Emma Gilpin

December 3, 2007

Emma Gilpin (Jacobs) was the former Communications and Public Affairs Director with TIME Inc: the world’s largest magazine publisher, which is a division of Time Warner, the world’s biggest media company. She was also Director of Public Affairs for Fortune Europe. She is an adviser to Editorial Intelligence and now The Financial Times global communications director.

Gilpin described Julia Hobsbawm as: “The networker’s networker with the best little black book in London.” Doesn’t every hustler have the best litte black book? So what kind of experience can Emma bring to EI?

Wondering aloud

The first thing is that there is no need for an Orwellian memory hole to incinerate the past — the contemporary shredder is fine. It has not been easy for TIME to uphold the official version of history over a long period, and there have a been a few slips along the way, many would argue that TIME’s not really changed since the heady days of the 1934 cover with Adolf Hitler and an article called “Herr Hitler: Is He Serious or Just Having Fun?” Hitler is dubbed “iconic” by TIME because he “epitomises the way politics is now discussed in the Munich beer halls.” Throughout the cover story, TIME presented instances where Hitler had been allegedly misunderstood or under appreciated. Hitler, it claimed, “likes to shock reporters by wondering aloud whether Germany might be better off if the world was rid of global lice like Slavs, gypsies and Jews” but writes or speaks such things “only to get a rise out of journalists” and enhance his political profile. Lesson number two — never undersell the client.

But that was a long time ago… and anyway there’s no such thing as bad publicity isn’t there? Let’s fast forward to Martin Luther King. TIME, which three years before had named him their “Person of the Year,” declared that his antiwar speech “sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi.” But that was ages ago. Fast forward to 1994 when TIME published an edition featuring an altered mug shot of OJ Simpson which darkened his face making it more ‘artful’.

Normalising the unthinkable

TIME became part of TIME Warner in 1989 when Warner Communications and TIME, Inc. merged. Since 2000, the magazine has been part of AOL Time Warner, which subsequently reverted to the name TIME Warner in 2003.

It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to “normalise the unthinkable for the general public” as Edward S. Herman put it. TIME has been a major player in advancing the politics of the U.S. corporate interests which it serves no matter where they lead us. One of TIME’s Corporate Directors, Jim Barksdale was appointed to President’ Bush’s cronie-laden Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board whose Intelligence Oversight Board advises the President on the legality of foreign intelligence activities. They were the first to exonerate Bush over the falsification of evidence relating to the existence of WMD. He is also a co-chair of the Markle Foundation a ‘Task Force on National Security in the Information Age’ operating out of Rockefeller Plaza. This has an impressive array of propagandists.

“According to the White House, the intelligence advisory board offers the president “objective, expert advice” on the conduct of foreign intelligence, as well as any deficiencies in its collection, analysis and reporting. Created during the Eisenhower administration, the board has played a role in determining the structure of the intelligence community. Indeed, its members have been considered important presidential advisers, receiving the highest level security clearance and issuing classified reports and advice to the president.”

TIME’s Jessica P. Einhorn, currently serves as Dean of The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. Einhorn is also a former director of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former managing director (succeeding Paul Wolfowitz) at the World Bank. She is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, and a consultant with Clark & Weinstock , a Washington public affairs firm, engaged in high level lobbying. Einhorn serves on the boards of directors of Pitney Bowes and the Center for Global Development. She also chairs the Global Advisory Board of J.E. Robert Companies ‘A fully integrated global real estate investment management company’. She is a trustee for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and a director of the Institute for International Economics and a former trustee of the German Marshall Fund still re-modelling Europe in the present day.

TIME’s Carla Anderson Hills served as U.S. Trade Representative from 1989 to 1993 under President George Herbert Walker Bush. An advocate of free trade, she was the primary U.S. negotiator of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Also Vice Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, ChevronTexaco, Hills & Company (International Consultants), Lucent Technologies Inc. , Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Trustee of the Council of the Americas [http://www.counciloftheamericas.org/] and member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for International Economics.

The shaping of news and views

One insider wrote of TIME:

“For all its tirades against Big Government, Time is a perfect example of a stultifying bureaucracy. The monotonous advocacy of laissez-faire mythology is partially due, as one writer puts it, to a ‘conspiracy of obsequiousness’ at the magazine — the constant tendency to play it safe. ‘Eighty per cent of the effort each week is spent trying to avoid problems,’ says another Time veteran. ‘The nuances of politics, the unconventional perspective, the diversity of opinion are left out because they present problems. It’s always easier to fit things to what you think the top editors will want.’ The bureaucratic system, coupled with its knee-jerk adulation of its corporate brethren, has been the source of Time’s relentless weakness as a purveyor of current events.”

Emma Gilpin’s job was to promote a more upbeat version of events and to parade TIME and FORTUNE as crusaders, such as in this press release from 2004:

“FORTUNE magazine won three awards last night at the Business Journalist of the Year awards, held at the London Guildhall. FORTUNE won the British American Tobacco Award for the Best Fast Moving Consumer Goods Submission for Nicholas Stein’s story: Crisis in a Coffee Cup.”

Perhaps a follow-up on lung cancer might not do so well.

But its not all PR spin:

“AccountAbility and csr network have signed an exclusive deal, which will see their Accountability Rating 2005 published in September in the world’s leading global business magazine, FORTUNE. The Accountability Rating, now in its second year, measures how well “or how badly“ the world’s top companies account for their impacts on society and the environment. The ranking is defined by using the Global 100 (G-100) companies, as compiled by FORTUNE.”

Yes how about that all you anti-globalisation protestors! A full blown Accountability Rating. And what’s more: “Scores are built up by detailed analysis of companies’ performance under six domains: stakeholder engagement, governance, strategic intent, performance management, assurance and public disclosure. BP headed the table in 2004, followed closely by Suez and then Royal Dutch/Shell Group.”

No, sorry, it is all just PR spin.

Gilpin quit TIME to join MTV in 2005.


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