Monthly Archives: October 2005

Wal-Mart: Discriminate Against Disabled to Save Money

From Labor Blog:

To discourage unhealthy job applicants, [the memo] suggests that Wal-Mart arrange for "all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g., all cashiers do some cart-gathering)."… "It will be far easier to attract and retain a healthier work force than it will be to change behavior in an existing one," the memo said. "These moves would also dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart."

Public Relations Industry Influences to Alter Anti-Propaganda Bill

"Myself and others felt violated by the first bill," said Doug Simon, the founder, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions, a major producer of the faux television news reports known as video news releases (VNRs).

Simon was referring to the Truth in Broadcasting Act (S 967). In its original incarnation, this bill would have required a "conspicuous" disclosure to accompany any government-produced or -funded prepackaged VNR or the radio equivalent, an audio news release (ANR). For VNRs, the Act rightly mandated "continuous" on-screen notification of the material’s source, such as the words "Produced by the U.S. Government." Moreover, the Act made it illegal to remove the disclosure.

First, the revised Act drops the continuous on-screen notification requirement for VNRs. Second, it calls for "clear notification within the text or audio of the prepackaged news story," without specifying the minimum requirements for audience disclosure. Most troubling, it allows that disclosure to be removed altogether, following rules that the Act requires the Federal Communications Commission to develop.

Oil Industry Shut Down Refineries to Boost Profits

From The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights:

The three internal memos from Mobil, Chevron, and Texaco show different ways the oil giants closed down refining capacity and drove independent refiners out of business. The confidential memos demonstrate a nationwide effort by American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying and research arm of the oil industry, to encourage the major refiners to close their refineries in the mid-1990s in order to raise the price at the pump.