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Posts Tagged ‘Republican National Convention’

CNN Cancels Hillary Clinton Biopic

Not impressed.

The minute CNN announced that it would be producing a film version of Hillary Clinton‘s career, critics pounced on the move as evidence of the network spinning its wheels on behalf of the former Secretary of State and all-but-certain presidential candidate. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus went so far as to cite the doc, along with NBC’s planned miniseries, when calling on his party to boycott both networks in 2016 due to “obvious bias.”

Now they might not have that problem. This morning the film’s would-be director Charles Ferguson, best known for his financial industry doc Inside Job, announced via The Huffington Post that the project is officially kaputt. He cited a lack of cooperation on the part of Clinton’s media team as the main reason for his decision.

Seems HC’s publicist phoned the director the day after he signed the contract to ask some probing questions; “media fixer” Philippe Reines followed by grilling various CNN executives about possible “conflicts of interest” on the for-profit movie before leaking his concerns to Politico. No word on whether he told Wolf Blizter to “f*ck off and have a good life.

In short, the team agreed with Reince’s conclusion and vetoed participation in the project in order to minimize the inevitable “lamestream media carries water for Clinton” critiques. The HuffPo story has more salacious details about Ferguson’s meeting with Bill, whom he calls “a really good actor” (that’s not a compliment).

Don’t worry, though: NBC’s miniseries is still on, meaning The Daily Beast will have plenty of time to figure out whether Diane Lane is “too sexy” for the role.

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First Lady Scores Big Social Media Win

Despite some challenging weather and middling TV ratings, last week’s Republican National Convention was deemed a success based on an overwhelming outpouring of social media activity: More than four million tweets made their way onto the World Wide Web during the three days of the convention.

Yet the Democratic National Convention came close to beating that number on its first day alone. While many pundits have spent the last 24 hours analyzing the speech made by San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (whose Twitter followership more than tripled in less than a day), the big traffic driver was First Lady Michelle Obama’s “mom-in-chief” speech.

Read more

Clint Eastwood and the 24-7 Internet PR Machine

This week the Republican National Convention highlighted the brutal nature of public relations.

Clint Eastwood, a national icon revered by Americans, seemed like a bulletproof choice as guest speaker for Mitt Romney’s big night.

Our culture worships celebrities for playing characters like Dirty Harry, who represent the tough guy all of us would be if we weren’t really the guys who we are.

Throw up the image of Eastwood’s legendary scowl on the big screen, have the aging Eastwood walk out to the podium, and watch a stadium full of well-educated, well-dressed (except for those hats) people cheer like One Direction fans as Eastwood’s thoughts and sanity painfully unraveled before them–all beside an empty chair occupied by an invisible President Obama. Everyone cheered. The whole time.

It was crazy. F-bomb crazy. Read more

Invisible Obama Tweets for Your Entertainment

Today in PR Moves That Had to Happen: In the moments following Clint Eastwood’s bizarre, incoherent (there’s really no other way to describe it) speech introducing nominee Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention last night, someone set up a Twitter account under the handle @InvisibleObama, and if it wasn’t someone within the Obama re-election campaign then it certainly should have been. It seems that the account, which was disabled for some time, is now back up and running.

We’ve always loved Clint Eastwood for his gruff directorial style and the blank-faced stares that made the spaghetti Westerns so great (even though we thought “Gran Torino” was extremely weak), but his bizarre conversation with an empty chair representing the President overshadowed the speeches of both Romney and Florida Senator Marco Rubio on the way to becoming a predictable meme (we give “Eastwooding” about two weeks tops). More importantly, he opened the door for someone like the mildly amusing tweeter listed above to poke fun at the self-serious convention.

In summary: All publicity is not good publicity. Will this weird incident affect the election in any real way? No. But we’re fairly sure that Mr. Romney’s campaign has spent the day wondering whether Eastwood was the best speaker for the moment–and the answer should be fairly obvious.

The challenge for Romney’s communications team? Top this move at the Democratic National Convention next month. We’ll be waiting.

