OLD Media Moves

How Monsanto manipulated journalists covering the company

June 2, 2019

Posted by Chris Roush

Cary Gillam writes for The Guardian about how chemicals company Monsanto would manipulate the journalists covering the company.

Gillam writes, “We recently learned that a young woman falsely posing as a freelance BBC reporter at one of the Roundup cancer trials was in fact a ‘reputation management’ consultant for FTI Consulting, whose clients include Monsanto. The woman spent time with journalists who were covering the Hardeman v Monsanto trial in San Francisco, pretending to do reporting while also suggesting to the real reporters certain storylines or points that favored Monsanto.

“Lawyer Tim Litzenburg, who represents several plaintiffs suing Monsanto over claims Roundup causes cancer, told me that he has traced what he calls a ‘dark money project’ by Monsanto aimed at winning favorable public opinion. The project includes planting helpful news articles in traditional news outlets; discrediting and harassing journalists who refused to parrot the company’s propaganda; and secretly funding front groups to amplify pro-Monsanto messaging across social media platforms.

“‘We now know they had pet journalists who pushed Monsanto propaganda under the guise of ‘objective reporting,’’ Litzenburg, a partner with the firm Kincheloe, Litzenburg & Pendleton, told me. ‘At the same time, the chemical company sought to amass dossiers to discredit those journalists who were brave enough to speak out against them.'”

Read more here.

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