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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

Bob Dylan’s Interactive ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ Video Promo Is Awesomely Surreal

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone Interactive Video - YouTube-1Bob Dylan‘s iconic music has been woven into the tapestry of American culture for decades, and has spoken to multiple generations with equal resonance.

Now, in order to promote the first volume of the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection, released just in time for the holidays (of course) by Sony Music Entertainment, comes a music video unlike any we’ve ever seen.

The interactive video, set to Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone,” seems to symbolize the permeation of the artist’s songs throughout our daily lives by allowing viewers to flip through sixteen different “channels,” each playing authentic-looking footage of everything from a home shopping network to a tennis match, with each actor on screen perfectly lip syncing the lyrics to the song in what otherwise seems like a legitimate TV broadcast. At the end, the viewer comes to actual footage of Dylan performing his song, which ties the whole surreal experience into a grounded moment of realism — hearing the song in its original context after so many out-of-context scenarios makes the simplicity of one man alone on a stage, singing a song he wrote, all the more powerful.

“The effect can only be surrealistic if the channels are realistic,” Vania Heymann, the video’s director, told Rolling Stone.

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Jonah Lehrer Can’t Save His Reputation Now

Jonah LehrerAt first the Jonah Lehrer plagiarism story may feel a little too “inside the media” for its own good–but it’s a very relevant case study for anyone involved in PR and reputation management.

In short, Lehrer was a promising essayist/journalist/public speaker whose career crumbled after a few investigative writers discovered that he had not only copied and re-printed sections of his own work (which were published by different companies, thereby violating copyright laws) but also copied from other blogs and completely invented elements like quotes from Bob Dylan.

Now for the lesson in crisis comm: Lehrer’s first response to the controversy was denial. He eventually admitted to plagiarizing himself and inventing the Dylan quotes and lost his various media gigs, effectively killing his credibility. Today brings news of the first step in his rehabilitation campaign: he was hired to speak on his own misdeeds at a Knight Foundation journalism conference in Miami.

The journalists on Twitter aren’t having any of it, though.

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Scandal du Jour: Plagiarism!

The Words” is a new film starring everyone’s favorite faux Frenchman, Bradley Cooper. Its plot, as we understand it, revolves around the concept of author as plagiarist–and while we can’t exactly recommend the movie based on its critical reception, we thought we’d use this opportunity (and the emergence of another small-scale plagiarism story) to examine parallel scandals that engaged the chattering classes this summer: the public trials of Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria.

Seems like everyone is copying the work of others these days–even noted wordsmith Chuck Norris has been caught red-handed. The two men at the center of this hot topic are very different personalities—and both the charges leveled against them and the public’s reaction to their respective PR crises have been very different as well. Fareed Zakaria is a respected journalist and TV news personality while Jonah Lehrer is (or, more accurately, was) a rising writer, speaker, and acknowledged expert in the realms of neurology and human behavior.

What, exactly, did they do?

Zakaria copied a paragraph of a Time article on gun control from an earlier New Yorker piece by historian Jill Lepore. CNN also found that one of his blog posts for CNN.com “contained similar unattributed quotes.” When accused of other acts of sloppy journalism, he lashed out at critics before backing down.

Lehrer’s first crime was plagiarizing himself—observers discovered that he often repeated passages that had appeared in previous columns or books. While this was bad news for Lehrer, it wasn’t necessarily the end of the world. Unfortunately, further investigations uncovered a disturbing history of similar behavior during his time at Wired and other publications. And that wasn’t the worst of it: The final, damning revelation was the fact that Lehrer had straight-up invented nonexistent Bob Dylan quotes for his bestselling book “Imagine”—and when pressed on his offense, he denied it and made more false claims before breaking down and confessing to his own dishonesty.

The saddest part about these stories is that both writers remain very talented, very busy men who obviously bit off more than they could chew. What conclusions can we, as PR and media professionals, draw from their cases?

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