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Calling John Rendon

by SHELDON RAMPTON

John Rendon is CEO of the Rendon Group, a secretive public relations firm
that often provides behind-the-scenes advice to the U.S. military. Over the
years, we’ve received dozens of phone calls from journalists who have sought
interviews with Rendon about his work on behalf of the Iraqi National
Congress, but no one has been able to get him to say more than “no comment.”

We were a little surprised, therefore, when a telephone message was left for
Rendon in our office by someone identifying himself as a lieutenant colonel
in the U.S. Air Force. A transcript of that message is as follows:

“Hi, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Mike O’Brien at General Robert Elder’s office
at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. I’m calling for Mr. Rendon. Sir, if
you could give me a ring here concerning, uhh, the engagement on the Second
of February? It pertains to whether or not General Elder will be available
to be here during your time here. And, if you could, give me a ring please
at Area Code (PHONE NUMBER OMITTED).

Lieutenant Colonel Mike O’Brien. Again, Second of February. That’s a
Wednesday. And, uhh, appreciate it sir. Thank you very much. Buh-bye.”

Why would O’Brien think to call the office of the Center for Media and
Democracy? Occasionally we get calls or email from people who visit our
Disinfopedia and mistakenly assume that we are affiliated with the
organizations and individuals profiled there. We’ve done what we can to
design the site so that these misunderstandings are rare, but mistakes do
happen — especially, it seems, when dealing with that oxymoron known as
“military intelligence.” (And if this is indeed an example of that sort of
misunderstanding, it’s all the more odd since our Disinfopedia article on
the Rendon Group lists its phone number in the “contact information”
section, while our own phone number appears nowhere on the page.)

In any case, Lt. Col. O’Brien can rest assured that we’ll give Rendon his
message personally — just as soon as he phones our office.

SHELDON RAMPTON works for the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information about the Center, visit their website at www.prwatch.org. For more information about his latest book, co-authored by John Stauber, visit www.bananarepublicans.org.

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