Canned PR as News


A study by the Wall Street Journal “found that more than half of [newspaper] news stories ‘were based solely on press releases’” [mostly from corporations or the military] (Rampton & Stauber, 22-3).


"On any given day the average American is subjected to about 4,000 images and messages. Of these about 3,990 are generated by corporations. Not coincidentally, about 95% of them are lies" (Memepool, Nov. 21, 2003. http://www.memepool.com/).


"What if you saw a news report on your local television station, then later you learned that the report had actually been written by the federal government... Nonsense, you'd say, this isn't the Soviet Union. We don't allow government-scripted news in America!

"No? Well, maybe you've seen some recent news reports touting the benefits of George W's new prescription-drug law for Medicare patients... will spend some $50 million this year on its advertising campaign to glorify the program... our government is.. spoon-feeding "news" to TV stations, which don't bother to identify the source of these packaged stories" (Jim Hightower. Hightower Lowdown, April 2004: p.1).


"...Henry Adams... "The press is the hired agent of a monied system," he wrote, "and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved"...

"A handful of self-serving corporate fiefdoms now controls practically all of America's mass-market sources of news and information...

"These aloof giants openly assert that meeting their own profit needs is the media's reason for existence -- as opposed to meeting the larger public's need for a vigorous, democratic discourse. Lowry Mays, honcho of Clear Channel..."We're not in the business of providing news and information... We're simply in the business of selling our customers' products"

""We paid $3 billion for these television stations," said an executive with a Fox affiliate in Tampa. "We decide what the new is. The new is what we tell you it is" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer. The Hightower Lowdown, May 2004: 1).

Free Press working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates


"..on April 12 and 13, 2002, every major paper in the USA -- with no exception -- announced that Chavez had resigned his presidency. He was "unpopular," he was "dictatorial"... every one of these factoids was dead wrong... almost all papers used identical words... which I traced back to a U.S. State Department briefing.

"In fact, President Chavez had been kidnapped" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 192).

"In Caracas, Chavez minister Miguel Bustamante Madriz explained it to me. "America can't let us stay in power. We are the exception to the new globalization order. If we succeed, we are an example to all the Americas"...


"What if you saw a news report on your local television station, then later you learned that the report had actually been written by the federal government... Nonsense, you'd say, this isn't the Soviet Union. We don't allow government-scripted news in America!

"No? Well, maybe you've seen some recent news reports touting the benefits of George W's new prescription-drug law for Medicare patients... will spend some $50 million this year on its advertising campaign to glorify the program... our government is.. spoon-feeding "news" to TV stations, which don't bother to identify the source of these packaged stories" (Jim Hightower. Hightower Lowdown, April 2004: p.1).


Colby Glass, MLIS