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Friday, October 08, 2004

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 Giftwrap made of blood and oil

Here's a good piece of investigative journalism that will never hit the mainstream media.

If you have school-age children, like me, you have probably seen your kids bring home "Sally Foster gift wrap" to sell to neighbors, friends, and extended family to raise money for the school.

Who is Sally Foster and what does she get out of all of this?
Sally Foster fundraising sales are run by a company called Entertainment Publications based in Troy, Michigan.... Until last year, Entertainment Publications was owned by The Carlyle Group. Yes, that Carlyle Group, the subject of endless conspiracy theories, the one with ties to the Bush and bin Laden families and secretive business dealings all over the world...

Last year, the Carlyle Group sold Entertainment Publications to USA Interactive (now known as InterActive Corp., or IAC) for $360 million in cash. That's a lot of gift wrap, man. IAC paid that cash for Entertainment Publications in the same year that its CEO, the infamously raptorial Barry Diller, was ranked by Forbes as the fifth highest compensated CEO in the United States....

Diller hopes to triple IAC's revenues over the next five years, according to a recent article in Fortune magazine. According to this article, the company "also plans to kill its competitors by, as Diller put it, spending ‘more than anyone else can afford' – some $1 billion this year alone – on marketing."...
Here's an idea: instead of buying giftcrap that will only line Barry Diller's pocketbook, ask your kids' teachers what they really need, and go out and buy it for them.

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