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Posts Tagged ‘rich people problems’

Hey, Politicians: Enough with the Nazi References!

Sometimes we wonder whether politicians should be required to take classes in public relations before they assume their elected positions in congress. So many of them seem to have missed basic rules of public decorum such as:

We hate to pile on a sad old man, but Maryland representative Roscoe Bartlett made a statement this week that easily trumps Todd Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” quip as the dumbest political soundbite of the year. We can barely make out what he’s saying in this video, but his point seems to be: I hate federal student loans, and by the way there are a lot of Germans in America right now, so if we keep giving them federal student loans then we run the risk of creating a slippery slope and facilitating a new Holocaust. Yeah, that’s about it. Skip to 3:35:

Lest our readers think that Godwin’s law only applies to one of our two major parties, this week’s Democratic National Convention also included not one, not two, but three Nazi references. Read more

DOJ Slaps BP Hard with Negligence Charge

Tony Hayward finally got his life back, thanks for asking. According to recent profiles, the former beleaguered CEO of oil leader BP PLC is making the most of his moment away from the PR spotlight by spending some “me time” hanging out on yachts, starting new businesses and making massive distribution deals with oil-rich Middle Eastern nations like the ever-pleasant Iraq.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for his former company. The United States Department of Justice just hit BP with a “gross negligence” charge relating to the big Deepwater Horizon Gulf spill that happened way back in 2010 (remember those heady days of first-stage Bieber Fever and Tea Parties celebrating tri-corner hats?). The trial is set to begin in January, 2013. Everyone let out a collective groan.

This development is only the latest in a series of very large-scale PR challenges for BP, but it represents the most extreme position taken so far by the American government, whose lawyers are effectively throwing up their hands and saying “let’s do this.” The announcement all but erases the possibility of an out-of-court settlement—and it’s especially harsh considering recent speculation that oil still submerged from the spill washed ashore during Hurricane Isaac last week.

Try to determine the mindset of the government lawyer who wrote this line:

“The behavior, words and actions of these BP executives would not be tolerated in a middling size company manufacturing dry goods for sale in a suburban mall.” Ouch!

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‘Et tu, Brute?’ Lance Armstrong’s Assistant Turns Against Him

Despite the fact that Lance Armstrong’s recent decision not to fight the continued charges leveled against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency shocked observers around the world, millions remain in his corner. Be they die-hard fans who see no clear evidence of cheating, admirers who argue that his status as a cancer survivor and charity icon supersedes any ethical lapses, or longtime sponsors like Nike who have always seen him as a somewhat controversial spokesman, quite a few individuals spent the last week arguing that Lance Armstrong is a good guy no matter what.

Well, they’re not going to like this latest news. Mike Anderson, who served as Lance’s personal assistant and technician for two years while he dominated the sport of cycling, just published an extensive “My Life with Lance Armstrong” article in Outside Online magazine—and he’s not doing the champ any favors.

Anderson’s main point: Yes, Lance probably cheated. But, more importantly, he’s always been kind of a jerk. He didn’t just aggressively deny doping charges throughout his career, he repeatedly shot the messengers. These people weren’t just mistaken; according to Armstrong, they were “troll[s]” filled with “bitterness, jealousy and hatred.” Hmm…doesn’t respond well to criticism? Do go on…

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Seems Like ‘The Rich’ Might Have a PR Problem

While Americans generally “admire” and may even envy our wealthiest countrymen, we don’t seem to like rich folk very much! These are the conclusions drawn from an intriguing Pew Research Center survey released yesterday.

How do the “average Americans” across the economic spectrum who answered these questions view “The Rich?” Well, most of us reckon they may be smarter than us, harder-working than us, and even better-looking than us; heck, the vast majority of our kind respect and admire them–assuming that they made their money “by working hard.”

But we’re also fairly sure that they’re greedier, less honest, and less appreciative of the sacrifices that us ordinary folk have to make in the greater interest of the world’s largest economy.

How do we reconcile our differences? Tax the dickens out of ‘em!

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Facebook Needs PR Advice Now More Than Ever

Maybe you’ve heard: The once-heralded Facebook IPO is in trouble and losing value by the minute. PR experts live for big, challenging cases like this one–after suffering through an economic collapse caused by over-inflated home values and bundled stocks, the public understands the pain that comes when a financial stake doesn’t live up to the hype (even if it that stake happens to double as their favorite weekday time-waster). In other words, Facebook’s money woes garner little sympathy from Main Street. There is no victim card in this game.

Today, the public loathes overvalued anything. The fact that Mark Zuckerberg is a young, idealistic and ridiculously wealthy CEO who wears the same clothes to work that we wear to rake leaves ensures that Facebook’s negative PR arc will inspire a certain Schadenfreude. You probably even have a few outraged friends who claim to be completely “over” the Facebook phenomena–especially if they take personal offense at the new compulsory timeline format. (For the record, we think your friends are full of it.) Read more