Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Dove is taking heat for a casting call ad that appeared on craigslist. The ad included copy that read, “Beautiful arms and legs and face will be shown! Must have flawless skin, no tattoos or scars! Well groomed and clean…nice bodies…naturally fit, not too curvy, not too athletic. Beautiful hair and skin is a must!” Critics argue the message flies in the unglamorous face of the brand’s long-running Real Beauty campaign. Anyone with more brains than, well, a stereotypical model knows it’s simply confirmation that Dove is full of shit.
From The New York Times…
For Players of Negro Leagues, Final Measure of Recognition
By Alan Schwarz
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Only something so heavy could lighten their burden. Three men gripped a 150-pound headstone around the edges, lugged it 40 feet across the grass and lowered it into the dirt.
“Got it?” the anesthesiologist asked, tilting the slab in gently.
“Yeah. Yeah, over here,” the insurance man said.
They rose from their knees, brushed off their hands and stood back from the grave.
“Big Bill Gatewood,” the historian said with a sigh.
For almost 50 years, William M. Gatewood lay in obscurity in an unmarked grave here at Memorial Park Cemetery. But that ended Tuesday, when three baseball fans continued their quest to locate every former Negro leagues player without a headstone and do their share to right the wrong.
Gatewood was a star pitcher and manager in the early Negro leagues who is credited with giving James Bell his nickname, Cool Papa, and teaching Satchel Paige his hesitation pitch. Gatewood died in Columbia in 1962 with no one to arrange for a grave marker.
On Tuesday, he became the 19th player for whom the Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project has provided a headstone. The project volunteers track down unmarked graves, raise money for headstones and install them, often with their own hands.
“These were great ballplayers who don’t deserve to be forgotten, but they have been,” said Dr. Jeremy Krock, a 52-year-old anesthesiologist from Peoria, Ill., who began the effort seven years ago. “A lot of these guys, by the time Jackie Robinson made it, they were way past their prime. It was too late for them. And not having a marker on their grave for people to remember them only made it worse.”
Krock was joined at the gravesite Tuesday by Larry Lester, a Negro leagues historian from Kansas City, Mo., and Dwayne Isgrig, a customer service representative for a St. Louis insurance company. They convened under the beaming sun in central Missouri, drawn to Bill Gatewood’s grave by baseball, Negro leagues history and purposeful regret.
Since 2004, the remains of Highpockets Trent (Burr Oak Cemetery outside Chicago), Steel Arm Taylor (Springdale Cemetery, Peoria), Gable Patterson (Greenwood Cemetery, Pittsburgh) and other baseball pioneers have been tracked down and memorialized by the group.
It raises money for the $700 headstones primarily through members of the Society for American Baseball Research, although after hearing about the effort, some in baseball have quietly written checks, including the Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, the former commissioner Fay Vincent and the former player, manager and coach Don Zimmer.
At the annual symposium of SABR’s Negro Leagues Research Committee on July 15 in Birmingham, Ala., Sap Ivory — a first baseman for the local Black Barons from 1958 to 1960 — will get a headstone above his nearby grave.
The group’s primary targets now include two members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Pete Hill and Sol White, among about 20 more on its growing list. Hill’s remains have yet to be found, and White is buried in an unmarked group grave at Frederick Douglass Memorial Park on Staten Island.
“We don’t want these men to continue to be unrecognized and invisible,” Lester said beside Gatewood’s new marker. “That’s just not acceptable.”
Ron Hill, Pete Hill’s great-nephew, who has been in touch with Krock’s group to help find his Hall of Fame relative, said in a telephone interview: “You wonder who these people are. But they were very sincere.”
Krock is a St. Louis Cardinals fan who had no particular interest in baseball history before he began the effort essentially by accident. Some older relatives had grown up in Ardmore, Mo., and still talked reverently about a 1930s Negro leagues outfielder from the town, Jimmie Crutchfield. Krock consulted an obituary, wanted to learn where Crutchfield was buried and eventually determined that he lay in an unmarked grave near Chicago.
