The senator: “But what if you start tampering with the facts, twisting the truth to further a particular cause or client? You’ll wind up serving your client, but swindling the public.”
Eaton: “You’re saying…”
The senator: “I’m saying that taking public opinion is useful, making public opinion is dangerous. Alan, do you have any idea how many highly financed, full-time organizations we now have set up here in Washington to pressure Congress and government agencies for their particular groups and clients?”
Eaton: “The right of the people to petition the government…”
The senator: “No question about it. And that right must be maintained. But it’s a far cry from one citizen’s three-cent stamped appeal to the professionally packaged campaign, complete from fake front groups with high-sounding titles to pre-written laws ready for our signature and endorsement.”
Eaton: “If money still talks, senator, the little three-cent stamp must have a hard time being heard.”
That’s from The Fearmakers, a 1958 suspense melodrama starring Dana Andrews about the sinister side of public relations. Talk about your unheeded warnings.