PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR Perfect) to Al Gore, who declined to comment following some puzzling comments from former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She recently went public with her doubts about the now infamous case of Bush v. Gore, wondering if maybe the court should never have heard the case in the first place. Gore declined to comment, saying he would stick by his decision back then to stand by the referee’s conclusion. Any comment, Gore claimed, could bring the Supreme Court “into a political squabble where the outcome would not change at all in any case.” Agreed. Tempting as it may be, this is one instance where Gore needs to let others do the talking and ignore the bait.
PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) for Brad Pitt. The actor may be flashing his million-dollar smile on Vanity Fair‘s cover this month, but the story inside about his new $200 million movie isn’t nearly as pretty. The feature is ostensibly about Pitt’s World War Z, which accurately describes the atmosphere on the zombie flick’s set. One producer used the word “nightmare,” not about the apocalyptic scenario but about making the movie. Features like this are a crapshoot: Who doesn’t want the cover of Vanity Fair on the eve of the release of a summer blockbuster, yet one that will focus on the massive issues that plagued the film? The good news for readers is that it won’t be the same ol’ puff piece. The bad news for Pitt is that it won’t be the same ol’ puff piece.
THE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO Washington DC Council Member David Grosso for proposing that the football team of the nation’s capitol – the Washington Redskins – change their name to the less offensive Redtails (hey, it’s close!). The team’s name, considered a racial slur against the Native American population in the US, has been hotly debated for years. Those who might actually do something about it, including lawmakers, team owners, and the National Football League, have largely avoided the issue. What a weak way for Washington to weigh in. Grosso gets points for having enough conscience to address the matter, but his proposal will go nowhere even if it passes unanimously: as a “non-binding resolution,” which is Beltwayspeak for “pointless,” it carries no force of law. If proponents of a name change really want results, they would do well to abandon the ineffectual pols and instead aim their PR arrows at the stadium box office.