america

Fundamentalism and the Dark Arts of Propaganda

As I write this from Los Angeles, the news ticker is awash with the minutiae of the horrific bombing that took place in Boston today as marathon runners crossed the finishing line. Doctors are telling stories of innumerable injuries and amputations; eye witnesses are giving accounts of terror and confusion; the President is offering platitudes(…)

More

Sarah Palin and the Language of Violence

Reading and hearing about the shootings in Tucson, Arizona I am more and more struck by the awful ironies of this tragic event. That Gabrielle Giffords should be a pro-gun Democrat is strange enough, but the fact that her life has been saved by a trauma surgeon just back from Iraq, whose skills have been(…)

More

Breaking X Factor in America

This weekend the nation gathers around the TV once again, to watch the X Factor final; the uber-karaoke contest live from the Wembley’s Amphitheatrum Flavium, thumbs poised for pollice verso. Tomorrow we will marvel at the victor who, with scrupulous and unaffected dignity, will be giving thanks to the loyal viewers for allowing him or(…)

More

The Pakistan Flood PR Failure

Given the scale of the flood disaster in Pakistan, it is distressing to see that the British media seems to be missing any sense of urgency about it. Any coverage seems to be being abrogated in favour of the urgent news that Wayne Rooney may have slept with prostitutes. I am beginning to wonder if(…)

More

Advice for a Young PR Hopeful

Whilst I was in Edinburgh last week a young publicist, just starting out, bounced up to me, having recognised me, and asked if I’d give her some advice on the publicity game. We sat down for a cup of coffee and I asked her what she was working on. She told me that this was(…)

More

Interesting Times

When will they stop, all those insistent tweets linked to advice-giving sites? All those sites hungry for clicks, all of them helpfully suggesting that folks should be interesting if the want to be successful on Twitter? They’re as predictable as Chelsea Clinton marrying a hedge fund manager. What does ‘interesting’ mean, anyway? How do you(…)

More

The Publicity Spin Drier

The Mel Gibson/Oksana Grigorieva row that has been consuming America whole for the last few weeks has taken a new turn, according to the TMZ website, with Oksana’s publicist Steve Jaffe leaving for pastures somewhat less argumentative. The big question racing round the media and the net is: did Jaffe walk or was he pushed?(…)

More

Starless in Hollywood

I’ve been travelling around California for the last 10 days, taking in the sights and sounds and meeting people on a research trip for a book on the ways that sexuality has been used to create fame. Hollywood is a spawning ground for media whores, after all. I thought I’d be taking time out of(…)

More

Aid Ships, Oil Slicks and PR Wars

The confidence and utter belief in the State of Israel the Israeli government have displayed, as they justify their violent attack on the ships attempting to bring aid to Gaza, is breathtaking. Both factions in any war tend towards insanity of some sort, but Israel organise theirs with terrifying rigour. They have an enormous number(…)

More

Load More