Tag Archive: Rolling Stone


 “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

 

 

“I don’t want to say much about them as individuals but I’ll just say that this particular fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi — it’s really emblematic in a lot of ways of sort of like elitist fraternity culture … They’re just so incredibly wealthy. Their alumni are very influential … They’re on Wall Street, they’re in politics.” – Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely

“No ritualized sexual assault is part of our pledging or initiating process. This notion is vile, and we vehemently refute this claim.” – Statement by Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity

“In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”  — Rolling Stone managing editor Will Dana apologyUVAfraternity1

Political and corporate PR pros can spot them a mile away.

They are supposed to be objective reporters. However, they harbor a deep-seated ideological agenda.

They are interested only in facts that fit their preconceived narrative and anything and everything else is immediately deemed to be irrelevant and discarded.

They are bound and determined to produce copy (e.g., conventional, digital, broadcast) that triggers an impact. They are committed to social change at your expense.

And they will get away with it, unless there are those with the courage to proclaim they are wrong, dead wrong.

The “Right” Target

“The story and Erdely’s comments about it, moreover, suggest an effort to produce impact journalism … It starts with this business about choosing just the “right” school for the story. What is that all about?” – Erik Wemple of the Washington Post

It’s difficult to find a more sensitive subject than rape on campus, and for good reason. It unfortunately happens, and in each and every case it needs to be addressed quickly, decisively and severely by universities and law enforcement.

Erdely wrote about a student named, Jackie, and an alleged incident at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia on a late September weekend two years ago. The fraternity claims that no social events were scheduled at the house that particular weekend, and steadfastly defends itself.

No alleged perpetrator from the fraternity was interviewed by Erdely for her Rolling Stone, “A Rape on Campus” piece. The fraternity has been the scene of massive protests and the house was vandalized. Fraternity and sorority activities have been suspended on the UVA campus.

The reliability of Jackie has come into question, so much so that Rolling Stone issued an apology.rollingstonestory

The public relations issue here pertains to targeting, in this case the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

“I made contact with a student activist at the school who told me a lot about the culture of the school — that was one of the important things, sort of criteria that I wanted when I was looking for the right school to focus on,” said Erdely.

Hmmm … She contacted an “activist.” UVA was the “right” school. There was an “elitist fraternity culture.” Their alumni are on “Wall Street.”

Almost DailyBrett must ask: What do these social justice “facts” have to do with campus safety? Zero.

“Dry-by Journalism”

“Like a neighborhood thrown into chaos by drive-by violence, our tightly knit community has experienced the full fury of drive-by journalism in the 21st century.” — University of Virginia Rector George Keith Martin

“… She (Erdely) did have an agenda and part of that agenda was showing how monstrous fraternities themselves as an institution are and blaming the administration for a lot of these sexual assaults.” – University of Virginia co-ed Alex Pinkleton

There is no doubt about the ideological leaning of music and entertainment-oriented Rolling Stone. The same can be said for oodles of other media outlets, some on the right, more on the left.

If a publication, news aggregator, blogger, broadcaster is known for editorially advocating a certain point of view, it still needs to ensure that its favored ideology is not dominating reporter copy. Forget about objectivity; the majority of these reporters are not fair and balanced, and therefore they really need editors willing to ask the tough post-reporting questions. That obviously didn’t happen at Rolling Stone.rollingstonecover

For the public relations professional of the “target” institution (e.g., Wall Street, Fortune 500 company, major university, incoming majorities in Congress), you must keep your powder dry.

For instance, the University of Virginia needs to be able to immediately cite chapter and verse about anything and everything it does to protect all of its students. There is little doubt this list is extensive. Get ready to recite.

For fraternities on campus, you are a target. Get used to it. Be ready to defend your fraternity.

Forget about going to the editor, the reporter needs to be confronted. This person is not your friend, and never will be your friend. While maintaining your professionalism, you need to call this reporter out. Tell the reporter that your employer is being targeted, and you know this is indeed the case.

Remind that person that you are fully prepared to defend your organization, including using digital self-publishing (e.g., University of Virginia). This most likely will neither be the first time nor the last time you will be in a fight with a reporter. This is all part of the job.

Expect an impassioned response complete with name calling (e.g., class privilege, system of exploitation) all intended to bully, intimidate and stifle dissent.

Let’s face it: The notion of pure objectivity by reporters, editors, bloggers, and correspondents is a joke. The vast majority of reporters have a personal ideology, but the best put these thoughts aside and do their jobs. There are a chosen few, who are not there to report the news, but to “impact” social change. They are not journalists, but activists in disguise.

