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"War on Truth, The Secret Battle for the American Mind

by Clyde Green Monday, Aug. 21, 2000 at 2:56 AM
Washington DC aka Ground Zero

an interview with John Stauber". Sentient Times, June 1999

"Some years ago, in a speech to clients in the cattle industry,

Ron Duchin, senior vice-president of the PR firm Mongoven, Biscoe

and Duchin (which probably represents a quarter of the largest

corporations), outlined his firm's basic divide-and-conquer strategy

for defeating any social change movement. Activists, he explained,

fall into three basic categories: radicals, idealists, and realists.

The first step in his strategy is to isolate and marginalize the

radicals. They're the ones who see the inherent structural problems

that need remedying if indeed a particular change is to occur. To

isolate them, PR firms will try to create a perception in the public

mind that people advocating fundamental solutions are terrorists,

extremists, fear mongers, outsiders, communists, or whatever.

After marginalizing the radicals, the PR firm then identifies and

"educates" the idealists - concerned and sympathetic members of the

public - by convincing them that the changes adovacted by the

radicals would hurt people. The goal is to sour the idealists on the

idea of working with the radicals, and instead get them working with

the realists.

Realists, according to Duchin, are people who want reform but don't

really want to upset the status quo; big public-interest organizations

that rely on foundation grants and corporate contributions are a prime

example. With the correct handling, Duchin says, realists can be

counted on to cut a deal with industry that can be touted as a

"win-win" solution, but that is actually an industry victory."

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