Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ralph, What Hast Thou Wrought?

Dear God,

On Sunday The Daily Beast posted a rogue's gallery of firms represented by the PR firm of Burson-Marsteller--which not too recently represented Entergy. Who knows, it might still represent Entergy? Burson-Marsteller is being deliciously vague about that.

According to The Daily Beast, Burson-Marsteller's other clients have included:

    The Nigerian Government. During 1967-1970 civil war, the rebel Biafrans accused Nigeria of conducting genocide as part of its winning strategy. (Nigeria had imposed blockades that starved the Biafrans, most of them Igbo people, in besieged areas.) Nigeria countered boldly and humanely. It hired Burson-Marsteller. But, hey, good things came out of the Biafra crisis. There was George Harrison's album, "All Things Must Pass." And there's Doctors Without Borders. In two-and-a-half years of war, about 1 million civilians died.

    General Motors. That pesky Ralph Nader. Long before he threw the 2000 presidential election to George Bush, he wrote a book called Unsafe at Any Speed. It was about GM's Corvette. Unsafe at Any Speed--and over 100 pending lawsuit--were driving down Corvette sales. Burson-Marsteller to the rescue.

    Romanian Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. This was during the 1970s, before he became so paranoid and delusional that Romania executed him.

    The Argentinian Junta, which in the late 1970s disappeared an estimated 13,000 leftists.

    Babcock and Wilcox, the designers of Three Mile Island.

    Union Carbide in the aftermath of the 1984 Bhopal Disaster.

    The Indonesian Government which, in 1991, hired Burson-Marsteller to boost its image after at least 250 East Timorese pro-independence demonstrators were shot by the military.

    Philip Morris.

    Monsanto, to help them brand GMO crops.

    Saudi Arabia, right after the 9/11 attacks, and right before it was revealed that 15 of the 19 airplane hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

    Blackwater, when their employees allegedly shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians.

    AIG when it almost tanked the U.S. economy.

You should really see the article, Lord. The photos alone are worth the click. I'm fairly sure Burson-Marsteller is no longer directing our Vermont Yankee efforts, though they did get us through our transformer fire and cooling tower collapse days. I'm kinda considering suggesting that it's time to once again sign up with these miracle workers ... but, really, what PR help do we need now? Yes, the New York Times, has reported that, in the wake of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi disaster, Germany may close its entire fleet of plants by 2021. Yes, Italy and Switzerland are stopping development of new plants. And, yes, Burson-Marsteller handled the arrest of our entire management staff superbly. But our PR needs are different now.

We've had a game change here, and public opinion no longer matters to us at all. Sure, tireless old ladies continue to SHUT DOWN VERMONT YANKEE and get hauled off to jail.

But it's the courts that will now decide the fate of Entergy Vermont Yankee. Pat Parenteau, senior counsel to the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, is premature in boasting that "There's no way the state should lose." Some day this case will be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. And I'm guessing that at least five of those judges have close friends who to this day splash about it in deep wells of gratitude for the divine interference that Burson-Marsteller arranged in one sordid matter or another.

Do you, indeed, work for ol' B-M, Lord? Some people in Vermont think you do. Anyway, it's a snap who Ralph Nader works for. No, not General Motors. Haven't you been paying attention? He works for Entergy! By handing the 2000 presidential election to George Bush he may have also handed a 20-year Certificate of Public Good to Entergy Vermont Yankee.



Update: Yikes! The old ladies are at it again! They just sent news of their recent action. On Friday, having chained and locked the Vermont Yankee gate, Julie Levy, 61, of Weathersfield, VT; Robin Lloyd, 72, of Burlington, VT: Nina Swaim, 73, of Sharon, VT; Betsy Corner, 63 of Colrain, MA; Frances Crowe, 92, of Northampton, MA; Marcia Gagliardi, 63, of Athol, MA; Jean Grossholtz, 82, of South Hadley, MA; Ellen Graves, 70, of West Springfield, MA; Hattie Nestel, 72, also of Athol, MA; Paki Wieland, 67, also of Northampton, MA; and Jennifer Wright, 64, of Unity, NH. They The eleven read the following statement after chaining the gate shut:

"We are here today to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant IMMEDIATELY and WITHOUT DELAY and FOR GOOD.

"We are appalled at the irresponsible action of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in granting Entergy permission to operate this dangerous facility for more than another twenty years.

"Because the federal government and Entergy will not honor the public good by shutting down Vermont Yankee, we must take this action and SHUT IT DOWN NOW.

"No more accidents.

"No more leaks

"No more lies.

"No more tax subsidies.

"No more.



1 comment:

rolf.parkerhoughton said...

Hey I enjoy your site. I have one small correction to point out.

Nader's book had a chapter that was critical of the Corvair, not the Corvette. See