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Monday, March 8, 2010

Playboy cover girls

Just for fun...last Novembers Playboy cover-girl! Thanks and credit to a review of ten famous celebrity overs remembered by "The Wrap".

How PR Smears Work

Funeral Wake for Yucca Moutain Dump


Join Nevadans to thank Sen. Harry Reid for his tireless efforts to keep dangerous nuclear waste out of our backyard

After decades of work fighting the Yucca Mountain Project, this week Sen. Reid finally got the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw its license application to build a waste dump there. Join the Nevadans who have supported the effort to kill this dangerous project in thanking Sen. Reid for his hard work.

EVENT ORGANIZERS:  Sen. Richard Bryan, Sierra Club, Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Citizen Alert and Nevada Conservation League

A wake for the Yucca Mountain Project

Tuesday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Ghostbar, inside the Palms Casino Resort, 4231 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89103

LESSON IN HOW LOBBYISTS WORK AND HOW COMPUTERS ARE A TOOL
The preceding is a press release, reproduced so that my students can attend and critique the event. It is interesting how in a blog that receives only three responses from non-students a month, within an hour of reposting this item there were ten responses, all attacking the blog, the story and the author (assumed to be me). I have only reproduced the more civil of these responses (believe it or not, note the challenging or threatening language even in the ones that has stronger supportable content).

While these may be individuals the number is so far in excess of the norm on what is really a non-controversial posting, that I suspect the lobbying machine. None were signed, with no contact information or living up to the claims or statements in the responses.

How it works: Computers scan for a topic, then zero in on it. A range from pre-written pre-programmed responses to live responses are then generated within minutes and timed to appear individually submitted. The system can also allert paid writers, or volunteers, who then respond. The term "Yucca Mountain" in the heading must have spurred the response.

Disclaimer: The above is not a jounalistic article and was not presented as one. If it were a journalism article,  I would show both sides, however as a citizen of Nevada since 1984 and as a working journalist, marketing professional and now professor, the pattern of nuclear industry lobbying, including intimidation and language specific to the postings below, are not new to me. They are part of the overall well financed out of state effort to force the responsitory on Nevada. It is important to brag that my journalism career included numerous awards for accurate and rapid reporting of facts.

In addition the repository has become a key issue in the defense of Senator Harry Reid in his reelection campaign. There are well paid out of state lobbyists, PR and advertising firms working to defeat the senator, for better or worse. These postings would be generated in the same way I indicated above if the source are these organizations.

LESSON IN RESEARCH AND KEEPING AN OPEN MIND

 As I mentioned in class, the most common answer found in masters thesis and Ph.D. dissertations is "I was wrong." We change as we do research, open minded and both sides. Sometimes we find we were right and now have the ammunition not only to sell our point of view but to understand he other side and in doing so influence and persuade them toward our point of view. Sometimes we change our minds entirely. Most of the time we find we are less certain but better informed on an issue, idea or thought. Keep it civil, keep it balanced and be honest in your beliefs and conlusions.

Do your own research. As I always do, I encourage my students, and those who read this, to do their own research. Start by contacting Senator Harry Reid's office. Then contact the DOE, the various nuclear industry groups, former senator Harry Reid, former Governors Kenny Guinn and Bob Miller, your legislators and former legislators and read the Congressional Record on hearings and debates.


Topic for speech or term papers? You bet! And as always...your views are yours. They are not reflected in your grades. What is reflected is the balance and academic nature of the research and your presentation.


Attend tonight?  I cannot be there, as I am teaching a class. Two or more of the people I mentioned above will be there to talk to. The opportunity to do extra credit by critiquing a speech will also be there, no matter what view you bring in or take with you.

Peace.

Journalism takes a back seat

Layoffs at Variety

Variety laid off ten publication staff members today, including their long time senior film and theater critics. The Wrap reports the move is part of a national trend to tighten belts by publication, as well as  a reflection of shifts in ownership priorities, which may include editorial independence being sacrificed on the throne of advertising.

Movie Marketing

How did an 11 million dollar film, with no stars, very little distribution and a focus on an unpopular subject (the war) beat James Cameron's $650 million dollar plus, on every screen, all time highest grossing film in history?

For one, the award is for the best picture not the most entertaining. It reflects all aspect of the craft, from acting to writing to cinematography, editing to sound to storytelling. It is voted on by professionals in each craft area, with best picture being all members of the academy. Not all actors or writers or producers are members of the academy. The slots are limited, and there is frequent shifts in who the members invited are. You must be current and well acknowledged in your expertise and professional experience.

In this case, both front-runners in a field of ten films, were from genre's that are generally discriminated against by the voters. Sci-Fi or Fantasy (there is a difference) are not popular, with many examples over the history of the Academy Awards where well known, respected and large box office films of those genre did not receive the top prize. "E.T" and "Star Wars" come to mind.

The third aspect is examined by the Hollywood Reporter, positioning and marketing. Hurt Locker's cast, producers, crew and distribution company hired a PR firm and approached all of the awards leading up to the Oscars in the proper way. The writers, WGA, received scripts. Actors DVD's, and as Barbara Streisand over-promoted when she presented the award, for the first time ever a woman won the Directors Guild top award and now both Best Director and Best Picture at the Oscars.

The fact that she is James Cameron's ex-wife does not hurt in the publicity and politics of the moment.

If you saw both films, which one should have won? Why? If you did not see both films, why did you choose not to see one or both of them.

Miley Cyrus

"ABC Oscar pre-show sez Miley Cyrus one of 100 Most Influential People in the World. Puts all world crisises in new light."

-NRP's Scott Simon on Twitter

"Pig" poltical ads and who is behind them

Out of state special interests groups are increasingly targeting local races, influencing voters on behalf of outside lobbyist and industries. Here is press release and link from one such group.


