Tag Archive: Politico


 “All I’m saying is that the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true.” – Former President William Jefferson Clinton

What is it about that Clintons that draws elite media into their gravitational pull?

Last year, we learned that Brian Williams’ (remember his heroic military exploits?) NBC News provided Chelsea Clinton with a $600,000 annual salary for four news reports. Wonder why Chelsea of all people landed this big-time six-figure job with the left-of-center network?.

This week (no pun intended), we read that ABC’s chief anchor and This Week host George Stephanopoulos made three donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling $75,000, but did not report these contributions to either the brass at ABC News or more importantly to his hundreds of thousands of viewers.clintonstephanopoulos

Why not disclose that you were ostensibly assisting the 501 (c) (3) foundation in championing AIDS prevention and battling deforestation, George? You do care about these subjects, right George? Is the Clinton Foundation the only non-profit addressing these issues? Why not write checks to other NGOs?

PR pros have long urged clients to adopt a policy of radical transparency. They would urge you (George) to be fully transparent in your financial contributions to your former employer, William Jefferson Clinton. Instead George, you took the stealth route until you were indeed caught by news aggregator, POLITICO.

In the aftermath of disclosure by the media, Stephanopoulos issued the de rigueur apology and ABC circled the wagons and defended their guy, but the damage was already done.

Can we now reasonably expect that ABC News will fairly and accurately cover the Clintons, including probable Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, when its chief anchor and former Clinton disciple knowingly hides his contributions to the massive Clinton Foundation?

Keep in mind, the Clinton Foundation is not your grandfather’s 501 (c) (3). It is not even the Carter Center. Instead, it does some good on the surface while deep down it is an avenue for those who need “advice” and cherish “access” to and through the Clinton’s, and make a nice donation to save Haiti as well.

ABC, NBC …

Power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord John Dahlberg-Acton

Guess that absolute corrupting power applies to the ultimate gatekeepers, big-time media.

Almost DailyBrett questioned the decision of NBC’s brass to hire Chelsea Clinton for the outrageous sum of $600,000 per year, even before the Brian Williams implosion. Chelsea departed NBC prior to her mumsy throwing her proverbial hat into the presidential ring. Still the questions persist: Why Chelsea? Did NBC practice “checkbook journalism”? And once again, can we now reasonably expect that NBC News will fairly and accurately cover the Clintons, and by extension the Clinton Foundation?chelseanbc4

Another question that comes to mind as the presidency is an open seat in the 2016 quadrennial cycle is whether the networks and other left-of-center media can be expected to even be remotely fair and objective in covering the Republicans.

Whattyathink George Stephanopoulos?

Whattyathink Brian Williams?

Whattyathink Dan Rather?

ABC and NBC are not the only sinners in this drama. CBS lost its objectivity virginity when it comes to favoritism of the Clinton’s favorite political party with the infamous 2004 Rathergate and the phony military documents about George W. Bush’s National Guard duty. The documents were exposed as forgeries; Bush was re-elected and a bitter Rather decided to spend more time with his family.

This week, we learned the University of Virginia is suing Rolling Stone magazine for deliberately doctoring a photo of Associate Dean Nicole Eramo to make her appear to be a villain in the now-retracted 2014 “A Rape on Campus” story.rollingstonestory

The sensational account that came after the deliberate attempt to target a wealthy fraternity on a rich campus has been labeled as “impact journalism” by the Washington Post.

One must wonder what other forms of “impact journalism” the media elites have in mind.

Can hardly wait to check out the coming plethora of stories that “objectively” cover the Clintons.

Wonder if there will another standard of reporting for those who dare to disagree with Bill, Hill and Chelsea?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/05/14/george-stephanopoulos-donations-to-clinton-foundation-immediate-crisis-for-abc-news/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/us/politics/george-stephanopoulos-discloses-gifts-to-clinton-foundation.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/05/george-stephanopoulos-discloses-contribution-to-clinton-207120.html?hp=rc1_4

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/philanthropy/24491-the-philanthropic-problem-with-hillary-clinton-s-huge-speaking-fees.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/05/13/lawsuit-against-rolling-stone-claims-doctored-photograph-cast-dean-as-villain/?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/lying-to-the-new-york-times/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/chelseas-nbc-600k-tv-gig-and-aspiring-journalists/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/youre-so-vain/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/its-like-deja-vu-all-over-again/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/impact-journalism/

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lordacton109401.html

http://rove.com/articles/585

 

 

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Okay it’s really “Meet the Press,” the very same NBC Sunday public-affairs program that debuted in 1947. Harry “The Buck Stops Here” Truman was in the White House.

press

In the 14th year of the 21st Century, can anyone contemplate debuting a new program, naming it, “Meet the Press?” Or how about inaugurating a women’s general interest periodical and calling it, “Good Housekeeping”? Of course not, and yet the 1885 brand lives on as “GH.”

