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Bad PR

Late Washington Post Editor Reprimands ‘Flack’ in Classic Letter

WaPo

News of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee’s passing earlier this week rightly led many to declare an end of an era in journalism. A quick look at his paper today reveals protests by staffers unhappy with new owner/Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ management style — primarily his plans for staffing cuts.

But this Throwback Thursday revelation (which actually posted yesterday) reveals that some things never change: namely, the relationship between journalists and PRs who don’t know how to take “no” for an answer. Here’s the full letter Bradlee wrote to this guy about his misguided campaign to get the paper to run a profile on his client.

Also: PR has never liked the word “flack.” Shocker, we know. Full letter after the jump.

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CNN Spins Its Breakup with Dish Network

CNN failThe year was like, 1980. 

Jimmy Carter was president and awaiting a defeat at the hands of this actor fellow from California. Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington state causing $3 billion in damages. John Lennon died in New York City. Blondie was at the top of the charts. Movember found a hero in ‘Magnum P.I.’ And gas was one dollar and eight cents a gallon!

It was also the year the mustachioed Ted Turner decided that what America needed was 24 hours of news. He invested $20 million into the launch of The Cable News Network and the rest is history. Today, people could care less and one satellite network has even decided its consumers don’t care at all…so they dropped CNN from its packages.

That was CNN. 

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Parisian Christmas Tree/Sex Toy Vandalized by Mystery Elves

paris christmas tree

Quick quiz: What in the Yuletide halls is this?!

No, it’s not a unique pawn in a really large game of chess or an oddly colored wine-bottle stopper for the world’s largest jug of fermented juice.

From The Atlantic’s CityLab, we learn this piece of contemporary something or other is a sculpture by the American artist Paul McCarthy called “Tree.” It’s supposed to serve as the centerpiece of the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC).

It also looks like a certain sex toy…and now it’s flat as a pancake. Bad PR for the global art community.

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Newly Minted ‘Ebola Czar’ Conspicuously Absent from Ebola Strategy Meeting

ron klein

ICYMI: America is freaking completely out over three isolated cases of Ebola with a strand of connection to warrant a skosh of hysteria (and some PR fees for managing crisis communications).

To help deal with a situation that is less than a month old, President Obama felt pressured empowered to appoint an “Ebola Czar” who will help guide the federal response while working hand-in-hand with the CDC.

Enter into the fray Ron Klain, formerly known as Chief of Staff for Veeps Biden and Gore. Klain, who will reportedly answer to both White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, is supposed to be the go-to source for all things Ebola.

Yet reports held that Klain did not attend a White House meeting Friday discussing the federal response to the domestic threat. And when it came time for the first strategy meeting, Klain was nowhere to be found. No word yet from any of his bosses…yet.

Chin up, America.

Gawker Clarifies on Tweets by Writers

gawker-logoHere’s what we know about #Gamergate: people mention it on Twitter a lot. The root of the story concerns alleged ethical transgressions by a blog that covers video games, but the tag quickly devolved into a large group of anonymous (male) people wishing violence on women.

Last week, the guy behind the hashtag admitted to BuzzFeed that it was all about a recent breakup and said that, while he regrets certain “outcomes,” he would do it again.

On Thursday, Sam Biddle of Gawker’s Valleywag made a joke about the story that lead to an internal memo from editor Joel Johnson in which he effectively warned writers to be careful about what they tweet.

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Pink Slip Mania: This Is (Now) CNN

CNN fail

Unfortunately for Turner Broadcasting Systems, ratings haven’t been kind to the network that invented — for better or worse — 24/7 news.

In fact, they have sucked a little. This consistent downward spiral has forced the muckety-mucks at Turner (parent company of CNN, HLN, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and others) to consider what many in media believe to be the inevitable.

Reports show up to 300 have been let go at CNN and HLN alone, and this afternoon our sister site TVNewser learned that the recently relaunched Crossfire had been put out of its misery (again).

Factoids on the dearly departed after the jump. Read more

Will We Ever Learn to Trust a Nielsen Rating Again?

mfXjziuRatings are Nielsen’s bread and butter, so you can imagine the upset when it was discovered that recent numbers may have been “misattributed.”

From the New York Times:

Nielsen, the television research firm, acknowledged on Friday that it had been reporting inaccurate ratings for the broadcast networks for the last seven months, a mistake that raises questions about the company’s increasingly criticized system for measuring TV audiences.

The error wound up benefiting one network, ABC, while negatively affecting the others, according to people briefed on the problem. In a telephone call with reporters, Nielsen executives would not confirm that it had resulted in added viewers for ABC, saying they could not discuss individual clients.

How does a company recover from such a taint? Read more

The FTC Will Take ‘False Advertising’ for $18 Million, Alex

FTC Alex Trebek

You can never be too sure when becoming a celebrity spokesperson. Your name is your reputation, and no group of people is more aware of that than movie and TV stars.

The value of said name is the only reason we see people we know shilling for something they probably never use in real life. Does anyone really think the Kardashians need a pre-paid credit card?!

Such is life for the effusively smarmy Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek.

The guy always knows the answer you missed and makes sure that you know he knows it, even though he may have the answers written on a card in his Canadian sweaty hands. And now that a product for which he shilled has been smacked down by the Federal Trade Commission, he is probably sweating a bit more.

Is there a Doctor Oz in the house?

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Food Critic Gael Greene Calls Out ‘Incautious’ Rep in Scathing Review

gael greeneIt’s tough out there for a New York restaurant rep, because the biggest names in the food writing biz are often the most critical. Who could forget how much fun Pete Wells had writing his sadistic takedown of Guy Fieri in The New York Times?

Anyway, Gael Greene is one of that tiny club’s longest-standing members at the ripe young age of 80. Despite the fact that New York magazine dropped her in 2008 after 40 years(!), she still carries a lot of weight here in our picky, picky city.

That’s probably why Miriam Silverberg Associates wanted her to review the new French restaurant Paname. The subsequent writeup, released today, is all but dripping with disdain.

A selection:

“It was the bread that tolled the leaden funeral bell…What good little French bistro — ‘just like Paris,’ the press agent Miriam Silverberg assured me — would serve this bread?”

Oh no.

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Marriott Fined $600K by FCC for Jammin’ (Guest’s Wi-Fi Signals)

marriottIn May 2012, Marriott pulled quite the coup in hospitality when the hotelier bought the luxurious Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center brand for $210 million.

The chief reason Marriott doled out that kind of coin was to make an impact in the convention space, which was never a problem for the Gaylord estates nationwide. Suffice to say, you would think that rolling out the red carpet for conference attendees would be the chain’s top priority.

Not so much.

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