Edition, Jan. 21, 2004, Page 1
AMI BATTLES MAD COW.
The American Meat
Institute, which has been talking with crisis PR shops,
has hired Burson-Marsteller to handle the fallout from Mad
Cow disease, said Dan Murphy, a spokesperson at the nation's
oldest meat and poultry trade association. "They will
be on board as soon as we get some details worked out,"
said Murphy, VP-PA at AMI.
which works for the National Cattlemen's Beef Assn., will
receive an estimated $60K from the AMI. Its selection enables
the industry to better coordinate PR efforts.
CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Jan. 12 found that one-third
of Americans call Mad Cow a "major problem" or
"crisis." Another third either have cut back or
stopped eating meat or worry that they may become a victim
of the disease.
than 50 countries have slapped a ban on U.S. beef.
SAMSON MOVES TO CHEVRONTEXACO.
Dave Samson, who was VP-international corporate communications
at Oracle, has joined ChevronTexaco as public affairs chief.
Earlier, Samson was senior VP at Ketchum; VP-global communications
at Levi Strauss, and senior IR manager at Manville Corp.
The company recently added Lisa Barry as VP-government
relations. She held a senior VP-international policy post
Samson and Barry report to Patricia Yarrington, who is
VP-public and government affairs.
Korn/Ferry placed both new execs at Chevron.
HABER EXITS F-H FOR DEAN.
Jon Haber, a senior VP and partner at Fleishman-Hillard
in Washington, D.C., has left for a senior advisory role
on Howard Dean's presidential bid team.
A longtime communications advisor in politics, Dean for
America is Haber's fifth presidential campaign, having served
as deputy campaign manager for Dick Gephardt in 1988 and
on the staffs of Sen. Edward Kennedy, Walter Mondale and
Bill Clinton in their own races.
Haber noted Dean asked him to join the campaign, which
he said is changing politics and "reinvigorating"
Chet Burchett, who resigned as Burson-Marsteller U.S. CEO
earlier this month, is now North American president of Reed
Exhibitions, the trade show unit of Reed Elsevier Group.
CIRCUIT CITY LOOKS FOR
Circuit City, which operates more than 600 consumer electronics
stores in the U.S., is looking to hire a PR firm, according
to Steve Mullen, senior PR representative. The Richmond-based
company, he said, currently uses FCBi (Foote Cone &
Belding Interactive) in Chicago for PR.
CC is using eBreviate, an online outsourcing operation
owned by A.T. Kearney, to distribute an RFP. Kearney is
part of the giant EDS consulting company.
One PR executive marveled at the size of the RFP, which
features a 12-page "guide." The RFP lists Beverly
LaPrade, in CC's purchasing department, as the contact person.
The PR executive isn t too thrilled that CC has a purchasing
executive in charge of the search, saying "it hurts
and trivializes PR."
GOLDBERG GOES TO PN.
Jon Goldberg, who handled crisis management for Edelman's
PR21 unit, has joined Porter Novelli as executive VP responsible
for its corporate affairs group. He will oversee investor
relations, financial PR, as well as PN CauseWorks, which
deals with corporate social responsibility matters.
Goldberg was EVP and general manager of Edelman's corporate
practice before shifting to PR21 in `01.
He directed work for Johnson & Johnson, Kinko's, Duke
Energy, Reuters, Whirlpool and CIGNA.
PN's corporate clients include Hewlett-Packard, Dana Corp.,
Applied Biosystems and TXU Energy.
FENTON GETS FACTS OUT
ABOUT INFACT .
Infact has hired Fenton Communications to help it gain recognition
as a "leading corporate accountability advocacy organization,"
Patti Lynn, a spokesperson at the Boston-based group, told
Lynn said Infact wants to get word out about its record
of "25 years of successful campaigns."
Infact was behind the Nestle boycott during the `70s and
`80s over infant formula marketing; General Electric action
of the `80s and `90s over nuclear weapons production and
promotion, and most recently the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
campaign designed to pressure parent company, Philip Morris
(now Altria Group), over tobacco marketing.
