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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Journalism Groups to President Obama: ‘Let Us Do Our Jobs!’

obamawatching

Led by the Society of Professional Journalists, 38 of the most prominent journalism groups in the country made a legitimate and official gripe about the Obama Administration. Ironically, the gripe was about news–or the lack thereof.

They called it “politically driven suppression of the news.”

The report was authored by Leonard Downie, Jr., formerly the executive editor of the Washington Post, and titled ”The Obama Administration and the Press.”  It accuses the president of coming into office with the promise of transparency but asserts that he has “fallen short of his promise.”

The report also compares Obama to Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Yes, that really happened.

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Jay Carney Steps Down as WH Press Secretary, Josh Earnest In

jay carney steps downJay Carney, the reporter who became White House press secretary for the Obama administration, has resigned from his post after three-plus years on the job. Josh Earnest will take up the position. He’s a 39-year-old with strong ties to President Obama, having worked with him since 2008 when he was communications director in Iowa for the campaign.

The surprise announcement was made yesterday when the President jumped behind Carney’s podium to break the news. He repeatedly called Carney a “friend” and said Carney’s resignation first came up in April. During his remarks, the President cited Carney’s desire to spend more time with family, including more visits to his daughter’s softball games. Carney, 49, has two children and his wife, Claire Shipman, is a reporter and part-time contributor to ABC News.

“He’s got good judgement, he has good temperament and he’s got a good heart,” said President Obama. “And I’m going to miss him a lot. I will continue to rely on him as a friend, an adviser after he leaves to spend as much of his summer as he can with his kids before he decides what’s next for him.”

Sources tell The New York Times that Carney is also stepping down for financial reasons; he’d like to move back into the private sector to earn more money.

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President Obama Stuck in the 80s, Causing Serious PR Issues for BlackBerry

breakfast club

Coming to a White House near you.

By now, if you have any inkling of interest in politics, you have discovered the one thing that sets President Obama apart from all other gentlemen of his ilk — his serious embrace of the greatest decade in the history of ever. Of course, I’m referring to the 1980s.

This school of thought first became popular during the final presidential debate of 2012 — Obama V. Romney: This boring crap is getting personal! The famous quip was over foreign policy and Romney hearkening back to a better day of the Cold War. To wit, Obama replied, “The 1980s are calling and they want their foreign policy back.”

Well, thanks to his choice in outdated fashion and technology, the president may be causing bad PR too.

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Obama Calls Ellen’s Selfie ‘A Pretty Cheap Stunt’

Say what you will about President Obama: dude knows how to score pop culture headlines.

He continued his video tour of the nation’s top pop outlets yesterday with a remote appearance on The Ellen Show in which he took the time to make what could not have possibly been a prepared joke about the selfie that rocked the Internet:

Like the “Between Two Ferns” appearance (which was most definitely “a stunt”), this one will attract plenty of criticism. But it’s still a very wise messaging move.

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GAP Scores Presidential Visit Over Minimum Wage Bump

Only time will tell whether GAP’s February 20 decision to voluntarily raise its minimum wage was, in the end, a good move on the reputation and CSR fronts, a way to tell investors that the company is thinking five steps ahead, or a well-meaning but ultimately insignificant gesture.

For what it’s worth, the move did inspire a visit today from President Obama, who happened to be in the city to do the one thing all incumbent politicians do well: raise money.

Of course, the fact that the President stopped into a clothing store in midtown Manhattan (but NOT to buy a pair of those famously geeky khakis) is the very furthest thing from “real news”. The reason he chose this particular store, however, is worth noting from a corporate comms perspective.

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Why Obama’s ‘Between Two Ferns’ Appearance Was a Good Idea

You’re probably aware that President Obama appeared on the latest episode of the Funny or Die series with the fat Greek guy from The Hangover. We will make a completely random guesstimate that 60% of our friends shared it on social this morning.

As for the why: 850,000 views in a few hours is a pretty good reason—as is the fact that Millennials are the demographic least likely to go out of their way to sign up for health insurance.

The New York Times calls it the administration’s “latest public relations gamble“, but was it, really?

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President Obama & VP Biden Show Us Their Exercise Regimen For ‘Let’s Move’

obama biden lets moveRemember last week when Michelle Obama told Jimmy Fallon that she wanted people to show her how “they’re moving“? It was during her appearance on The Tonight Show where she talked up the fourth anniversary of her anti-obesity “Let’s Move” campaign and asked everyone to take to social media with the hashtag #letsmove. If she got enough of a response she suggested that the President and Veep might show us how they get active.

“Yo babe, hook me up,” was the way she planned to pitch it. (Note: Do not try that pitch with the media. You are not the First Lady.)

Well looks like that ask worked! We have footage of both Obama and Biden getting in a workout. A couple of things that might strike you about this clip.

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GM Gets Bad Press over First Female CEO’s 48% Pay

gmThe fact that General Motors named Mary Barra as its first female CEO on January 15th was a big deal. President Obama even mentioned her in his State of the Union, calling her “the daughter of a factory worker [who] is CEO of America’s largest automaker” and inspiring a rare moment of bipartisan applause.

But according to Fox Business News, this “big deal” may not be quite as impressive as it seemed on announcement: after crunching the numbers, Elizabeth McDonald found that Barra’s $4.4. million compensation package would only amount to 48% of what former CEO Dan Akerson made in 2013 (note: these numbers include stocks and other “incentives” well beyond base salary).

That’s not all: GM retained Akerson as a “senior advisor” who will earn $4.68 million in 2014—so based on current numbers, the former CEO will still make more than the current CEO. This may well be the first time we’ve seen a Fox outlet criticize the White House for not going far enough with its gender inequality messaging.

It doesn’t look good for GM, but some major caveats apply.

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Even the President Outsources Social Media Event Promotion

Looks like President Obama is experiencing what we like to call “American Idol Syndrome.”

Everyone’s aware of his upcoming State of the Union speech; they may have watched it religiously in the past because it was part of every “water-cooler conversation” and most prefer to be in the know even if they agree that there will never be another Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood or even a Clay Aiken.

Now, though? It’s still true that everyone with a job in media or politics will be watching Obama’s State of the Union address, but with so many options for viewing and streaming all sorts of niche content as well as variations on the main event (did we mention that three different Republicans will give responses this year?), it’s easier than ever to tune out and watch something else. Details via Bloomberg:

Will social media help Obama earn more eyes at 9 PM on Tuesday? Color us skeptical.

It’ll probably resemble the latest Dancing with the Stars as the average viewer shrugs and thinks “didn’t I just see something almost exactly like this a few months ago?”

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MWW Campaign Plays Starring Role in New Christie Controversy

052013_StrongerThanTheStormScreenGrab

A new week brings a new scandal for New Jersey governor Chris Christie just as his epic and (arguably) successful apology marathon fades from the headlines.

At the center of said controversy lies a campaign created by Jersey agency MWW, which will now play a role in an ongoing audit by the federal government. Why? Because the money that paid for the “Stronger than the Storm” campaign came from the feds, and its purpose was to help the state recover from Superstorm Sandy by encouraging tourists to visit the damaged shore.

Back in August, Democratic Jersey rep Frank Pallone argued that the money actually served, in part, to promote Christie himself in an election year. Surprise surprise: the governor’s moment of weakness turned out to be the perfect time for HUD to begin investigating whether the campaign amounted to an improper use of taxpayer funds.

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