Sockpuppets, Evolutions of Ethics, Prayer in Public

For anyone reading Michelle McNamara’s true crime masterpiece “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” (which, holy hell, you totally should,) they might have found the dude. ONWARD, INTERNET SLEUTHS!

While I am attempting to make these here Missives a bit “lighter” and “easier to wash down with coffee,” a 2018 USC Annenberg Global Communications report on the “Evolution of Ethics” in public relations shows that 64 percent of PR professionals believe that “the average consumer will not be able to distinguish between news stories written by journalists (earned media) and promotional content purchased by an organization (paid media). Furthermore, 59% believe the average person will not care if they can tell the difference between the two” (emphasis mine.) This is pretty fucked up, my darlings, and now I wish they’d asked whether those surveyed thought this was a good or bad thing. Because I imagine that some in our industry would welcome that confusion, and that sucks.

And speaking of stuff run amok, an oft-quoted media “expert” on student loans… might not exist? The Chronicle of Higher Education started looking into one “Drew Cloud” and soon after they started asking him questions about his identity, he vanished, in what allegedly may be an awfully egregious case of sock-puppeting by a student-loan refinancing company.

Charlotte Clymer, a press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign and must-follow Twitter user, was approached in D.C. by a group of tourists who wanted to pray for her. When she asked why they wanted to pray for her, they responded that “they felt called by God to walk around the streets of D.C. and let God’s voice tell them who might be “broken” or otherwise need prayer.” So Clymer tweetstormed, then wrote a piece in the Washington Post on her history as a transgender woman and a Christian, and how she responded to the request.

Toodles, my poodles. Until tomorrow!