We reported yesterday on John Banzhaf’s declaration that smokers deserve the electric chair. We comment further in relation to that story here, including observations from author Michael McFadden, focussing on antitobacco’s sordid practices of propaganda by press release.
In two recent stories originating from John Banzhaf’s organization Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) we have noted the duplicitous headlines of their press releases. On April 2nd ASH noted that some former smokers return to smoking following heart transplants. It therefore advocated that anyone with any history of smoking should be allowed to die rather than being considered for a heart transplant. The Daily Mail article ASH referred to reported 27% (104 of 380) of former smokers studied had returned to smoking. The ASH release, within its text, indeed directly quoted the paper as stating "more than one in four." The ASH headline, however, told us that "Most Heart Recipients Return to Smoking …".
Yesterday we reported on ASH’s contention that exposing anyone to secondhand smoke met the requirements of a capital crime: murder with depraved indifference. The headline of the relevant 18 April ASH press release was "Wife Indicted For Killing Husband With Secondhand Tobacco Smoke …". Following more detail on the "criminal prosecution" in the press release text we finally were told: "That is the plot of a controversial new film …". In this case the "news source" for the story was itself a press release from the film’s production company. The movie, by the way, entitled The Pack (stored link), is nothing new. It is an obscure independent production released back in May of 2007.
ASH reported on the moldy cinematic release and on the British article for the very purpose of getting its fraudulent headlines into circulation. The British article did not report that most recipients return to smoking after heart transplantation. There has never been a secondhand smoke murder case. ASH wants to project those ideas into the minds of journalists and others who will come across its press release headlines on the internet and elsewhere. Many or most readers who bump into the ASH releases will never get beyond the headlines. The headlines are lies. This is very deliberate.
Hateful propaganda, and thorough deceit, are the entire point of the press releases. The releases are distributed worldwide and can receive heavy promotion if a professional distribution service is employed. Michael J. McFadden, author of Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains, and active with the Pennsylvania Smokers’ Action Network, lends these perceptive comments:
This is a technique the Antis have used for a long time. In Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains I talk about a series of articles in which local fire and police departments were all supposed to be participating in antismoking activities during the course of some "smoke-free month" sort of thing a few years back. In each city the article would quote the local fire chief and police chief to show their support.
The only problem was that in every city the "story" was always a paid press release, and the "quotes" were absolutely identical, down to the commas … in other words: fakes. These news releases cost $1,000 to $5,000 or so apiece, depending on the organization, the length, and the market coverage. The antismoking lobby of course has (literally) several hundred million dollars a year to throw into such stuff.
We don’t. But what we can do is point out in every blog and net discussion we can that these "news stories" are fakes: they are paid advertisements designed to simulate actual news stories. The antismoking lobby is looking to build a psychological atmosphere in which folks will generally begin to believe that people have been "murdered" by secondary smoke and that courts are recognizing this as reality.
We need to point out that this is not in any way reality: it is a fantasy being hyped by the big money these organizations extort from smokers through taxes and that they are hyping it with fake news stories.
It’s important always to emphasize the fact that these are fakes that are being deliberately paid for to misinform and subvert public opinion … the unheard-of movie, itself virtually never mentioned outside its promoters’ own paid press releases, is simply exploited by ASH to give the sick "homicide" idea a platform.
Expose the lies: they’re always the weakest flank in the antismokers’ assault.