The dog ate my press release
Expanded from the 10-23-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune
Corporate Propaganda Research Archive
Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
That's how it goes. Everybody knows.
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Does it taste like chicken? Is it better with screwtop wines? Should people with peanut or lobster allergies avoid it? Is it sushi? What goes best on foodblog, mayonnaise or mustard? Is ketchup taboo?
My old friend Sam Shad has started to lose it. This guru of the Nevada communications biz suffers from a serious communications gap.
Sam's minions just distributed a press release about the latest expansion of the Shad media empire. It hit my desktop in the middle of a very boring afternoon when I hungered for any excuse to avoid work.
To my rescue came Sam's "Chow Reno, Northern Nevada's newest food blog."
Such an announcement prompts serious questions. Sam should anticipate a rash of phone calls from the legit media, which means I won't be phoning him.
Pressing on regardless, I herewith put on my best Jake Hightonesque professorial grading demeanor (or degrading misdemeanor you pick). Sam's PR shall be mercilessly and decimatingly deconstructed under the expert eye of a former professional union frycook, broilerman and dishwasher.
First and foremost, Sam's story wasn't written to the lowest common denominator, the hallmark of any good publicity release. (The only baser form of writing appears on Fox News.)
After reading the entire press statement, the casual reader still doesn't know what's in foodblog. Maybe it's a marketing ploy like McDonald's secret sauce, Col. Sanders' thirteen herbs and spices or the fabled formula for Coca-Cola.
The PR asserts that "Chow Reno is focused on bringing its readers coverage on new restaurant openings, new menu launches, chef profiles, events and more."
Onsite (onwebsite?) Chef Clint Jolly states "Reno is on the verge of a blossoming food revolution. It is our goal to help the community find new and interesting happenings in our area's restaurant culture."
Restaurant culture. Hmm. While cultures brought us penicillin, it's really not a word you wanna use anywhere near a kitchen. As with your home fridge, if you see something growing a culture, it's time to send it to Clorox City. If your food revolution is blossoming, don't eat it.
Sam should consider eliminating references to any food revolutions, blossoming or not. The Dept. of Homeland Security sweeps for subversive keywords and revolution is guaranteed to twist the shorts of Big Brother's computers into convolutions, convulsions and conniptions.
"Jolly, the lead writer and editor of the site, is bringing his fifteen years of experience in the industry to the table," puns the PR.
"His professional outlook is unique to the food media in this area."
Zounds, I didn't even know we had food media at this altitude. Can penicillin cure it?
"Sam Shad's long tenure as the media face of food in Reno adds a welcome addition to the effort," the release states.
I suggest deleting the face-of-food reference. I have too much respect for both Sam and lemon meringue pie to countenance such a wasteful collision.
Leave food fights to Congress.
"With posts already up outlining the new Campo and a profile of Chef Charlie Abowd, the site is well underway," the press release concludes.
What's a Campo? Is it anything like an Airstream? Can homeless people eat there? I know Charlie (Adele's kid) and Karen Abowd have laudably been feeding many of the less fortunate.
"Upcoming coverage includes an insider look at CommRow's new eateries and a roundup of the area's new food trucks."
Will room service at the downtown Reno CommRow Uncasino serve you some foodblog as you play Spiderman on its pseudo-rock climbing wall? Probably not. Any kind of splatter down to street level, especially ketchup, would be bad publicity.
I can't wait for the roundup of the area's food trucks. Back when I was working car dealerships, they were called gut wagons. I'm glad to see them finally getting some respect.
If they are not operated by members of the Teamsters and Culinary unions, I will be happy to make some calls.
There are many lessons in all this. The most important: Never pitch slow softballs across the plate of a bored and hungry columnist laboring close to deadline on a dead news day.
Finally, Sam should consider a pre-emptive strike against potential protest from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Any followup should announce that ChowReno will, of course, cover Puppy Chow.
But don't let the dogs out. They might eat your press release.
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Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of NevadaLabor.com. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
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SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
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Copyright © 1982-2011 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail email@example.com.
Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.
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