John Stauber retired after four decades as an organizer, investigative writer, public speaker, and co-author of six books. He founded the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and PRWatch in 1993 to create the only public interest and journalism organization dedicated to exposing organized corporate and government propaganda and its impacts on democracy, public information and democratic social change.
Stauber served for sixteen years as CMD's Executive Director, fundraiser and on its board of directors, retiring from it in July, 2009. He is a contributor to the US magazine and website Counterpunch.
Current Advisory Boards
- Advisory Board, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund 
- Fluoride Action Network 
- Organic Consumers Association
* EMAIL -- John.Stauber [AT] gmail.com
* TWITTER @JohnStauber
In 1995 Stauber's first book, primarily an exposé of the dark side of 20th century propaganda, also exposed the ongoing PR scam of renaming sewage sludge with the Orwellian term "biosolids" and dumping it on farms and gardens.  Stauber co-authored six books for CMD beginning with 1995's Toxic Sludge Is Good for You!  and including the 2003 New York Times best seller Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq 
Stauber was born in 1953 and raised in Marshfield, Wisconsin. His activism began in high school in the late 1960s by his organizing student support for the local civil rights movement, organizing against the USA's war on Vietnam and co-organizing a student-led high school teach-in for the first Earth Day in 1970. He has then since worked with or founded many non-profit research, advocacy and community-based organizations.
He founded and ran the Coalition for Economic Alternatives from 1973 to 1979, stopping Agent Orange aerial spraying in Wisconsin by the US Forest Service. From 1975 through 1976 he was one of sixteen National Co-Directors of Jeremy Rifkin's Peoples Bicentennial Commission promoting economic democracy and exposing the power of global corporations. He then founded the Citizens National Forest Coalition in 1978 helping to stop aerial spraying of Agent Orange in all US National Forests in 1979. He also advised Citizen Soldier in its seminal work exposing the harm done to US soldiers in Vietnam by the Pentagon's use of Agent Orange. In 1979 Stauber co-founded Stop Project E.L.F., organizing citizen and political opposition to the US Navy's nuclear first-strike communications system called ELF; he was the Co-Director of the organization until 1985.
From 1985 to 1988 Stauber was the first Development Director for Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua, assisting and promoting sister-city relationships between the US and Nicaragua at the time of the USA's "Contra War" against that country. From 1988 until 1993 he was National Organizer and Researcher for the Foundation on Economic Trends exposing and opposing the commercialization of Monsanto's genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone.
The BGH work inspired John Stauber to found the Center for Media and Democracy in 1993 after he was spied upon by Burson-Marsteller employees, the huge lobby and PR firm working for the companies developing Bovine Growth Hormone. Stauber retired after running CMD for 16 years.
Books by John Stauber
Select Blogs, Articles and Talks By, and Interviews With, John Stauber
- Mohsen Abdelmoumen, An Interview With John Stauber: The Electoral Farce, CounterPunch,, June 7, 2016.
- John Stauber, #FeelTheBern Goes #UpInSmoke, CounterPunch, April 27, 2016.
- Joslyn Stevens, John Stauber on Wall Street's Political Monopoly, CounterPunch, 12/25/13.
- New Left Now, The John Stauber Interview, April 25, 2013.
- Paul Roland, Earth Day Interview With Activist and Author John Stauber on Politics and the Environmental Movement, KBOO Radio April 22, 2013.
- Deep Capture: Psychology, Public Relations, Democracy and Law, April 13, 2013 Conference at Harvard Law School.
- Tim Johnson, Global Warming Is Good for You and Other Cherished Myths, Cascadia Weekly, March 20, 2013
- John Stauber, Illahee Lecture: Who Owns The Media?, Portland, OR, March 19, 2013.
- John Stauber, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats, March 15, 2013, CounterPunch.
- John Stauber, Obamacare Wins, We Lose, Counterpunch, June 28, 2012.
- John Stauber, Wisconsin Wake Up Call, Straight Goods.CA, June 14, 2012.
- John Stauber, The Genius of Recall, CounterPunch, June 8, 2012.
- John Stauber, America's Mad Cow Crisis, Common Dreams, April 26, 2012.
- John Stauber, 'Occupy Obama' Could Turn Up Heat on Democrats, Common Dreams, October 21, 2011.
- John Stauber, Obama's Cheerleaders Fall on their Faces, CommonDreams.org, November 3, 2010.
- John Stauber, Chez Sludge: How the Sewage Sludge Industry Bedded Alice Waters, PRWatch.org, July 9, 2010.
- John Stauber, ACSH Makes Alice Waters a Poster Child for Toxic Sludge, PRWatch.org, April 12, 2010.
- John Stauber, Chef Alice Waters and Chez Panisse in a Toxic Sludge Protest, PRWatch.org, March 31, 2010.
- John Stauber, Waiter, There Is Toxic Sludge in my Organic Soup!, PRWatch.org, March 16, 2010.
