NYT presents a candid discussion of oil-and-gas lobbyists’ strategy: “win ugly”

In what might be analogized to Mitt Romeny's infamous 47-percent remark, veteran lobbyist Richard Berman advised oil and gas companies to pursue smear campaigns to discredit environmental activists, according to a recent New York Times story on a secretly-recorded speech Berman made to industry executives in June.

This paragraph from the Times story gives a flavor of the speech:

The company executives, Mr. Berman said in his speech, must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

According to the Times, Berman recommended that the industry "[u]se humor to minimize or marginalize the people on the other side." Responding to concerns about identifying the source of the funding for such campaigns, Berman said (according to the Times), "We run all of this stuff through nonprofit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors. There is total anonymity."

The whole article is worth a read, here.

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