WND Tries To Extend Kathleen Willey's 15 Minutes Topic: WorldNetDaily
Kathleen Willey's campaign to crowdfund herself a house -- for which WorldNetDaily did its part by donating copies of the WND-published book she wrote (no doubt collecting dust in WND's warehouse since 2007) to the cause so she could sign them and give to donors -- has stalled, raising less than $4,000 of the $80,000 she sought.
It was time to generate a little publicity. And WND came through again, in the form of Aaron Klein having Willey as a guest on his radio show.
Willey hyperbolically declared that "“Hillary Clinton is the war on women," adding: "Just pack your bags. You’ve had your 15 minutes." Says someone who's trying to extend her 15 minutes by riding a 15-year-old scandal.
This got Willey the publicity she desired, garnering her a mostly softball interview on Fox News. Mission accomplished. She even got a new donation for her house.
Never mind Willey's history of lies and deception. She can be counted on to reliably spout her Clinton-hate, and that's good enough for WND (and, apparently, Fox News.)
Alan Caruba Pretends Right-Wing Media Isn't Failing Topic: Accuracy in Media
Professionalbamboozler Alan Caruba is at it again in his Feb. 17 Accuracy in Media column, regurgitating right-wing shibboleths about the media.
Caruba is happy that the New York Times is not making very much money, noting that "Newsweek was sold for one dollar. In 2013 The Daily Beast was projected to lose $12 million." He adds, "By contrast, The Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily are thriving."
But Caruba is making an apples-to-oranges comparison. The Journal and IBD are not general-interest news outlets like the "liberal" outlets he cites; their focus is on business and market news that is very much separate from the right-wing commentary they publish.
Further, they are not thriving. The privately held IBD is reportedly not a money-maker and is supported by other divisions of its parent company. Rupert Murdoch paid $5 billion for the Journal in 2007 -- which is the current value of all of News Corp.'s publishing assets, which include the New York Post and papers in Britain and Australia.
In noting that Newsweek was sold for $1, Caruba failed to note that the Washington Times was sold for $1 as well.
As we've documented, conservative media would have long ago failed in a free market were it not for deep-pocketed right-wing billionaires -- something Caruba fails to understand.
Joseph Farah Pretends WND Isn't Race-Baiting About 'Black Mobs' (And Completely Sells Out to Google) Topic: WorldNetDaily
The sellout is complete: WorldNetDaily cares more about ad revenue than it does about principles.
We knew this already -- despite Joseph Farah's history of attacking Google as an "immoral" company that "may not be able to discern right from wrong," WND has been using Google AdSense for much of its advertising since 2009 -- but it has come into stark relief with a new tussle between WND and Google.
A Feb. 17 WND article describes how Google "has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term 'black mobs' in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S." Here's WND's response to Google:
In response, WND is preemptively blocking Google ads in content in which that phrase appears in past and current stories, including this one. Other ad providers have agreed to step in and fill the gap.
That's right -- rather than fight the power, WND has acquiesced by trying to keep the offending words from jeopardizing precious Google ad space.
And yet WND still gets it wrong -- there are still Google ad spaces on the page this article resides on. As of this writing, the vertical ad strip on the left side of the article and a horizontal ad strip at the end of the article are still both Google AdSense spaces, as are two square ad boxes in the right-side strip and the middle square ad box at the bottom of the page. The horizontal ad strip at the top of the page belongs to a company called Turn, while the left bottom square space belongs to Criteo and the right bottom space belongs to Evidon/Audience Science. The top right square ad is operated through SiteScout, while another right-hand ad box is operated through AppNexus.
The article is accompanied by a column in which Farah defends the shoddy work of the man who's responsible for Google's flagging, Colin Flaherty, and pretends there's no race-baiting going on:
It all began two years ago when WND made the decision to begin tracking what appeared to be a rise in unprovoked black on non-black violence. Through the reporting, WND first alerted the nation to “the knockout game,” in which perpetrators seek to render unconscious innocent and unsuspecting victims usually with a single blow to the head. We reported on coordinated riots and seemingly spontaneous uprisings occurring in major cities and small towns from coast to coast.
As a result of the reporting, mayors and police departments around the country began responding. Our reporting was condemned by racialists quick to excuse or cover up bad behavior in minority communities and extolled by many, including black scholar Thomas Sowell, who strongly and repeatedly endorsed a groundbreaking book WND published by Colin Flaherty called “White Girl Bleed A Lot,” which includes much of the reporting he did for WND.