 

“Meet the Press” can be found on NBC, hosted by David Gregory, every Sunday morning reportedly running three-out-of-three in the ratings of the major network Sunday talking-head shows. Is the Rockefeller Center network so attached to this tired brand, which is an anachronism to the game-changing technological shifts west of the Hudson River that it refuses to acknowledge the obvious?

Maybe the rocket scientists at NBC should call the program MTP similar to making-love-in-a-canoe Pabst Blue Ribbon trying to be cool with the PBR acronym. Sorry, we won’t be fooled again.

Is this the time to strike the analog word, “Press” from our collective vocabulary, especially for people who should know better: public relations practitioners, communications choreographers, digital media pros etc.? Almost DailyBrett argues in the affirmative.

And if you do use this word, what does that say about your mindset? Are you closer to the “laggard” classification when it comes to the “Diffusion of Innovation” curve?

diffusioncurve

 

They buried Johannes Gutenberg in 1468. And now it’s time … actually it’s way past time … to deep-six his printing “press,” literally and figuratively.

gutenberg

And with it should be the permanent prohibition by public relations/communications professionals in using the anachronistic and woefully outdated five-letter word: P-R-E-S-S.

That’s right. There should be no more “Press” or “Press Room” icons and pages on company and agency (Hello? … digital) websites. There should be no more “press conferences,” and please no more “press releases.”

There are still scars on my back and vivid memories of uttering the word, “Press” in the presence of electronic media types back in my Sacramento days. “Press” to the conventional electronic (e.g. radio and television) media refers to the “pencil” reporter/editor types. And now even fewer media are actually using printing presses.

Surveying the office bookshelf, the author of Almost DailyBrett comes upon “The Press and America: An Interpretative History of Mass Media” and “The Press: Inside America’s Most Powerful Newspaper Empires – From the Newsrooms to the Boardrooms.” These books were written and published in the simpler analog days of the 1970s and 1980s.

No more kicking and screaming: These “press” references, including the titles of these outdated books, are just so 20th Century…or one could argue, they are really 15th Century. And that is the unavoidable truth when it comes to “legacy” media. Maybe we should label them as “antique” media?

It’s time for the digital natives to reign supreme.

According to The Economist, the high-water mark for employment of full-time American newspaper journalist was about 57,000 circa 1990. Fast forward to the present day and the number is down to 38,000 and dropping, claiming the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rocky Mountain News and many others as casualties.

These are all legacy media that are now legacies, and others will be soon joining the ranks.

Does this mean that college and university journalism schools should shut their doors, and ask the last student to “Please turn out the lights”?

To borrow a well-worn metaphor, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not an oncoming train.

 

The illumination comes from serious digital-native startups that some may be tempted to dismiss as blogs. Pew Research’s State of the News Media cites the literally dozens of digital news providers, some better than others, which are meeting the insatiable global demand for news and information on a 24/7/365-day basis.

digitalmedia

Do you want to label Vice and its 1,100 journalists as “Press”? The question sounds silly when you think of it. How about The Huffington Post with its 575 journalists or POLITICO with 186 or BuzzFeed,170 or Gawker, 132?

One may be tempted to dismiss these contributors as mere bloggers until you examine the departure of reporters from legacy media New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR and others for jobs with digital native news services. Are the lost jobs in legacy media being replaced on a one-to-one basis by digital native outlets? Alas, the answer is ‘no,’ but the trend is clear. The demand for news and information is being filled, mainly by providers that use software, binary code, search engines and keyboards.

Michael Deaver, Larry Speakes and others in the Reagan communications team had to make more room in the crammed White House briefing room for a new network, CNN.

The Clinton White House had to do the same for Fox News and MSNBC, which ironically both debuted in 1996.

Undoubtedly, the present White House and administrations to follow will have to make the calls when it comes to digital-native media. Some deserve admission to this club, and some do not. Regardless the vast majority media now and into the future will never use printing presses. They are so yesterday. The world continues to change, but the demand for accurate news and information will never change.

It’s time to bury the word, “Press” once and for all.

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/as-meet-the-press-struggles-in-the-ratings-plenty-of-questions-for-host-david-gregory/2014/04/20/247ed4c0-c72f-11e3-bf7a-be01a9b69cf1_story.html?wpisrc=nl%5Fhdln

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

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21599784-some-moderately-good-news-news-industry-digital-resurrection

http://www.vice.com/en_us

http://www.businessinsider.com/

https://firstlook.org/

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/

http://www.politico.com/

http://www.journalism.org/packages/state-of-the-news-media-2014/

 

 

 

 

The words, “Public Relations Pros” and “Journalists” would be labeled by many in the Fourth Estate as either an oxymoron or an obscene contradiction of terms.

