The following comes from a February 28 National Review article by Anne D. Hendershott:
Realizing that the best way to fight any war is to first wage a media campaign to convince others that the cause is noble and the enemy evil, opponents of Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, have brought in the infamous public-relations maven Sam Singer to escalate the war over the issue of whether San Francisco’s Catholic schools should actually be Catholic.
Singer has launched a media blitz to defeat the archbishop’s policy, claiming to have been hired by “concerned parents” who oppose the archbishop’s instruction that teachers in the diocesan schools should teach in communion with the Church.
On Ash Wednesday, LGBT protesters, dressed in black, held a vigil that the San Francisco Weekly described as bearing “the signature slickness of a Singer campaign, drawing news coverage across San Francisco, and all the way down to Santa Cruz.”
When a tiger killed a teenager and mauled several visitors at the San Francisco Zoo, Singer helped garner sympathy for the tiger.
Singer planted stories in the press that the Dhaliwal brothers, the teenagers who were mauled, were drinking, smoking pot, and behaving badly prior to the lethal encounter. He then encouraged the zoo to post signage urging visitors not to tease the animals, although there was no evidence that the boys ever teased the tiger.
Singer has suggesting that his mission is to “push the facts as our clients see them.” Noting that Singer “has a complex relationship with the truth,” reporter Joe Eskenazi wrote in the Weekly that “the truth, after all, isn’t exactly Singer’s milieu.” That is, “Singer is playing by a different set of rules” and “traffics not so much in truth but the perception of truth.”
The following comes from a February 27 Catholic News Agency article by Kevin Jones:
Sam Singer’s public relations firm spun a Chevron oil refinery disaster in California and fought back a legal ruling in Ecuador that could have awarded billions of dollars to indigenous people for the company’s alleged pollution damage to the Amazon.
Singer Associates led the public relations response to a major fire at a Richmond, Calif. oil refinery after its third catastrophic failure since 1989. The 2012 pipeline explosion produced a massive cloud of thick smoke.
At the time of the fire, local authorities gave a shelter-in-place order for Richmond and two other cities. In the following weeks, an estimated 15,000 people in nearby communities sought medical treatment for breathing problems, chest pain, shortness of breath, sore throat and headaches, with 20 people being hospitalized, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s 2015 report on the incident said.
In response to the disaster, Singer’s firm engaged in a major public relations campaign. It created a newspaper to produce pro-Chevron messages alongside community news and to shape the political and legal reaction. Chevron paid only $2 million in penalties for the incident.
Singer’s firm is also credited with helping to fight back a threatened multi-billion dollar legal judgment against Chevron that could have benefited indigenous Ecuadorans and farmers in the Amazon region who said the oil giant was responsible for massive pollution there. Singer’s firm said the lawsuit was fraudulent.