- John Stauber, Tea Party Money-Bomb Elects Scott Brown, Blows-Up Obamacare, January 19, 2010.
- John Stauber, Where's the Outrage Over Obama's Health Care Propagandist, Jonathan Gruber?, January 14, 2010.
- John Stauber, Beyond MoveOn: Using the Internet for Real Change, April 27, 2009.
- John Stauber, How Obama Took Over the Peace Movement, March 27, 2009.
- John Stauber, Obama and HCAN Marginalize Single Payer Health Care Reform, March 17, 2009.
- John Stauber, Take This Job and Love It, February 23, 2009.
- John Stauber, Winter Soldier, September 23, 2008.
- John Stauber, Stauber Interviews Sirota, July 8, 2008.
- John Stauber, Pentagon's Propaganda Documents Go Online, May 6, 2008.
- John Stauber, Imbedding Military Propagandists into the News Media, April 22, 2008.
- John Stauber, Iraq, the 'Gift' That Keeps on Bleeding, August 20, 2007.
- John Stauber, Coffee with the Troops Fuels Debate and Netroots and the War, August 6, 2007.
- John Stauber, Democratic Spin Won't End the War in Iraq, May 24, 2007.
- John Stauber, Iraq: Why Won't MoveOn Move Forward?, March 18, 2007
- John Stauber, A Victory for Press Freedom in the Ehren Watada Court Martial, February 4, 2007.
- John Stauber, Defend the Press and Sarah Olson, January 27, 2007.
- John Stauber, Half of Americans Still Believe in WMDs, They Saw Them on TV, August 8, 2006.
- John Stauber, John Rendon's Long Strange Trip in the Terror Wars, July 10, 2006.
- John Stauber, US "Atypical" Mad Cow Threat Was Predicted, June 14, 2006.
- John Stauber, Oprah Not "The Only Mad Cow In America," Thanks to Texas Governor Perry, June 30, 2005
- Derrick Jensen, War On Truth The Secret Battle For The American Mind — An Interview With John Stauber, The Sun Magazine Issue 279, March, 1999.
- Ryan Sabalow, The Indianapolis Star, Some deer farmers put ethics on line for profit, USA Today, March 30, 2014
- Stephen Lendemen, Beltway Bandit Named Senior Obama Advisor , IndyBay.Org December 13, 2013.
- Nicole Walton [Save the Wild U.P. celebrates winter and the environment http://wnmufm.org/post/save-wild-celebrates-winter-and-environment] WMNU FM radio, Marquette, MI 12/6/13
- Ron Seely, Prions in Plants? New Concern for Chronic Wasting Disease, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, September 27, 2013.
- Ken Macnab, Making the world safe for capitalism, On Line Opinion, September 18, 2013.
- Elizabeth DiNovella, How to Sell a Strike on Syria, The Progressive, September 10, 2013.
- Beth Buczynski ‘Unacceptable Levels’ of Chemical Toxins in Our Lives Exposed in New Film, Care2.com, September 8, 2013.
- Patrick MacDonaldInterview: Director Ed Brown Deals with 'Unacceptable Levels', HollywoodChicago.com, August 2, 2013.
- Steve Horn, How to Win the Media War Against Grassroots Activists: Stratfor's Strategies, Mint Press News, July 29, 2013
- Steve Horn, Divide And Conquer: Unpacking Stratfor’s Rise To Power, Mint Press News, July 25, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, Chronic Wasting Disease on the Rise in Wisconsin Deer; Will it Infect Humans?, PRWatch.org, June 13, 2013.
- Cory Morningstar, Brought to you By Wall Street: McKibben's Divestment Tour, Counterpunch, May 17, 2013.
- Bill Lueders, State gets passive as CWD spreads, Wisconsin Watch, April 30, 2013.
- Ron Ridenour, Can True Blue Democrats do What Other Progressives Won’t?, Dissident Voice, April 25th, 2013
- Fighting Bob Radio Interview (At Minute 26) with John Stauber re 'Progressive Movement as a Front for Rich Democrats', March 21, 2013.
- Shamus Cooke Obama Is Still Shopping for a Grand Bargain, Global Research, March 20, 2013
- Michael Green, The Chemical Industry's Political Machinations, Huffington Post, March 18, 2013
- The Insider, Movement Strategy Brunches: "Campaign Season" Never Ends for the Professional Left, CounterPunch, November 14, 2012.
- Russell Mokhiber, Wendell Potter, Single Payer and the Big Lie, Single Payer Action, July 16, 2012.
- Sarah Blaskey, Steve Horn Don’t Hate Just One Player, Hate the Game: 26 Corporations Have Dumped ALEC, 21 Still Dating Other ALECs, Common Dreams, July 15, 2012.
- A. Mohit, Why Did Justice Roberts Vote For Obamacare?, Technorati, June 28, 2012.
- Arthur Silber, Choosing Blindness and Stupidity, and About Helping "Some" People, Once Upon A Time, June 28, 2012.