Fenton has represented Greenpeace, Body Shop, Sierra Club
and Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Lynn said Infact will continue to use Riptide Communications
for media relations work.
Edition, Jan. 21, 2004, Page 2
BELLEVUE HANDLES ABUSE
Philadelphia-based Bellevue Communications is handling PR
for the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales, which includes
a priest charged with abusing a child for nine years in
the 1970s and early 80s.
The Catholic order extends through Pennsylvania, Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
Father Jim O Neill, a retired priest in the order, has
been charged by 35-year-old Eric Eden that he was abused
by O Neill for a nine-year period beginning at the age of
eight. Eden has sued the retired priest, a Catholic school,
Wilmington's bishop and the archdiocese.
Kevin Feeley, president of Bellevue, told this NL his firm
began "affirmative" PR work for the Oblates in
the fall. That included promoting a rigorous middle school
the priests were opening in Delaware, which requires students
to attend longer school days in return for top placements
and financial assistance at private schools.
That work turned to crisis communications work when Eden
filed suit this month.
WILLIAMS SPLITS RF FOR
James Williams has resigned as head of Ruder Finn's Los
Angeles unit, and will take a post at Ogilvy PR Worldwide's
office in that city. "I will assist on the Sun Microsystems
business, and handle account planning duties," he told
this NL. He starts Feb. 2.
Williams joined RF from Ogilvy/L.A. in `02. He also worked
at Ketchum as global account director of the MCI business.
RF has named Howard Solomon acting managing director of
the L.A. office. He will continue as head of the Chicago
RF/L.A., which opened in `96, recently generated worldwide
publicity for the opening of the Disney Concert Hall.
MARQUIS JET SCORES PR
Marquis Jet, a New York-based company that leases private
jets in 25-hour increments, has scored a major PR coup with
a product placement that aired on the Jan. 15 episode of
Donald Trump's reality show "The Apprentice" on
Executive VP Ken Austin told this NL his company was contacted
by the show's producers, who wanted to involve private jets
in the show.
Austin said a reporter who viewed an advance of the show
told him the placement was a 16 on a scale from one to ten.
He compared Marquis involvement in the episode to Reese's
Pieces in the movie "E.T."
Austin said his company plans to run a 30-second TV spot
developed on the show with Interpublic's Donny Deutsch,
although Marquis Jet will not run a print ad created on
Andy Morris & Co. handles PR for Marquis. A 25-hour
jet lease begins at $109K.
BUSH SKILLED AT PRESS
President Bush "has shown unusual skill in keeping
much of the press at a distance while controlling the news
agenda," says an article in the Jan. 19 New Yorker
by Ken Auletta, staffer writer of the mag.
"Bush's relations with the press are, at once, distant,
friendly, and prickly," says the article. Bush has
had ten full-scale news conferences in 33 months in office,
a record low for recent administrations.
Bob Deans, 2002 president of the White House Correspondents
Assn., complained in a letter to White House aides that
Bush has held "substantially fewer press conferences,
interviews" and other media events than either Bill
Clinton or George H.W. Bush in their first two years.
According to Auletta, who provides examples, reporters
who are critical of the Administration are not only apt
to get criticized themselves but may be left off various
Want a Headline
Impugning what reporters do and why they do it is also
part of the White House strategy. Karl Rove, Bush political
adviser, is quoted as saying of Bush: "He has a cagey
respect for them [the press]. He understands their job is
to do a job. And that's not necessarily to report the news.
It's to get a headline or get a story that will make people
pay attention to their magazine, newspaper, or TV more."
"Bush let it be known that he's not much of a TV-news
watcher or a newspaper reader, apart from the sports section,"
says the first paragraph of the Auletta article.
It also quotes Bush as telling a reporter that what is
in newspapers is not necessarily "what the public thinks."
