DARK ARTS

Big Oil Told in Secret: Use Dirty Tricks

The oil and gas industry got some blunt advice from a veteran political consultant: Fight dirty. Richard Berman recently told industry executives in a closed-door speech if they want to stop opponents, they should use tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities. (An offended executive leaked Berman’s remarks to The New York Times.) Berman was soliciting up to $3 million to finance a PR campaign called “Big Green Radicals.” Don’t worry about offending the public, he said, because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty.” A spokeswoman for the founder and chief executive of Berman & Co. confirmed he gave the speech, but said he would not comment on its contents.