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Know Where the Line Is And Don’t Cross It

This week, we were collectively horrified by the story of a naked man who was caught in the act of chewing a man’s face off on the side of a road in Florida, then shot and killed. The grisliness of the news has been coupled with a number of references to the “Miami zombie” and, by extension, lots of jokes, slideshows, and other making light of what is at once a tragedy and, what one had hoped, an aberration.

On the Atlantic Wire, Richard Lawson reminds us that this is a real thing that happened to a real person and it’s awful.

“It’s an ironic joke (a boring and overused ironic joke at that — zombies are so very 2009) made at the faraway expense of genuine suffering. Like, a man, a troubled homeless man no less, did have his face eaten off, guys,” his article says.

Thank goodness, we haven’t seen or heard of any PR pitches lately that have used this story or the imagined coming of the “zombie apocalypse” as a news peg. However, as Gawker points out, publicists can sometimes take the wrong angle in a terrible direction when trying to pitch their stories.

So this is just a gentle reminder that some things really are inappropriate, even at a time such as this when nothing seems off limits. Being tasteful never goes out of style ladies and gents of the PR world. And if you really want to talk about zombies, AMC is gearing up for the next season of The Walking Dead with a marathon next week. That’s the kind of zombie talk we can get behind.

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