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Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Show’

Best Interview Ever: Starbucks’ CEO Schultz Talks About ASU College Partnership With Jon Stewart

starbucks cupIt’s not too often that The Daily Show invites a corporate leader to sit in the special guest chair opposite Jon Stewart. Usually it’s political activists and elected officials, authors and thinkers, or actors and directors. Last night, Howard Schultz, the CEO and chairman of Starbucksmade an appearance on the program. And he opened with the big news of the day (hey, it was on our Ticker!): Starbucks will be offering a free college education to its employees.

Through a partnership with the *Arizona State University, the company will give workers seeking a Bachelor’s degree the opportunity to pursue one, tuition-free, through online courses. He could barely get the words out and the audience was cheering.

“It is my job to hate everything. I’m having a really hard time with this one,” Stewart replied. “This sounds really lovely.” A talk show appearance – particularly one with Jon Stewart – doesn’t get much better than that.

Schultz said this is an opportunity for his company to tackle the issue of student indebtedness and help workers achieve something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get on their own. And waiting on Washington is a waste of time.

“We’ve got to step up as we have in the past and show true leadership,” Schultz continued.

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Bad News for Chicago: Chefs Agree Your ‘Pizza’ Sucks

chicago pizza

Yeah. It’s called soup. 

If I am a connoisseur in anything, other than PR listicles, talking baseball, and picking out women’s perfume (it’s a gift…sue me), it would be pizza. I am a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (although a skosh past puberty now). I adore pizza, from pan to hand-tossed, New York style to Texas style (jalapenos, if you’re wondering). If it’s pizza, I’m so there.

Unless it’s Chicago Deep Dish style. Some people think I’m an idiot for that stance but if I need a spoon and a fork to eat it, that’s a different meal entirely. And now, some serious chefs agree. Bad PR alert for the Windy City coming in … 3 … 2 … 1 …

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Message Clear and On-Point

“If you have to backtrack, you need to ask yourself, why did you put it out there in the first place?” That’s what Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, would like to know. She was speaking about being funny on Twitter at an event last month, but her question addresses a broader issue: more celebrities and brands have had to backtrack recently after making controversial comments on various media platforms.

We’re referring to statements or tweets that veer off message, not major blunders that require full-scale apology tours. These foot-in-mouth comments and retractions occur so frequently that the Plain English Campaign established a Foot in Mouth award to highlight “a baffling comment by a public figure”. Mitt Romney lost his presidential bid, but he won the award last year.

With so much material to choose from, we took a closer look to better understand the dynamics. The selected faux pas highlighted below serve as cautionary tales of how easy it is for messages to go awry and reminders to avoid that happening.

1. Being too authentic can cause real trouble. Former Boston Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, acquired by the Yankees during the off-season, said “I’ll always be a Red Sock” during an early spring training interview. It’s clear that he meant what he said, since he has strong Boston ties. (New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is his brother-in-law). Youkilis’ problem was speaking his true feelings without first hitting the pause button to consider his new team’s reaction.

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Jon Stewart Clips Secretaries Gibbs & McLellan, Begrudgingly Respects Fleischer

Breaking news: Political spokesmen sometimes bend the truth! Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart devoted six minutes to shooting those messenger(s). Stewart lambasted Barack Obama’s first press secretary Robert Gibbs for the way he came clean, during his new gig as an MSNBC analyst, on his stonewalling two-step over the administration’s use of remote drones to kill suspected terrorists.

Stewart compared the glib Gibbs with the seemingly emotionally damaged Scott McClellan, George W. Bush’s second spokesman, concluding that neither are any good at protecting the POTUS in their respective retirements. “Either way, secrets spilled,” Stewart finds. “What you need is a jaded believer. Boom.”

When McClellan came out with his admissions of lying, guess which Bush surrogate went after him? Boom, Ari Fleischer.

‘The Daily Show’ Explains Political PR: Lie and Lie Again!

