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Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

Fox News PR Team Planted Fake Story to Discredit Journalist

No, not you...

This week’s story about members of the Fox News PR team posting “sockpuppet” comments in threads on various blogs (like our sister site TVNewser) was big, but this one is far worse: NPR reporter David Folkenflik‘s new book “Murdoch’s World” reports that the team schemed to send a journalist a fake tip in order to discredit him.

Here’s the deal: as Folkenflik tells The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple, the Fox PR team refuses to participate in any story that compares the channel to its competitors in tracking general cable news trends—they don’t even want to acknowledge the existence of CNN or MSNBC.

Crain’s New York Business reporter Matthew Flamm was trying to write a story about how CNN briefly beat Fox in the ratings game in February 2008 when he received this “tip” from an “inside source” at the network:

“FOX PR reps would never confirm this, at least not on the record. But [Bill] O’Reilly, not Brit Hume, will…anchor our texas and ohio primary coverage on Tuesday night. They want to copy the success that MSNBC has had with Olbermann and Matthews anchoring their coverage.”

It sounds like a big deal because, in order to confirm its “fair and balanced” status, Fox maintains a clear wall between “objective” reporters like Hume and opinionators like O’Reilly—and such a move would represent a breach of that wall.

But the story wasn’t true.

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#PRFail: FOX News Busted for ‘Sockpuppeting’ on Social Media

fox-sockpuppetSockpuppeting (v.) – The act of creating a false identity created by trolls and other nefarious ne’er-do-wells via the Internet designed to support posts, forums and PR stories shilling a client’s product or messaging. Typically caught by bad spelling, terrible grammar and tracked IP addresses (you dolts).

Although the definition is created with fun and yuks, the practice is not.

This is an unethical effort in flackdom established by malcontents and other PR professionals that suck at their job. These dunderheads prefer to be anonymous through bearding via Facebook, Twitter or even “Joe from Detroit” commenting online somewhere. And now, we can add FOX News to that austere list of dimwits.

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13 Political Metaphors More Annoying Than the Government Shutdown

Jay Carney

“My metaphorical cup is this full…”

Retreat to your cocoon, adjust your tin foil hat, pull the wool over your eyes and get ready to drink the Kool-Aid, sheeple—it’s time for a lesson in messages more infuriating than the last season of Lost.

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Vladimir Putin Hires Boyz II Men to Promote Russian Fertility

Boyz II MenJust a couple of hours ago we posted about a Chicago-based NPR affiliate relying on clever PR campaigns to encourage its fans to reproduce. Self-appointed Russian president Vladimir Putin has a simpler strategy: hire Boyz II Men!

While the Boyz claim to be very busy working on their Las Vegas hotel residency and their upcoming tour with New Kids on the Block and 98 Degrees (stay out of it, Nick Lachey!), they still managed to find time to headline a February show in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall which–according to The Moscow Times–will serve as part of Putin’s ongoing PR campaign urging Russians to have more kids so the country can be more “influential.”

If you can’t see the connection between point A and point B, then you must not have lived through the early 90′s.

We only have two questions: Since when did Boyz II Men turn into a trio? And what happened to the slow-jam guy with the cane and the Barry White bass? He was all about making babies…

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NPR Membership Drive Urges Listeners to ‘Go Make Babies’

When you hear the words “public” and “radio” together, your mind probably doesn’t turn toward hot and heavy procreation. But a Chicago-based NPR affiliate decided to go bold with its most recent membership drive/PR campaign, stroking its listeners’ fragile egos while simultaneously encouraging them to support NPR in the years and decades ahead by having more babies (who would presumably be “interesting” enough to listen to public radio). NPR Go Make Babies Campaign

The campaign includes lines like the one above in addition to such timeless brand statements as:

  • “We want listeners tomorrow. Go make babies today.”
  • “Do It. For Chicago.”
  • “We want interesting people to meet interesting people and make more interesting people.”

“Go Make Babies” isn’t just a snarky tagline, by the way. It’s also a Facebook app that includes a clever “assessment” quiz designed to tell fancy-pants NPR fans just how interesting they are before directing them toward the profiles of other, similarly interesting individuals (who just might be up for makin’ some babies at an unforeseeable point in the hopefully-not-too-distant future).

Can you tell how much we like this campaign?

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Shakespeare’s Sonnets Successfully Stored in DNA

Okay, we realize that the PR angle on this one is a bit of a stretch, but we’re not sure whether we think this is totally awesome or extremely creepy, and we thought the public might relate to our quandry (see what we did there?). Plus, it’s Friday, and cool stories are cooler on Fridays. Fact.

The plan to try and store information in DNA was hatched (as so many weird and wonderful ideas are) while Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were discussing a problem over a beer.

The institute where they work is responsible for storing and maintaining a huge database of genetic information, including many thousands of genes from humans, corn, pufferfish…you name it. Storing all of that ever-compounding data on hard drives was becoming financially problematic.