A conversation with SABR’s Negro Leagues committee led to a mention in the group’s newsletter, and $25 checks from strangers started arriving at Krock’s home.
Krock came across two more players at Burr Oak, got headstones for them, too, and soon was after others. For Negro leagues players who died destitute enough to end up in unmarked graves, only fraying cemetery records can lead Krock to remains, as groundskeepers walk off distances with tape measures to pinpoint where the players might lie.
In the early Negro leagues, Gatewood — a huge man for his era at 6 feet 7 inches and 240 pounds — was the right-handed equivalent of C. C. Sabathia. Gatewood won 117 games for more than a dozen teams from 1906 to 1928 and pitched the first documented no-hitter in the newly organized Negro National League, in 1921. He threw another in 1926, when he was 35. As a manager, he mentored Cool Papa Bell, converting him from pitcher to star outfielder, and coached that quirky right-hander named Satchel.
Many decades later, Krock tracked down Gatewood’s remains at Memorial Park Cemetery just off Interstate 70 — although that was an even harder task than usual, because the original burial records burned in a church fire decades ago and Big Bill’s file read “Gatenwood.” Isgrig was a Gatewood fan because of their mutual ties to Missouri and arranged for the headstone for his forgotten hero.
On Tuesday, Krock spent his day off from the Children’s Hospital of Illinois by driving three hours to St. Louis, transferring the stone from a monument company pickup to his own Honda Pilot in a Denny’s parking lot, and driving another two hours to Columbia to meet Lester and Isgrig at the cemetery.
On mostly open grass made wavy by sunken graves, the three hoisted Gatewood’s stone by hand and placed it in a newly dug rectangle at what had previously been known to groundskeepers as Calvary 5, Row 3, Space 9. Krock wore a white polo shirt and khakis as he delivered prepared remarks; Isgrig and his two young children stood in Kansas City Monarchs shirts.
The gleaming stone read:
NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL
PITCHER AND MANAGER
WILLIAM M. GATEWOOD
Instead of a hyphen between the years, they put a drawing of a baseball inside a glove, symbolizing Gatewood’s passion for the game that they, too, had inherited. None of Gatewood’s family, including four surviving grandchildren to whom Krock wrote letters, attended the ceremony.
“It won’t be a tourist attraction,” Isgrig said, “but it’s something.”
Several cemetery employees stood nearby to pay their respects and listen to stories about a man they had no idea was on their grounds.
The Westwood Memorial sales director, Bill Boos, had known nothing of the big pitcher or Negro leagues baseball. “Hearing everything today,” he said, “it almost feels like Big Bill Gatewood is coming back to life.” He offered Krock help connecting the group with other cemeteries.
As others walked toward the concrete path after the ceremony, Krock stopped, bent down and used his hands to adjust the stone a tick. Just to make sure it’s steady, just to make sure it stays.
OK, so AT&T covers 97% of all Americans. Question is, who comprises the other 3% being dissed by the telecommunications company? What minority audience is being deprived of iPhone service and other substandard AT&T offerings?
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
The mom last seen playing a wigger for Toyota is now buying car insurance via Progressive—with a different husband! And once again, she’s paired up with a geeky spouse, perpetuating the stereotype of attractive woman married to nerds.
From The New York Times…
Broadway Sees Benefits of Building Black Audience
By Patrick Healy
They thought it was about Elvis.
That’s what a focus group of a dozen African-American women concluded about the musical “Memphis” last summer when they were asked to assess the show’s tagline, “The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll.”
But after seeing artwork featuring Felicia, the black R&B singer in the show, and after hearing about the turbulent romance between the character and a white D.J., the women in the focus group said the show was much more up their alley.
With that in mind, the producers changed the “Memphis” tagline before opening on Broadway to: “His Vision, Her Voice. The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll.”