Rep. Dina Titus Targeted in Major Health Care Television Ad:
“Start Over” on Health Care Legislation


Des Moines, IA—Today, American Future Fund (AFF) launched a substantial TV and radio ad campaign targeting 18 Congressional Districts across the country.  The “Lipstick on a Pig” ad demands that Congress starts over on health care legislation.  Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), who is expected to cast a critical vote on the legislation, is being targeted with a major district television and radio ad buy.
 
The ad can be viewed at: http://link.smartcommunicator.net?165-363-363-156-828

AFF President Sandy Greiner said, “During the 2008 election, President Obama made news in the last campaign when he said if you put lipstick on a pig—it’s still a pig. Mr. President, we agree with you.”

“61% of Americans believe Congress should stop pushing health care reform through and instead, focus on more important issues—like jobs and the economy,” said Greiner. “However, liberals in Congress refuse to listen and would rather ‘build’ on what they already have.  What they have is closed door deals and massive spending.  It’s time to start over and get health care reform right.”

The ads come on the heels of AFF’s “Lipstick” ad run during the bipartisan health care summit at the White House last week. The new “Pig” ads will run over the course of the next week in these 18 congressional districts (Television script and link to the ad are below)

Below is a list of targeted congressional districts:
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick AZ-1
Rep. Harry Mitchell AZ-5
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords AZ-8
Rep. Joe Donnelly IN-2
Rep. Brad Ellsworth IN-8
Rep. Baron Hill IN-9
Rep. Bob Etheridge NC-2
Rep. Earl Pomeroy ND-0
Rep. Dina Titus NV-3
Rep. Michael Arcuri NY-24
Rep. Steve Driehaus OH-1
Rep. Charlie Wilson OH-6
Rep. Betty Sutton OH-13
Rep. Christopher Carney PA-10
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper PA-3
Rep. Steve Kagen WI-8
Rep. Alan Mollohan WV-1
Rep. Nick Rahall WV-3

Link to TV ad: http://link.smartcommunicator.net?165-363-363-156-828

AFF TV SCRIPT: "PIG"    

61% of Americans want Congress to start over on health care.

But the President and liberals want to “build” on what they already have.

Massive spending, back room deals.

“Cornhusker kickback”

“Louisiana Purchase”

$500 billion in Medicare cuts.

Crushing burdens on small businesses.

They can dress up this bad bill —but we all know:

“You can put lipstick on a pig—it’s still a pig.”

Tell Congress: Start over, and get health care right.

Paid for by American Future Fund.

"Cult" filmmaker and friend, Ted V Mikels

April 26 Ted Mikels Grindhouse Reunion


Ted Mikels' Grindhouse Reunion: Double Feature World Premiere Free Admission!

On April 26, veteran Hollywood filmmaker Ted V. Mikels will unleash his latest gang of demented mutants on a new generation of grindhouse movie fans in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Where better to have a world premiere for ASTRO ZOMBIES M3:Cloned than in one of the most glamorous locations in the world?" asked Mikels. "The mutant clones are going totally first class this time! Plus, admission will be free to the public." The iconic horror movie-maker is best known for his 1971 film, The Corpse-Grinders. He also filmed the first zombie movie ever shot in color – the original ASTRO ZOMBIES in 1969, starring John Carradine and Wendell Corey. Mikels is also well-known for creating unusual promotional activity surrounding the release of his films, and this event will prove to be no exception. TVM Global Entertainment has announced that the premiere is being billed as the Ted V. Mikels' Grindhouse Reunion.

Mikels will treat his grindhouse fans to two pre-release director's cuts, offering them a double feature on premiere night. The world premiere of Astro Zombies M3: Cloned will open the show, followed by Mikels' 2009 film Demon Haunt.

"Not only will most of the cast and crew from AZM 3 be there in person, but we are expecting guest appearances at the theatre from many of my actors and production people from both yesteryear and this year," said Mikels. Fans can expect to catch a glimpse of AZM 3 stars Fletcher Sharp and Donna Hamblin, along with such veterans of Ted Mikels films as Francine York from Doll Squad, Tura Satana, from the original Astro Zombies, and Shanti, from Corpse Grinders 2 and Demon Haunt. "Plus the very talented artist who scores my music, as well as the fellow who built the original corpse-grinding machine, and many others," said Mikels. "It will truly be a Ted V. Mikels Grindhouse Reunion!"

The TVM Studios world premiere event is scheduled for 7 PM on Monday, April 26 at the 14 screen Brenden Theatre inside the Palms Casino & Resort. The theatre is located at 4321 West Flamingo Blvd, Las Vegas, NV.

Since Ted Mikels is treating his fans to free admission, cast and crew are encouraged to arrive early, as there may be standing room only. To learn more about the Brenden Theatres, where the audience is the star, visit http://www.brendentheatres.com For further information about the Ted V. Mikels' Grindhouse Reunion, contact tvmstudios@aol.com.



The above is from a press release. It is important to note that I owe Ted V Mikels a debt of gratitude as he taught me script supervision, unit publicist, audio and film editing, and many other crew skills over the years. 

The first time I saw "Astro-Zombies" it was late at night on Chicago television. "Corpse Grinders" and "The Doll Squad" soon followed, part of a series of Grind House type films aired on Saturday night, early Sunday Mornings.

I do not work as talent in a Ted V. Mikels film, as he shoots ultra low budget and has, to my knowledge, yet to do a union film. I remind all SAG actors to follow Rule One, as printed on the back of your Screen Actors Guild card. For crew and stydents, if you are interested in genre films or in movie making, Ted is a fantastic man to learn from and work with. 

He also host great parties!

-Art Lynch