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Scandal

Facebook Sues DEA Over Fake Profile Pages

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Facebook has tried, almost to a fault, to protect the identities of its users — as long as they’re real. See, for example, the site’s recent conflict that ended with the network allowing some users who dress as members of the opposite gender to use their stage names online.

The drama was based around fake profiles, which are highly frowned upon in Zuckerberg’s environment.

Recently, Facebook poked the Drug Enforcement Agency because it wants “assurances” that the feds are no longer using fake profile pages to conduct investigations. Read more

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Parisian Christmas Tree/Sex Toy Vandalized by Mystery Elves

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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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Why Punishing the ‘Dancing Guard’ Might be a Bad PR Move for Buckingham Palace

By now, you’ve likely seen the viral video of a member of the illustrious Queen’s Guard taking a timeout from the tedium and seriousness of his back-and-forth marching to break into dance (if you haven’t been graced with the subtle awesomeness that is this video, it’s included below). Since the red-coated guards of Buckingham Palace are famously stern and aren’t even supposed to crack a smile — let alone bust a move — the fleet-footed, lighthearted guard has become something of a YouTube sensation, bringing mirth and giggles to millions.

But England’s Ministry of Defense isn’t laughing.

Now that the guard has been identified publicly as 20-year-old Samuel Jones, his friends and family worry that the powers that be will make an example of him in an effort to prevent similar shenanigans in the future.

A friend of Jones’ recently told The Evening Standard, “The strict routines of army life can get a bit heavy sometimes and Sam really enjoys cheering people up…He has no idea how seriously his latest stunt would be taken – and it has worried his family…It was just a prank and everyone is hoping his bosses don’t make too much of an example out of him.”

The possible penalties could include a £1,000 fine, a loss of privileges, and even a three-week prison sentence. Though a Ministry of Defense spokesperson told The Evening Standard last week it was unlikely that Jones would be jailed, he also made it clear that the guard certainly isn’t getting off scott free: “He will face some sort of action but it is more likely to be a fine. No decision has been made,” the representative said. Read more

Slammed: Atlanta Hawks’ Owner Sells Shares Over Racist Email

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The National Basketball Association just exhaled and placed Donald Sterling’s bigoted vitriol behind it, thanks largely to Steve Ballmer paying $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers and putting Sterling out to pasture where he belongs.

And now, we discover the NBA has another racist loitering among its owner class: Bruce Levenson of the Atlanta Hawks.

Being a simpleton in 2014 is laughable enough. Being a bigoted owner in the NBA like Donald Sterling is hilarious. However, being a prejudicial xenophobe in the NBA…in ATLANTA…feels like a rejected pilot script from a bad “man turns life around” sitcom. Yet, here we are, discussing an email Levenson wrote two years ago claiming his audience (again, in ATLANTA) was “too heavily African-American.”

Not a history or geography buff, this guy.

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CeeLo Leaves Twitter, Loses TV Show After Insensitive Rape Comments

CeeLo Green did not have a good weekend.

After pleading “no contest” to slipping ecstasy into a date’s drink, the singer took to Twitter to share his own completely despicable definition of sexual consent, saying, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

Unless, you know, they were drugged. But don’t worry, he went on to address that technicality as well, exclaiming,”If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.”

Oh, that’s how it works!

On Monday, Green attempted to back-peddle by allegedly tweeting the following semi-apologies, which read less like a mea-culpa and more like a celebration of avoiding jail time with a “sorry” to those who supported him sprinkled on top.

The whole I-don’t-condone-rape-thing seems like sort of an afterthought…

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LIVESTRONG Rides with PR for a New Horizon

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A few things in this world have been marketed so seamlessly that consumers cannot think about one without the other.

There’s Disney and Mickey Mouse. Nike and Jordan (or Tiger). Volvo and Safety. Starbucks and Coffee. Susan G. Komen or Mary Kay and the color pink.

Branding is very successful when done right, which is why “staying true to the brand” is vital. And then there was LIVESTRONG. It was a global phenomenon because of an amazing story, a charismatic individual, and a yellow bracelet. Yeah, those were the days.

This week, the Austin-based cancer advocacy organization is looking to do it again with true PR strategy, but can they without … that guy?

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Jury Rules Against Former Anheuser-Busch Comms Veep in Equal Pay Case

BEER BEER BEER

Surprise, surprise: Jill Abramson isn’t the only woman in a prominent executive position who *allegedly* received less money than her male predecessors.

In a case that should draw the attention of all who work in corporate communications, a jury ruled that Francine Katz, who was promoted to VP of comms and public affairs at Anheuser-Busch back in 2002, did not receive unfair wages due to the fact that she happens to be a woman.

For the record, Katz strongly disagrees.

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HGTV Ditches Plans For New Program After Website Reveals Hosts Are Anti-Everything

benham brosPerhaps hoping to avoid a Duck Dynasty controversy remix, HGTV has decided to dump its plans for a new show hosted by twin brothers David and Jason Benham after a news story revealed anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-choice statements.

The series was to be called Flip It Forward. The Benhams were going to help families buy a fixer-upper home and give it a redesign with a little bit of sibling rivalry tossed in for good measure. The show was announced last month.

However, the network got wind of a story that appeared on Right Wing Watch revealing that “at least one of the Benhams” is “a dedicated right-wing activist in the mold of his father, Flip Benham, who has headed the abortion-clinic protest group Operation Save America ever since it split from the militant anti-choice group Operation Rescue.”

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Monica Lewinsky Says Her ‘History’ Stopped Her From Getting Comms Jobs

monica lewinskyWell this is a blast from the past if there ever was one! Monica Lewinsky swept onto the Internet today with a preview of the Vanity Fair article that the magazine will be releasing digitally on May 8. And there are already some interesting bits in there about her life in the 10 years since we all became familiar with her name and her blue dress.

First, and perhaps this shouldn’t be shocking, but she’s 40 years old! In the minds of people who remember her from her days as the infamous intern, the thought of her aging that much just seems strange. But even now, the humiliation she must’ve felt (and had been made to feel) is palpable.

“”[T]hanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet,” she writes.

When she talks about the relationship with President Clinton, she has a perspective that has clearly also come with time:

“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”

The brand stuck so much, in fact, that it prevented her from getting jobs later on. Among them, jobs in communications and branding at charitable campaigns.

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Los Angeles Times Writer ‘Screws’ Up Reporting Job for a Source

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We understand. Before the fall, you just get crapped on.

Meet Jason Felch. 

He was a star investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A guy whose credits stood on their own. That is, before he was “dismissed” after editors discovered he had an inappropriate relationship with someone who was a source for a front-page story that the newspaper says contained an error.

A double screw job, me thinks… *golf clap*

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