(en) Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #92

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Thu, 27 Nov 1997 11:40:00 +0000

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 10:12:29 -0800 (PST) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #92 (fwd)

AMERICAN NEWSPEAK. Hoarded at http://www.scn.org/newspeak Celebrating cutting edge advances in the Doublethink of the 90's Written by Wayne Grytting

Buy Nothing Day

The Adbusters organization, out of Vancouver, Canada, has produced a commercial that has failed to meet the high standards of our three major networks. Against the backdrop of a pig, the ad questions overconsumption, calling on consumers to participate in Buy Nothing Day on the day after Thanksgiving. Despite having cash in hand, the ad was rejected by NBC because, in the words of VP Richard Gitter, the ad was "inimical to our legitimate business interests." An understandable reply. But CBS went even further in a letter rejecting the commercial, announcing that Buy Nothing Day is "in opposition to the current economic policy in the United States." They did not say if criminal penalties would be invoked against nonconsumers. (WSJ 11/19)

The "I Have a Dream" Dept.

Coca-Cola has clearly found a visionary new leader in their new chief executive, M. Douglas Ivester. In his first public speech, Ivester urged his fellow executives to "expand the horizons of our businesses, and the horizons of our thinking." To demonstrate his point, he told his audience the typical person drinks only 4 ounces of soft drink out of an average of 64 ounces of liquids per day. "That still leaves our industry, said Ivester, "with 60 ounces to go after. Put another way -- we're only tapping four 64ths of the opportunity." Such utter waste. And what a sense of mission. Can't you see thousands of Coke employees dreaming of leading the way to a world where the remaining 60 ounces have been reclaimed from the clutches of milk, fruit juice, water and lattes? (AP 11/9)

The Muckraking Press

Popular magazines are finding a sure way to produce quality feature stories on Hollywood celebrities. They let them pick their own writers. The Wall Street Journal reports that magazines now routinely let major stars veto questions, topics and reporters who "look for the bad news," as Good Housekeeping editor Ellen Levine so delicately puts it. Critics claim this results in celebrity puff pieces that are just cogs in the culture industry's marketing plans. But Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has a good retort. He says, "You can only have so many tough things in an issue and I think it's foolish to waste it on an actor." We are still waiting to discover what constitutes a "tough thing" for Vanity Fair. (WSJ 11/18)

Do It Yourself Spy Kits

Is productivity lagging at your company? Well, ABC Asia Pacific may have the answer. Spy cameras sell for only $2,200 apiece and for a limited time only, you can actually buy one and get the second free. Says CEO Jeffrey Tan, "Productivity really does go up with this system. You see a very quick return on your investment in any business." Not only will installing the "Spy Eyes" system act as a deterrent to theft, but Mr. Tan reports it can help managers see if employees are really working and so "reduce unjustified management complaints." This is bound to make it popular with workers. Summing up, Tan says, "It's a helpful tool for people who want to stay in control." Sounds like it should prove even more popular with executives and dominatrixes. (Reuters 11/21)

"Come Let Us Reason Together"

For years, the management of the Los Angeles Times had talked about adding a weekly personal health section. Nothing happened until advertising VP Robert Brisco spoke the magic words, "You know we've been getting all these HMO ads." And presto, there was a health section. Such is life under the stewardship of Times Mirror CEO and former baby food tycoon Mark Wiles, who has turned ad executives like Brisco into "partners" with news editors. Individual news sections are being designed from the beginning by the marketing and news departments (or partners) and are expected to show a profit. The process is known as "streamlining cooperation," a phrase chosen over the more pejorative "selling out." (NYT 11/17)

Privatizing Censorship

After efforts to censor the internet via the government fell short, private industry has stepped in to fill the breach. Four of the largest search engines have agreed to "self-regulation." "Censorship is being contracted out," says attorney Robert Corn-Revere. Taking the lead is Lycos, which has "thrown down the gauntlet" to other search engines to block sites that provide adult content or who refuse to agree to provide ratings of their contents. The later would be a crime under a bill introduced by Sen. Patty Murray, aptly named the "On-line Cooperative Publishing Act." Under it, sites discussing sexual issues would simply become invisible to search engines whether they "cooperated" or not. Fortunately it's not censorship because it's not the government doing it... (ACLU Press Release 11/5)

Special thanks to the eagle eyes of Jason Kazarian and Doug Honig this week. Newspeak often appears weekly and there may be a mailing list available thru wgrytt@blarg.net to those who can prove you've consumed your share of coca-cola.

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