The correspondents at The Daily Show have some…unflattering opinions of the famous “spin doctors” who handle PR for political figures (and spend most of their waking lives trying to put a positive angle on every story or press mention). It would seem that these well-paid professionals also happen to be cynical, dishonest and, well, evil.

We’d like to argue against the mean stereotypes discussed in this clip, but we don’t have any real-world counter-examples handy. Help us out, PR pros: surely spin doctors occasionally take the opportunity to smile at a child or pet a puppy, no?

On a side note, we do enjoy John Oliver’s obvious love of the word “balls.”

RPatz to JStew: I Should’ve Hired A Publicist!

Today in Team Edward news: Actor, vampire and unfortunate cuckold Robert Pattinson hit The Daily Show last night to promote his new movie Cosmopolis (directed by house fave David Cronenberg!), but spent much of the interview trading quips with Stewart as if the two were “just a couple of gals” sharing some secrets (and some not-so-secret ice cream).

Key quote (around 3:00): “My biggest problem in my life is that I’m cheap…and I didn’t hire a publicist.”

Stewart wisely advises RPatz to take care of that problem ASAP. Any volunteers?

David Rakoff, Writer and Humorist, Dead at 47

At the core of all PR is humanity, and David Rakoff understood humanity like no one else. His insights were naked and powerful, his life heartfelt and poignant. Boldly insecure and damned funny, Rakoff connected with people because he was honest about being sad. For Rakoff, being unhappy was OK, even normal. For many of us, this unwelcome truth was beaten out of us as children and replaced with Santa Claus.

As noted in this Gothamist post, Rakoff opened his most recent book, Half Empty, with the lines “We were so happy. It was miserable.” If that doesn’t make you laugh, then I’ve got some terrible news for you about Santa Claus. Rakoff wrote two other collections of essays, Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable, in addition to publishing pieces in magazines from GQ to Spin. He was also a popular contributor to This American Life on NPR.

Rakoff’s death was especially notable because he treated his disease with humor, which is a form of courage we give to others to spare them our pain. Rakoff, born in Canada, was also a classic New Yorker—the kind of New Yorker who believed that art and its ability to bring together, and not money and its ability to separate, was at the core of the city’s soul. He will be missed. RIP David Rakoff. You can relax now.

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George Lucas Discusses ‘Red Tails,’ Marketing Hurdles for Black Movies

In preparation for the January 20 opening of his movie Red Tails, filmmaker George Lucas made an appearance on The Daily Show this week where he talked about the 20-plus-year process of getting the movie made, including the lack of enthusiasm for black movies in Hollywood.

Red Tails is about the Tuskegee Airmen, the group of black pilots who fought in World War II. One Tuskegee Airman, Col. Charles McGee, says the movie gets it right, down to the details. Others have said the same.

But even with that level of authenticity and the George Lucas name behind it (the man made Star Wars, for pete’s sake), he told Jon Stewart that the film couldn’t find backers.

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Lesson from Herman Cain: Choose Your Words Wisely

Herman Cain’s weekend farewell speech has been sliced and diced to determine how many different absurd things happened while he was at the podium.

The departing presidential candidate’s quote from the 2000 Pokémon movie during the speech was, by far, the standout. Specifically, he quoted the Donna Summers song “Power of One,” which plays during the closing credit of the film. The Daily Beast did a closer analysis (ha), showing that the origin of the quote was at first thought to be the Olympics. It was only after closer inspection that the song’s true origin was revealed.

Seems like a simple lesson, but it’s surprising how many times we see that it has to be repeated — choose your words wisely. Ill-conceived tweets, interviews gone bad, catchphrases that go awry — these are all the result of poorly chosen words.

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Admiral Mullen’s Dad Was a Publicist

In case you already turned in the for the night, we’ve got a clip from last night’s interview between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen and The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart. Interesting point of fact: Adm. Mullen’s dad was a Hollywood publicist. After growing up surrounded by the entertainment industry, Adm. Mullen joined the Navy and has been decorated by countries around the world for his service. His term ends at the end of this month.