Tag Archive: Gray Lady


“You guys are obsessed with Trump … You pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. … He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him. – Michelle Wolf speaking to the White House Correspondents Association dinner

Michelle Wolf once again proved the old adage: A stopped clock is indeed right twice a day.

Supposedly, Alec Baldwin is getting “tired” always playing Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” Somehow, someway Alec makes a go of it, even bringing in the real Stefanie Clifford (e.g., porn “star” Stormy Daniels) to play herself as SNL ratings soar.

Speaking to media expert Howard Kurtz, former RNC chairman and Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, pointed to the universal improvement of media business models and share prices, and proclaimed:

“Trump is Money.”

Whether you are a conservative switching on Fox News, a liberal watching CNN’s angry talking heads or a socialist getting his or her red-meat fix on MSNBC, all three of these news networks are virtually 24/7/365 Donald Trump … and their ratings are upwards to the right.

Everyone and anywhere, the conversations are about Trump. As Patrick Buchanan once said: “Worse than being misquoted, is not being quoted at all.” Trump never suffered from this malady.

Since June 2015, the media has been in a foaming-at-the-mouth state of Schadenfreude waiting to stomp on Trump’s political grave … and yet the news of his demise has been greatly exaggerated.

As Almost DailyBrett and others have stated, Trump is a walking-talking-breathing, daily-outrage via Twitter or his own verbal expression machine. He is catnip to the media, and the Fourth Estate felines are stoned.

Some have suggested the American media (e.g., Wolf quote above) created Donald Trump and made his presidency possible. The mediaQuant estimates are America media provided the wealthiest presidential candidate in history with $4.6 billion (advertising equivalent) in earned media coverage.

Like him or detest him, Trump — “The Apprentice” — knows how the media works and plays it like a violin. There is nothing the media animal loves more than a good fight or a sordid controversy. Trump delivers in spades.

Show Me The Trump Money

The stately Gray Lady, The New York Times, (“All the News That’s Fit to Print”) at one time set the national agenda, providing us mere mortals with the daily subjects to think about and discuss over the dinner table.

That all ended with Twitter, particularly Trump’s nocturnal tweets – most outrageous, some not. Instead of the NYT being the poster child of Agenda Setting Theory, Trump with his presidential bully pulpit is posing the questions of the day … even before the Times hits the streets.

The inhabitants of the New York Times ivory tower have been preempted and leveraged, and they hate it. Let’s … yes, let’s write another front-page editorial chastising this rogue in the White House. That’ll show him.

Here’s the rub. Counterintuitively, negative publicity actually helps Trump. And in turn, Trump sells newspapers, raises Nielsen Ratings and boosts book sales.

We are approaching the three-year anniversary (June 16) of The Donald descending the Trump Tower escalator to declare his candidacy. The media was laughing back then, and going to the bank today.

Shares of the aforementioned New York Times are up 62.48 percent in the same three-year time period. 21st Century Fox, the parent of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, increased 11.62 percent. Comcast (NBC and MSNBC) is up 12.64 percent. Washington Post, 7.75 percent. Time Warner (CNN), 9.99 percent … How’s that for creating shareholder value?

The media is making money – lots of money – off Donald Trump. They can’t wait to collectively dance on his political grave, but just not now … pretty please with sugar on top.

Hold your collective ears New York Times Pharisees: When it comes to Donald Trump, you are only too eager …  yes, too eager … to buy low and sell high.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/06/arts/television/snl-stormy-daniels-donald-glover.html

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/30/17301436/michelle-wolf-speech-transcript-white-house-correspondents-dinner-sarah-huckabee-sanders

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/30/breakingviews-trump-cold-shoulder-for-tv-ads-may-set-the-trend.html

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13896916/1/donald-trump-rode-5-billion-in-free-media-to-the-white-house.html

 

 

 

 

“I pledge allegiance to the Hemp Flag of the United States of Intoxication, and to the Reefer for which it stands, one Stoned Nation under Bong, Incomprehensible, with ‘Medicine’ and Cannabis for all.”

Forget July 4 as our national holiday. Let’s break out the extra-special brownies on April 20.

leaves instead of stars

 

Sorry Barack. If you don’t believe that you are already a lame duck … Elizabeth Warren is already measuring the White House drapes … just be reminded that The New York Times always sets the agenda for everything and anything that happens in the United States of Intoxication (USI) from the upper west side to the banks of the Hudson and every other place across the fruited plain.

