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Top Google Comms Exec Heads to Snapchat

Jill HazelbakerSeems Snapchat was well aware of its own shortcomings on the messaging front: the not-quite-disappearing message app company has hired Jill Hazelbaker, former senior director of corporate comms and government relations at Google.

In confirming the change this morning, Re\code notes that Snapchat didn’t exactly announce it publicly — nor did the company send out formal press releases when it hired Facebook veteran Sara Sperling to run its HR department last month.

Hazelbaker’s responsibilities will presumably include helping the increasingly mis-categorized “startup” manage its messaging efforts and minimize unflattering press as it continues to expand.

Interesting things to note about Hazelbaker: prior to joining Google, she worked in politics on the center-right side of the aisle, serving as senior advisor to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg when he ran for a third term and directing national communications for Senator John McCain’s 2007-2008 presidential campaign.

She’s also never tweeted, though she does follow Henry Blodget…

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The New York Times Agrees: Shonda Rhimes Not An ‘Angry Black Woman’

shonda_rhimes2-620x412Here’s a topical reminder that words matter on the editorial side, too. Twitter blew up — as it tends to do — this weekend thanks to a New York Times profile of Scandal /Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. Why? Here’s the lede by Alessandra Stanley:

“When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’”

Get that? She’s black, she’s angry, and yet she somehow manages to get away with it.

It’s not that Stanley wanted to insult anyone. In the next paragraph, she writes: ”Ms. Rhimes, who wrought Olivia Pope on ‘Scandal’ and Dr. Miranda Bailey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ has done more to reset the image of African-American women on television than anyone since Oprah Winfrey.”

That point is settled. But Rhimes took issue with Stanley’s piece, and today NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan agreed.

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Ogilvy Promotes Chairman Christopher Graves, CEO Stuart Smith

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This morning Ogilvy PR announced the promotion of two key agency veterans: Christopher Graves and Stuart Smith.

Graves, who had been the firm’s global CEO since 2009, will now hold the newly- created title of Chairman; Smith, who served as CEO of Ogilvy worldwide in London, will assume Graves’ former role.

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The Ticker: Dancing with the Startups; Greenpeace vs. LEGO; Everybody Loves Jeter; And More

Biggest Stories of the Week

CNN Gives Scottish Independence Story 110 Percent

ICYMI: a majority of Scotland doesn’t mind being part of the United Kingdom after all.

All due apologies to William Wallace of Braveheart fame but it seems they don’t want their FREEEEEEDOM as much as we might have thought. Now imagine if we’d been able to resolve the American Revolution in such a well-behaved way! As we ponder that and pour some of ye olde gin on the cobblestone curb, did you happen to see how CNN reported the results?

When the votes were in from all 32 council areas, the “No” side prevailed with more than 2 million votes over 1.6 million for “Yes”. That total is important to note because it’s the closest international media has come to reporting 100 percent of the vote. However, ratings-challenged CNN wanted to be first in line, so they did this:

CNN-Scotland

For those scoring at home, that’s 110 percent.

Maybe there were some mail-in votes that had to make the cut. Who knows?

(And we wonder why Americans distrust mass media.)

Same Channel, Different Show: America Distrusts Mass Media More Than Congress

don't trust the corporate mediaDoes the national news industry read its own press? While networks are busy creating fancy holograms and littering the screen like ESPN during the NFL Draft, America cares less and less about what they actually have to say.

Gallup just came out with a poll that proves it: distrust in national news is an historic low.

According to the poll, things aren’t in a good way. Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” has returned to its previous all-time low of 40 percent.

Be it due to fear or loathing, people do not believe what the media folks are sharing. No matter what talking point decorates the teleprompter, many viewers feel like they might as well flip the channel.

Should we?

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The Ticker: What Is Alibaba; Newsweek Journo Responds; Corporate Newsrooms; And More

Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Columbia Business School went with Coyne PR for counsel on ways to help reinforce its new positioning as the school “At the Very Center of Business”…the Upper West Side.

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Air Force Stops ‘Aiming High,’ Omits ‘So Help Me God’ from Oath

080528-F-2319R-005Prayer and the American military have gone together like bread and butter for as long as we can remember, but the United States Air Force has now apparently decided to count its blessings — because it doesn’t really need them anymore.

According to the Washington Post, the Air Force will now allow airmen to omit “so help me God” from enlistment oaths. 

The catalyst for this decision was an airman stationed in Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev., who was denied re-enlistment because he purposely omitted that sacrosanct phrase when taking said oath.

He (along with the American Humanist Association) chose to raise a stink, and two weeks later we have this:

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in the statement. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected.

“The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words ‘So help me God’ from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.”

This isn’t much of a surprise, but the Air Force should certainly prepare for blowback.

Sure, it’s haughty at the very least to think there are only Christians in this world or that everyone must profess faith in a Christian God (or any god, really) to serve his or her country. But will this decision lead to a slippery slope on which other airmen seek a pass from swearing to protect other things that go against their personal beliefs?

Time will tell — and so will more than a few Christian bloggers.

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