Interview for NY Times
While Bush has given a one-hour interview to Brit Hume
of Fox News and cooperated with NBC, CBS and ABC in "lengthy
interviews," he has not given an "in-depth interview
to the New York Times since becoming president,"
Bush "cannot disguise his annoyance at reporters who
ask follow-up questions or who are not, in his estimation,
sufficiently polite," he writes.
Mark McKinnon, Bush aide, told Auletta that while some
"political communicators want to be liked by the press"
in the belief that this will "somehow improve the nature
of your coverage...I think this Administration rejects that
notion. I don t think they think it works."
Writes Auletta: "And perhaps for the first time, the
White House has come to see reporters as special pleaderspleaders
for more access and better headlinesas if the press
were simply another interest group, and ... not nearly as
powerful as it once was."
Scott McClellan, who succeeded Ari Fleischer as press secretary,
allowed Auletta to spend a day with him last November.
"McClellan's mind is never far from his script,"
writes Auletta, who devotes two pages of an 11-page report
to what he observed.
Edition, Jan. 21, 2004, Page 3
INGRASSIA TO N.Y. TIMES
AS BUSINESS ED.
Larry Ingrassia, who had been The Wall Street Journal's
"Money and Investing" section editor for many
years, is joining The New York Times on Jan. 26 as
Ingrassia, who has been with the Journal for over 25 years,
most recently as assistant managing editor, will replace
Glenn Kramon, who was recently named associate manager for
The Times also announced that Susan Chira, editorial director
of book development, has been named foreign editor, replacing
Roger Cohen, who will now write a regular, twice-weekly
column on European and international affairs for The International
Herald Tribune, starting in March.
Chira, 45, joined the Times as a trainee in 1981.
Cohen, 48, who joined the Times from the WSJ in 1990 as
a media reporter, is taking a short leave of absence to
complete a book on Germany before starting his new political
column for the IHT.
CANADIAN FASHION EDITOR
Suzanne Boyd, who is editor-in-chief of Flare, a
Toronto-based fashion magazine, is joining the publisher
of Essence magazine in New York on March 1.
The 40-year-old black journalist, who is a former model,
will be the top editor of a new fashion magazine for young
African-American women that Essence Communications plans
formerly managing editor of Ziff Davis' Official U.S.
PlayStation Magazine, was named editor-in-chief of Newtype
USA. The Houston-based magazine is the English-language
version of Japan's top source for information about anime
was named deputy auto editor at Consumer
who was the first managing editor of Real Simple
and previously editor of Martha Stewart Living, has
replaced Sally Koslow
as editor-in-chief of Lifetime,
a women's magazine co-owned by Hearst and the Lifetime cable
was promoted to deputy editor of Newsweek.MSNBC.com
from foreign editor. She will handle communication between
Newsweek's writers and editors and the magazine's web partners,
MSNBC and MSN. She will also coordinate "Campaign 2004"
coverage for the site.
was named associate editor of Pohly & Ptrs., a Boston-based
custom publisher. He will handle editorial efforts including
writing and editing articles for publications such as Continental
and The DMA Insider, and also make freelance assignments.
who left The New York Times to join The Indianapolis
Star as a sports columnist on Jan. 12, has resigned
after admitting he lied on his resume and job application
about graduating from the University of Delaware.
quit after one day as associate editor of The Los Angeles
Times editorial pages to return to his old job at Newsweek,
where he was West Coast editor.
who is executive editor of Men's Fitness magazine,
is joining Ziff Davis as editor of its new quarterly gadget
Bill Sing, former
business editor of The Los Angeles Times, was named
economics editor there.
43, who said he was falsely accused in an anonymous letter
of making up stories, has resigned from USA Today,
where he was a foreign correspondent. He also co-authored
two books with USA Today founder Al Neuharth, both pub-lished
Harper's Bazaar's new
deputy editor Sarah Bailey has been assigned to do celebrity
profiles and oversee the editing of articles.
People's "Style Watch"
columnist Steven Cojocaru has left the magazine to host
a new syndicated TV talk show that "Entertainment Tonight"
is helping him develop. It is tentatively called "The
The New York Times new
metro editor Susan Edgerley has assigned Mia Navarro to
cover sexual issues and topics.