And now that very same New York Times editorial Pharisees have called for nationalization, taxation, regulation and most of all legalization of the fledging big marijuana industry, once again preempting those 50 annoying states, each of which may have their own ideas on the pot question.

“We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.

“But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.” — New York Times editorial, July 26, 2014

Herb in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah?

Ready to get stoned, Sweet Home Alabama?

It’s for “medicinal” purposes, South Dakota?

Hey Oregon, why should your voters even vote on the issue of legalized marijuana this November considering that the New York Times has already spoke ex-cathedra on this issue?

Why not just mail it in?

Replace the Stars with Pot Leaves

Guess Betsy Ross got it all wrong. Or maybe she was inhaling from a bong.

She included the seven red stripes (not the Jamaican beer) and the six white stripes. She knitted the navy blue field. And then she added the first 13 stars. And later came 37 more.

betsyross

Is it time for a redo?

Let’s see, Colorado and Washington have already legalized marijuana and bundles of “Benjamins” are being spent on kosher weed because the banks will not offer their debit/credit card services for fear of running afoul with national money laundering statutes. That means the new flag only has two marijuana leaves for now with certainly more to come.

The Gray Lady wants to cut to the federal chase. Screw the cumbersome state-by-state approach and impose Roe v. Wade style preemption. And maybe even include a national sales tax on legalized pot (logical extension).

And as mentioned before in Almost DailyBrett, it will soon be time for publicly traded marijuana companies (e.g., NASDAQ: WEED) and even pot suppliers (e.g., NASDAQ: BONG), regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and others.

“Minor Problems”

“There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco.” – New York Times editorial, July 26, 2014

The editorial even claimed that moderate use (e.g., intoxication) “does not appear to pose a risk for healthy adults.” The Times also said that marijuana should be legalized nationally for those over 21-years of age.

Darn those pesky neurologists and their MRIs. They keep on letting their doctorates in medical science get in the way, even having the audacity to document long-term emotional and motivational issues for casual uses of marijuana.

“This (Society for Neuroscience) study suggests that even light-to-moderate recreational marijuana use can cause changes in brain anatomy,” said Carl Lupica, PhD, who studies drug addiction at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “These observations are particularly interesting because previous studies have focused primarily on the brains of heavy marijuana smokers, and have largely ignored the brains of casual users.”

neurologist

Guess this “interesting” study by scientific types is irrelevant because it contradicts the premise of the predictable New York Times editorial. And how clever to throw in comparisons with alcohol (potential intoxicant) and tobacco (fatal attraction).

It looks like we will all soon be living in the United States of Intoxication whether we like it or not.

Now let’s grab our bong (and munchies) as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the USI.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-marijuana-legalization.html?op-nav

http://www.sfn.org/Press-Room/News-Release-Archives/2014/Brain-Changes-Are-Associated-with-Casual-Marijuana-Use-in-Young-Adults

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/the-worlds-most-evil-product/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/nasdaq-weed/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross_flag

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/420_(cannabis_culture)

 

 

 

“Well, I really don’t think there’s any word in the English language that expresses so many different things as the word ‘f…’ does. You know, you can use surprise. ‘Well I’ll be f…ked.’ You can use the word ‘f…’ to indicate anger. ‘F… you.’ You can use the word ‘f…’ to indicate dismay. ‘Oh, f….’ I just think it probably is the most expressive word our language has.” – Former Indiana University Basketball Coach Robert Montgomery Knight

Quit f…ing black cops or get booted from the Communist party,‘” – New York Times’ fashionable “T” magazine, quoting the opening line of Jonathan Lethem’s “Dissident Gardens,” August 25, 2013

WTF?

knight

Seems like a few folks are getting their knickers in a twist or their bowels in an uproar (if you prefer the latter) over the F-Bomb exploded in the stately New York Times this past Sunday, even if it is a direct quote.

Is this a first for the Gray Lady? Not really.

