Tagged: fake release

fake release

The following press release was sent out from GEnewscenters.com (rather than the real GEnewscenter.com) to a few hundred reporters on April 13, 2011. At least one bit—setting off a media firestorm.

GE Responds to Public Outcry - Will Donate Entire $3.2 Billion Tax Refund to Help Offset Cuts and Save American Jobs

Fairfield, CT, 13th April, 2011 - GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has informed the Obama administration that the company will be gifting its entire 2010 tax refund, worth $3.2 Billion, to the US Treasury on April 18, Tax Day, and will furthermore adopt a host of new policies that secure its position as a leader in corporate social responsibility.

"We want the public to know that we've heard them, and that we know many Americans are going through tough times," said GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt. "GE will therefore give our 2010 tax refund back to the public and allow the public to decide how to spend it."

Immelt acknowledged no wrongdoing. "All seven of our foreign tax havens are entirely legal," Immelt noted. "But Americans have made it clear that they deplore laws that enable tax avoidance. While we owe it to our shareholders to use every legal loophole to maximize returns - we also owe something to the American people. We didn't write the laws that let us legally avoid paying taxes. Congress did. But we benefit from those laws, and now we'd like to share those benefits. We are proud to be giving something back to America, and we are proud to set an example for all industry to follow."

Over the coming weeks, GE will conduct a nationwide survey to determine how the company's $3.2 billion returned refund is to be allocated. The survey will be conducted both online and offline, and will permit the public to weigh in on which of the recently-enacted budget cuts they would like to see reversed.

In tandem with the gift, the company is also announcing a host of new policies to restore public faith in the GE brand, including a commitment to keep American jobs in America, and to create one U.S. job for each new job created abroad. The ambitious plan will overhaul accounting systems to allow public transparency and phase out the use of tax havens in five years. "Given my recent appointment as President Obama's Chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, it is no longer appropriate for GE to engage in practices that, whether by fact or perception, are at odds with the greater good of the nation," Immelt said.

Immelt outlined several concrete steps he would take to push for modernized tax policies that reflect the realities of the global economy. "I will personally ask President Obama to work with Congress to require country-by-country reporting by multi-national corporations of the sales made, profits earned and taxes paid in every jurisdiction where an entity operates. Instead of moving money via 'transfer pricing,' corporations ought to pay taxes in the jurisdictions where profits are actually made. If Congress is able to establish standard industry-wide solutions, GE will close our tax haven operations abroad, including our subsidiaries in Bermuda, Singapore and Luxembourg."

Further details on GE's new policy will be released in the coming weeks.


Samuel Winnacker
GE Corporate, Assistant Director
Communications & Public Affairs
+1 615 375 6658


About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.

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These two releases were sent from a different domain (eg-gc.ca) from the first two (enviro-canada.ca), and they looked somewhat more official.

Canadian Government Deplores Spoof Releases, False Hopes

OTTAWA, Ont. -- December 14, 2009 -- One hour ago, a spoof press release targeted Canada in order to generate hurtful rumors and mislead the Conference of Parties on Canada's positions on climate change, and to damage Canada's standing with the international business community.

The release, from "press@enviro-canada.ca," alleges Canada's acceptance of unrealistic emissions-reduction targets, as well as a so-called "Climate Debt Mechanism," a bilateral agreement between Canada and Africa to furnish that continent with enormous sums in "reparation" for climate damage and to "offset" adaptation.

Unfortunately, the spoof release was reported in major international outlets.

The Office of the Environment Minister and Environment Canada confirm that this release and all statements within it are unequivocally false. Worse, they risk heavily damaging the negotiating process. Canada wishes to fully expose these efforts for the irresponsible deceit they represent, and shall seek the full measure of legal recourse against these criminals under Danish and international law.

Today as always, Canada's binding responsibility is to supply the world - including its burgeoning developing portion - with those means of transport, health, and sustenance that prosperous markets require. Stopping short of these dictates would violate the very principles upon which our nations were founded, and endanger our very development.

Canada's current energy policy represents an elegant synthesis of the most advanced science, while remaining faithful to Canada's tradition of political pragmatism. Experts note, for example, that the much-decried oil sands of Alberta, contrary to environmentalists' dire assertions, are enabling Canada to meet ambitious emissions goals by providing her, as well as her neighbors, with the energy resources needed to transition to a cleaner energy future.

"Without the dynamism of our oil sands industry," says Bruce Carson, a special Adviser to Environment Canada, "we in Canada would not have the energy - moral, financial and literal - to develop the alternative energy future the whole world craves."

"Canada's line may not always be popular, but we do feel the scientific and political assumptions we've inherited from the Kyoto Protocol no longer suit present physical or market realities, or a vigorous energy policy into the future," notes Michael Martin, Canada's chief negotiator in Copenhagen. "A 2006 baseline for emissions reduction targets, and a comprehensive re-examination of finance for developing countries in the context of a generous and efficient foreign-aid policy package, will guarantee an efficient, direct path to useful negotiations within our increasingly fast-paced energy market."

The Canadian government wishes to note that in addition to misleading the world on Canada's energy stance, today's impostors generated a cascading series of hopes that culminated in the delivery, by the Ugandan delegation, of an impassioned speech in today's COP-15 press briefing.

"It is the height of cruelty, hypocrisy, and immorality to infuse with false hopes the spirit of people who are already, and will additionally, bear the brunt of climate change's terrible human effects," said Jim Prentice, Canada's Minister for the Environment. "Canada deplores this moral misfire, while remaining confident in her critical role in the arena of the UNFCCC, and of the world. Canada continues to seek dynamic new energy solutions every year, and its energy development research is second to none. As for Canada's role on the international stage, it remains vibrant, strong, and appreciated by our numerous partners."

Today's stunt, with its short-sighted, unrealistic policy ideas and brutal disregard for the oppressed, should distract no one from the serious, energetic, and meaningful commitment of Canada to a shared sustainable future on this planet, which will guarantee all nations their due portion in accord with historical norms.

(Hi-res download)

Tragic Ugandan Reaction to False "Canada" Announcement
Passionate response highlights cruelty of thoughtless pranksters

OTTAWA, Ont. -- December 14, 2009 -- We at Environment Canada wish to thank the international press community for their measured and understanding response to the hoax that struck our agency earlier this afternoon, while expressing our condolences to the Ugandan delegation who were swept up in the excitement of this false future "vision." (Click here for video.)

This sophisticated operation was reported in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and a number of other outlets as the irresponsible spoof that it was.

Environment Canada wishes to stress that the Ugandan delegation's impassioned response to the announcement is a dramatic tragedy for those who stand to suffer the most.

"It is the height of cruelty, hypocrisy, and immorality to infuse with false hopes the spirit of people who are already, and will additionally, bear the brunt of climate change's terrible human effects," said Jim Prentice, Canada's Minister for the Environment.

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