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Posts Tagged ‘The New Republic’

The Spin Cycle (Borscht Edition): 11 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About MH 17

Are you one of the few who still believe that every big story has one true narrative? Did you not listen to Mike Allen?!

Our point: as Julie Ioffe notes today in The New Republic, the Russian public has a totally different understanding of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 than the rest of the world.

“Watching some of these Russian newscasts [where most of the television is owned or controlled by the Kremlin], one comes away with the impression of a desperate defense attorney scrounging for experts and angles, or a bad kid caught red-handed by the principal, trying to twist his way out of a situation in which he has no chance.”

“The discrepancy,” she writes, “does not bode well for a sane resolution to this stand-off.”

After the jump, 11 of the craziest conspiracies being floated over the Russian air waves. Read more

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Jennifer Weiner to Jonathan Franzen: Twitter Isn’t Evil and All Writers Are ‘Self-Promoters’

What about "An American Novelist?"How do we classify a popular novelist’s Twitter feed: is it marketing? personal branding? public relations? It’s a bit of a grey area. But, as Jennifer Weiner so politely told Jonathan Franzen this week, social media is a necessary tool for any writer who wants to engage with his or her audience.

Yes, this is a literary spat, but stick with us: it will feel very familiar to anyone in marketing, advertising or PR.

We like Franzen because he writes good novels, but he’s also an ivy tower contrarian who feels compelled to talk down to the young and unenlightened among us. This week The Guardian ran an excerpt from his latest long-form essay opus under the frightening title “What’s Wrong with the Modern World?”, and it’s an epic rant. Some key points:

  • The instant gratification of social media is destroying our ability to focus and create real value
  • Marketing has led us to define ourselves by the brands we buy (“I’m a Mac guy”)
  • Amazon reviews are the worst thing that ever happened to publishing
  • Writers who engage with the public via social are diluting the integrity of their profession

These are generalizations worth considering, but we’re more interested in his personal attacks on fellow authors who turn to social media to “brand” themselves.

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When Will the NFL Fully Address Its Concussion Problem?

Indisputable fact: Americans love football. Pretty much every member of every key demographic watches the Super Bowl, even if we’re more concerned with the commercials. But anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with the sport also knows that American football has a big PR problem best summed up in three words: traumatic brain injury.

Is this an old story? Yes–but it’s not going away anytime soon, and eventually the NFL will have to address it to the satisfaction of the public.

The family of former star Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May 2012, filed a wrongful death suit against the league last week. The suit cites Seau’s post-mortem TBI diagnosis and blames the NFL for a perceived lack of oversight in warning players about the negative long-term effects of all those concussions (they’re also suing the company that makes players’ helmets). This is not an isolated case: over the past few years more than 3,800 former players have sued the league in more than 175 independent cases. Is the NFL really to blame for their injuries? We can’t say–but it’s a classic PR conundrum.

Perhaps most importantly, President Obama brought the story back to the nation’s attention right before the Big Game in a recent interview with the rebranded New Republic magazine, saying:

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New Chef Corps Aims to Re-Brand American Food

Anyone who has seen a few episodes of “No Reservations” or “Top Chef” knows that the United States boasts a very active and incredibly diverse culinary culture. Unfortunately, many of our overseas brethren think that American food begins and ends with Colonel Sanders and the golden arches.

The State Department and the James Beard Foundation would like to change all that, and last Friday they officially named more than 80 big chefs from across the US as members of the first “American Chef Corps.”

The team includes such food-world luminaries as Dan Barber of Blue Hill and April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig (sorry, we’re partial to New York), and their responsibilities will include preparing distinctly American meals for foreign dignitaries, conducting educational programs for audiences overseas, and inviting top chefs from around the world to cook in their stateside kitchens. Most importantly, they want to remind our overseas friends that American food is, in many cases, quite good. While they won’t get paid for the honor, they do get free uniforms.

This sounds like a fairly interesting idea!

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Revolving Door: ‘Good Afternoon America,’ magazine covers, and more

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ABC News will launch a nine-week hour-long program called Good Afternoon America, an extension of GMA, starting July 9. Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer will host with special appearance by other GMA newscasters. The show will air at 2 p.m. ET.

And NBC News anchor and TODAY show weekend anchor Amy Robach has moved toABC News.

The magazine cover takes on renewed significance. [via AdWeek]

Katie Couric at the University of Virginia commencement: ““Some said I lacked ‘gravitas,’ which I’ve since decided is Latin for ‘testicles.’” [via TVNewser]

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Revolving Door: AOL and Arrington, Conde Nast, and More

As we mentioned in this morning’s Ticker, Michael Arrington is officially out at AOL, at least for now. Forbes broke the news last night, with the caveat that things could change since there has been a lot of back-and-forth during the past week over his status with the company. The fate of CrunchFund is also still unknown.

The story says, “Huffington clearly erred here in okaying a project without fully understanding its public relations consequences,” but she ultimately appears to be the most “influential” leader at AOL. The Atlantic Wire says AOL might have reason to worry if the TechCrunch staff and readers leave with Arrington. In case you missed it, Arrington published a story on TechCrunch with his own set of demands before he got the ax.

Conde Nast is spinning off Reddit, but hanging on to ownership of the company. Conde bought Reddit five years ago.

Google is buying restaurant guide Zagat in an effort to beef up its local offerings, The New York Times reports. For Zagat, the sale also helps them at a time when it has seen its prominence decline in the face of competition from other online restaurant guide sources.

For more media news and moves, click through.

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