Saturday, June 28, 2008

Georgia Representative's Letters to the Editor Banned

According to the Telegraph, until further notice, letters from Rep. Allen Freeman (R), Macon, are not welcome on the "Viewpoints" page. Why? Because he misled the newspaper and the public by claiming as his own work a canned letter prepared by Calypso Communications, a public relations firm representing a biofuel company, Green Earth Fuels of Houston, Texas-an industry Freeman, as chair of a study committee on biofuels, is supposed to be objectively evaluating-not shilling for. By the way, according to information on the company website, in October of 2007, Green Earth hired Calypso to help package and position the company for a public offering in the next twelve months. These "media kits" and contacts with elected officials are part of that marketing strategy. Why Freeman allowed himself to be used this way is a great question and one that deserves more attention. You have to ask yourself why a Georgia politician was willing to front for this Texas company.

FYI, Freeman's letter actually ran twelve days ago, and I suspected that it was copied as soon as I read it. Anyone who read it would've suspected the same thing. Fifteen minutes of googling confirmed by suspicions. I wrote about it here and provided the Telegraph a copy of my research on that same day. Phil Dodson responded to me by saying that the paper had taken steps to make sure that it did not happen again. I guess now we know what those steps were.

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