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Posts Tagged ‘Politisk påverkan’

USA | Steve Bannon på Breitbart News har kallats USA:s ”most dangerous political operativ” och ”the vast right-wing conspirator”.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Och visst är det en spännande historia som Joshua Green berättar i Bloomberg Businessweek. Politisk påverkan? Visst. Men knappast konspiratoriskt. Snarare tvärt om.

Vad hans anställda ägnar sig åt är i princip vad alla journalister, politiska strateger och PR-konsulter alltid gör – försöker placera faktabaserade storys i lämpliga medier.

Hela hans idé går ut på att göra ett grundligt journalistiskt arbete som är grundat på fakta snarare än rykten och spekulationer.

Detta gör det möjligt även för media som traditionellt lutar mer åt vänster i den politiska rapporteringen, t.ex. The New York Times, att hänga på och driva storyn vidare. På så sätt når storyn även en publik som annars inte skulle ha varit mottaglig för informationen.

Det mest märkvärdiga med detta är varför ingen tidigare på högerkanten tänkt på det.

Det som möjligtvis skiljer Bannon från många andra är att han gör det utifrån ett politiskt perspektiv som primärt gynnar republikanerna. Men inte alltid.

Bannon har inte bara försökt påverka samhällsdebatten genom att fokusera på ena sidans politiker (Hillary Clinton m.fl.) utan också gett sig på republikaner (t.ex. Jeb Bush, John Boehner) som han finner mindre tilltalande.

Green skrev bl.a. följande i sin artikel om Bannon:

Bannon is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, the crusading right-wing populist website that’s a lineal descendant of the Drudge Report (its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, spent years apprenticing with Matt Drudge) and a haven for people who think Fox News is too polite and restrained.

[…]

As befits someone with his peripatetic background, Bannon is a kind of Jekyll-and-Hyde figure in the complicated ecosystem of the right—he’s two things at once. And he’s devised a method to influence politics that marries the old-style attack journalism of Breitbart.com, which helped drive out Boehner, with a more sophisticated approach, conducted through the nonprofit Government Accountability Institute, that builds rigorous, fact-based indictments against major politicians, then partners with mainstream media outlets conservatives typically despise to disseminate those findings to the broadest audience. The biggest product of this system is the project Bannon was so excited about at CPAC: the bestselling investigative book, written by GAI’s president, Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

[…]

While attacking the favored candidates in both parties at once may seem odd, Bannon says he’s motivated by the same populist disgust with Washington that’s animating candidates from Trump to Bernie Sanders. Like both, Bannon is having a bigger influence than anyone could have reasonably expected. But in the Year of the Outsider, it’s perhaps fitting that a figure like Bannon, whom nobody saw coming, would roil the national political debate.

[…]

For Bannon, the Clinton Cash uproar validated a personal theory, informed by his Goldman Sachs experience, about how conservatives can influence the media and why they failed the last time a Clinton was running for the White House. “In the 1990s,” he told me, “conservative media couldn’t take down [Bill] Clinton because most of what they produced was punditry and opinion, and they always oversold the conclusion: ‘It’s clearly impeachable!’ So they wound up talking to themselves in an echo chamber.” What news conservatives did produce, such as David Brock’s Troopergate investigation on Paula Jones in the American Spectator, was often tainted in the eyes of mainstream editors by its explicit partisan association.

In response, Bannon developed two related insights. “One of the things Goldman teaches you is, don’t be the first guy through the door because you’re going to get all the arrows. If it’s junk bonds, let Michael Milken lead the way,” he says. “Goldman would never lead in any product. Find a business partner.” His other insight was that the reporters staffing the investigative units of major newspapers aren’t the liberal ideologues of conservative fever dreams but kindred souls who could be recruited into his larger enterprise. “What you realize hanging out with investigative reporters is that, while they may be personally liberal, they don’t let that get in the way of a good story,” he says. “And if you bring them a real story built on facts, they’re f—ing badasses, and they’re fair.” Recently, I met with Brock, who renounced conservatism and became an important liberal strategist, fundraiser, and Clinton ally. He founded the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America and just published a book, Killing The Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government. Brock’s attitude toward Bannon isn’t enmity toward an ideological opponent, as I’d expected, but rather a curiosity and professional respect for the tradecraft Bannon demonstrated in advancing the Clinton Cash narrative. What conservatives learned in the ’90s, Brock says, is that “your operation isn’t going to succeed if you don’t cross the barrier into the mainstream.” Back then, he says, conservative reporting had to undergo an elaborate laundering to influence U.S. politics. Reporters such as Brock would publish in small magazines and websites, then try to get their story planted in the British tabloids and hope a right-leaning U.S. outlet such as the New York Post or the Drudge Report picked it up. If it generated enough heat, it might break through to a mainstream paper.

“It seems to me,” says Brock of Bannon and his team, “what they were able to do in this deal with the Times is the same strategy, but more sophisticated and potentially more effective and damaging because of the reputation of the Times. If you were trying to create doubt and qualms about [Hillary Clinton] among progressives, the Times is the place to do it.” He pauses. “Looking at it from their point of view, the Times is the perfect host body for the virus.”

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 12-18 oktober 2015.

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INFLYTANDE | Bröderna Koch är ägare till USA:s näst största privata företag. Sedan 1970-talet ägnar man sig även åt politisk påverkan.

Fobes 24

I det senaste valet drev man en mycket aktiv anti-Obama kampanj. En av de organisationer som har varit aktivt involverade i opinionsbildningen är Americans for Prosperity som startades av David Koch 2004.

