Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rick Perry's Trevino Involved In Malaysian Government Propaganda Blogging Campaign

The  Malaysian Government Propaganda scandal  has reached the US.
In the context of this story Tammy Bruce's words four days ago (in the video below) get a very specific meaning:
"you've got Michel Malkin who is never a paid blogger when it comes to a candidate, and she is free to be able to speak her mind, you can't say that about everyone"
The launch of the Rick Perry campaign was also the launch of a Rick Perry's promotion film by Michael Wilson. Initially Josh Trevino had suggested to produce this film, Wilson said
“and from there, it just came from the heart.”
Josh Trevino, longtime RedState contributor and covert strategist for the Rick Perry campaign, has received considerable "blowback" for labeling Michelle Malkin “insane“ and “fringe” to criticize Texas Gov. Rick Perry. As one Herman Cain supporter explains his sentiments:
"I was offended by the Perry campaign’s roll-out, a deliberate diss to the Ames Straw Poll.....My out-front support of Herman Cain might suffice to explain my resentment of the Perrybots, but really: Don’t supporters of other candidates — Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, et al. — also have a legitimate grievance at being told that Perry is beyond criticism?

They’ve been out out there getting chewed up every day for months, and suddenly they’re just supposed to acclaim the Anointed One? Because Red State says so?"
However, Josh Trevino isn't just picking up resentment for his tricks in US politics.
Whistleblower website Sarawak Report has revealed the contents of the contract between international public relations firm FBC Media and Taib Mahmud for the campaign to whitewash the Malaysian chief minister's image abroad.
The United Kingdom's media regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), is looking into allegations that Malaysia paid millions of pounds to FBC Media to burnish its international image through news programmes on the BBC.
In a statement carried by The Independent, the BBC said:
"FBC has now admitted to the BBC it has worked for the Malaysian government. That information was not disclosed to the BBC, as we believe it should have been, when the BBC contracted programming from FBC. Given this, the BBC has decided to transmit no more programming from FBC, while it reviews its relationship with the company."
Broadcasters including CNN and CNBC have also been scrambling to contain any potential damage from airing of FBC programmes. Online magazine The Atlantic has launched an internal inquiry into connections with the British public relations firm:
“The magazine also said Justin Smith, president of Atlantic Media Co., has resigned from the board of FBC Media, the firm at the centre of a controversy over whether it improperly mixed its journalism and PR businesses. It was Smith who connected FBC Media with The Atlantic”
The website Saraweko initial report also claims they have “established clear links between FBC Media and a US blogger Josh Trevino, known for his attacks on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Sarawak Report:
"Trevino has posted recent pro-BN articles attacking Anwar in the Washington Times, the UK’s Guardian newspaper, and the on-line Huffington Post . He has also placed articles on the same topic in Red State and New Ledger"
Josh Trevino's blogging campaign for FBC's Alan Friedman is described in detail on the Hornbill Unleashed blog:
"Sarawak Report has exclusive details of the contract agreed between FBC Media and Abdul Taib Mahmud, which includes a commitment to mastermind a cyber-war against online critics of the Chief Minister’s corrupt government, such as this blog.   
In his attached contract proposal, which amounted to a staggering $5 million for the first year alone, Friedman allocated $55,000 (RM165,000) per month just to the blogging operation. For this he was providing “Online digital strategy and blogging, site creation and management, blogging and articles, video reports on line”.
For another RM 138,000 per month Friedman added “in-bound press and blogger visits, press, foreign visit support, interview placement, writing, disseminating, media training, media analysis, mapping” services!"
One line catches my eye in that article:
"One month following Alan Friedman’s contract agreement with Taib Mahmud a new blog appeared …. called ‘Sarawak Report(s)’ ! This blog was clearly dedicated to trying to attack and criticise the genuine Sarawak Report. 
The new blog turned out to be a classic dirty tricks operation. It did not attempt to counter the investigative work of Sarawak Report, but instead tried to discredit the authors of the blog with defamatory accusations."
 Doesn't that sound familiar? As Stacy Drake tweeted two days ago:
"Someone just sent me a clip of discussing tactics used on Malkin I'm seeing a pattern here."


Ben Smith investigated the story july 28th and 29th 2011 , first Trevino claimed (off course) the story to be:
"completely false"
It turns out Josh Trevino has in fact invited bloggers to a free "once-in-a-lifetime" Malaysian junket, paid for by business interests associated with Malaysian politics.

Act for Malaysia wrote August 7: 
"Public evidence corroborates our information about Josh Trevino’s links with FBC Media. It also undermines attempts by the bloggers, such as Christopher Badeaux, to claim that the attacking articles are just volunteer work."
Former British prime minister Gordon Brown's sister in Law, Clare Rewcastle Brown, is a British investigative journalist. Born in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, she is the founder of Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak which are openly critical of the Barisan Nasional-led state government of Sarawak. She wrote june 29th on Josh Trevino's blogging campaign:
"According to research by this blog, the far Republican blog, New Ledger, has been hired by Taib to run a sustained defamation campaign against herself, which has implicated Brown."
"The purpose of placing such articles first into New Ledger, is so that they can then be presented in Sarawak Report(s) as if they were credible commentaries written by established journalists in the United States. We can show that in fact the writers of these articles are not established journalists, but rather PR writers hired by Taib. " 
"The bulk of New Ledger’s articles have little to do with matters of interest to local Americans, because they are largely focused on Malaysia, where so many of the articles are then reproduced"
One of the bloggers mentioned in this propaganda and defamation campaign against Clare Rewcastle Brown is Rachel Motte, who also blogs at Joe Carter's (who was hired by Huckabee's campaign in 2007) Evangelical Outpost.  

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