How to handle a media smear attack

Many of our readers are political activists of one form or another and independent bloggers. If you’ve been doing this for a few years, chances are you or someone you know has been the victim of a media smear attack. Unless you have extra money laying around to hire a lawyer or already have a publicity agent, there is almost no information out there in the public domain on this subject. This four-part video presentation by film critic, Rob Ager, contains a wealth of practical information that I hope our readers will find informative and helpful.

I think Mr. Ager’s first two points are essential. Here’s my rough synopsis:

1. Establish a paper trail and keep notes. Don’t just try to handle a problem over the phone. Email works but you’ll want to be prepared to print important emails.

2. Neutralize the source of the smear. Within 24 hours, contact the source of the false information and request that they remove the article until you have a chance to respond. Find out what the law is and try to reference a law. At the very least, email the author and editor and indicate that they will be responsible for spreading lies about you if they don’t include your response in their article. Don’t be afraid to request that the author include your statement near the opening of the article. Remember, most people just read headlines and very few ever read till the end of an article.

Full disclosure–no, not about aliens…Rob Ager has been known to dabble in conspiracy theories, but regardless, his analysis is always thoughtful and entertaining. I’m a big fan of his film analysis. Even when it’s over-the-top, it’s creative and thought provoking. For example, did you ever think for a moment that Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” could have a hidden meaning about the Federal Reserve/Gold Standard? Don’t fall too far down the rabbit hole…

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