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Shoot the Messenger

FOX News’ Tucker Carlson Suspects Kids Are ‘Learning Too Much’ in School

tucker-carlson-1024x682Someday, somehow, someone is going to invent a mute button just for certain “journalists.” If you have ever doubted a need for such a Rube Goldberg device, read this story, brought to you by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

As he took his frequent seat on FOX & Friends, Carlson began discussing the usual suspects — ISIS, the economy, Obama’s birth certificate — then took an abrupt detour, careened off the road, and ranted against the U.S. education system, public school, and the teachers in it.

Because if you want good PR mojo, attack the teachers. It’s right up there with harassing the elderly and making fun of someone’s mother. The unbelievable video is after the jump, along with his explanation. Read more

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Journalist Reveals Ketchum’s Suggestions for Discrediting Him

Ecuador2In case you missed it, Bloomberg Businessweek published an intriguing story yesterday by veteran journalist Paul M. Barrett that ran with the headline “What It’s Like to Be Attacked by Putin’s Flack.

The “flack” in question is Ketchum — more specifically D.C.-based partner Kathy Jeavons, who “heads both the Ecuador and Russia accounts” for the firm.

For the record, Jeavons did not personally attack or even contact Barrett. But a source did forward him a talking points document that the firm wrote for Nathalie Cely, Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States. The doc included both well-stated observations about Ecuador’s history with Chevron and suggestions for casting doubt on the credibility of Law of the Jungle, Barrett’s upcoming book on the lawsuit that accuses the company of abusing its relationship with the people of Ecuador.

One such suggestion: use friendly media outlets to raise doubts about whether Barrett ever actually visited the country or met the individuals he interviewed for the book.

We spoke to Mr. Barrett today for more information.

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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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Anatomy of a Twitter Apology: DiGiorno

ICYMI, DiGiorno broke what looked like a long winning streak on Twitter late last night with this one:

DiGiorno

The hashtag marked a collection of statements from women who had been in abusive relationships explaining why they did not leave their significant others. The point of the trend was to counter the unfortunate narrative holding that Ray Rice’s wife was somehow responsible for the incident that got him fired yesterday.

DiGiorno rightfully got a lot of very negative attention for a painfully insensitive message, but the brand’s social media manager also did a very thorough job of apologizing after the jump.

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Pamela Anderson Sort of Ruined the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

pamela-anderson-peta-ad

For the past couple of months, the ALS foundation has earned more than $70 million thanks to the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.This stunt has become a thing of legend created to raise funds for and awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

Of course, Hollywood has broken out the flip cams in droves in hopes of getting 15 extra minutes of fame raising the bar and bringing in some coin for a great cause. ALS is getting the attention it deserves regardless of whatever lies in the hearts of these famous folks.

Unfortunately, serial B-lister and anti-fur advocate Pamela Anderson decided to steal the spotlight and make her own cause out of this cause. We wonder whether PETA is proud of this.

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Mr. Congeniality Gene Simmons: ‘If You’re Depressed, Just Kill Yourself.’

Kiss Gene SimmonsLast week, the entertainment world stood still as word of Robin Williams‘ death stunned everyone — fans and colleagues alike.

The only party that deviated even slightly from the narrative was Edelman, and they caught a whole lot of flack for it.

And yet you just knew that someone would have to play the bad guy. Just after quitting time on Friday, word broke out about KISS frontman/bass player/shameless self-promoter Gene Simmons and a interview conducted by SongFacts.com‘s Roger Catlin.

Why bring up Williams? During the interview, Simmons shared his thoughts on reality TV, touring with the band, his Arena football team… and clinical depression.

In advance, people have already wished Simmons would just choke on that thing.

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#PRFail: NBC Strikes Out on Meet the Press Announcement

david gregory

“Where is the love, the love, the love?”

It was the worst-kept secret in network TV, but after months of speculation NBC finally announced yesterday that Chuck Todd would indeed take over for David Gregory as the host of the Sunday morning coffee gathering known as Meet the Press.

In case you missed it, NBC has a history of mismanaging personnel announcements. Does the name Ann Curry ring a bell?

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THIS JUST IN: North Carolina Town Council Approves Street Named After Local Klansman

THIS JUST IN 2America has been doing so well lately.

We elected an African American President and both of our most recent administrations had female Secretaries of State. Much of the country is also standing behind Native Americans as they take on Daniel Snyder, owner of a certain Washington football team, and whatever flacks he can afford.

And just when you get comfortable resting in the warm embrace of Lady Liberty, she belches, loses her composure, and drops you into Hudson Bay.

Welcome to Fair Bluff, N.C. where the town council recently approved a street to be named after a man with a dubious distinction — a former Ku Klux Klan leader convicted in 1952 for his role in a local flogging.

Ah, yes.

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Two Cleveland Newspapers Block LeBron Ad Stunt

highly questionable

ESPN’s Dan LeBatard has made his career off vitrolic opinions on sports — some are spot-on, others are not-so-much. His home is Miami and his allegiance is to the Miami Heat.

Given Lebron James’ “decision” to take his talents back to Lake Erie, LeBatard has decided that Lebron should write a thank you letter to Heat Fans. Seeing how that public plea didn’t get much traction in Cleveland, LeBatard had another idea — to purchase a full-page ad in both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal

Upon review, his proposal was completely denied because even newspapers don’t need ad revenue that badly.

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Don’t Buzz Me, Bro: Another Major Plagiarist Bites the Dust

buzzfeed

Why yes. He did go too far.

In what has to be one of the worst trends in journalism today, another national reporter has been fired for plagiarism. This time, it was BuzzFeed’s “Viral Politics” guy Benny Johnson.

This blow to the chronicles of credible reporting is particularly relevant because BuzzFeed also talks a big game regarding the benefits of its native advertising services. Yet here we are, discussing the copying and non-sourcing prowess of a once-respected reporter. Again.

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