Remember the classic line from the movie ‘Network?’ I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore’
was shouted by newscasters and news viewers alike in response to the demise of serious news coverage in favor of ‘happy talk.’
Well, I feel the very same way after seeing some high and mighty media types take potshots at public relations professionals.
Everyone and their brother has already weighed in on Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson ‘outing’ 300 or so publicists who annoyed him with e-mail pitches.
Now, there’s Gene Weingarten writing in the Washington Post and beating the bejesus out of PR once again. Like his Wired peer, Weingarten bitches about voice and e-mail messages from PR people. Rather than out specific ‘flacks’ though, he decides to instead publish his answers to one firm’s queries aimed at updating his profile in their database.
In his incredibly barbed, published response, Weingarten crucifies PR. To wit:
– In explaining his specific ‘beat,’ he says it: ‘…mostly involves ripping PR professionals a new one.’
– In decrying some perceived coupling between PR and marketing, he says ‘the unholy alliance between PR and the soulless marketing industry…makes the team of Hitler-Mussolini seem benevolent.’
– And, asked what tips he’d give PR professionals who may want to contact him, the always affable Weingarten says, ‘I encourage midnight visits to my home by PR professionals who have no immediate relatives or close friends.’
Weingarten and Anderson are bullies. Pure and simple.
They know they’re in the power position over PR people, so they take
advantage by belittling them in nasty, public forums. In fact,
Weingarten is to PR people what the Stalin-like state trooper is to the
average speeder: mean, menacing and malicious.
We need to stand up to these media bullies and call their bluff. So,
Messrs. Weingarten and Anderson, I want you to know that I’m mad as
hell and not going to take it anymore.
While I can’t take much action beyond writing this blog, I’ll be sure
to keep my eyes open for one of your resumes. Why? Because I’m
confident that one day soon one or both of you will follow the lead of
far more talented journalists and, yes, join that whipping post of a
profession otherwise known as public relations.