Greg Gutfeld: I can't quit Chris Cuomo

By Greg Gutfeld What did he do wrong? Besides help a corrupt politician smear an accuser by using his network connections. That’s it? Come on! Who hasn’t done that before, right? I say, it’s time not to fire Chris, but to save him! …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Propaganda, Technology, and Woke PR

By Jacob Phillips

Of all the traumas of recent years, few can match the anguished cringe of watching last summer’s “I Take Responsibility” video, in which a raft of Hollywood celebrities virtuously signaled their taking responsibility for structural racism. With 14 celebrities all saying the same three words, repeatedly, along with sustained eye-contact, it was more akin to a failed attempt at hypnosis than an argument. Although the reception was mixed, even among those who share the BLM agenda, critics didn’t ask the basic question of why it is that celebrities advocate on social justice issues at all.

Such advocating is now so commonplace it goes largely unnoticed. Last month, Mitt Romney praised Paris Hilton for her work on raising the issue of the Troubled Teen Industry, sharing gratitude that she is now advocating at the federal level. Paris Hilton is a prime example of someone “famous for being famous,” going from It-girl to superstar after a homemade sex tape was leaked in 2003.

Ricky Gervais came close to questioning celebrity advocacy when his Oscar’s Speech of 2020 berated the assembled stars for being “in no position to lecture the public about anything” as they “know nothing about the real world.” What he failed to mention, however, was the public relations industry which drives celebrities to advocate on woke causes in the first place.

While woke capitalism is highly visible, woke P.R. goes below the radar. P.R., of course, is always in the shadowy space between product and consumer. Behind all the faux-sincerity of those celebrities clutching their pearls and gazing into the camera to say “I take responsibility,” there is the army of publicists and consultants out of frame—calculating how best to maximize reputational advantage from whichever social justice fad is in vogue (and in Vogue).

Is there more going on than just this pragmatic manipulation of the status quo?

Some will retort immediately that different political ideologies and P.R. synchronize at different times. This is to play the classically liberal card of “neutrality of form.” Publicity is a necessary but inherently neutral feature of a world with mass communications, they say. Whether or not it engages with content that is highly questionable merely reflects decisions made by individuals working in that field. This is as far as Ricky Gervais got, berating the lack of ethical compass but not asking if genuinely moral orientation is even possible in a world that cherishes fame: “If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?”

It could be that public relations and wokeness are partly reflective of a general cultural entropy, to which celebrity publicity is acutely vulnerable as the most vacuous pseudo-culture. That is, people don’t ask whether advocacy is the best route forward, but are carried downstream by the current of making everything advocacy without even noticing it.

But even that doesn’t do it justice. Allied with the entropy is a powerful force that accelerates in direct proportion with the deceleration of culture: …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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CNN's dead man walking? Chris Cuomo's aid to embattled brother might end his anchor job

By Dan Gainor Chris Cuomo’s bosses at CNN promised a “thorough review” of embarrassing documents about how Chris helped his brother Andrew try to battle a sex harassment crisis that forced him to resign as governor. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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That Old Fear and Loathing

By Jonathan Sircy

This month marks fifty years since Rolling Stone published Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, and retrospectives on the book’s legacy have been mixed.

Thompson’s political foresight and satirical chops have inspired “Hunter, thou shouldst be living at this hour. America hath need of thee!” panegyrics, while Thompson’s refusal to share credit or profits with Oscar Zeta Acosta—the Chicano attorney and real-life inspiration for Fear and Loathing’s Dr. Gonzo—have inspired criticism of Thompson’s white privilege.

Though these two views appear opposed, they agree on something fundamental: Fear and Loathing’s worth is primarily political.

Reducing the novel to politics is not only a distortion of the book; it’s a missed opportunity to see why the book is still worth reading. Thompson, the good doctor of journalism, diagnoses America’s ailments throughout Fear and Loathing and concludes that, while the symptoms are political, the disease afflicting America’s heart is spiritual.

Thompson was working on a project he called The Death of the American Dream when, in the spring of 1971, he drove with Acosta from L.A. to Vegas twice, ostensibly to cover a motorcycle race for Sports Illustrated and a national conference on narcotics and dangerous drugs for Rolling Stone.

Thompson saw the trips to Vegas as more than a quick cash grab. First, he was writing an article about the death of Mexican-American journalist Reuben Salazar at the hands of the L.A. police, so he needed to get Acosta out of L.A. so the two could talk about the case in peace. Second, Thompson saw Vegas as a perfect place to meditate on the death of the 60s counterculture and what life in Nixon’s America was like.

Thompson originally planned to record each trip’s experiences in real time and then publish his notes without editing as a pure form of “gonzo journalism.” Instead, he turned his travelogue into a roman à clef, a volatile cocktail of his journalistic instincts, acerbic eye, and penchant for fictional hyperbole. Thompson became Raoul Duke, the novel’s narrator, and Acosta became Dr. Gonzo, his fellow traveler. This fictional veneer only intensifies the book’s strong cross-currents of political loathing and spiritual fear most evident when Duke discusses God.

The novel’s first part ends with Duke trying to escape an enormous unpaid hotel bill, Nevada’s draconian drug laws, and a California Highway Patrolman. In a fit of amphetamine psychosis, Duke begs God for clemency: “You’d better take care of me, Lord… because if you don’t you’re going to have me on your hands.” When the cop offers Duke mercy instead of judgment, Duke fails to take the hint and head back to L.A. Instead, he gets a phone call from Dr. Gonzo offering him another gig in Vegas and heads back into the belly of the beast.

In the novel’s second part, Duke denies God exists and identifies belief as the love generation’s crippling weakness.

What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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