Daily Archives: December 12, 2011

LUV News on National Propaganda Radio


The big protest today will be the attempt to shut down West Coast ports from California to Alaska. The Democracy Movement appears to be split on this, with most in support of it, but with reservations.

Since the movement hasn’t completed one of its major goals yet, that of educating the masses around the corporate media about what is happening, there is concern that there may not be enough support at this time to accomplish the goal of shutting down the ports, and if it fizzles, may make it appear that the movement is weak and not supported by the public. Another concern is that organized labor, having signed agreements that they will not participate in such activity, may be distanced from the action.

It would appear our mass media is attempting to drive a wedge between protesters and labor on this issue, and we would advise readers to look for this in mass media coverage as the protest continues throughout the day.

Internationally, corporate media are showing their usual hypocrisy by which protests they emphasize and which they ignore. This morning National Security State propagandist Steve Inskeep said on NPR that the protests in Russia were against Prime Minister Putin, who he identified with the corporate media pejorative “strong man,” although, as far as we know, Putin hasn’t authorized his government to murder citizens or imprison them for life without evidence, as have our own leaders Bush and Obama, not identified as “strong men” in corporate media.

As we’ve explained, the Russian protest was against perceived fraud in the election, but Putin is shown in polling to be the most popular person in Russia (although many protesters did speak out against Putin). Putin’s popularity has never fallen below 65%, a number Obama would die for. In 2007 Putin’s popularity hit 81%, the highest of any leader in the world. This morning there was a demonstration in support of Putin, ignored by Inskeep apparently because it goes against his National Security State propaganda viewpoint.

A trend has begun in Western media to put Putin in a bad light, and some Russians believe they are trying to turn public opinion against Putin as a mass media goal. If so, the Western corporate media often get what they set out to accomplish, dominating the airwaves as they do in shaping public opinion around the world.

Inskeep replaced Bob Edwards at NPR years ago, apparently because Edwards had been too objective.  There is little chance that will happen with Inskeep.

And later:

We signed onto the Democracy Movement in May, long before the Occupy Wall Street group formed in New York.  We did so knowing things could go bad, but we trusted the organizers, knowing they are good people, and we watched as, before taking over Freedom Plaza in Washington, participants began by teaching nonviolence. We knew there would be no violence from the protesters from the start, anybody following LUV News even for a short time knows our position against violence.

So we were enraged to hear on NPR repeated descriptions of police crackdowns on protesters across the land announcing that “protesters were mostly nonviolent,” without noticing that all of the violence was instigated by police. The people who make these reports are lower than whale poop, because illegal wars costing millions of lives, bankster bailouts enriching the wealthy, the polluting of our natural environment and other major criminal activities wouldn’t be possible if the masses were even somewhat informed by giving them the public interest side of things neglected by NPR and other mass media.

It gets more maddening every day that we don’t have a second opinion in our mass media, representing the public interest.  —Jack

The Borowitz Report

A Letter from Mitt Romney

Your Chance to Win $10,000

DES MOINES (The Borowitz Report) – Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney today issued the following open letter to America:

Dear American:

A lot of people are going around today saying that Mitt Romney is too rich and out-of-touch to be President.   Well, I am willing to bet you $10,000 I’m not.

I’m holding in my hand a crisp ten grand note that can be yours if I’m wrong.  I always walk around with a thick wad of these, just in case I need to tip a wine steward or light up a fat cigar.  In a pinch, I sometimes peel one off and use it to wipe my fanny.  You wouldn’t think Mitt Romney would ever run out of toilet paper, but when you live in a 11,000 square foot mansion with seventeen bathrooms, believe me, it happens!

I guess you could say I’ve always been a betting man.  Like earlier this fall, when Rick Perry accused me of using an illegal alien to cut my lawn in La Jolla.  Why, the next day I called out to yardman, “Jose, I’ll bet you $10,000 you’re legal.”  He didn’t take the bet, because he ran away and I never saw him again.  I guess betting isn’t a part of his culture, wherever he comes from.

And while we’re on the subject of being rich and out of touch, here’s something Mitt Romney would never do: run up a $500,000 tab at Tiffany buying diamond nipple rings for his third wife.  As the kids like to say, “Just sayin’.”

