Sure, many of us in this modern world are cynical. The most cynical may even suspect that the news is manipulated and massaged by sponsors, that corporations act in their best interests, that political campaigns are determined not by votes, but by bucks, and that we don't get "all the news that's fit to print" but instead, "all the news that gets the ink". But even the most media-savvy amongst you will be awed by the behind-the-scenes descriptions of the Public Relations industry in action so masterfully described in this book. If you want your eyes to be opened, open them upon the pages of this book. (But remember: there are some very important people counting on you, and they really would prefer that you didn't ever hear about this book, much less buy it.)
Stauber and Rampton cite a classic example of image manipulation in this chilling analysis of the PR business. During the aftermath of the 1975 Three-Mile Island nuclear accident, a company spokesman said that a spark in the accumulated hydrogen bubble could result in a "spontaneous energetic disassembly"?otherwise known as an explosion. The authors trace certain specious practices of the $10 billion PR business to P.T. Barnum, who in 1836 wrote anonymous pro and con letters to editors about himself, generating heated interest. Modern public relations has evolved "crisis management" and "anti-" PR campaigns including sabotaging the tours of authors who challenge industry clients, for example, Jeremy Rifkin, author of Beyond Beef. The new euphemism for sewage sludge, "biosolids," is part of a campaign to convince the public that municipal sludge, replete with an astounding array of toxic substances, is good for farm soil. The authors point to Business for Social Responsibility, an organization that includes The Body Shop, Ben & Jerry's and others, as now containing "some of the most environmentally destructive corporations on the planet." Giant agencies extend their contracts to selling national policies, as Hill & Knowlton did in selling the Gulf war to the American public. Although most large news organizations at least rewrite PR materials, many smaller markets "rip and read" prepackaged video news releases. This is a cautionary reminder that much of the consumer and political world is created by for-hire mouthpieces in expensive neckties.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I am studying this with my PR students, but everyone should read this book. It's amazing how brainwashed we all are. And very scary that we are so manipulated by PR. Read morePublished 18 months ago by F. Armstrong
The seller was very quick to mail my purchase. When I got the book it was the exact condition that they specified it was online. Very happy with the seller.Published on Oct. 7 2009 by Ashton Friesen
See, long ago (how long? More than one hundred years...) advertising, and not circulation (that small fee you pay when you buy a magazine or daily newspaper) was already the number... Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2004 by Giancarlo Nicoli
an enlightening collection of articles that expose the PR scandals and ongoing campaigns of misinformation that cover our brains like so much toxic slime. Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2003 by Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair)
As a public relations major, I must say that I did not really appreciate the attack Stauber and Rampton have launched against PR. Read morePublished on March 20 2003 by Kcheval
Definately worth a read.
I picked this up ...when I was seventeen. (Summer of '96) I couldn't put it down, and have gone back and read it again since. Read more
After reading Toxic Sludge, I am much more aware of what is really being sold to us on the evening news. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003 by Barbara Spring
This book is so one sided that it's nearly worthless. Stauber and Rampton accuse the PR industry of presenting cooked facts to convince the public. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2002 by J. Franco
This book is abolustely amazing. It details the lengtsh to which the Public Relations (PR) industry has encroached itself into our lives, and the lengths to which they are willing... Read morePublished on July 29 2002