Category Archives: Politics

Inauguration Celebration

Wanted to post this video in the name of change.

“Bring out your dead!” But print’s not dead yet!

For all you “demise of print” soothesayers, I’ve got a little story for you. Last week, the election of Barack Obama as our nations 44th president brought HOPE to both our country and to the print industry. While watching the speech on November 4th, my roommate and I decided to do our best to get newspapers of the election results on November 5th This is an historically significant event. I wanted proof that I’d seen it. I was inspired by my AP US History teacher, Mr. Litchfield who displays the front page articles of various historical events in his classroom – the US moon landing, Roosevelts’ fourth term election…

Apparently people around the country were equally moved to buy a copy…

Line outside of the NYT Building

From the Gothamist: This is the line outside of the New York Times building in NYC. Once I got into the city on Wednesday morning, I checked the closest news stands, Starbucks, Borders, Walgreens ā€“ All had sold out of that day’s NYT.

So I did what anyone with a sister at the New York Times would do ā€“ I called my sister and had her save me a copy.

picture-6She, being the lovely sister that she is, obliged me right away and sent me a copy. She also, gave my name and search story to a reporter – one Richard Perez-Pena.

picture-8Got a call later that day from Richard asking about my quest for a paper, why it was important for me to have a copy and where I’d gone to get one — and YES. Lots of people go to Starbucks and Borders as a surefire place to get the “Times”. OK?

The next day, all of my coworkers were asking me how the hell I’d gotten to be in the New York Times because here is the article. And here’s my quote from the November 6th article:

picture-71

Feel free to laugh. I did.

Alright, alright – so the more important point is (as Perez-Pena points out at the bottom of the above screen shot) that this gave the print facet of the news industry a ray of Obama-branded HOPE.

Suddenly newsPAPERS were a commodity. Something tangible to represent participation in this event. I voted. I saw it happen.

The frenzy continued and madness ensued on Craigslist and Ebay…picture-3picture-41The people who run NYT Social Media activity (Is that you @Converseon?) brilliantly came up with a Facebook gift of the November 5th NYT front page. I got one from my friend, colleague and fellow LaunchSquadder, Miko Mercer.

picture-2The point is, as long as historical events keep happening, I think we’re going to see a continued demand for tangible evidence. The demand for this particular copy translates into a demand for physical engagement. People felt like they were a part of this election and this process by purchasing a copy. Or at least I did.

Just so you know – the paper was much easier to find on November 6th when I bought a hardcopy of my quote. For my mom.

Campaign banner ads: We belong to the Light (continued)

This ad is from Adotas.com. In my previous post I pointed out these ads for the debates and how they looked slightly amorous. Well this is just out of control.

Of course – it could just be a call for bipartisanship.

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder…

Can we just pause to take a look at these MSNBC ads touting their network as the “place for politics?” They’re just a little intimate. Like they’re going in for a kiss. I’m just sayin. Your thoughts? What would Sarah Palin think?

Brokeback Debates?

Brokeback Debates?

Chew Him Up, Spitzer Out: Lessons On Spin From A Pro

What a relief this Eliot Spitzer scandal is! A nice break for journalists trying to peddle the tired story of the growing Clinton-Obama-McCain “we’re good friends, but don’t respect each other’s policies”-triangle. A nice break for readers trying to stay interested in it. Oh! And the blogging opportunities! I can just see a young Christian Bale as a “Newsie” celebrating this latest golden headline and vending his “papes” with renewed vigor. It’s perfect! Here is the champion of decency, steadfastly intolerant of the corrupt and duplicitous among elected public servants, slain by his own silver bullet. Kind of. According Kimberley A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, the press are still trying to revive him.

As if this story wasn’t interesting enough, many people are starting to question why he thought he’d get away with it. In a scathing recent article, Strassel asserts that the press acted more like pre-teen NSync groupies when they covered him than like a balanced commentating voice: The unrelenting loyalty of the press is why he thought he could get away with it.

From the article: ‘”You play hard, you play rough, and hopefully you don’t get caught,” said Mr. Spitzer two years ago. He never did get caught, because most reporters were his accomplices.”

“[Gov. Spitzer] played the media like a Stradivarius.” Ouch! She then goes on to cite several cases in which the media not only turned a blind-eye to Spitzer’s indiscretions, but they also praised him for his commitment to the “people’s causes”.

This brings up an interesting point. Is it OK for the press corps to take sides on political movements and candidates? For example: The New York Times endorsing candidates. Is it instances like this that solidify the argument of an opinion-free press? Strassel asserts that one of the most important jobs of the press is to be political watch-dogs. If this is true and the circumstances in the article also true, then the press failed miserably.

Not that it was their fault entirely, according to Strassel. What we have here, is a master of spin. Spitzer knew what the media wanted and he gave it to them. He knew what would grab their attention and he worked it whether it was crusading for causes or feeding journalist friends with insider information.

Are you taking notes all you aspiring celebrity publicists?

…I honestly don’t have much else to say about this. Strassel has delivered the story beautifully and most importantly, thoroughly. All I can do is sit here with my friend Dan and shake my head at my recent discovery of the frailty and vulnerability of the modern press corps, professionals I admire and respect, people who have set standards and examples of excellence that I am instructed, daily, to emulate. What am I, a journalism major, what’s more, a PR major who has to constantly reconcile the needs of a client with social ethics, to take from this?
All I’ve left to conclude is: Britney Spears, if you want to get the media back on your side, call Eliot Sptizer. He’ll probably be looking for a job soon.

This seems brazen. Even before I publish it, I’m nervous to do so. What do I, a student, know about the ways of the world other than what I’ve been told? My idealism hasn’t been truly put to the test. “Oh yeah, Soto? Let’s see if you can find a job when you come down from that soapbox!” I suppose this post is just me needing to know that the pursuit of ethical practices and social responsibility is worth it.

*Image courtesy of http://www.gawker.com