....LMB: "Lying Till the Bitter End"....

May 31, 2002

Over ten years later, the PR flak behind a story that helped bring a nation to war is STILL lying about it.

Remember "Nayirah"?

She was the 15-year old Kuwaiti girl who testified before Congress in 1990 that, while volunteering at a hospital, invading Iraqi soldiers had stormed in, torn newborn babies out of incubators, thrown the babies onto the floor to die, and shipped the incubators back to Baghdad. The story helped win support for the US war on Iraq that still hasn't really ended.

Funny thing is that Nayirah had never been to that hospital in her life. And she happened to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US. And she'd been coached to say what she did by a PR firm that had been hired by the exiled Kuwaiti royal familly.

The PR industry news site O'Dwyer's PR Daily recently ran a story about the PR exec who coached Nayirah, Lauri Fitz-Pegado and a new PR account that she is working on. But the article heavily focused on Fitz-Pegado's role in the fraudulent Nayirah testimony.

Surprisingly, Fitz-Pegado responded to the article (must be in her PR blood to fight off negative perceptions) that the Iraqis had indeed stolen the incubators, as proven in a report by Kroll and Associates. She concludes her letter:

"I have always found it mind boggling that more attention has been paid to discrediting the observations of Nayirah Al-Sabah, simply because of her connection to the invaded Government of Kuwait in 1990, than to the Iraqi atrocities she and others described, which in the ensuing decade have been widely substantiated.

"I would hope that your publication, O'Dwyer's, would see fit, over ten years later, to discontinue the perpetuation of misinformation about these events, my role, or my mindset or intentions. In fairness, I hope you publish this letter in full or at least correct the public record in your next issue."

Which makes it all the more galling when you read a counter-reply posted by PR Watch's Sheldon Rampton. According to Rampton, the Kroll study was commissioned by the Kuwaiti government, implying a bias or false conclusions to that report. He then follows up by citing thorough reports by ABC News, Amnesty International, and human rights group Middle East Watch which concluded that there was no evidence to support the incubator story, or that it was a hoax altogether.

And in other nauseating PR news, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has hired a PR firm which has also done work for Enron, Dr. Laura, and Riverside county after Riverside police killed Tyisha Miller by shooting her 27 times.

The world is a nice place, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Posted by Jake at 11:18 AM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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