“In a recorded conversation later on October 6, Ms. Lewinsky said she wanted two things from the President. The first was contrition: He needed to ” acknowledge . . . that he helped f… up my life.’ The second was a job, one that she could obtain without much effort: ”I don’t want to have to work for this position . . . I just want it to be given to me.” – The 1998 Starr Report on the physical relationship between former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Having acknowledged the precedent a generation ago, one may be prompted to ask: Is this yet another sign of the coarsening of our society? Have we become immune to this particular four-letter word?

Does this mean there will be no more “F-bombs” being dropped on once-shocked ears? Is the notion of the F-bomb antiquated? Do we mind, if our Kindern hear and use this word?

Years ago virtually every sports nut read John Feinstein’s 1986 Season on the Brink about chair-throwing and more-than-once-out-of-control Bobby Knight. Reportedly, it was the first sports book ever to make the New York Times best seller list.

Knight’s spoof television interview, egged on by a reporter asking the legendary coach why he used the F-word so much, was one of the key passages in Feinstein’s book. It exhibited Knight’s boorishness and his sense of humor at the same time.

Whether you condone or detest Bobby Knight, and everyone has an opinion about “The General,” one can see the logic behind his series of examples as to how the F-word is the most “expressive” word in the English language. It seems that everywhere you go; people are using F…ing as an adjective to modify virtually every noun. And don’t we all know acronyms that feature the word (e.g., FUBAR)?  Or people are substituting friggin’ or frickin’ for F…ing. You have to be brain-dead to not catch the parallel in two nanoseconds or less.

Even though I do not worship daily at the altar of the New York Times, I do NOT take issue with the editors directly quoting the first line of a book (if that is necessary to convey the story) or to allow the word to stand, when the paper decided to publish the Starr report intact.

nyt

Should this short word be regularly used in New York Times generated copy or worse, for banner heads? My answer is “no.”

Some readers of Almost DailyBrett may remember my piece asking whether the C-word (used by Bill Maher) has become the equivalent of the N-word (represented by Bull Connor). Almost DailyBrett made an unequivocal stand against both words, advocating that they be stricken from our national discourse.

Okay, so what are the distinctions among the C-word, the N-word and the F-word?

How long do you have?

The C-word is universally demeaning to women in every context.  There is no excuse for its use.

The N-word is universally demeaning to African Americans in every context. There is no excuse for its use.

These words hurt and they are meant to be harmful. Let’s get rid of them.

The F-word can be hurtful when it is used as an imperative as expressed above by Bobby Knight.

Should we be comfortable with the knowledge that the F-word is ubiquitous? I wouldn’t want it to be recited in first grade, let alone pre-school or kindergarten. Should newspaper editors or bloggers for that matter allow free reign when it comes to the F-word? Nyet.

My question to these editors and bloggers: Is this word a legitimate part of the story or is its use gratuitous as is the case in so many movies and rock concerts? If it is the latter, my advice is to exercise discretion.

After all, discretion is the better part of valor. WTF.

http://www.hark.com/clips/xgnhsfxrkf-bobbys-favorite-word

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5-akqjKzII

http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/ny-times-allows-f-word-113341

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qxu5cvW-ds

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/is-the-c-word-the-equivalent-of-the-n-word/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/08/26/nyt_fuck_in_apparent_first_new_york_times_publishes_jonathan_lethem_s_f.html

http://www.amazon.com/Dissident-Gardens-Novel-Jonathan-Lethem/dp/0385534930

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75639.Season_on_the_Brink

woodwardbernstein

All reporters and editors should be treated equally. Right?

In theory, this egalitarian approach is the correct way to go.

As PR flacks increase their 3.6-1 ratio lead over the ever-dwindling number of media types, it makes sense to treat every remaining reporter/editor fairly and justly.

After all, every reporter and editor is always fair and just to your organization, your chief executive and your cause. Right?

And most of all, every media outlet is created equal. Right?

You know the answer to that particular question.

There are two undeniable truths as it applies to the flack/media divide; one is time-tested and the other is relatively new:

1.) The media always needs fresh news and information to thrive and in the majority of cases that manna from Heaven comes from the public relations industry. This uncomfortable media fact is compounded by the competitive need to be first and conversely by the aversion to being “scooped” or worse, “burned” on a story.

