Check "This" Out

Fri, 2006-10-06 13:13Sarah Pullman
Sarah Pullman's picture

Check "This" Out

It's been out for a couple of weeks now, but make sure you don't miss this article in “This” Magazine – a smart, thoughtful publication, grown locally up here in Canada.

It's a good primer to the way that public relations has been employed in Canada with regards to climate change. If you've been listening at all to the discussion north of the border, you've heard the phrase “made in Canada” a hundred thousand times. But did you know where that came from? It's a legacy of the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, which was a coalition manufactured in 2002 by National Public Relations, Canada's largest PR firm.
The Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions was a classic example of an “Astroturf” organization—a fake green group—set up by a PR firm to make it appear that an industry’s agenda has grassroots support. And while the coalition was short-lived, it did leave behind at least one thing besides its old and obviously expensive website: the super-sticky, media-friendly catch phrase “made in Canada,” a gift to Kyoto opponents who use it to frame their opposition in reasonable terms.
Sticky indeed… it's everywhere in Harper's government's rhetoric.

It's a great article and you should definitely give it a read if you haven't yet. My favorite quote, though, is from our very own Jim Hoggan, and right at the end…
Being against climate change is pretty stupid from a PR point of view. If you don’t want to end up looking like those cigarette executives standing in front of Congress a few years ago, telling us that there is no evidence that cigarettes cause cancer, don’t fight something that you are inevitably going to lose.
And there you have it, folks.

Comments

An interview with NY Times reporter only just last January.  It illustrates how far awareness has come in a short period of time.

Many media it appears bought into the spin

 ”Oilsands, we hardly know ya”

http://theanonymousgreen.blogspot.com/

So let’s see, evil corporate interests tried to get Kyoto rejected but failed. That’s democracy for you. It doesn’t look good that Ross Geldspan, who falsely credited himself a Pulitzer Prize winner to promote a book, features so prominently in the article. Finally, you promote the This article as “grown locally up here in Canada” while the This article slams those who advocate a “made in Canada” approach to global warming. Hypocrites.

Well maybe I don’t know much, but this comment just makes you sound like you’re trying to distract from the real issue at hand. 

The real iissue being what? Democratic processes in action?

Hey Nell, how many times does it have to be said? Gelbspan led a team that won a pullitzer, so he has every right to claim he won a pullitzer. You’re messed up logic, and that of idiots like Steve “the junkman” Milloy who is always making this point, would also imply that Phil Jackson, as the coach of the Chicago Bulls, never won an NBA Final. Oh, and by the way, the “made in Canada” IS nothing but spin, and you’re drinking the kool-aid like a good little neo-con. 

The Pulitzer site makes no mention of Gelbspan but Wikipedia does: “The Pulitzer Prize in question was awarded to authors Kenneth Cooper, Joan Fitz Gerald, Jonathan Kaufman, Norman Lockman, Gary Mc Millan, Kirk Scharfenberg and David Wessel of the Boston Globe. While Gelbspan claims to have been responsible for “editing and conceiving” some of the stories for which the authors were awarded the prize, the policy of the Pulitzer board is to award prizes either to news organizations as a whole or named individuals. In either case, only the individuals named as winners are entitled to describe theselves as such.” To claim Gelbspan won the Pulitzer is to use the same sort of disinformation tactics you accuse the Astroturfers of using. Shame! Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Gelbspan