Yahoo News Fires D.C. Bureau Chief for Anti-Romney Remarks

PR professionals know all about the damage that undisciplined outbursts, remarks and commentary can cause to one’s career and respective employer—especially in the Internet age, when political outrage travels faster than videos of adorable kittens.

David Chalian, the now former D.C. Bureau Chief for Yahoo News, knows too.

Mr. Chalian was fired within hours of commenting about the Republican National Convention festivities being held in Tampa Bay, FL, while Hurricane Isaac battered the Gulf of Mexico. He remarked on the Romney campaign’s seeming lack of concern for the storm’s victims–and the Republican base immediately clamored for justice.

Yahoo News, in an effort to limit negative PR fallout, acted swiftly. So Mr. Chalian is out—and he’s probably not having the day he envisioned when he put his socks on this morning. Read more

Breaking: Political Conventions Often Inspire Bad Behavior!

Today CNN confirmed an earlier report about some particularly bad behavior at the Republican National Convention in Tampa: Two attendees apparently taunted an African-American CNN camera operator by throwing peanuts in her general direction and yelling words roughly transcribed as “this is how we feed animals.” They were ejected from the event by officials, and the RNC itself followed with a statement:

“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

We certainly hope so! This incident looks very bad, and the fact that it happened on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech gives it a particularly heinous aftertaste, but we think it may have led us to a moment of revelation: When hundreds of people with strongly held and often dramatically conflicting opinions gather in a relatively small space for a short period of time, unsavory things sometimes happen! It’s amazing!

Get ready for a shock: This is hardly the first time that political party conventions, bad behavior and scandal have been spotted together. For example, this year’s soiree is nothing compared to the 1880 Republican Convention, a raucous event that ended in…MURDER!

(We’ve always wanted to do that.)

Read more

Hurricane Isaac a Potential ‘PR Disaster’ for the RNC?

Today Anthony Wing Kosner took to his Forbes blog to ask whether the Republican Party might suffer a PR disaster in case tropical storm Isaac happens to turn into a powerful hurricane and makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico and the city of New Orleans just as the party faithful celebrates its brand at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Given the fact that Fox News described the storm’s probable trajectory as “eerily similar to Katrina’s,” we can understand why everyone involved might be doing a bit of an anti-rain dance today–no matter what your partisan alignment, you’ll probably agree that a whole lot of people in politics wish Katrina had never happened. So what’s the real PR risk for the RNC?

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Hey, Ladies: Todd Akin Is Really, Really Sorry

Missouri Senate candidate and recent PR Fail winner Todd Akin (expert in both “legitimate” and “illegitimate” rape) knows he screwed up—and he wants the voters of Missouri to know that he knows. How does he know? Because all those mean journalists just won’t leave him alone—especially after he ditched Piers Morgan and left the poor Brit to interview an empty chair:

The always-respectful newsman called Akin “a gutless little twerp,” and things are generally looking quite bad for the Senate hopeful. Top members of his own party have pressed him to drop out of the race and skip the upcoming Republican National Convention, but he doesn’t seem to be listening, and the following ad is his attempt to fight back and clear his now-infamous name: Read more

Donald Trump Says Nothing, Hogs Spotlight

Donald Trump isn’t much for nuance or insight, but he manages to stay in the news somehow—in many cases without the aid of a publicist. We can’t even remember the last time he hawked a real product beyond his own golden-hued face.

Trump showcased his crude PR savvy yet again yesterday by announcing, via his Twitter feed, that he is planning a “big surprise” for the upcoming Republican National Convention. And of course this tweet was catnip for poli-bloggers. Sounds a little fishy–everybody already knows about Chris Christie.

Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner thinks Trump’s bombshell might involve scissors, glitter, pipe cleaners and macaroni (we always preferred the star-shaped pasta). And Donald, if you’re listening, we feel like Newt Gingrich would make a great addition to the next season of Celebrity Apprentice. He can do his usual routine: condescend to everyone and get cheers for it.

So what do you think? Does The Donald have anything interesting up his sleeve, or is this “announcement” more of the usual smoke and mirrors?