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Things We Don’t Like

America Officially Hates Sarah Palin

palin_mouthSurveys are fun because they offer insights into America’s red, white, and blue soul. This is especially true when the surveys are about divisive things like politics, healthcare, or Donald Trump’s fabled “Trump Toupee.”

Take Sarah Palin.

See there? The name alone makes hairs stand up, stomachs turn and glasses go foggy. So why is she in the news … again? A survey.

While it’s not like Sarah Palin is on a media hiatus or anything, she’s not as visible as she would like. And thanks to this NBC News/WSJ poll, we know she is still more vocal than anyone would like.

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More Proof Congress Knows Its Image Problem: Fire Staffers; Hire Flacks

congress toilet

Election after election, we see the same thing: People hate Congress. People protest the system. People complain about the election. And then they do one of two things: 1.) Don’t vote or 2.) Vote for the same fools who are already there.

Why? There is no other explanation — voters are stupid. However, it seems that Congress may be getting smarter than the oafs who put them there. Based on a report from D.C. blog, InTheCapital, we learn that Capitol Hill has “cut down on staffers but increased their PR firms.”

Think they’re onto something? You know? Like, finally?

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Another Word the Media Should Really Learn to Use Properly

breaking newsFor what seems like this entire year, the phrase “Breaking News” has been questioned. You may remember a certain Malaysian airline flight that disappeared without a trace. Every story that came out was “breaking news.”

A rumor was heard: breaking news. A psychic had a dream: breaking news. A news crew may have a lead: breaking news. It was the news station who cried wolf all day long. We even had a great story about MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and his blatant disregard for the inherent meaning of the phrase.

Let’s now add to that lexicon of misnomers: Exclusive. Shall we? And TMZ, we’re looking at you.

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Sheryl Sandberg Shrugs Off Facebook’s Latest Scandal

Mark Zuckerberg has yet to begin his apology tour for Facebook’s latest crossing of the invisible line with a research paper that did not get pre-approval from the ethics board at Cornell University.

Today, however, Sheryl Sandberg addressed the matter at a totally-not-related event. Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic sums up her reponse in popular emoji form:

That’s pretty much it. A quote after the jump…

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CNN Reaches for Ratings By Asking America to Deport One of Its Own

jose antonio vargasMeet Jose Antonio Vargas

This guy is one of the most brazen reporters today. Why? He has courage and temerity to do what few others of his ilk would even consider — he is willing to sacrifice his own residence in America for a greater cause.

As you can see from the picture above, he added to the “Dear God, give us ratings but really not a bad idea” juggernaut of the newly minted CNN FilmsDocumented.” In this amazing documentary, Vargas discloses even more details about living as an undocumented American journalist. More so, because in 2011, he put his stamp on the national immigration debate in The New York Times. 

And for his reward, CNN asked Twitter to deport him. Yes, really.

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Twitter (Finally) Calls Robin Thicke a Douchebag

DOUCHEBAG

Ok, I can hear you now.

Yesterday Robin Thicke learned the same lesson that has already turned JPMorgan and Roger Goodell into prime case studies for the ages: Twitter chats pretty much never go well, especially when the fruit at the center of the conversation hangs so very, very low.

This one was so bad that it led journalists all over the country to devote their mornings to locating Mr. Thicke’s most embarrassing stock photos.

How did we do?

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3 Things Wrong with KLM’s ‘Is It Racist?’ World Cup Tweet

KLM

You’ve almost certainly read more than enough about Dutch airline KLM’s now-deleted tweet following its home country’s dramatic win over Mexico in the World Cup–and its subsequent apology “to those who feel offended.”

Twitter outrage, etc. We’ll leave the “is it really racist or just a sign of a culture given to indignation” debate to other blogs and the people who comment on them, but we do think KLM should have seen this coming.

Here are three very obvious things wrong with the tweet.

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The Top 9 Most Contested AP Style Changes in ‘Hopefully’ Ever

APStyle

Come on. High-Five? Who’s with us?

Thanks to the evolution of text lingo, -isms, and a cornucopia of other logophilic and verbivore-ish drama, the AP Stylebook has become the most coveted book for hacks and flacks alike. It’s like anything Adobe — one second away from the thing and it shoots you another inconvenient update.

I’ve been struggling with this whole Oxford comma thing since I read this study and this report. I had a nightmare last night — woke up screaming, sweated a little, and ran to my computer to make sure the Oxford commas hadn’t been adopted overnight.

While that change has yet to be made — and I still struggle with adopting it — here are 10 other controversial changes from the AP Stylebook that caused a Jonestown-like response. Bottoms up?

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5 Things Wrong with the Press Release

PR ER

Once upon a time, there was a tool called the press release.

It was the largest hammer, longest nail, and strongest muscle all in one. Flacks were able to write commercial-esque documents in hopes of national pick-up. Clients were happy because of their approved (and finely crafted) 18-paragraph quotes. PR agencies were happy because they had a sure-fire journalism story written with fluidity.

Today? No one seems happy.

Releases don’t get that universal attention. Clients don’t get infomercial-length quotes. The Web certainly can’t stand such content, what with Google’s pet Panda traipsing all over free news wires like a scene from Godzilla. So, what happened? After the jump, we take a look…

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UPDATE: ‘Girl Asked to Leave KFC’ Story Looking Like a Hoax

girl kfc

This sweet girl really was attacked by dogs, but her mother may be a big chicken.

There are some sick, twisted, and depraved people in the world. This follow-up story proves it in more ways than one.

Last week, the world went ballistic upon hearing the news of a three-year-old girl, who was brutally attacked by three pitbulls, being “asked to leave a Jackson, Miss. KFC because the scars on her face ‘scared customers.’”

The story was a perfunctory Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $135,000 in donations…including a $30,000 check from KFC. The brand didn’t have to do that, but it was great PR, right?

Probably not: the story was an elaborate hoax – or, in New York Daily News parlance, “a finger-lickin’ fraud.”  Read more

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