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Scandal

Bode Miller Defends NBC Reporter After She’s Slammed for ‘Tone-Deaf’ and ‘Shameful’ Interview

After becoming the oldest medalist in Olympic alpine history, Bode Miller found himself in an interview with NBC reporter Christin Cooper, who questioned him repeatedly about the death of his brother, and how that loss has shaped his experience at the Olympics. While such personal questions are often asked of athletes in this type of situation, Cooper seemed not to take any of the hints that her line of questioning was pushing Miller into an extremely emotional state, and she failed to let up until he had broken down into tears, hidden his face, and had been rendered speechless.

The scene sparked an angry outcry from fans and journalists alike, who felt Cooper lacked tact and sensitivity. The AP’s David Bauder, for instance, called the interview “tone-deaf and cruel, and short-circuited the thoughtful, intelligent perspectives Miller had started to offer until he couldn’t talk anymore,” and The New York Times‘ Richard Sandomir wrote that “Cooper and NBC lacked the sensitivity to know when enough was enough.”

In a classy and kind response to the uproar, Miller himself took to Twitter to thank his fans for expressing their concern for his well-being, but also to defend his interviewer.

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Here’s How NOT to Respond to a Copyright Issue: Magazine Sends Photographer Profanity-Laced, Threatening Email

We’ve been following Adweek‘s coverage of a he-said-she-said fiasco too bizarre to be ignored, and now that both parties have provided the news source with conflicting statements, the behavior of the magazine involved seems to have gone far past questionable and has entered the realm of actively self-destructive. In fact, if PR failures were presents, this debacle would be the gift that just keeps on giving.

Kathy Shea Mormino, who runs the popular backyard chicken website The Chicken Chick, says it all started when a fan alerted her that one of her copyrighted photos appeared on Survival Magazine‘s blog and Facebook page. As the magazine had not asked her permission to use her photograph, Mormino says she sent a Facebook message and an email to the publication, explaining the situation and requesting that her image be removed. When the magazine did not respond to her messages or take down the picture, Mormino filed a copyright infringement complaint with Facebook, which led the social network to remove the photo from the magazine’s Facebook page.

The magazine’s response to Mormino’s actions shocked her so much, that she shared it (along with the below screenshot as proof) with her fans on her own Facebook page, saying, “THIS is the email I just received from Survival Magazine. What on earth is WRONG with some people?!”

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Woody Allen’s Publicist Strongly Denies Abuse Allegations

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Allen’s wax double wins the creepy contest

Only one thing is certain: Woody Allen has had a rough few weeks.

As we begin to recover from our shock over the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, we can expect to hear a lot more about the other story that rocked the entertainment world last week: the newly resurfaced allegations that Allen abused partner Mia Farrow‘s adopted daughter more than 20 years ago—when she was only 7 years old.

Dylan Farrow’s open letter, published by The New York TimesNicholas Kristof, went into graphic detail about the allegations, which first surfaced during Allen’s very public separation from Farrow. As Kristof himself reported, the public’s response was mixed:

One woman is definitely not thanking him: Woody Allen’s publicist Leslee Dart.

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The PhDs of Financial Scandals: Power, Hubris and (Billions of) Dollars

Citibank Game Final2Current financial scandals may be more complex and less glitzy than Wall Street crimes of the 1980s, but they involve similar underlying factors, according to two noted authors. Power, influence, egos, and hordes of money still play significant roles. Wolves still prowl Wall Street these days, though their fur has changed.

Bryan Burrough, co-author of Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, and William D. Cohan, author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, spoke at a Museum of the City of New York event earlier this month to discuss changes in Wall Street culture and offer comments on the evolving cast of characters.

Press Coverage and Politics:
Press coverage has been hindered by complex “Wall Street jargon”, said Cohan. Financiers “created a black box so that fewer reporters can cover the subject since terminology is so foreign.” Financial reporting isn’t an area that can be easily added as a specialty.

The political climate also factors into today’s situation. “The public resents that bankers got bailouts for problems they caused and everyone else got bupkis”, said Cohan. He lamented the “symbiotic relationship between government and Wall Street and the revolving door” of former government officials joining financial firms.

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MWW Campaign Plays Starring Role in New Christie Controversy

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A new week brings a new scandal for New Jersey governor Chris Christie just as his epic and (arguably) successful apology marathon fades from the headlines.

At the center of said controversy lies a campaign created by Jersey agency MWW, which will now play a role in an ongoing audit by the federal government. Why? Because the money that paid for the “Stronger than the Storm” campaign came from the feds, and its purpose was to help the state recover from Superstorm Sandy by encouraging tourists to visit the damaged shore.

Back in August, Democratic Jersey rep Frank Pallone argued that the money actually served, in part, to promote Christie himself in an election year. Surprise surprise: the governor’s moment of weakness turned out to be the perfect time for HUD to begin investigating whether the campaign amounted to an improper use of taxpayer funds.

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Fox PR Says New Roger Ailes Book Is Totally False Because They Didn’t Fact-Check It

RogerAiles“Randi Anderson, a television producer who went to work for CNBC when Ailes was running that channel twenty years ago…alleges that Ailes offered her an extra $100 a week to have sex with him whenever he wanted.”