Google is clearly assigning motives to our reporting on the basis of the linking of two words – black mobs. Euphemisms for two perfectly accurate words must now be found because Google has determined that the linking of these two words is hate speech. When one of the most powerful media companies in the world starts banning words and phrases and imposing its speech police standards on all those it does business with, we are headed down a dangerous, Orwellian slippery slope.
The term “black mobs” as used in WND is not a pejorative term.
It is not hate speech. In fact, it is the reporting of facts – facts that have been substantiated and reported by many other news sources since WND began reporting on the trend two years ago. WND Books’ “White Girl Bleed A Lot” is carried in bookstores across the nation and on Amazon.com. What’s next – burning the books?
As we've amplydocumented, the only crimes WND consistently reports on involve "black mobs." If there wasn't a racial or pejorative motive behind it, why has Flaherty been so desperate to push the issue that he has included non-blacks and animals in the "black mobs" he writes about?
Why doesn't WND give other crimes the kind of blanket coverage it has afforded Flaherty and his "black mob" obsession? Farah doesn't explain. As the WND "news" article on this subject notes, the term "black mobs" has appeared in "more than 670 WND reports." Can WND claim it has given that kind of coverage in the past two years to any other subject, let alone any other crime?
Farah might claim he's engaging in "the reporting of facts," but those facts are cherry-picked and taken out of context for no other apparent reason than to instill an irrational fear of black people in WND's predominately white audience.
In both the news article and Farah's column, the endorsement of Flaherty's race-baiting by "celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell" is presented as evidence that this is somehow not race-baiting. That appeal to authority is a logical fallacy that only serves to demonstrate how ethically and morally barren Flaherty's race-baiting crusade is.
As he's wont to do, Farah tries to turn things around and play the victim while puffing himself up as a First Amendment champion:
But there’s an issue here that should be noted by all who value free expression and honest journalism that some may find offensive. Google’s policy attempts to censor words and phrases that are truthful and accurate from First Amendment-protected media on the basis of political correctness and faulty algorithmic methodology.
In journalism, a craft I have practiced for more than 35 year at all levels and in all media as a reporter, top editor of major market daily newspapers, on the radio, in television and, more recently, as an Internet pioneer who created the first independent news source, there is great value in connecting the dots between hundreds of seemingly isolated incidents. That’s what we did. It was seen as a public service by many – including me.
We cannot and should not be forced to sanitize our compelling reporting on a subject of national importance because it is labeled thoughtlessly and falsely as “hate speech.” WND’s reporting on this phenomenon is neither motivated by hatred nor does it foster hatred. Ironically, the real hate speech and hate actions are what we are reporting on, what we are exposing. If Google takes this censorious action, it would be an act that would have a chilling effect not only on free speech but on responsible reporting about a crime wave affecting the entire nation.
Funny, the only "censorious actions" we've seen have all come from WND, which has kept its readers ignorant of the fact that its birther crusade has been discredited and give no meaningful recourse to those targeted by the lies WND publishes on a depressingly regular basis.
WND's race-baiting has been called out, and Farah needs the Google ad revenue too much to do anything other than rant impotently at getting caught.
NewsBusters Falsely Denies Link Between Stand Your Ground, Florida Murder Trial Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 17 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd asserts that Florida's Stand Your Ground law "was not even invoked as a defense in the recently-concluded trial of Michael Dunn" in the shooting death of a teenager over loud music.
In fact, Stand Your Ground played a key role in the case. Media Matters details how "Stand Your Ground" is embedded in the Florida statute dealing with the "use of deadly force" in self-defense, was specifically cited by Dunn's lawyer, and noted in the judge's instructions to the jury. Dunn's defense lawyer claimed that Dunn "was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in a public place where he had a legal right to be, a public parking lot asking for a common courtesy, saying thank you, trying to tell the guy I said thank you. He had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."
Right-wingers want to punish Girl Scouts for not being as right-wing as they are, and WorldNetDaily wants to help by giving coverage to the right-wingers' boycott of Girl Scout cookies:
A Jan. 30 article by Bob Unruh touts how an anti-abortion group is promoting a cookie boycott because of the Girl Scouts' alleged "pro-abortion agenda." Unruh followed that up on Feb. 3 with an article highlighting how the right-wing American Family Association has joined the boycott, touting how the AFA has "millions of supporters." A Feb. 6 article by Unruh claimed "more and more organizations sign onto the effort."