Vote for me,


Scrubbing the Corporate Image

JP Morgan “Greed Washing”: Sponsors Orwellian TV Advertorial to Tout $2 Million of Charity Spending

The New York Times (hat tip Mary B) took note of a seamy JP Morgan effort at brand burnishing:

In a gambit to promote its charitable work — and maybe polish its image, which has suffered since the financial collapse in 2008 — JPMorgan Chase is financing and sponsoring the “American Giving Awards,” which will be televised by NBC on Saturday night. The two-hour show, with Bob Costas as host, will profile recipients of Chase donations, will be book-ended by Chase commercials and will regularly remind viewers that the whole event is “presented by Chase.”…

It’s a “‘greed-washing’ campaign to score P.R. points,” countered Lisa Graves, whose publication “PR Watch” investigates company public relations campaigns. The $2 million in donations that will be featured on Saturday “are a drop in the bucket compared to its ultra-lush benefits for bankers who profited richly from the swaps that undermined our nation’s financial security,” she said…

The five charities to be feted on Saturday have already benefited from Chase’s largess without a television extravaganza. Over all, the bank says it gives away $150 million a year; more narrowly, through a program called Chase Community Giving, it has been giving money and visibility to small charities across the country for the last two years…

Five charities that received money from Chase in the past were selected to compete in public for a new $1 million grant, with voting happening via Facebook. The winner will be revealed on the telecast Saturday; the other four will receive smaller grants.

Chase claims this show is to raise the profile of the charities and help them raise more money.

The problem is that any argument that this JP Morgan TV extravaganza has much to do with altruism fails when you do the math. JP Morgan is touting $2 million of spending. If you are serious about giving to charities, one of the very first things you look at is the efficiency of your donation. You get the charity’s financial statements and look at how much money goes to the cause, as opposed to fundraising and admin.

I’m not current on TV advertising rates (they were $110,000 per 30 second spot in the first quarter, and that is the weakest period of the year for ad spending). JP Morgan bought eight 30 second ads. Even if we assume JP Morgan got better rates than that (Saturday is a low viewership night, and they probably negotiated some sort of volume discount on top of that), the cost of buying airtime was large relative to what went to the charities. And that’s before you get to the expense of producing the program.

And let’s not forget, quite a few JP Morgan employees will get compensation in excess of $2 million this year. It would be more straightforward for JP Morgan to do a prime time TV show about why they think that’s warranted, since increasing pay levels appears to be every large banks’ prime directive.

It appears the entire financial services industry is on an advertising kick, this in a year when profits are flagging. I wonder how much of it is defensive, image-burnishing spending.

Now this sort of “let’s really pretend we are doing something other than PR” messaging is taking place on multiple fronts, as Dave Dayen reminded us last month:

I wrote a piece for The American Prospect about something I dubbed “camo-washing,” an effort by big banks to prove their attentiveness to the foreclosure crisis by going out of their way to compensate military families for violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. These violations included egregious behavior, like moving to foreclose on active duty military while they served overseas in combat. And the banks moved swiftly to deliver mounds of restitution to those military members and the entire military by extension, promising to hire veterans and giving out free homes to those wronged by the scandal. As I said at the time, “Banks are hoping that by compensating members of the military for improper foreclosures, they can boost their public image and avoid responsibility for the broader foreclosure crisis and the truckload of violations committed against civilian borrowers.”

JP Morgan rolled over early on, as Dayen noted in his story, “JPMorgan Settlement Continues Their Persistent Attention to Just One Type of Foreclosure Fraud” (if you want to see another type, read “How Chase Ruined the Lives of People Who Paid Off Their Mortgages” for an example):

So in the final analysis, not a single military member lost their home, those that were wrongfully evicted got their home back free and clear, and those ripped off got all the money back for their ripoff plus thousands more, and a reduced interest rate, and maybe a job.

All of this underlines the extreme measures JPMorgan is taking to rectify the situation with wrongful foreclosures of active duty military. And it also underlines the fact that next to nothing is being done with all the wrongful foreclosures on everyone BUT active duty military. The banksters aren’t stupid. They know that the military is one of the few institutions left in this country with a modicum of authority. They can screw over virtually every other customer they have, but when they extend that to active duty service members, they must bend over backwards to make it up to them.

This is a well-executed strategy by JPMorgan and other banks to mollify military personnel, in the hopes that nobody will notice that the same practices employed against them extended to everyone else who has a mortgage with them.

So having done right with one customer group because there were serious ramification if the bank didn’t make amends (violations of the Servicemans’ Civil Relief Act are criminal), JP Morgan has the nerve to tout how nice it has been to soldiers. This is an ad you apparently see if you access a Chase account online, and I’m told similar promotions are running in the media:

JP Morgan should be ashamed of its conduct towards servicemen. Instead, it is trying to spin actions it took only after being caught out and facing serious consequences as proof of its munificence and public mindedness. It’s tantamount to Big Tobacco trying to pretend in the wake of its landmark settlement that it cared about the health of smokers.

One of the basic principles of marketing is that fundamentally misrepresenting your brand in your advertising messages will ultimately backfire. JP Morgan will prove to be a case study of how long it takes for that to occur.