Men's Health is adding
a new health column, written by Gil Schwartz, executive
VP/communications at CBS in New York. He will continue to
write a column for Fortune under Stanley Bing, his nom de
The New York Daily News
reports Christopher Byrne, aka "Toy Guy" on TV,
has received money from some manufacturers of the toys he
Reality Check, a magazine
about reality TV shows and contestants, made its publishing
The magazine, which is published by Primedia, is put together
by its Soap Opera Weekly editors. The first issue has a
cover story on "The Real Clay Aiken," the singer
discovered on "American Idol."
American Thunder, a monthly
men's magazine, goes on newsstands in February. AT, which
has Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the first cover, will target men
who are NASCAR racing fans.
Lucas Mast is editor-in-chief of the magazine, which is
published by American Content Inc.
which puts out Touch Weekly, will start Soap Previews
in March. The digest-size monthly will focus on TV soaps.
which publishes the National Enquirer and other publications,
is introducing Living Fit magazine in March. It will
be published six times a year and will target women 45 and
news continued on next page)
Edition, Jan. 14, 2004, Page 4
STUDY SHOWS RADIO STATIONS
A study of 50 randomly sampled radio news directors and assignment
editors at stations in the top 50 markets, conducted by News
Generation, a radio publicity firm based in Bethesda, Md.,
and Atlanta, found 96% of newsrooms are using audio news releases
(ANRs) as part of their newscasts an average of 4.5 times
Lynn Medcalf, who is EVP/co-founder of NG, told this NL
the study "refutes" the findings of a similar
study made by Tobin Communications, a rival company that
does not offer ANRs to clients.
Tobin's study showed 80% of the stations either never or
rarely use ANRs, and most (70%) do not find ANRs helpful
for developing stories or news items.
While only 19% of surveyed stations in NG s study said
they rarely use canned audio, each stated they would use
such audio in a breaking news situation or when they would
be unable to get the audio elsewhere for a story they are
airing, said Medcalf, who is based in NG s Atlanta office.
Susan Apgood, president/co-founder of NG, believes it is
all in the way a story is pitched. "Many stations may
say they have policies against taking ANRs, but if a compelling
or breaking news story is pitched from a credible source
with a good track record of providing good news stories,
especially if the story has a local tie-in that will impact
radio listeners of that station, it s a much different story."
A new News Generation survey of Audio News Releases did
not find 96% of the stations used ANRs as part of their
newscasts, as reported in the Newsletter (1/21). The percentage
of use applied to all kinds of information submitted to
stations, including ANRs. (1/22)
NEW MAN ABOUT TOWN
SEEKS NEWS TIPS.
Richard Leiby began writing the "Reliable Source"
column in The Washington Post by promising "to
be unpredictable, to break news amid fluff."
Leiby, a reporter for 25 years who had been an editor and
writer in the Post's "Style" section, is replacing
Lloyd Grove, who is now the gossip columnist for The
New York Daily News.
Leiby said he wants the column to be provocative as well
as a well-sourced compendium of items and news that readers
cannot find anywhere else.
He asked readers for help in getting gossip about local
and national people. "Please call me at 202/ 334-7325
or e-mail [email protected]," he wrote.
Veteran gossip writer Liz Smith said she "can't see
him garnering much gossip that way. I guess for a new guy
in town, it s one way to get the word out," said Smith.
GOTTI NAMED EDITOR
OF NEW CELEB MAG.
Victoria Gotti was named editor-in-chief of Red Carpet,
a new celebrity magazine that American Media Inc. will publish.
Gotti, who is the daughter of the late mobster John Gotti,
has been writing a column for AMI's Star magazine.
She also wrote a column for The New York Daily News.
Red Carpet will make its debut as an insert in Star February
issue. It will have its own March issue.
HOW TO HANDLE A CORRECTION.