Ms. Erdely needs to be shown the door by Rolling Stone. Look for her holding up a sign right by the bull statue on Wall Street.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/03/23/charlottesville-police-make-clear-that-rolling-stone-story-is-a-complete-crock/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/12/15/u-va-rape-survivor-rolling-stone-reporter-had-an-agenda/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/12/05/rolling-stones-disastrous-u-va-story-a-case-of-real-media-bias/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/u-va-fraternity-to-rebut-claims-of-gang-rape-in-rolling-stone/2014/12/05/5fa5f7d2-7c91-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/u-va-board-leader-denounces-drive-by-journalism-of-rolling-stone/2014/12/19/47980410-87b7-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html

http://www.rollingstone.com/

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-rolling-stone-rape-story-20141205-story.html

http://www.virginia.edu/

 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

teddyroosevelt

Self-indulgent … Weak, unimaginative songs…” – Rolling Stone magazine review of Led Zeppelin I.

“(The first album) just went over their heads. Absolutely. Absolutely, so. It was way beyond them…” – Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page reflecting on the initial reviews.

Take that, critics.

There are no statues or monuments to critics.

Ancient and modern-day versions of the Pharisees have always been and will always be with us.

Will Tim Tebow make it in the NFL? If he doesn’t, is it because of his home schooling? His belief in a higher being? His long-time commitment to clean living?

You would think that he never won the Heisman Trophy.

Give him credit for one thing: He is a man in the arena.

In our digital society, our ability and our incessant need to calibrate, to crunch data to smithereens has never been greater.

Didn’t Intel get into major PR trouble in 1994 because the Pentium chip (floating point unit FPU) didn’t compute correctly four or more digits AFTER the decimal point?

When a big league hitter comes to the plate, we all know his batting average, average with RISP (runners in scoring position), home runs, RBIs…all the data that makes Billy Beane, as played by Brad Pitt, salivate.

In nanoseconds, we measure the direction of stocks, market capitalization of companies, price-to-earnings ratios and the “churn” as institutional investors or hedge funds move in-and-out of a security.

In God we trust; All others bring data. – Professor/Author William Edward Deming.

And yet, despite our unquenchable thirst for data, figures and factoids, our lives still remain largely subjective. And there are “Russian judges” that from time-to-time are thumbs down on even our best efforts.

Most sports have a scoreboard. You either win or lose, pure and simple. That is not the case for figure skating, particularly during the troubled days of the Cold War. An American skater would receive the following marks for her performance in the short or long program: 5.8, 5.9, 5.8, 5.7, 5.9, 5.8, 4.5…Wonder who gave her the 4.5? The Russian judge.

The point is the critics are still here. The world has never been more technologically advanced with 90 percent of the scientists, who ever lived, walking around the planet right now. Despite all of this innovation and advancement, we are still for the large part evaluated subjectively by our peers.

We live, and maybe always will reside in a subjective society.

This undeniable fact requires us to remember the most important public relations of all are personal public relations. How do you enhance your personal brand? How do you protect your reputation? Did you “Google” yourself today? Do you like what you see? Or do you need to change course?

Even though job applications with digital cover letters, curriculum vitae, portfolios and URLs are all submitted, and in most cases search engine instantly evaluated for desired “tag” words, the decision whether to hire or not is made by flesh-and-bones people. And of course, people can be political.

As CNBC’s Jim Cramer says, “I don’t care about a stock’s past, only its future.”

cramer

Interviewers are only concerned about whether you will add value to the bottom line. They want to know how you will fit into an organization. They want to know how you will contribute. They want to know whether you have the gravitas to interact effectively with management, customers and other stakeholders. They want to know whether you will be a team player.

How about romance? We might be able to devise a pithy profile with nice JPEG mug shots for Match.com or eHarmony or some other dating site, but whether you succeed or fail in the game of love comes down to the subjective opinion of another person. Are you immediately placed on the friendship track or the romance track? That is the mother of all analog decisions. At some point, there will be a decision whether intimate human contact is in the cards. The ones-and-zeroes play absolutely no role.

Even blog writers are subjected to…ah…subjectivity. Do these words work for you or not? Do you enjoy that picture on the wall? What about the architecture of this building? Or that outdoor landscaping? And how about Led Zeppelin I? Is it “self-indulgent”? Or does it go right over the heads of the critics?

Sometimes, we are talking about questions of taste. Sometimes a critic’s upbringing comes into play or pre-set political philosophies. And maybe despite your best efforts and effective personal public relations, the critic simply doesn’t care for you. It all comes down to eternal subjectivity in a digital world.

Those damn Russian judges. They will always be there to torment us.

http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhyW3_2f02w

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

http://t.foxsports.msn.com/nfl/tebows-nfl-days-numbered-after-zero-snaps

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

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_all_scientists_who_have_ever_lived_are_alive_today

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15838187

 

 

 

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