In none of these articles could Unruh be bothered to contact the Girl Scouts for a response to the boycott, though he did quote a Girl Scouts spokesperson in the Feb. 6 article, in a quote lifted from an Associated Press article.
An unbylined Feb. 9 article noted the possible effect of a boycott on the maker of the cookies, but again, WND could not be bothered to contact the Girl Scouts for a response.
WND columnist Jane Chastain joined in the effort, using her Feb. 12 column to provide reasons to turn down that girl selling cookies at your door:
The changes began in the 1970s when Betty Friedan was put on the national governing board. It wasn’t long before the organization began purging its materials of all positive references to homemakers. Partnerships with Planned Parenthood followed, and the Girl Scouts began showing up at gun-control rallies like the Million Mom March.
The Girl Scouts adopted a new global agenda and began bemoaning the fact that the United States has not signed the radical U.N. feminist treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW, which would force nations to legalize abortion and prostitution. Guess a girl has to make a living!
In fact, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women specifically states that "Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women" and says nothing about abortion.
But don't disappoint the girls, however:
Don’t disappoint these young cookie sellers. A troop receives only 10-20 percent of the money from cookie sales, so make a direct donation to the troop. Also, give a letter to the adult who is with her stating your concerns and offering to help her troop transition to American Heritage Girls. I have one you can print out on my blog.
The girls go away happy, and their leaders may be motivated to make a positive change. Then, go to the grocery and buy a box of your favorite cookies for yourself. You deserve it!
Bozell Knows Fox News Won't Question Him About Having A Ghostwriter Topic: Media Research Center
Rather than publicly discuss his ghostwriting scandal, Brent Bozell went to the one place he knows he will never be forced to talk about it: Fox News.
Bozell appeared on Fox on Feb. 17 to rant about coverage of climate change on Sunday talk shows. Bozell did the same thing on Fox Business' "Varney & Co." on Feb. 18. The fact that his syndicated columns have been ghostwritten for years by MRC subordinate Tim Graham was apparently not discussed.
While Bozell and the MRC continue their radio silence on the scandal, the fallout is real and ongoing. Iowa's Quad City Times newspaper dropped Bozell's column, stating: "Bozell may have been comfortable representing others’ work as his own. We’re not." Journalist David Cay Johnston has also weighed in:
The URL and title at his own Media Research Center page show that Bozell is a fraud: “Bozell’s column.”
Without an intellectual crucible fired by actual conservatism we will continue to get weak solutions to our festering problems.
And so we get Bozell’s shtick — accusing all journalists of mendacity unless they share his perspective. To Bozell there is no competitive marketplace of journalism, only a monolith of monstrous liars. As it turns out, there is a paid liar in the news media – Bozell.
Accepting accolades and a byline for work you did not do is dishonest. There’s no moral relativism here. It is wrong.
We suspect Bozell won't be commenting on this, either.
WND Headline Lies About Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
the headline of a Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs reads, "Obama gets Satan cut from 'Son of God.'" Which is a complete lie that not even the article supports.
Contrary to the headline's claim that Obama somehow personally intervened to remove an image of Satan that vaguely resembled him from the upcoming movie "Son of God," Kovacs writes that the decision was made by the movie's producers, not Obama:
An eerie resemblance between Barack Obama and Satan in the upcoming “Son of God” movie has prompted the film’s producers to completely banish the devil.
Roma Downey, who co-produced the film with her husband Mark Burnett, says scenes with an actor who portrayed the devil but looked like the president have now been edited out.
“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil gets no more screentime,” Downey told the Hollywood Reporter.
The 20th Century Fox film, which opens Feb. 28, is mainly a reworked version of 2013′s popular 10-hour TV miniseries titled “The Bible.”
For this new project, Downey told the Hollywood Reporter she’s eager to avoid a similar situation, even though Jesus and Satan both made their appearance in “The Bible” miniseries during the same episode, so it would have made sense that “Son of God” also include Satan.
“Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts,” Downey said Monday. “The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead.”
She added: “For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor.”