See, we knew there was a reason the Fox News organization was trying so hard to discredit Gabriel Sherman and his new unauthorized Roger Ailes bio The Loudest Voice in the Room, for which he claims to have interviewed 614 peopleThanks for showing us the dirt, Wonkette!

The book isn’t on shelves yet, but The New York Times has already provided the public with some details.

Ailes may be “a visionary” who recognized the power of video (aka multimedia content) to shape public opinion years before everyone else, but according to the Times summary he also did some of those things that media people do.

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More Lance Armstrong Fail: He Offered Rival $100,000 to Throw Race

lanceCalamitous falls from grace in sports are unfortunately commonplace.

There was Pete Rose’s gambling and A-Rod incessant whining, Tiger’s addictive philandering and Michael Vick’s dog killing, Aaron Hernandez murdering and Kobe Bryant’s alleged pillaging. It happens every year, as it seems.

These darlings of the media are given spotlight, fame and a truck load of cash for playing a game. So, of course, they start jonesin’ for more and think they are incapable of being caught doing no wrong. Such is life for these insipid athletes who need to spruce up their image by taking advantage of others.

And then there is the dingleberry in the roto-rooter of humanity, Lance effin’ Armstrong. (Technically, I think that is his legal middle name.) And wait until you hear this…

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Lots of Animals Were Harmed During ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ Movie Shoots

shutterstock_143067433Here’s some great investigative reporting via The Hollywood Reporter that should inspire more diamond tears from Miley’s digital kitty: turns out that the “no animals were harmed” disclaimers you see on so many blockbusters might just be dramatically inaccurate.

Big reveals include:

  • A monitor for the American Humane Association tried to downplay injuries suffered by animals on the set of Life of Pi (presumably due to her personal relationship with one of the film’s production managers)
  • A member of the AHA’s advisory board also happened to be CEO of a media company broadcasting movies about animals
  • A former AHA member was fired for pushing the now-cancelled HBO show Luck to be more careful with its horses
  • The AHA “covered up” the death of a horse on the War Horse set “to protect Steven Spielberg”

So it’s terrible publicity for everyone mentioned in the story.

Key quotes below:

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#MediaFail: Convicted Murderer Gets City Council Seat Due to Media Oversight

Wantwaz DavisThere’s something to be said about the role of the media in this world. Sure, the evening news is nothing but a replay about who has been killed, raped, beat up and the frequent drive-by. It gets tiring watching that crap over and over and over again, I know. But they have a job to do. And trust me, when the media does not do that job, everyone knows.

Meet Wantwaz Davis of Flint, Mich.

Kudos are in order for the man because he recently beat incumbent Bernard Lawler by 71 votes to win the Fifth Ward seat for the City Council. Only one small problem: typically, the media is all over potential elected officials’ backgrounds. You know, their infidelity, bebes kids, back taxes and, oh yeah, pleading guilty to murder!

Yes, that’s right citizens of Flint, your newly elected city councilman served 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in 1991. Much to the chagrin to the usual more than 50 percent that were too lazy to get off their butt and vote, it seems Davis didn’t “hide his murder conviction from voters and openly talked about the conviction with residents,” but it never was publicly reported.

But wait, there’s more after the jump…

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Crisis Communications Legend Lawrence Foster Dead at 88

Source: Dick Jones CommunicationsYou may not know the name or the face but you definitely know the story about the infamous Tylenol crisis of the late 1980s.

In short, seven people died as a result of cyanide-laced Tylenol pills, including a 12-year-old girl. Mass hysteria ensued and the parent company of Tylenol was practically rescued by one man — Lawrence Foster, corporate vice president of public relations for Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

He died last night at the age of 88, according to a release sent to Mediabistro and PRNewser.

A Penn State alumnus, Foster’s rapid and concise response to the national tragedy has served as a case study for Crisis Communications 101 since 1986, and will be into perpetuity.

Although a couple of people were suspected of this heinous crime (including Ted Kaczynski), no one has been formally charged. Regardless, Foster knew quick action and immediate response was the key to saving J&J from public scrutiny and private bankruptcy.

How to deal with this in front of America without destroying the reputation of the company? Three ways:

  1. Immediate product recall (31 million bottles equaling $100 million). 
  2. Cease all corporate advertising
  3. Reintroduction of the company’s top product slowly to ensure grace under fire

Although J&J was not responsible for the tampering, they assumed responsibility under Foster’s direction. He led a campaign that stated public safety first and recalled all of their capsules from the market in 1986. All Tylenol capsules were removed form the market and radio silence was instilled until this scare was eradicated.

You know those pesky child-proof caps and “tamper resistant packaging” seen on any over-the-counter medicine? That was Foster’s brainchild. J&J was the first company to promote “caplets”, which were also resistant to tampering. That is a nice move, but people still had to buy the product. How? Coupons and brand ambassadors through public speaking.

It was swift, detailed and very successful. And that was all because of Foster’s leadership.

A funeral mass will be held 10:00 a.m., Monday, Oct. 21, at The Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity, 315 1st St., Westfield, NJ. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers contributions would be appreciated to the Central PA Food Bank, 3908 Corey Road, Harrisburg, PA 17109, or the charity of your choosing.

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