Friday, August 28, 2009

The TR: Playing the Death Card, a Great White Hope and other Epic PR Fails

Are you winding down your summer in style, dearies? Queenie's tearily sending her little princes off to school soon, and our younger team members (along with the First Family) are desperately trying to get in those last beach trips and BBQ's before it's time to do real work again. If you didn't take one last vacation day today, load up on snark this afternoon -- it's healthier than tanning, we promise.

Forecast

Creepiest Kennedy catch-phrase: Passing healthcare reform from the graaaave! Wow. Pundits are and will be going back and forth from wondering how the death card will be used politically to shaming people for talking about how the Senator's death will be used politically. WE'RE thinking it will shame the Senate into passing healthcare when the August break is over. Expect lots of chatter on that, the future of the Mass. Senate seat and live burial coverage up the wazoo. He'll be driven by the Capitol one last time Saturday before being laid to rest in Arlington, and it's open to the public. Oh, and, of course, there's a Twitter feed.

Also expect endless debating about healthcare next week -- but you knew that already. In unsurprising poll news of the day, most people don't know what "public option" means, and all those nice young 'uns that voted for Obama don't care about healthcare. And according to some people, Dems are planning to discriminate against the GOP for medical treatment. That along with offing Grandma and all those pesky fetuses? Damn. They got us figured out. Stay tuned for more rabid punditry as Congress comes back from recess -- could it be a swing and a miss for Obama when he returns from vacay? (Oh man. Worst pun ever. We apologize.)

Wondering where Obama is today? We aren't either, but this sure makes it easy to find out. Maybe this is why the WaPo is shrinking. "If you don't get it, you don't -- hey, what's Obama up to? Golf? Awesome!" Although, with this shrinking approval rating, will anyone want to know anymore?

Increasing violence in Afghanistan amid fraudulent elections isn't (sadly) news, really, but it's something you should be aware of. Expect coverage, but you'll have to look around for it.

Remember Sanford? Ugh, us too. But half of South Carolina sure wants to forget about him. Does anyone really think he'll be impeached, though?

The Week That Was

Today's Half-Assed Apology for a Racist Comment Made by a Republican: Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who is looking for the next "great white hope" to defeat Obama. And who, like, totally didn't know that was racist. To her press people: LOL! In other accidental racism news, Microsoft Poland totally effed this up and got caught by the Internetz.

Have you been Youtubing the Town Halls? Our Culture Minister is really mad at herself for missing the one near her Reston, VA, home, where Randall Terry got kicked out for calling Howard Dean a babykiller. Here's some more video from protests outside, here's a great re-cap of Bart Gordon's Tennessee town hall, and, oh, why not... here's Michele Bachmann's too. We hope you're praying and fasting for the healthcare bill, people.

FYI, there are still pirates, and they are still pirating, and they are neither rakish-with-hearts-of-gold OR interested in being your Halloween costume. Seriously.

Hey flacks! There are a couple of PR tidbits in the news this week we wanted you to see. First up, an executive at Burson-Marsteller used Mark J. Penn's column from the WSJ to try and drum up business, bringing up all kinds of conflict of interest issues. This is a teachable moment, folks. Second, Dooce (you know, the, like, most famous mommy blogger ever) caused a Twitter riot over Maytag yesterday. And we ALL know who will win a Big Corporation versus Angry Mommy Blogger battle. To the Maytag PR people: LOL! Third, are we finally bored with social media (or just using it wrong)? Are we no longer able to think for ourselves? Pfft, who cares -- pretty soon we'll be able to Tweet from our TV remotes!

Our Culture Minister recently jaunted off to Orlando and, in a moment of geeky triumph, saw Discovery on the launch pad days before lift-off. But it's been delayed three times since! Here's hoping for a good launch tonight, and in the meantime check out this inspirational story of Mission Specialist Jose Hernandez and growing up to be an astronaut. Then tell your kids to stay the hell in school. (PS: And, if you're into this kind of thing, NASA's got their social media on lock. Very impressive!)

In Memoriam, "Lion of the Senate" Edition

It's been nothing but tributes and flags at half-staff for the past few days, but Ted Kennedy's passing also made us (and many others) think about the future of our party. Have we become too quick to compromise? Or is it all about bipartisanship?

Anyway, the memoriams have been flying fast and furious, and we're sure you've been reading them all day long. Here's to someone that worked tirelessly in the Senate for nearly 50 years and inspired a country, regardless of his (very human) foibles. And here's hoping his party does him justice.

Scorecard

Did anyone hear about MJ's death being ruled a homicide this week? No? Hmmm... either we're not paying enough attention, or the King of Pop hasn't maligned the news cycle nearly as much as, say, OJ Simpson back in the day. Someone want to explain to us what happened?

Anyway, be good this weekend, or you might end up like this guy. See you in September!

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