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A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS

John McCain and three fellow Republicans chose the Shorja market as the location for their publicity stunt. Their bragging rights for spending an hour in the same location as a February bombing that killed 71 people was supposed to show the world that the "surge" strategy is working.

But just hours after their visit, the snipers are back in Shorja and 21 Shiites - all employed in the market - were abducted and killed on their way home from work. Six more kidnapped workers are still missing.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Ben Cohen

It's the high season for budget debates in Washington DC, and this means big numbers are flying around like the lids of ice cream containers at the old Ben and Jerry's factory in Burlington, where we used to throw them at each other.

Monday, 02 April 2007 05:51

BuzzFlash Mailbag for April 2, 2007

BUZZFLASH MAILBAG

Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts with other Mailbag readers by clicking here.

Subject: Gonzales Replacement

Monday, 02 April 2007 04:33

Larry Beinhart: Ah, Alberto Gonzales

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Larry Beinhart

About a year from now, pundits and instant historians will point back at the firing of the federal prosecutors and say, "That's where the impeachment began."

BARBARA'S DAILY BUZZFLASH MINUTE

Wake up and smell the coup -- this is another brick in the foundation of the Bush road to FACSISM! "Prosecutor Posts Go To Bush Insiders." Karl Rove has his eyes on the prize and there is no relenting, their plan is to establish the Fourth Reich and rule the world!!! And because some thought "never again" could ever happen again, it is happening all over again!

Monday, 02 April 2007 02:49

Martha Rosenberg: Armed and Sniveling

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

Ever notice how NRA initiatives always sound like the boy who killed his parents and cried "I'm an orphan"?

She graduated from Messiah College where alcohol
Is not allowed on campus at any hour
And yet not long after her arrival in Washington
She soon became drunk with power.

 

WORLD MEDIA WATCH

Summaries are excerpted from the source articles; the featured article follows the summary section. A recommended "site of the day" will also appear occasionally following the summaries.

Monday, 02 April 2007 00:40

Irwin Wingo: A Plea to Iran

A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by Irwin Wingo

Let us hope Iran has the wisdom and compassion to return the 15 British sailors safe and sound to their comrades. Further, let us hope the returned sailors and their comrades are all conveyed posthaste from this troubled part of the Earth and returned to their homes and loved ones.

THOM HARTMANN'S "INDEPENDENT THINKER" BOOK OF THE MONTH REVIEW

The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook
by Joseph Sugarman, reviewed by Thom Hartmann

Want to use the written word -- from a blog to email to articles to op-eds to pretty much any written format you can imagine -- to change the world? Joe Sugarman will teach you how.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that I owe much of the quality of the life I currently have to Joe Sugarman.

Back in the mid-1970s, he was one of America's most famous advertising copywriters and I was a twenty-something partner in a small Michigan advertising agency. I attended a workshop that Joe taught, and it quite literally changed my life. Joe gave me my first real keys to the kingdom of communication, and I've made a living using them ever since.

While the passage of 30-some years since that time has dimmed my memory of when and where I was listening to Joe, I remember well many of his lessons. One of the first was to understand that good advertising copy is one of the most elegant forms of communication. It's designed to produce a change in a person's thinking and, most importantly, an immediate change in their behavior.

The same is true of the most effective political writing, whether it be that of Karl Marx, Barry Goldwater, or conservative strategist Richard Viguerie (who was also a student of Joe's).

I remember Joe telling us that the most common mistake of writers of all stripes (particularly advertising copywriters) is thinking that they're writing to an audience. He said that when writing copy, one should imagine a person you know, who you like, and who would be interested in the topic (product) of your writing. And then write it as a letter, even if you have to insert a personal preamble that you later delete.

I've used (and advocated) his technique for years, writing everything from advertising copy for some of America's largest corporations, to strategic communications, to hundreds of published articles and 19 books currently in print.

You can find the essence of Joe's advice about writing in a personal way in Chapter 15 of his book The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook. But that's just the beginning. And even though Joe's book is entirely about marketing and advertising copy, the lessons are important -- crucial -- for political activists.

Political persuasion is simply a variation on commercial persuasion (assuming that historically the latter preceded the former). The tools that make you a good marketer are the tools that work in politics as well.

In that context, The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook is one of the most valuable tools political activists will ever encounter.

In doing research and show-prep for my daily talk radio show, I encounter lousy political communication at least a half-dozen to a dozen times a day. Activists who don't know how to condense what they're saying into an easily-understood form. Activists who bury the lede. Activists who try to "sell" the details of policies rather than their benefits.

If you want to know how to be an effective communicator in print -- from writing letters to members of Congress to writing posters for the upcoming march to writing your blog -- Joe Sugarman is the man to teach you. Just mentally transform his "sales and marketing" examples into political examples -- it's surprisingly easy -- and you'll be brilliant.

As odd and offbeat as it may seem, Joe Sugarman's AdWeek Copywriting Handbook should be in the library of every political activist (and already is in those of many conservatives, starting with Viguerie). Learn what they know -- buy it now!

THOM HARTMANN'S "INDEPENDENT THINKER" BOOK OF THE MONTH REVIEW

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