Emerging from Journalism school back in the desultory late-1970s, the author of Almost DailyBrett would have surely agreed. Walter Cronkite never flacked for anyone. Woodward and Bernstein might be interested in selling books, but they would never stoop to representing a mere politician or corporation. Analytical Thomas Friedman would never risk his reputation for impartiality by serving as anyone’s advocate.

woodwardbernstein

Yes, the perception is that journalists are reporters, editors, correspondents, columnists, anchors, news directors and managing editors. This thinking is oh-so-analog.

Let’s pose this question: Are digital bloggers for TechCrunch, Gizmodo, The Huffington Post, Politico and many other influential weblogs, journalists? Don’t think so?

Think of it this way: They have an obligation to get their facts right. They may not always write, complying with AP Style or using the inverted pyramid – heck many of their posts are feature “thumb suckers” – but they still must have a sense of what is newsworthy and what is not. Why? Because a blog is the most discretionary of all reads. No one requires you to read her or his blog.

Bloggers need to include in their posts the essential facts or the five W’s and the one H… What, When, Who, Where, Why and How…and one more: Who the hell cares? If these questions are not answered quickly, the reader will turn elsewhere. Isn’t that what a traditional analog journalist does?

Is Jon Stewart, a journalist?

Heck no you say? He is a comedian. Right? Or Left? Yes, he is…but in many respects he is a journalist.

stewartcramer

His 21-minute public undressing of CNBC’s Jim Cramer was masterful, and it went viral (more than 83,000 page-views). Harvard-trained “Mad Money” Cramer is a virtual encyclopedia of all things, Wall Street. If you are skeptical, just check out his evening “Lightning Round” or read his latest tome, “Get Rich Carefully.”

And yet Stewart nailed him with his careful research, facts and figures to skillfully argue that CNBC was essentially in bed with institutional Wall Street, and was not doing enough to protect the average retail investor, who relies on the market to grow nest eggs for future dreams through IRAs and 401k’s.

Another question immediately comes to mind.

Is the above-average Jane or Jack with a cell-phone camera and an internet connection, a journalist?

Your immediate reaction would be to the negative…and in most instances you’re right…but not in all cases.

Train Station Shooting

A cell phone camera turned BART’s world (Bay Area Rapid Transit) literally upside down when the fatal 2009 early New Year’s morning shooting of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale station went viral. A passenger taking photos through a subway car window “covered” the story, providing many of the five W’s and the one H, prompting the mainstream Bay Area media to follow and putting the BART public relations operation into damage control. The “Who Cares” question was already answered.

Just as the binary code of ones-and-zeroes has forever changed the business models of analog media types (e.g., those still using a later generation of 1439 Gutenberg’s printing press), the definition of who is and who is not a journalist is changing as well.

Rarely does Almost DailyBrett speak ex-cathedra, but it will in this case: The public relations industry grasped digital communication – blogging, microsites, digital handhelds – much faster than the majority of conventional journalists, some of which are still kicking and screaming.

Naturally, traditional journalists and the newly minted digital journalists (e.g., bloggers) are skeptical of public relations pros. Why? Flacks are advocates. They have a point of view. They present the truth and tell the story in the best interest of their respective clients.

This advocacy position puts them in a synergistic relationship with the reporter-editor-analyst crowd, and in many cases these recipients of PR industry information are antagonistic to the provider. In the final analysis and there is no denying this point: They need each other. Reporters need public relations pros because they provide information. In turn, public relations pros need access to their target audiences.

And what about this information? It has to be researched. It has to be accurate. It should always be presented professionally (e.g., AP Style). It has to be newsworthy (or a credible newsworthiness argument has to be advanced). It has to include all the salient facts, including those five W’s and one H. And it must conclusively respond to the skeptical, bordering on cynical, who cares question.

Some have suggested that public relations should be taught in business schools rather than journalism schools. The reason is that the majority of agency and all corporate public relations professionals are working on behalf of business. That’s true.

Here’s where Almost DailyBrett disagrees. Public relations is telling the story on behalf of a newsworthy client. Even though PR pros are advocating, they still must research the story and get it right. They must present this information professionally (e.g., inverted pyramid, AP Style) and it must be newsworthy for news disseminators in order to reach target audiences. That requires the journalism taught in J-Schools.

invertedpyramid

Even if public relations pros are bypassing or not exclusively using conventional and digital media outlets, and strictly utilizing self-publishing instead, they still need to practice solid journalism and ensure the story is told accurately.

And what did Joseph Pulitzer write on the walls of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch? “Accuracy, Accuracy, Accuracy”?

This sage advice applies to public relations practitioners as well, particularly in our fast-moving digital age.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-12-2009/jim-cramer-pt–1

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-12-2009/jim-cramer-pt–2

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Blame-in-Oscar-Grant-BART-death-may-shift-4713100.php

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

http://www.apstylebook.com/

http://www.onlineconcepts.com/pulitzer/endow.htm

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