Kovacs promoted the idea of Obama-as-Satan last year when the original miniseries aired. He didn't mention that the guy who played the devil looks suspiciously in real life like his boss, Joseph Farah.
CNS Swings, Misses At Kerry For Pointing 'Shoddy' Climate Change Denialism Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough takes a rather sad whack at Secretary of State John Kerry for criticizing "shoddy scientists" who dispute climage change and pointing out that “97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible.” In his Feb. 16 CNSNews.com article on Kerry, Goodenough offers this rebuttal:
Last year a peer-reviewed academic journal published the results of a survey of more than 1,000 professional engineers’ and geoscientists’ views on climate change. It found that only 36 percent fitted into a group that “express[ed] the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”
The other respondents to varying degrees expressed skepticism about the causes of climate change, the extent of risk it poses, and the accuracy of IPCC modeling.
But that survey is largely meaningless, even if it did appear in a "peer-reviewed academic journal."
The survey Goodenough is citing was conducted by Lianne M. Lefsrud and Renate E. Meyer, and it appeared in the journal Organization Studies. As the Scholars & Rogues blog pointed out:
The vast majority of survey respondents were engineers, not climate scientists.
All respondents were members of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, which is predominantly employed by the Alberta petroleum industry and its regulators.
The authors themselves has repeatedly stated that the survey's results are not representative of scientists in general.
The study is not about the beliefs of the respondents; it's about their worldviews, the tactics and strategies they use when arguing with others, and how they justify their own claims to have expert opinions on climate science.
In other words, the study is meaningless to the issue of climate change. But Goodenough cited it anyway.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Erik Rush Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Erik Rush is so into the weeds with his Obama derangement that the facts no longer matter to him, if they ever did. Rush writes in his Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily column:
On Feb. 8, 2014, one of the oldest and most highly trafficked websites addressing the eligibility and fraud of the individual representing himself as Barack Hussein Obama II was shut down by Google (Blogger) on a pretext of Terms of Service (TOS) violations.
As you may know, Google and several other highly successful tech and Internet companies have cooperated with the Obama administration and its nefarious data-mining and censorship practices, despite Obama’s disdain for business in general and capitalism in particular, and his habit of co-opting entire business sectors.
The truth, as it usually is, is much more benign. As Dr. Conspiracy documents, the website in question is Birther Report, and the issue was that an advertising supplier to Birther Report was infected by malware that was distributed to site visitors. The anonymous proprietor of Birther Report has admitted this. The site has since returned to normal operation, though with a threat to leave Google Blogger for another service.
But who cares about facts? Rush is in full frothing Obama derangement mode:
After the complaints of the website’s owners, users and negative publicity, Google re-activated the website two days later. Their claim to the owner was that hackers had compromised various servers and ad servers, thus leading to the interruption of service. Many users and observers find this implausible given prominent notices that appeared on the website during that period, which specifically indicated that it had been shut down due to TOS violations.
Oh yeah, Obama derangement. And Rush goes even farther into the weeds on that score:
In addition to the parties targeted for bureaucratic harassment, patriot groups themselves have been infiltrated and sabotaged. Individuals have had their websites hacked, been harassed by law enforcement and federal agencies, illegally searched and their property seized, had their vehicles tampered with and property destroyed. They’ve endured illegal electronic surveillance, stalking and had false criminal complaints filed against them. It has also been widely hypothesized that journalists and government officials who have died under truly bizarre and unlikely circumstances were in fact murdered.
At the same time, there have been revelations of this administration’s involvement in terrorist conspiracies and international crimes, some of which have their roots in Hitler’s Germany, wealth stolen by the Nazis during World War II and the long-held anti-Semitism of Islamists who actually worked with Hitler, as well as their protégés who are active today in international politics, government and finance.
This is all to say nothing of the numerous domestic scandals, unconstitutional actions and treason in which this president and his collaborators have been involved to date.
Rush then tries to inoculate his derangement by admitting he's being ignored as a "paranoid fringe element":
Those who are reporting the facts (not “conspiracy theories,” but facts) of these matters have been dubbed paranoid fringe elements by the left – so why are these precisely the people who are being so vigorously – and might I add, illegally – targeted by the current administration and its minions?
Given that Rush has specifically accused Obama of murder without providing evidence to back it up, we can safely continue to consider a paranoid fringe element -- because that's what he is.