Aker Partners, Washington, D.C., offers these six tips for
correcting misinformation or a misquote:
1. "Prepare a point-by-point analysis of the article.
Develop positive talking points to respond to it and use
with other media who may contact you.
2. "Contact the reporter, in person, or in writing,
and, without questioning the writer's professionalism, explain
3. "Seek editorial opinion space to byline an article
about the topic, presenting your point of view in an engaging
and provocative piece.
4. "Submit a concise, compelling letter-to-the editor
's that does not repeat the negative information in the
article. Ask others to send letters.
5. "Place information responding to the article on
6. "Appropriately contact selected media to prevent
repetition of similar stories."
FORTUNE TO PUBLISH
SPECIAL 500 ISSUE.
The 50th anniversary of the "Fortune 500"
list will be celebrated by Fortune's with the publication
of a special issue in April.
Rik Kirkland, who is managing editor of Fortune, said a
year-long series of articles will be published that will
look back at key moments in the 500 eraand what they
say about the future.
In another move, the magazine has revamped the "First"
section which opens each issue.
The new section, which makes its debut in the Jan. 26 number,
has a new photo feature; more brief news and feature pieces,
and at least one book review per issue. The section is edited
by Lee Clifford.
XM Satellite Radio's
said it signed up more than 1,360,000 subscribers, representing
1 million net additional subscribers in 2003.
Public Broadcasting Stations
, Alexandria, Va., has received a $200,000 grant from the
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support the planning
process for a new digital service focused on public affairs
Harris Corp., a
Melbourne, Fla.-based communications equipment maker, was
given a $96 million 's contract by the Pentagon to rebuild
Saddam Hussein's old TV and radio network, now called al-Iraqiya.
Harris also will operate Al Sabah, a national newspaper's
formerly run by Hussein's son Uday, for the Coalition Provisional
Authority currently governing Iraq.
John A. Gambling,
73, who was host of the "Rambling with Gambling"
talk show on New York's WOR-AM radio from 1959 until he
retired in 's 1991, died on Jan. 8 in Venice, Fla. He took
over the show from his father, John B., who started it in
Edition, Jan. 14, 2004, Page 7
PR HEAD SOUGHT.
Dave Rickey, senior VP-PR, AmSouth
Bank, Birmingham, Ala., has been named chair of the board
of ethics and professional standards of PR Society of America.
He succeeds Chuck Wood, former PR manager, Omaha World-Herald
Co. Gary McCormick, of URS Coleman, Bel Air, Md., was named
was co-chair of the 2003 national conference in New Orleans
and has served in a number of other national and chapter
posts. He was not on BEPS.
is seeking a PR director with 15 years of experience and
a "strong track record of media placements." Writing
skills and ability to work with Society leadership are also
had only served two years as chair whereas his two predecessors
had served lengthy terms. Wood said he would have stayed
counselor Bob Frause was BEPS chair from 1995-2001. He joined
in 1990. Jim Little, 1981 president of PRSA, was on BEPS
from 1986-94, serving as chair from 1988-94.
Not Heard by Board
of the 2003 board said BEPS on Oct. 20 asked board members
to name a committee to investigate alleged abuses in the
2003 nominating process.
president Del Galloway and Rickey said Jan. 14 that the
BEPS request has been given to the governance task force
headed by Sherry Treco-Jones and it will be handled there.
three-page complaint, signed by Wood, Hamilton and six other
members of BEPS, said "verbal and written statements
given to BEPS" suggested that nomcom actions may have
violated the PRSA Code of Ethics; proper procedures may
have been ignored; procedures may need revision, and "member
expectations for openness, transparency, and honorable processes
may not have been met."
acknowledged that the board had already received complaints
about the 2003 nomcom and had rejected the criticisms. Nevertheless,
it urged the board to take up the matter.
confidential nature of the nominating process, we believe,
compromises the credibility of the board and thus PRSA as
a society," said the letter.
irregularities are that the single deadline date called
for by nomcom rules was disregarded and one candidate, who
had none of the technical qualifications for the national
board, was nevertheless recruited for this position and
even told he had been nominated. Complaints to the nomcom,
which was shown the rules, caused the nomcom to withdraw
the nomination. Some candidates said they were improperly
criticized by officers of the Society.
the BEPS proposal, besides Wood and Hamilton, were James
Lukaszewski, Thomas Duke, Linda Cohen, Karen Fraker, Patricia
Grey and James Frankowiak.
legislative director for Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA), has joined
The Harbour Group, the Washington, D.C., PR unit of Swidler
Berlin Shereff Friedman.