- Erik Gunn, Exposing ALEC: The Center for Media and Democracy goes after the right-wing powerhouse, Isthmus, May 10, 2012.
- "The Insider," Manufacturing Dissent Inconvenient Truths About Tar Sands Action, Counterpunch, April 24, 2012.
- "The Insider," MoveOn’s 99 Percent Spring, Obama and the Dems March in Lock-Step, Counterpunch, April 12, 2012.
- Flawed Red Meat Study: You Are What Your Food Ate, Alliance for Natural Health, March 20, 2012.
- "The Insider," 99Spring the Latest MoveOn Front for the Democratic Party, Counterpunch, March 16, 2012.
- Sara Jerving, New Toxic Sludge PR and Lobbying Effort Gets Underway, PRWatch, March 16, 2012.
- Cornucopia Institute Celebrity Doctor, Alan Greene, Accused of Unethical Conduct, Cornucopia Institute News Release, March 6, 2012.
- US situation in Iraq up in the air, Iranian PressTV, December 19, 2011
- Gavin Aronsen, Occupy's Next Target: The Iowa Caucus, Mother Jones, December 19, 2011
- Andrew Levine, This Time, Let’s Really Crash the Party, CounterPunch, October 31, 2011.
- Steve Horn, MoveOn.Org and Friends Attempt to Co-Opt Occupy Wall Street Movement, Truthout, October 11, 2011
- John Nichols, Should Obama Face a Challenge in the Democratic Primary?, The Nation magazine, October 24, 2011 edition.
- Steve Horn, Pentagon Back to Tried and True PR Tactic: Greenwashing, DeSmog Blog, September 25, 2011.
- Jill Richardson, Why Is the Monterey Aquarium Greenwashing Sewage Sludge?, FireDogLake, May 19, 2011.
- Jeffrey St. Clair, How Green Became the Color of Money: A Concise History of the Rise and Fall of the Environmental EstablishmentHow Green Became the Color of Money, Counterpunch, April 22, 2011.
- Josh Harkinson, Is Your Organic Compost Really Sewage Sludge?, Mother Jones, 4/27/11.
- Michael Barbarop, In Elite Library Archives, a Dispute Over a Trove, New York Times, April 22, 2011.
- Toby Wollin, Would You Like A Bit Of Heavy Metal With That?, FireDogLake, April 12, 2011.
- Shawn Doherty, Vital Signs: Will health care reform crash after Massachusetts election?, Capital Times, January 20, 2010.
- Suzanne Goldenberg, US chef Alice Waters criticised over sewage fertiliser: Top US healthy-eating chef Alice Waters attacked for supporting fertiliser made of sewage that activists say contains toxins, UK Guardian, April 1, 2010.
- Peter Fimrite, Groups make stink over S.F. 'biosolid' compost, SF Chronicle, April 7, 2010.
- Jill Richardson, Francesca Takes Legal Action over Sludge Article, La Vida Locavore blog, April 7, 2010.
- Leora Broydo Vestel, Food Groups Clash Over Compost Sludge, New York Times Green Inc. blog, April 9 2010.
- Barry Estabrook, Composted Sewage Stirs Up Bay Area Food Fight, The Atlantic, May 3, 2010.
- Mari Margil, "Democracy Matters" New Podcast for October 21, 2010 - with our interview with John Stauber, CELDEF blog, October 21, 2010
- Straight from the Sewer, Next American City, November 10, 2010.
- Karyn Spory John Stauber gives UNI an inside look at the public relations world, The Northern Iowan, November 11, 2010.
2009 and Earlier
You can view online scores of blogs Stauber wrote for PR Watch from 2004 to 2009.
In 2007 Stauber organized the Defend the Press campaign which won a major free speech victory against the Bush Administration's efforts to intimidate journalists reporting on dissent in the military.
Stauber's articles, op-eds and interviews have appeared in scores of publications and websites. He has contributed research and writing to books by others including G.I. Guinea Pigs and Secrets and Lies. As an investigator and author he has been featured, interviewed or quoted by the PBS News Hour, Washington Post, New York Times, Der Spiegel, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Business Week, NPR's On The Media, CNN, NPR's On Point, CBC, Democracy Now and other news media.
Related SourceWatch articles
- 99% Spring
- Center for Media and Democracy founded by Stauber in 1993.
- Defend The Press 2007 campaign versus Bush Administration.
- Fake news campaign exposing VNR propaganda in TV news.
- Pentagon military analyst program, exposing Bush war propaganda via TV news.
- Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin
- The Propaganda Model: a retrospective, Journalism Studies, Volume 1, Number 1, 2000, pp. 101–112, Edward S. Herman, University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Board, organizational web page, accessed October 7 2017.
- Fluoride Action Network Team, organizational web page, accessed May 11, 2014.
- The Sludge Hits the Fan, chapter from Toxic Sludge Is Good for You!, 1995, Common Courage Press.
- CMD Website Accessed June 24, 2010.
- CMD website accessed March 22, 2011.