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Posts Tagged ‘P.T. Barnum’

Author Googles His Way to Tragic Tale of Wrongfully Executed Elephant

Ahead of journalist Michael Daly‘s 7 p.m. book reading and signing event tomorrow night at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, Samantha Samel of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle caught up with the author of Topsy: The Startling Story of the Crooked-Tailed Elephant, P. T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison.

Published July 2 by Atlantic Monthly Press, the book offers a thoroughly researched look at the early days of U.S. circuses and the sad, symptomatic storyline of Topsy. Smuggled into the U.S. in 1877, the performing elephant ultimately met with a tragic, cruel end. Daly explains how he came to the topic:

“My editor suggested doing a murder case from earlier times. I Googled New York executions and came across the clip of Topsy being electrocuted in 1903.”

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More Bad Press for Klout

The backlash against San Francisco social media influence arbiter Klout.com continues. Everything was hunky-dory by the Bay until the company dared to tighten up their previously rather liberal Twitter ranking algorithms.

TechCrunch blogger Alexia Tsotis‘ early riposte “Nobody Gives a Damn About Your Klout Score,” though not quite true, was nonetheless hilarious. As a fan of “smart but dumb” products, she suggested that Klout CEO Joe Fernandez was in line to become a 21st century version of P.T. Barnum. Over the weekend, there was more acerbic analysis, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph‘s Monty Munford:

“Measuring Influence since 2008″ is the grandiose claim on the Klout website… When I read this I was minded of the Hollywood film LA Story when Steve Martin tries to woo a visiting English reporter by taking her around his city. ‘Some of these houses are almost 25 years old’ he enthuses, thinking that he’s impressing her…

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Applauding the Mad PR Skills of Kris Jenner

When a three-Kardashian media circus is once again expertly choreographed, who should ultimately get the blame, besides a complicit media? The prize lion (Kris Humphries)? No. The exotic contortionist (Kim Kardashian)? No. The tent pole provider (Ryan Seacrest)? Nope.

As The Insider co-host Kevin Frazier accurately pointed out this morning on “The Dan Patrick Show,” the person who deserves the finger-point is the masterful, straight-faced promoter, sitting center high, middle section. That would be mom Kris Jenner or, as Frazier described her, “a P.T. Barnum for the modern age.”

And while Barnum may never have actually said “there’s a sucker born every minute,” it seems more than likely that at some point when the E! cameras were not rolling, Jenner has gleefully muttered something to the effect of “there’s a reality TV rube around each corner.” Perhaps even as she was spreadsheet-ing the $17.9 million reportedly grossed from a fake wedding.

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