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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Hollywood Pushes Back Against Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Zero Dark ThirtyWe haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but we are intrigued by the PR back-and-forth between the film’s makers/promoters and various members of the US government. A couple of questions are central to the controversy:

  • Does the film glorify torture and imply that information gained during torture sessions eventually led to the location and assassination of Osama bin Laden?
  • Did the filmmakers act inappropriately in collecting information from confidential sources within the Central Intelligence Agency?

This is a bi-partisan issue; California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Arizona Republican John McCain both voiced concern over the fact that the movie might lead Americans to see “enhanced interrogation” as an acceptable element of the US military’s intelligence arsenal. The conversation grew so heated that director Kathryn Bigelow found the need to release a public statement calling herself a “lifelong pacifist”, disavowing the use of torture and reminding everyone in the media that retweets do not equal endorsements. The senators have also sent a letter to the acting director of the CIA asking for more information in terms of the filmmakers’ discussions with members of the agency’s intelligence community.

Now the pushback on behalf of ZDT is growing stronger–and it’s an interesting case from a PR perspective.

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Hunstman, Romney, Broadway Bring Visibility to Mormon Religion

In 2008, PRNewser became very interested in the Mitt Romney campaign, as it thrust the former Massachusetts Governor in to the spotlight as a de-facto spokesman for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints–or the Mormon religion.  At the time, a confluence of pop culture and current events put him there, and then it became a non-issue as John McCain rose up to become the presumptive nominee for the GOP.

Fast forward to today, and we have not one but two viable candidates with former Utah Governor and ambassador to China (nominated by Barack Obama) Jon Huntsman entering the race with a campaign video last week.  Say what you will about the ad, his resume is ridic.

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Study: Republicans Have 65 Percent of the Most Followed Congressional Twitter Accounts

Research conducted by Burson-Marsteller found that eight of ten most followed Congressional Twitter accounts are maintained by Republicans. Moreover, as the House of Representatives and 22 Senators face re-election, Republican Congress members are more likely than Democrats to have an election-focused account.

Republicans also top Democrats in the average number of followers for election-focused accounts with Republicans collecting 4,820 versus the Democrats 2,972. Seventy-two percent of Republican Congress members have Twitter accounts versus only 55 percent of Democrats.

John McCain (AZ), John Boehner (OH), and Jim DeMint (SC) are the most followed Congress members on Twitter. The two Democrats in the top ten are Claire McCaskill (MO) at number four and Barbara Boxer (CA) at number eight.

The entire B-M study after the jump.

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Edelman Hires Former McCain, Schwarzenegger Aide to Run U.S. Public Affairs


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Steve Schmidt has joined Edelman as Vice Chairman, Public Affairs, the agency said today. Schmidt was most recently a partner at Mercury Public Affairs, leading the firm’s operations in California.

He was also a key source for the best-selling book Game Change, which revealed behind the scenes information in regards to the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The above video is from Schmidt’s January 10th, 2010 appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” where he spoke about the McCain presidential campaign, and their decision to add Sarah Palin to the ticket.

Schmidt served as senior advisor to John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign; campaign manager for the 2006 re-election of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and was deputy assistant to the President and Counsellor to the Vice President in the White House, where he played leading roles on the confirmation teams for the nominations of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. In addition, he was a member of the senior strategic planning group that directed Former President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Edelman says their U.S. Public Affairs practice has revenues of $60 million with a team of 170 serving clients including API, Business Roundtable, Monsanto, Oregon Bridge Delivery Partners, and Pfizer.

Interview: Michael Kempner, CEO, MWW Group

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Michael Kempner has served as CEO of MWW Group since its founding in 1986. As an IPG (NYSE: IPG) owned shop, it is the 11th largest public relations agency in the U.S.

PRNewser caught up with Kempner this week to get his take on the market for PR services in 2010 — “You can’t hide in this market. You’re either really good or you’re not.” — his work for the Democratic Party — “The president needs to tie all of his programs together into a unified theme.” — and how he would grade Toyota’s crisis communications strategy thus far — “I would grade them a D.”

What’s your take on the market for PR so far in 2010?

I’m actually in a good mood. I felt good about 2009, actually. It wasn’t the easiest year, but the team rallied together. The team proved what I thought they would prove:

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Google Gets a New Top Flack: Former McCain Comm. Chief Jill Hazelbaker

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Google’s founders hate PR and marketing. But that hasn’t stopped them from hiring lots of PR and marketing executives.

Jill Hazelbaker, who previously served as communications chief for John McCain‘s presidential campaign will now head up communications for Google. Hazelbacker also recently worked as “media strategist and spokesperson” on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s re-election campaign. At just 28 years of age, Hazelbacker has prime-time political experience, something she’ll need as Google is increasingly being watched over by D.C.

She will be replacing Matt Furman, who is relocating to the east coast, Alley Insider reports.

D.C. Lobbying Firms Merge to Form Burson-Marsteller Subsidiary

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BKSH & Associates Worldwide and Timmons & Co., two lobbying firms based in Washington, D.C. and owned by WPP Group (WPPGY), have merged to form Prime Policy Group. The new company will operate as a subsidiary of WPP owned Burson-Marsteller.

The new firm will be lead by Charlie Black, who previously served as chair of BKSH but left in March 2008 to work full time on John McCain‘s presidential campaign. Black has also served as senior adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

The new firm counts Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., AT&T Inc. and Anheuser-Busch as clients.

How Did Katie Couric Book Glenn Beck on Her Web Show? Hint: They Have the Same Publicist

For the debut guest on her new CBSNews.com show, @katiecouric, the CBS Evening News anchor interviewed Fox News host Glenn Beck. Certainly Beck has had his fair share of media attention of late and could provide some buzz to the new show. Beck delivered with the following quote: “I think John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama.” Thank you, Mr. Beck.

However, there is another connection between the two: they have the same publicist. Matthew Hiltzik of Hiltzik Strategies confirmed to PRNewser that he does represent both Couric and Beck, but declined to comment on whether he had set up the interview.