MRC's Graham Sneers At Identifying Transgender Woman As Female Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center seems to love having transphobic freakouts, and Tim Graham keeps up the trend by attacking a Washington Post writer for not identifying a transgender woman as the male she was born as.
The Washington Post is glorifying the man who calls himself “Janet Mock” on the front of the Friday Style section, but it’s a bit puzzling. They noted the recent kerfuffle over Piers Morgan’s CNN show describing Mock as “a boy until 18" as “a ticking time bomb that later exploded on Twitter.”
But wait, Post reporter Dan Zak first wrote, “She had three goals when she was growing up as Charles Mock in Honolulu.” So she grew up as a girl named Charles, apparently. Zak celebrated this “trans woman.” Dan Zak – the smug snarkster who trashed Paul Ryan as a little boy – is now sincerely scolding the “wider world” as “always way behind on trans issues,” as if he were the most sensitive, clued-in reporter on the planet[.]
The cause for this cotton-candy puff of publicity is not only the CNN controversy, but Mock’s new book – evocatively titled “Redefining Realness” – has made the number-19 slot on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. This certainly redefines nonfiction, since transgender advocacy in the press demands a complete denial of biological reality.
Graham goes on to respond to Mock's statement that she wants to "liberate the girls" by saying, "Except...they're boys with gender dysphoria." Graham concludes by huffing:
Mock is the center of attention because the politically correct Post and suddenly sensitive Zak decided to put him there. Him? That’s not “gender bigotry.” That’s reality. The press doesn’t like reality or science on this issue. It’s all a gauzy tale of flattery that could be called “The Empress Wore Shiny Pointed Black Heels.”
WND Hides the Truth In Pharmacist's Firing Topic: WorldNetDaily
If years of watchdogging WorldNetDaily have taught us anything, it's that one should approach an original WND article by asking what facts are being hidden.
Case in point: A Feb. 14 WND article by Michael Carl about a pharmacist who claims he was fired by Walgreens because he opposed selling the Plan B morning-after pill over the counter. As per usual, the pharmacist's story as told by the right-wing legal group the Thomas More Society, is presented at face value and without challenge.
But in portraying the pharmacist, Philip Hall, as someone "unfairly fired because his faith would not permit him to sell the Plan B morning-after pill over the counter," Carl omits a key part of the story: Hall disposed of a shipment of Plan B sent to the store without selling it or letting anyone else do so, despite his claim to support the "reasonable accommodation" of stepping aside to let another Walgreens employee make the sale.
When the first shipment of over-the-counter Plan B arrived at the store, Hall bought all of it, paying $324.83. Then he disposed of it. Hall was fired two weeks later.
When a shipment of six boxes of the drug arrived shortly afterward, Hall noted they were “mislabeled” as a behind-the-counter drug, and “rather than place the inaccurately labeled Plan B on the shelf for sale, Dr. Hall decided to purchase the entire lot of the drugs himself,” the lawsuit said.
Confronted by a loss prevention specialist about the unstocked boxes, Hall provided proof of purchase, and then he was fired, the lawsuit said. Hall claims he contacted another supervisor after he got fired and was told “it was part of his job duties to sell Plan B.”
The fact that Hall specifically interfered in the sale of Plan B by buying it for himself and throwing it away would seem to be important, but Carl doesn't think so. Of course, the Thomas More Society press release on which Carl based his article didn't mention that either,
Carl also misidentifies Plan B as an "abortifacient," despite the fact that it's medically defined as a contraceptive. The Thomas More Society misidentified it too.
Michael Reagan Plays the Benghazi Card to Defend Christie Topic: Newsmax
As manyother right-wingers have done before him, Michael Reagan uses his Feb. 11 Newsmax column to deflect from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's bridge-closing scandal by invoking Benghazi:
The emphasis the media has put on two events that occurred in September gives a clear insight into journalists' thinking and the priority they give events that involve Republicans as opposed to the priority given events that involve Democrats.
The event involving a Republican occurred in September of last year and resulted in four days of traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J. The event involving a Democrat occurred in September 2012 and resulted in four American deaths. Yet a comparison of the energy and resulting coverage of these events can only lead one to the conclusion that Republican errors that result in traffic jams are far more consequential than Democrat neglect that ends with an ambassador and three other Americans dead in Benghazi.
