Exposing the Corporate Funders of "Dr. Evil's" Attack Ads

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

A longtime Washington PR flack for tobacco giants, labor exploiters, frackers, and other corporate profiteers celebrates himself "Dr. Evil" – the scourge of all progressive groups!

But Rick Berman is not a doctor, not evil, and not a scourge. While he is a wholly-unprincipled little man, he's just a self-serving huckster who grubs for corporate dollars by offering to do their dirty PR work.

Berman's modus operandi is not exactly sophisticated: Taking money from the likes of Phillip-Morris, Monsanto, and Tyson Foods, he sets up tax-exempt front groups (with non-descript names like Center for Consumer Freedom, Employment Policies Institute, and Environmental Policy Alliance) posing them as independent research outfits; each one is an empty shell, run by his small staff out of his Washington, DC office; using the names of the front groups, Berman and Co. buy full-page newspaper ads and write opinion pieces that amount to raw hatchet attacks on whatever progressive groups or public policies the corporate funders want to kill.

His mad dog style is hardly worrisome to those targeted, for rather than drawing converts to the corporate funder's cause, it merely rallies the usual anti-labor, anti-enviro, anti-"fill in the blank" crowd. But it still appeals to brand-name corporate clients, for Berman promises to spew their message into the media without having any of the nastiness stick to them. "We run all this stuff through nonprofit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors," he assured energy executives last year. "There is total anonymity," he bragged. "People don't know who supports us."

But, oops, not only is he ineffectual, but big holes in his curtain of anonymity are now revealing some of the corporations hiding behind it. To take a peek, go to www.BermanExposed.org.

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This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

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