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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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Spin the Agencies of Record

columbia_business_school

  • 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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Walmart Comms VP to Resign Over Fake Resume

David TobarIn a peculiar story, David Tovar has announced his plans to resign from Walmart after spending more than eight years in various top PR roles at the big box chain. The reason? He was less than honest about his (alleged) status as a college graduate.

Tovar’s name isn’t new to us or our readers: he’s been a popular speaker at industry events like The Holmes Report’s 2013 Global Summit and PRSA’s recent corporate comms conference. He also made headlines by doing things like boycotting The Huffington Post over its “unfair coverage” of his employer, “fact-checking” an unflattering New York Times op-ed, and admitting that the Waltons sometimes have trouble keeping their shelves stocked.

In other words, he’s bolder than your average corporate communications executive — especially when it comes to massaging the truth about his background.

He tried to explain things to CNBC today.

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Former NSA Chief Compares ISIS Air Strikes to ‘Friends with Benefits’

nsa_logoOne of the fundamental tactics for any flack is writing talking points ahead of interviews. This isn’t purely “spin”, by the way — but clients do sometimes get skittish during on-the-air talks. The prep sheet, then, is like a security blanket minus Elmo.

Because of that perfunctory aspect of PR, it’s always easy to tell which clients don’t have proper talking points. When it happens, you sometimes hurt for the spokesperson (a little).

At other times, though, you laugh so hard that you pee (again, a little).

The latter happened when former NSA and CIA major domo Gen. Michael Hayden went viral for all the wrong reasons while discussing ISIS and air strikes.

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