The Huffington Post rapporterade i februari 2012 att Charles Koch själv lovade bidra med 40 miljoner dollar för att besegra Barack Obama.

På senaste listan över ”The World’s Most Powerful People – som sammanställs av tidskriften Forbes – hamnar bröderna på plats 41.

Trots valförlusten ser det inte ut som om bröderna kommer att ge upp. Nu skall man analysera valet för att lära sig vad som gick fel.

Daniel Fisher skriver i Forbes:

Charles’ many critics on the left–including the President of the United States–accuse him of accumulating too much power and using it to promote his own economic interests through a network of secretive organizations they call the “Kochtopus.” Ironically, the Koch brothers believe they’re fighting against power, at least in the political realm. For the Kochs the real power is central government, which can tax entire industries into oblivion, force a citizen to buy health insurance and bring mighty corporations like Koch Industries to heel.

“Most power is power to coerce somebody,” says Charles, in a voice that sounds like Jimmy Stewart with a Kansas twang. “We don’t have the power to coerce anybody.”

The November elections–which David, in a separate interview shortly after the results were finalized, termed “bitterly disappointing”–seem to confirm Charles’ last point. Not even the Koch brothers, who spent tens of millions of dollars during this election cycle (they won’t disclose the exact amount) funding direct political contributions and issue-driven “nonprofits,” could coerce voters to back their candidates. Mitt Romney’s loss was a huge blow to them, both in terms of likely policy outcomes and personal reputation.

But those who think the brothers, older and chastened, will now fade away don’t understand the Kochs. Not a bit. Obama’s victory was just a blip on a master plan measured in decades, not election cycles. “We raised a lot of money and mobilized an awful lot of people, and we lost, plain and simple,” says David. “We’re going to study what worked, what didn’t work, and improve our efforts in the future. We’re not going to roll over and play dead.”

[…]

So their revolution has been an evolution, with roots going back half a century to Koch’s first contributions to libertarian causes and Republican candidates. In the mid-1970s their business of changing minds got more formal when Charles cofounded what became the Cato Institute, the first major libertarian think tank. Based in Washington, it has 120 employees devoted to promoting property rights, educational choice and economic freedom. In 1978 the brothers helped found–and still fund–George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, the go-to academy for deregulation; they have funded the Federalist Society, which shapes conservative judicial thinking; the pro-market Heritage Foundation; a California-based center skeptical of human-driven climate change; and many other institutions.

All of these organizations, unknown to 99% of the population, and their common source of support, unknown to most of the rest, have provided the grist for conservative thinking since Reagan.

[…]

While Charles, more diplomatic as the steward of the business, avoids throwing partisan bombshells, David, who lives in New York City and whose main activities surround philanthropy and politics, is less shy. And he has a message for anyone who thinks the Kochs won’t be a factor in 2016 and beyond: “We’re going to fight the battle as long as we breathe. We want to bequeath to our children a better and more prosperous America.” That means more of the same tactics, as well as whatever new ones election lawyers cook up.

Läs mer: “Bad Blood: Meet Bill And Frederick, The Other Kochs” i Forbes och “Charts: How Much Have the Kochs Spent on the 2012 Election?” i Mother Jones.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget är Forbes den 14 december 2012.

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wash38_smallINFLYTANDE: Ken Silverstein, Washington redaktör för Harper´s Magazine, har nyligen utkommit med boken Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship.

I boken (en första version publicerades i tidskriften Harper´s) beskriver Silverstein hur han kontaktade en rad lobbyfirmer i Washington DC för att se om man ville jobba för stalinistdiktaturen Turkmenistan.

Silverstein låtsades representera en fiktiv London baserad investeringsgrupp med intressen i landet. Det visade sig inte vara speciellt svårt att få lobbyisterna att nappa på förslaget att förbättra diktaturens image och inflytande i USA.

Bland annat lobbyistfirmorna APCO och Cassidy & Associates visade stort intresse.

[E]ven the best-endowed regimes need help navigating the shoals of Washington and it is their great fortune that, for the right price, countless lobbyists are willing to steer even the foulest of ships.

Enligt Silverstein har amerikanska lobbyister arbetat för diktaturer åtminstone sedan 30-talet när PR experten Ivy Lee – via en firman German Dye Trust – hade kontrakt med nazistregimen i Berlin.

Bara för att nämna några få andra har Jefferson Waterman International jobbat för regimen i Burma och Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly hade på sin tid kontrakt med motståndsledaren Jonas Savimbi i Angola. Patton Boggs har jobbat för Kamerun och Carmen Group för Kazakstan osv. osv. (Kuriosa: Patton Boggs har även representerat Sverige.)

Även andra har använt sig av Wallraffande för att kunna skriva om lobbyfirmornas arbete för olika diktaturer. The Sunday Time gjorde nyligen detsamma med Stephen Payne, en lobbyist som tidigare jobbade för Bush administrationen.

En reporter på tidningen låtsades representera Kurdistans expresident och Payne föreslog bland annat;

Well, why don´t you make a donation to the Bush Library?

Enligt Silverstein är klimatet i maktens Washington DC helt annorlunda än i övriga delar av landet;

If you went to a cocktail party in many parts of the country and you talked about representing the government of Turkmenistan – ‘Yeah, well, this is what I do for a living. I get up in the morning, go to work and lobby for dictators’ – most people would find that that morally repugnant. But in Washington you talk about it without fear of embarrassment.

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