Authors, intelligence experts and professors on Jan. 12
debated whether Israel knowingly attacked the USS Liberty,
a spy ship that was stationed off the Sinai Peninsula during
the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
Former Liberty crew members and sympathizers shouted "whitewash"
and "let the survivors speak," as the morning
session neared its close. Moderator Marc Susser, State Dept.
historian, ordered them to sit down and asked one protester
to leave the room.
two-day conference on the 1967 Arab-Israeli War was sponsored
by the State Dept.
Cristol, author of The USS Liberty and the Role of Intelligence,
cited numerous investigations into the incident that killed
34 U.S. sailors and injured 171 others. The ship carried
a crew of 297.
probes found Israeli jet fighters and torpedo boats did
not initially know they were attacking a U.S. ship. The
450-foot ship, a converted freighter armed with four 50-caliber
machine guns, was thought to be an Egyptian vessel shelling
the Sinai 14 miles away.
the ship's captain and crew gave testimony to the initial
Court of Inquiry that the attack was a mistake, said Cristol.
U.S. documents "fit perfectly my research," he
Bona Fide Investigation
Bamford, author of The USS Liberty and America s Intelligence
Community, said there has never been a bona fide investigation
of the incident involving subpoenas and other standard investigative
techniques. Bamford, who wrote a cover story for the New
York Times Sunday magazine on Iran/Contra, said "Israel
knew exactly what it was doing when it attacked this ship."
He called the evidence "overwhelming."
Oren, Ph.D., of Shalem Center, Jerusalem, and author of
The USS Liberty and the Six-Day War, said any review
would turn up nothing new on the Israeli side and probably
nothing new on the U.S. side. Israel is "an extremely
porous society" and it would not be possible to keep
secrets on this so long, he added. Charges that the attack
was conscious "contradicts everything we know about
Israeli thinking," he said.
Israelis offered help to the ship as soon as they found
out it was American. "Why destroy a ship and then offer
it assistance?" he asked. He noted that "friendly
fire" resulted in 5,000 casualties in the Vietnam War.
Smith, University of Arizona, said the ship was confirmed
as a U.S. vessel in the morning but the marker was removed
because there was no new intelligence on it. The attack
took place starting at 2 p.m. Smith said it s not standard
intelligence practice to remove such a marker without making
an effort to find out what happened to the ship. Israeli
torpedo boats fired six torpedoes at the ship when crewmen
of the Liberty fired on the torpedo boats.
struck the Liberty amidship and was the greatest cause of
loss of life.
Edition, Jan. 21, 2004 Page 8
The Bush Administration
strategy towards the press (page 2) is followed by
many companies and some PR firms.
This "seek-and-destroy" policy reflects the infusion
of marketing, advertising, legal and management execs into
the PR arena. These executives have "control"
as their middle names and are not apt to sit back and let
reporters "have their way."
The policy, as described in The New Yorker, consists
of tight control over press contacts and messages that are
put out coupled with attacks on the credibility and even
the value of the media.
Reporters are told no one appointed them as representatives
of the rest of America and that they are, in fact, a skewed
subset of Americans who reflect a narrow point of view.
Reporters are reminded of their failings at every possible
turn. Attempts are made to put them on the defensive. Reporters
who ask too many cheeky questions are deemed to be "impolite."
The Bush policy, says writer Ken Auletta, keeps "much
of the press at a distance while controlling the news agenda."