“The data we’re being asked to be guardians of is growing exponentially,” Goldman told NPR. “But our budgets are not growing exponentially.”

Then it occurred to them:

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Whole Foods CEO Backtracks on Obama ‘Fascism’ Remark

Whole Foods CEO John MackeyWe know that a PR professional’s job often includes telling powerful people what to say–and when to say it. Today we feel fairly safe offering this little nugget of wisdom to every client: Unless you’re a left-wing Eastern European politician, never use the words “fascist” or “fascism” to describe your opponents, no matter who they may be. It’s never appropriate, and it always makes you look like an ass. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently learned that lesson.

Mackey stepped into the national health care debate back in 2009, when he penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing that President Obama‘s signature health care overhaul was a form of “socialism” that would ultimately lead to complete government control over our nation’s health care system.

Now he’s hitting the various media outlets to promote his book Conscious Capitalism, which apparently details the ways in which certain businesses (his own included, of course) make the world a better place without the interference of the big, bad government. While visiting NPR‘s “Morning Edition“, he turned his previous criticism on its head, arguing that:

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Roll Call: Edelman, NPR, and Shine America

Edelman has announced the formal opening of Edelman Turkey, its 66thoffice. Edelman Turkey, located in Istanbul, was established in April of this year as an organic start-up operation. The office will now be led by Serra Türk Büyükfirat, who joined Edelman this week as general manager, Turkey. She will report to Chris Dobson, managing director for strategic & emerging markets, EMEA, who has led the operation until now. Edelman’s move into Turkey was driven by the increasing focus this dynamic market now receives from the company’s international network clients. Edelman Turkey’s service offering will mirror that of the global Edelman network, fusing traditional public engagement with an array of digital and mobile services for international and local companies alike. (Release)

NPR has hired Miami-based marketing executive Emma Carrasco as its new chief marketing officer, and has also named PBS executive Loren Mayor as senior vice president of strategy. Carrasco, who currently serves as executive vice president of the creative agency Republica, will begin on Dec. 3. Mayor, the vice president of strategy at PBS, will assume her position Dec. 10. (NPR)

Former Walt Disney Studios Chairman and Disney Channels Worldwide President Rich Ross has been named chief executive of Shine America, a production company owned by News Corp. In his new role, Ross is returning to his small-screen roots. Best known for producing reality TV shows including Fox’s “MasterChef” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Shine is run by Elisabeth Murdoch. (LA Times)

Revolving Door: SI, Say Media, NPR, and More

Matt Bean has been named managing editor of Sports Illustrateds website, Bean comes to SI from Rodale, where he most recently served  as vice president, digital product development. Bean will succeed Paul Fichtenbaum, who was named editorial director of Time Inc.’s Sports Group. (FishbowlNY)

Anna Baird has been named CFO of SAY Media. Formerly a partner at Connor Group, Baird brings two decades of solid tech-focused financial leadership to her new post. Before joining Connor Group, she was senior vice president at McAfee, working with the CEO and CFO on global strategy and infrastructure and organizational alignment. Prior to her time at McAfee, Baird was an integral part of the leadership team at KPMG in Silicon Valley for more than 17 years, most recently as global lead partner working with several technology companies including Symantec, Oracle and Intuit. (Release)

Monique Hanson has been named NPR’s chief development officer. Beginning in October, Hanson will oversee major and planned giving, and foundation grants. She’ll work with the NPR Foundation, which holds most of Joan Kroc’s $230 million endowment. Hanson has spent the last several years raising money for the YMCA. (

Tim “Romeo” Herbster has been named vice president of Special Programming Projects at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Herbster is the host of the nationally syndicated show “Saturday Night Online” and will continue to host the show in conjunction with his new position. At his new post, Herbster will manage large-scale national projects, working closely with Darren Davis, Executive Vice President of National Programming Platforms, on advertiser integration programs. He will also develop on-air and digital music programming and content. Herbster will relocate to New York City from Philadelphia, where he most recently served as Program Director for WIOQ (Q102) and Online Program Director for the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment cluster in Philadelphia. (Release)

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Whoops: Anti-Semitic Hungarian Politician Discovers He’s Jewish

Anyone remember that episode of the Chappelle Show about a blind African American white supremacist? Apparently, the idea wasn’t so far-fetched. Take the story of Csanad Szegedi, a (now former) leader of Hungary’s Jobbik Party–an organization that sprinkles its campaign materials with overtly anti-Semitic messages. In his heyday, Szegedi railed passionately against the “Jewishness” of the political class, and his party’s presidential candidate reportedly referred to Israeli Jews as “lice-infested, dirty murderers.” Have you guessed the punchline yet? That’s right, Szegedi recently discovered that his mother was Jewish, which officially makes him a Jew–or, in the eyes of his party’s current presidential candidate, fifty percent dirty murderer.

Turns out that his grandmother survived Auschwitz and his grandfather spent time at several labor camps (!). Read more