Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation, Spin
Clean Coal for Christmas
by Sheldon Rampton
Center for Media and Democracy / PRWatch.org
December 11, 2008
Viral emails have become a pleasant staple of the holiday season. A couple of weeks ago, I sent one myself to a few friends and family — an “Elf Yourself” video featuring me with my wife and one of our cats. (You can find it on my personal website if you’re interested.) “Elf Yourself” includes an understated advertising message for its sponsor, OfficeMax, but the dancing elves are kind of cute, and I figured my loved ones are strong enough to handle an occasional bit of commercialism.
It’s a different story, though, with the “Clean coal carolers” video shown here that was just released by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a front group for the coal industry. This latest PR ploy features animated lumps of coal singing Christmas carols with the wording changed to deliver pro-coal propaganda.
The “Clean coal carolers” video appears on the ACCCE website, which lets you adorn each lump of coal with a festive holiday cap or scarf, and then have them sing a song of your choosing, from options that include “Clean Coal Night,” “Abundant, Affordable,” “O’ Technology” and “Deck the Halls.” Here’s a sample of the lyrics to “Frosty the Coalman”: (more…)