Now there is a daily drumbeat of congestion coverage as the media announces subpoenas of Christie aides, the New York Times invents an email that “proves” Christie knew, and other reporters follow Christie around the country as he attempts to raise money for the Republican Governors Association.
Without the determined efforts of GOP investigators in the House of Representatives and coverage from The Washington Times, the Benghazi attack and cover-up would have faded from memory. Maybe if Ambassador Stevens and the other three Americans had been killed in that traffic jam in New Jersey the mainstream media would be interested in getting to the bottom of their deaths and holding the Obama administration responsible.
Reagan offers no evidence that "Democrat neglect" was responsible for what happened in Benghazi, and he apparently can't tell the difference between a story that's more than a year old about which nothing significant has been revealed, and fresh breaking news about an apparently attempt at political payback by disrupting traffic, something the vast majority of Americans can directly relate to.
AAPS-Linked Doctor Praises Young People For Not Getting Insurance Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves the fringe activists at the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- it does have past AAPS president Lee Hieb as a columnist, after all.
Thus, WND treats us to the spectacle of a Feb. 8 column by G. Keith Smith -- described as "of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons" right there in his byline -- in which he praises young people for not buying insurance:
The Unaffordable Care Act, or UCA, is about to become even more unaffordable, thanks to the unpredicted wisdom of the younger generation. Recognizing yet another Ponzi scheme in UCA, the vast majority of young people (a group the central planners had counted on to keep UCA premiums low by buying expensive “insurance” and filing few or no claims) have thumbed their nose at this “insurance.”
I predict that future tyrants will have even more difficulty with this young, liberty-minded generation. That so many young people view the regime as illegitimate fills me with hope for the future.
Just like an AAPS-linked doctor to praise people for not getting health insurance.
Newsmax Columnist: To Be More Inclusive, Chevy Should Exclude Gays Topic: Newsmax
Ronn Torossian uses his Feb. 13 Newsmax column to have a conniption about same-sex couples appearing in a Chevrolet ad:
Sometimes silence really is golden. If there was a list of brands that would be considered the most likely to stay out of the progressive culture war, conventional thinking would argue that Chevrolet would be high on that list.
Chevy is an all-American brand, popular with NASCAR-loving conservative values voters, and demographics that may not think favorably of liberal change in cultural mores. That’s what “conventional wisdom” may argue. But apparently conventional wisdom is wrong.
With its new Chevrolet Traverse commercial, Chevy has jumped feet first into the hornet’s nest of America’s ongoing debate on gay marriage, and made a commercial sure to alienate some — on an issue which no one asked for their opinion. There’s no right or wrong answer — but as a PR agency CEO I ask, why would an iconic brand get involved in this no-win discussion?
How is it strategically advantageous to Chevy to enter any divisive political debate? No one is asking the company to take part in the gay marriage discussion, so why call attention to itself on this issue? It’s unnecessary and could be detrimental. Sometimes less (or none at all) is more. Is this really their issue?
Rather than rushing into a debate which they think the media will appreciate, brands may want to pay more attention to considering potential outcomes and repercussions before getting into any kind of public conversation.
Torissian goes on to contradictorily argue that to be really inclusive, Chevy should exclude gays from its ads:
Chevy wants Republicans and Democrats to buy their brand, those for and opposed to gay marriage — so why touch this discussion? Wouldn’t they want everyone to be loyal Chevy fans, buying Chevys, and cheering for Chevy drivers on the circuit?
Torossian seems to have missed the fact that inclusiveness is part of Chevy's current ad campaign. From the Associated Press:
Chevy, a unit of General Motors Co. that is not an official sponsor, didn't comment on the Russian laws specifically, instead saying in a statement that "these ads ... are not intended as any political commentary."
One ad, called "The New Us," for the Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV, shows quick shots of many different families, including a gay male couple with a son and a daughter. "While what it means to be a family hasn't changed, what a family looks like has," a voiceover states. "This is the new us."
Another ad, an overall Chevrolet brand spot, features a pastiche of different images of America, including a shot of a gay couple getting married. "Like the old love, the new love starts with a kiss," a voiceover states. "Like the old community, the new community still keeps us connected. ... A whole new lineup for a whole new world."
And Torossian seems also to have missed the fact that numerous major companies have expressed their support for same-sex marriage, which means Chevy isn't exactly ahead of the curve on the issue.