PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Mother Jones Magazine. Muckraking Mother Jones has done it again. The magazine that broke the infamous “47 Percent” video that broke Mitt Romney’s presidential chances has overturned another ugly political stone. This time, they leaked an audio recording of a meeting between Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and his staff discussing ways to discredit actress Ashley Judd, who was at one time considering an opposing run against him. McConnell blamed the current Democratic administration for bugging his office, but MJ reporters steadfastly refuse to name their source. For a magazine few had ever heard of pre-47gate, Mother Jones is building a reputation as a source of nonpartisan truth.
PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to the President of Malawi for her recent comical spat with Madonna. President Joyce Banda issued a media statement following a visit from Madonna calling her a “bully” and saying she harassed airport officials while trying to queue jump at the airport. (Apparently this sort of behaviour is unheard of in Malawi!). Madonna promptly denied the claim, saying it was nonsensical. The President, who one might have hoped had better things to do, retaliated with another statement that Madge has exaggerated her contribution to the country and wants Malawi be forever chained to “an obligation of gratitude.” We can safely assume President Joyce Banda has never heard of taking the PR high road.
THE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Justin Tribble, the man behind an elaborate Internet hoax aimed at televangelist Joel Osteen. Tribble created a fake web site and Twitter account to proclaim the preacher was renouncing Christianity and closing his ministry. Some outlets fell for it briefly, including the Drudge Report and CNN (which Tribble promptly screengrabbed and posted on the faux sites). Tribble went to a lot of trouble, so he must really hate Osteen, right? Well, no, he’s actually a “big fan,” he says. He just wants the preacher to stop using clichés and talk about more serious issues like genetically modified foods. Huh?