Re: WTO declares hatred for RTMark

From Legba Carrefour <>
Date Wed, 01 Dec 1999 23:43:46 -0500

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Okay, this is irritating. While I do think the WTO is greatly flawed and
I do find it's criticism of someone's use of parody to excercism free
speech is absolutely deplorable, this press release stinks.

First of all, it would be appreciated if you put in BIG BOLD LETTERS
that this is a press release and that the sender of this is affiliated
with the organization that the WTO is criticizing. This is presented as
some sort of unbiased news report (which most press releases do) and
absolutely no REAL identification of who wrote it is made. 

To you, the sender of this press release, you have a duty to tell us who
wrote this, what your biases are, and to not try and pass this off as
some sort of piece of objective journalism. To do so is rude and

My other complaint is that this is a MAILING LIST. People come here to
discuss issues, not to receive spam and propaganda which is exactly what
this is. If you have an opinion to put forth, do what the rest of us do:
post a normal message. Not this press release crap.

However noble your intentions or correct your point of view, this is a
disservice to everyone on this list.

What I find most amusing is that you proclaim to be an organization that
has as its goal "RTMark's principal aim is to publicize corporate abuses
of democratic processes." Well, while I agree with you and I like the
web page (I thought the Giuliani one was especially clever), but this
press release sort of goes against your stated goals.

Legba Carrefour <>

> The World Trade Organization, the principal organization in charge
> of enforcing the rules of global commerce, has issued a press release
> stating that it is "deeply concerned" about RTMark's "illegal and
> unfair" website,
> In the release (, WTO
> Director-General Mike Moore accuses RTMark of attempting to
> "undermine WTO transparency" by copying the WTO website's design and
> using "domain names such as '' and page titles such as
> 'World Trade Organization / GATT Home Page' which make it difficult
> for visitors to realize that these are fake pages."
> RTMark spokesperson Ray Thomas says that, on the contrary,
> is much clearer than
> "Following any of the links--or reading any of the text--
> will make clear our interpretation of what the WTO is about, and
> that RTMark is behind the site. Mike Moore must have a very low
> opinion of people to think they won't figure it out."
> It is the WTO, according to Thomas, that is misleading. "They claim
> to be 'transparent' because their site includes thousands of
> official documents and the minutes of many meetings, but who could
> possibly have the patience to read any of that, besides corporate
> planners? All anyone actually sees is their bold declarations that
> they're 'delivering better living standards for everyone,' or
> somewhat bizarre assurances that 'The WTO is not a world government
> and no one has any intention of making it one'... but the site
> doesn't even mention the violent riots in Seattle, London, etc.,
> nor the reasons they're happening." [Links to news about the
> violence and some of its reasons can be found at]
> Thomas said that while the WTO admits on its front page the obvious
> truth that free trade has resulted in environmental catastrophe--
> "The growing world economy has been accompanied by environmental
> degradation, including deforestation, losses in bio-diversity,
> global warming, air pollution, depletion of the ozone layer,
> overfishing and so on"--this openness is illusory.
> " says that the WTO response to environmental catastrophe
> is to do 'new studies,'" said Thomas. "But as you can read at
>, what Moore says in the press is that freer trade will
> lead to higher living standards, which will in turn make for a
> cleaner environment. It's incredibly bad logic at every step,
> and it's what has created this disaster in the first place."
> Explaining this sort of trickery is's reason for being, said
> Thomas. "We're just making the WTO a little bit more transparent--for
> example, to help explain why the WTO prevents democratic governments
> from imposing sanctions based on human rights abuses, or from
> including economics in their foreign policy at all."
> RTMark found out about the WTO release, dated November 23, from Jean-
> Guy Carrier, the WTO's Manager of Information Technologies for
> Development. In an e-mail dated November 24, Carrier writes:
> "Greetings, to be accurate you should update your WTO clone site to
> include the text of the news release deploring efforts such as your
> to confuse the public. Any honest group with information and sincere
> views to convey usually does so without having recourse to
> subterfuge and deception.  Others such as yourselves consider they
> are above all that. Too bad." In another, to a news service
> advertised on the site, Carrier encourages the service to
> withdraw its sponsorship; in another one week later, he accuses
> RTMark of having "little regard for any law." (Carrier can be
> reached at
> Director-General Moore shows a similar tone in the release: "It's
> ironic that while the WTO is accused of lacking transparency, some
> critics who put out misleading or false information are camouflaging
> their identities."
> Thomas says that by accusing RTMark of not playing by the rules,
> Moore and Carrier seem to be implying that the WTO and RTMark are
> equal opponents in the same game. "We're supremely flattered that
> the WTO is acting as if RTMark were its equal," said Thomas, "but
> it's ironic that they're so upset. Despite the neo-liberal myth of
> equal opportunity for all, the WTO is not enjoying this little
> dialogue. They'd rather just shut us up."
> is not the first time that RTMark (
> has used website imitation to render an entity more transparent.
> RTMark has performed the same service for George W. Bush (with
>, archived at, Rudy Giuliani
> (, Shell Oil (, and
> others. RTMark's principal aim is to publicize corporate abuses of
> democratic processes.
>                      # 30 #
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