nder the title, “AIG’s Image Problem,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow crafts a rant against AIG and Burson-Marsteller.
In her 3:44 minute rant, Maddow calls Burson-Marsteller the PR agency “from Hell.”
This is a slice & dice unlike any I’ve seen before. Yes, TV talking heads have ranted against PR and firms for eons.
I’m not here to defend or destroy either Burson-Marsteller or Maddow. I do think this particular rant is a good example of creating a selective argument.
Maddow, in her rant, notes that Burson-Marsteller was involved in representing corporations in some of the most high profile crisis events in recent history. From Bhopal to Three Mile Island … date rape drug on toys and faulty breast, and more, Maddow notes that B-M was one of the firms involved in post-event PR. She neglects to note that there were likely many PR agencies involved in those cases. She implies that B-M was the only firm.
Further, Maddow states, “When Evil needs public relations. Evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial.” She then points out that Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s pollster and chief strategist, is the CEO of Burson-Marsteller.
Almost all of the B-M clients/cases Madow refers to are those that we teach as case studies to learn the pros and cons of both corporation practice and PR practice. To me, this was interesting to watch.
My questions? Was Maddow fair or has she begun to embrace, on occasion, the MSNBC/CNBC “Howard Beale” mentality of commentary? Your thoughts in comments, please.
Here’s the video and an update. Maddow replies to a leaked internal memo by Mark Penn offering a rebuttal to Maddow’s first commentary.
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