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Letter: Distorting public discourse

Re “Animal videotaping bill will help stop cruelty” (Monitor letter, Sept. 21):

Will Coggin, senior researcher at the Center for Consumer Freedom is everywhere: the Concord Monitor, Chattanoogan.com in Tennessee, starpress.com in Indiana, the Washington Times in D.C., the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska. Wow, what a prolific researcher looking after the best interest of abused animals.

Well, not exactly.

Coggin works for Richard Berman, the public relations executive who runs a laundry list of tax-exempt front groups that put out flawed studies, letters to the editors, articles and ads designed to protect the interests of his wealthy clients (big ag, alcohol, restaurant and miscellaneous food companies) at the expense of the public health, animal safety and the environment. Berman’s strategy of creating a conga line of nonprofits allows his corporate sponsors to manipulate the legislative process, undermine experts and/or distort the public discourse while appearing to be disengaged from the fight du jour.

(Berman’s nonprofit scheme means large corporate donations are laundered through his tax-exempt groups, ensuring little to no blow back on his “donors” as folks react to his aggressive misinformation campaigns.)

So I have an idea: Anytime you see the names American Beverage Institute, Center for Union Facts, Enterprise Action Committee, Humanewatch.org, HowMuchFish.com, eon4u.org, Sweetscam, DefeatTheDebt.com, IncomeTaxFacts.org, Sunlightscam.com, Activistcash.com, Employment Policies Institute Foundation and of course the Center for Consumer Freedom (there are more but I am exhausted), just think the opposite of what they are shoveling your way and you will know “what is best for you,” the environment or animal welfare.

ARNIE ARNESEN

Concord

Sometimes the best way to know what a bill is really about is not just to know who is against it but who is FOR it.

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