no mention of the Gaza disturbances
orchestrated as a diversion to draw attention from a massive
Palestinian arms smuggling operation through tunnels from
M-16s Are Filled with Blanks
Hedges claims Israeli soldiers used silencers on their M-16s
when they shot Palestinian teens. Pure ignorance or deliberate
disinformation. The cylinders he saw on the end of the rifles
are not silencers; they are rubber projectile kits. When
used, it means lethal bullets have been removed from the
magazine and blank cartridges are shot to project the rubber
pellets. Is the veteran Hedges simply ignorant, or is this
another case of deliberate misinformation?
Hedges accuses the Israeli army of indiscriminate fire on
Palestinian civilians. Buried in his story, however, is
evidence that the Israeli troops are actually firing in
self-defense. Hedges describes how the soldiers "fire
down on the roofs" of the Palestinian shacks. But later
he adds, "Bands of Palestinian gunmen, who often initiate
the shooting, fire back."
PR Society of America conference in Atlanta Oct. 27-30 has
drawn about 1,500 registrants, off 800 from last year's
total of 2,306 in Chicago and about 500 less than the average
Chicago total included 335 who came because the meeting
was held jointly with the International PR Assn.
1999 PRSA conference in Los Angeles drew 1,398 registrants
and the 1998 conference in Boston attracted 2,500.
present in Atlanta are 1,100 members of PR Student Society
year's conference, which had 71 exhibits, lost $195,000.
Estimates of this year's financial results were not yet
had 19,279 members in November 1998 and currently has "nearly"
Assembly, reversing a decision of the Boston Assembly, restored
the title of president to the highest elected officer of
PRSA, dropping "chair."
High Road Communications is promoting the Ottawa
Economic Development group, which is trying to attract investments
from high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, Calif.
based in Toronto, said Ottawa is home to 1,000 high-tech
companies employing 70,000+.
Edition, October 31, 2001, Page 8
Appears to Be Losing Public Relations War So Far,"
said a headline in the Oct. 28 New York Times. The
story, by Times reporter Susan Sachs based in Cairo, said
appearances on Arabic TV by Secretary of State Colin Powell,
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and national security
advisor Condoleezza Rice in recent days have been no match
for images of wounded Afghan children and Israeli tanks
rolling into Palestinian villages.
Local papers have been
"filled with reports on Israel's latest attacks on
Palestinian towns," reported Sachs. Funerals of Palestinians
killed in the conflict are the first item on TV news shows,
The interviews with Powell,
Rumsfeld and Rice have "often fallen flat," says
"The U.S., of course,
started off at a disadvantage in the propaganda war because
its Mid East policy was seen as blindly pro-Israel and Mr.
Bush was seen as being uninterested in the plight of the
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on Oct. 11 made a similar statement
and set off a torrent of criticism. His $10 million
gift to the victims of 9/11 was blocked by Mayor Rudy Giuliani
who "ordered the twin towers fund to nix the prince's
donation" (quotation from the New York News
Oct. 23). The donation was not made to or through Giuliani
but he interjected himself to block the gift and condemn
Alwaleed for supposedly saying the 9/11 attacks were justified
by U.S. policies.
Alwaleed, who continues
to be interviewed by Reuters, last week rephrased what he
said Oct. 11:
"What took place
was a wake-up call for America to help resolve this Mid
East situation that is a breeding ground for extremism and
terrorism." Balancing his previously one-sided remarks,
he added it was also a wake-up call for Saudi Arabia to
look at its own problems.
U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney
(D-Ga.), who supported Alwaleed's comments, held a public
forum Oct. 27 in which she said media are failing to air
dissenting opinions on the Mid East crisis and the war in
Afghanistan "They don't want you to hear the other
voices out there, she said, complaining of "white noise"
being put out "24 hours a day." She said there
was no media coverage of a Washington, D.C., press conference
Oct. 25 attended by Jewish peace activists who she said
support her position.
interviews with Administration officials on Al Jazeera may
be the brainchild of Charlotte Beers, a former executive
at J. Walter Thompson who was called "the most powerful
woman in advertising" by the New York Post.
She became the State Dept.'s undersecretary for public diplomacy
and PA on Oct. 2. She is to develop a PR campaign aimed
at foreign countries. Beers told her Congressional hearing
she would "walk in the shoes" of foreign audiences
in order to "know how to draft messages back to them."
The Post said Beers is known among colleagues for her "winning
personality, big Texas laugh and her trademark dramatic
one of the toughest jobs in PR. That is burnishing
the image of Saudi Arabia, a country that embraced B-M a
mere three days after the terror attacks. Seymour Hersh,
the veteran investigative reporter, wrote a damning piece
about the House of Saud in the Oct. 22 New Yorker
which highlighted the rampant corruption in the Kingdom.
The royals, according to Hersh, pay protection money by
bankrolling radical Islamic groups. They have "one
constant and it's keeping themselves in power," an
intelligence officer complained to Hersh when talking about
the lack of Saudi Arabia's cooperation with the U.S. The
zeal of the Saudi religious police is only exceeded by the
Taliban in enforcing the strict interpretation of Islamic
fundamentalism. The family is so hated it would only take
"a group of 20 to 30 fundamentalist enlisted men"
to seize control. Half of the population is under the age
of eighteen. At least 5,000 American military personnel
keep the Kingdom from imploding. The New York Times
and Wall Street Journal have run damaging pieces
on Saudi Arabia.
Bush made a world class PR blunder when he declared:
"I don't have anthrax" following reports that
anthrax was found on a machine at a distant White House
mailing station. That's not a very reassuring message to
a jittery nation. If the commander-in-chief contracts anthrax,
nobody is safe... Bin
Laden is no PR master. Reader Ernie Norris took issue
with my take on bin Laden's PR skills (Oct. 17). "Let's
not give bin Laden too much credit,"says Norris. His
main PR masterwork so far has been to use America's already-too-open
society to stab us in the back. The very thing that makes
us great-our freedom-also makes us vulnerable, and bin Laden
& Co. have merely shown us that they are only too ready
to exploit those freedoms to annihilate us," commented
Jack Welch. "Germs," a book on bioterror,
has knocked "Jack: Straight from the Gut" from
the No. l perch on the New York Times best-seller
list. The book, on the Times list for five weeks, is nothing
more than an ego trip for former GE CEO Welch wrote reviewer
Joseph Nocera, executive editor of Fortune. "His
egocentrism is everywhere on display; there is a sense throughout
that everyone and everything are supposed to orbit around
his sun," he wrote in the NYT.