2.) The media “gate keepers” no longer make the rules for access to target audiences and therefore can’t exclusively set the agenda. The ones and zeroes of the binary code ended this dominance and put self-publishing tools in the hands of the PR story tellers, and the good ones are using them.

Even though the media is rapidly changing in a mostly kicking-and-screaming fashion, there is still this mostly true axiom: Both flacks and reporters/editors are antagonists. They need each other as the former is a source of news and information and the latter conveys this same news and information to target audiences.

It’s called earned media (public relations) as opposed to advertising (paid media).

This relationship for decades has been unbalanced with the media serving as the “gatekeepers,” vetting news and information, and essentially deciding what is transmitted to the public. And with this hegemony (and inevitably arrogance) comes the notion that the media sets the agenda for the conversation, resulting in the flack “story tellers” gnashing their collective teeth.

If a tree falls in the forest, and the New York Times chooses not to cover it, did it make any sound? Nope.

And what happens when the media agenda and the flack story telling collide? There is friction, anxiety and related unpleasantness.

The flack may be tempted to go “over the head” of the reporter and to complain to her or his editor. Can you think of a better way to do a huge favor for the reporter? Talk about a red badge of courage.

Or the flack may do something more sinister: Leak a juicy story to a reporter/editor competitor, causing a burning sensation. Of course, a PR person would never admit to such a dastardly deed, but I understand this happens from time-to-time.

Sometimes the selective disclosure of material information to one media organization as opposed to another is done on purpose, and the SEC will not impose fines. Heard frequently in the Silicon Valley is, “Let’s give this story to the Journal…” The flacks in question are referring to the Wall Street Journal.

Some may think that print is dead, and for the most part it is. Didn’t the rocket scientists at the New York Times that bought the Boston Globe for $1.1 billion two decades ago, just sell the same newspaper to the owner of the Boston Red Sox for $70 million? Talk about buying high and selling low.

Also consider that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million and Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal for $5 billion six years ago. Both of these hombres are super smart, so you know they have no intention of eventually selling these rags for less than 10 cents on the dollar. They instead bought the mastheads, the brands and their respective print and more importantly, digital access points to the political/governmental community (Post) and the investor class (Journal).

WSJ

Therefore it makes sense for public relations professionals to “pre-brief” a supposedly dead media publication, the Journal. In fact, virtually everyone in Silicon Valley pre-briefs the Journal. What does that mean to reporters/editors of other publications? They don’t like it one little bit.

But what are they going to do about it?

About 10 years ago, I was toiling in the trenches as the head of corporate public relations for LSI Logic. We ran a $1 billion custom semiconductor fab (factory) in Gresham, Oregon, just immediately east of Portland. The big gorilla media for that market (at least at the time) was The Oregonian. We were good copy for the Oregonian.

LSI Logic entered into a nanotechnology development agreement with Massachusetts start-up Nantero. In turn, Nantero hired a New York PR firm to help put the firm on the map. The target publication was The New York Times and the heck with anyone else.

During a conference call with Nantero’s CEO on the line, I was asked by a Madison Avenue-type if we would help with the Gray Lady. Our answer was affirmative, but what about the beat reporter for The Oregonian.

“The Oregonian?…Who is the Oregonian?” the New York PR type contemptuously asked.

I reminded her that actual life existed due west of the Hudson River, and that my employer, LSI Logic, was not going to consciously “burn” the beat reporter for The Oregonian. We either brief both reporters with the same embargo or we don’t offer the story at all. She was shocked and appalled by my left-coast thinking.

We did it our way, which I am convinced to this day, was the right way.

Is the moral of this story that PR pros, despite the shifting landscape, should never play favorites with reporters/editors, thus setting up the possibility that someone else will be burned?

The answer is the practice will be…ah…practiced…but there are perils involved, particularly with local reporters who will be part of your daily life conceivably for years to come.

Do you want the benefit of the doubt, when you need the benefit of the doubt?

Caca happens.

And remember the profound words of Tip O’Neill: “All politics is local.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egalitarianism

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21583274-new-wave-press-barons-should-not-allow-newspapers-become-niche-products-keeping

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21583284-tycoons-keen-eye-bargain-are-buying-up-print-newspapers-chasing-paper-profits

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118589043953483378.html

http://www.nantero.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip_O%27Neill

%d bloggers like this: