Book review of Trust Us We're Experts by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber.

Essay by wesleywilliamUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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In an era of blatant disregard for journalistic objectivity, alleged vast right-wing conspiracies and the myriad books that attempt to enlighten the average citizen of the evils of corporate America, advertising, media bias and any form of sensible government, we have yet another boogey-man exposé by the editors of PR Watch: Trust Us We're Experts by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber.

In the true spirit of "The X Files" and yellow journalism, Rampton and Stauber (a.k.a. Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully) set out to prove that behind every successful corporation in the United States, is an infinite network of diabolical wizardry attempting to "pull one over" on the innocently misinformed American public. In fact, by their account there is a conspiracy of public relations firms, billionaire sugar daddies and scientists for hire, all with one thing in common: their insatiable greed and disregard for the American public's best interest.

This idea of conspiracy is not new of course, the DNC and Clinton administration have been crying wolf since the Lewinsky scandal of 1998. This notion of conspiracy theory is basically an agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act. An act of conspiracy is exactly the way to describe American Communists and their fellow travelers, who did everything from infiltrating government to stealing the secrets of the atom bomb. Every now and again we hear about people who reveal insightful conspiracy theories that Wall Street is planning another depression, or that AIDS was an invention of the CIA to arrest the growth of the African American population.

Trust Us offers examples ad nauseam of these sorts of conspiracy shenanigans, but essentially becomes a repetitive list of treacherous acts performed by some members of the PR industry. In short, the book is completely anti-corporate and almost entirely...