Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Trib's PR mode on global warming

I'm in PR and I have to give the Chicago Tribune's Michael Hawthorne credit. He's skilled at the kind of loaded phraseology that we admire in PR.

Hawthorne has coined the phrase "global warming pollution" to adorn his page one story this morning saying the big bad oil companies will emit more pollution in the future as their refineries expand.

Global-warming pollution from Midwest oil refineries is expected to soar by as much as 40 percent during the next decade, a dramatic increase that runs counter to regional and national efforts to curb heat-trapping gases

We'll be looking for Hawthorne to use that phrase consistently. To be fair, he ought to use that phrase to describe any increased activity in any industry, including Hollywood, the newspaper business, etc. as increasing "global warming pollution."

The story also exhibits another integral trait of good PR writing: the absence of an opposing point-of-view. It is devoid of any scientific disagreement on the extent of causation between carbon emissions and global warming, and there's plenty.

If the Tribune continues sputtering financially and Hawthorne is looking for another job, I'm sure one of the many George Soros-funded left-wing organizations would be glad to have him.

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