We agree. But does this policy of avoiding while attacking
the press help build the PR profession and the need for
PR pros or does it contribute to the disappearance of PR
Evidence of today's
difficult PR job situation is a roundtable set for Thursday,
Jan. 22 by New York Women in Communications that
has as its No. 1 topic "Going Solo: Launching a Career
as an Independent." Fourteen other topics will be considered
including new ways of job-hunting and "Writing a Book
About What You Know." The group has about 1,000 members
in media as well as PR and service jobs. ([email protected])...
The appointment of
Dave Rickey as chair of the 2004 ethics board of
PRSA (page 7) sets off speculation that 2003 chair Chuck
Wood was dumped because he and his board asked the national
board to investigate alleged irregularities on the 2003
nominating committee headed by Kathy Lewton. She is also
"senior counsel" to BEPS. The 2003 PRSA board
did not take up this request at any of its meetings. 2004
PRSA president Del Galloway said it was discussed during
the 2003 national conference by himself, Wood, Jeff Julin
(board liaison to BEPS) and Sherry Treco-Jones, head of
a task force on governance. The task force is studying the
BEPS letter. Rickey said the 2004 BEPS will not get involved
in this matter. Some 2003 directors continue to say the
matter should be brought before the entire board...
The appointments of
Rickey (from Alabama) as BEPS chair and Gary McCormick
(Maryland) as vice chair are seen by some members of PRSA
as further proof that a "Southern wing" has taken
over the Society. They note 2003 president Reed Byrum is
from West Virginia as is director Cathryn Harris. Treco-Jones
is from Georgia while Galloway and directors Debbie Mason
and Rosanna Fiske are from Florida. President-elect Judith
Phair is from Maryland and director James McCall is from
Arkansas. Seven of 15 directors are from the South. Two
New Yorkers, meanwhile (Art Stevens and Phil Ryan), got
kicked off the board as did Jeff Seideman from Massachusetts.
Coverage of the debate
over what happened to the USS Liberty in 1967 (page
7) is chaotic. The New York Times continued its policy
of mostly ignoring it by not printing a word about the three-hour
Jan. 12 panel. The Washington Post used an AP story
that started with a statement from an unnamed "State
Dept. official" who "concluded" the attack
was an "act of Israeli negligence." CNN, quoting
an unidentified "State Dept. official" six times,
ridiculed charges of the Liberty crew that the attack was
done with full knowledge that a U.S. vessel was involved.
The "official" is quoted as saying Israel "would
have sunk this ship in 30 seconds flat" if it wanted
to. Another quote from the official is that it was a case
of "Murphy s Law" (everything that could go wrong
did go wrong on both sides). James Bamford, a pro-Liberty
panelist, is quoted by CNN as saying, "The Israelis
said it was a mistake. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn t."
We can t find any such quote. In fact, Bamford said the
evidence of a knowledgeable attack is "overwhelming."
The Houston Chronicle on Jan. 11 printed a lengthy
pro-Liberty crew piece by Admiral Thomas Moorer (ret.),
who chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, saying failure of
nearby U.S. military to rescue the Liberty "was the
most disgraceful act I witnessed in my entire military career."
The Moorer article notes that Capt. Ward Boston, former
Navy lawyer who took part in an initial inquiry, said in
an affidavit that the Johnson White House "ordered
the inquiry to find the attack was a case of mistaken identity."
Crew members worry that U.S. interests continue to play
second fiddle in the Mid-East...
Bad Publicity is a novel about Washington, D.C.,
PR firms, law firms, think tanks and the government by Jeffrey
Frank, senior editor, The New Yorker. A powerful
PR firm is named "Big Tooth." It s "an entertaining
and knowing portrait of Washington," said The New
PRSA said it will not discuss anything about its planned
move to 22,000 sq. ft. downtown (vs. 14,500 sq. ft. for
its current offices) "until the lease has been signed."
It will not discuss whether the downtown location will be
inconvenient to New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors. There
are plenty of PR firms and businesses downtown, it says.