The use of focus groups is one of several diversity strategies, aggressive by theater standards, used not only by “Memphis” but also by another new Broadway musical, “Fela!”; the new play “Race”; and the revival of “Fences” — all shows centered on black characters, who are rarely in the forefront of major plays and musicals.
While the “Memphis” producers estimate that 25 to 30 percent of their audience is black, the producers of “Fela!” and “Race” say that their outreach has resulted in black theatergoers’ making up 40 percent of attendees. “Fences” and its star, Denzel Washington, are also drawing large numbers of black people, though the show began selling out early and has been a tough ticket to obtain, a spokesman said.
Broadway shows about black characters often draw black theatergoers, but the producers of “Memphis” and “Fela!” as well as producers of some coming shows are particularly going after African-Americans, given that Broadway’s overall attendance has been on the decline, down 3 percent for the 2009-10 season. Whether black theatergoers become a larger, reliable part of the Broadway audience remains to be seen, as do the range and quality of the shows that are offered to appeal to them.
Yet producers clearly sense a market that has not been tapped out: This fall’s Broadway lineup already includes two new musicals about black men, “Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical” and “The Scottsboro Boys,” and possibly the new two-character play “The Mountaintop,” about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., depending on whether the producers can land the stars Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry.
Indeed, the producers of “Memphis” credit word of mouth among black people for helping keep the show alive through slow-selling weeks to reach the Tony Award voting season that began in May and ended when “Memphis” won the top award for best new musical this month.
While some theater critics and rival producers have derided “Memphis” as a conventional show and have spurned its story of racial reconciliation as simplistic, the musical’s success at building a black audience is anything but business as usual for Broadway. Yes, some of the marketing strategies were tried before with the 2005 musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” but that show had a well-known title and Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement going for it.
By contrast, “Memphis” has no stars and an unknown score and story. But its producers believed that their show would become known as memorable entertainment if buzz spread among enough so-called Broadway taste-makers — who, in the case of “Memphis,” were not the usual critics, bloggers and veteran theatergoers, but instead African-American ministers, choir directors and black women.
“Anyone who says that ‘Memphis’ is somehow unoriginal as a piece of musical theater is missing the impact that the show is having on a wide cross section of people who feel that Broadway isn’t usually for them,” said Sue Frost, a lead producer of “Memphis,” who noted with pride that Michelle Obama took her two daughters to a performance of the musical this spring. (The three also caught “The Addams Family.”)
The R&B flavor of the show, and the serious treatment of African-American life in the segregated 1950s, were the selling points of the show for Willie Anderson, a tourist from Atlanta who took a group of 11 relatives and friends to a recent performance. Each paid $94 a ticket.
“We wanted to see something with some African flavor, and what we heard in Atlanta was that ‘Memphis’ was a show worth seeing,” Mr. Anderson said. “The main thing is, you want music that you’ll appreciate and like. I have nothing against ‘Mary Poppins,’ but I don’t see that as a show for us like ‘Memphis’ will be.”
One theater group-sales company that focuses on minorities, Full House Theater Tickets Inc., reported that “Memphis,” “Race,” and “Fela!” had drawn disproportionately large numbers of African-Americans. (Group sales are a cornerstone of commercial success for most shows.) “Fela!,” about the Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, has sent vans emblazoned with the show’s logo and playing Mr. Kuti’s music to racially diverse neighborhoods, where the drivers hand out brochures for the show and talk it up to passers-by.
“Part of the appeal of these shows is that they give black audiences something to talk about,” said Sandie M. Smith, president of Full House. “For ‘Race,’ we went after and got African-American attorneys’ associations, groups that dealt with the justice system and, in some cases, created post-show discussions because there were rich topics to discuss.”
Many of these post-performance conversations have happened at the theater district restaurant B. Smith’s, named for its owner, the black entrepreneur and former television show host.
To expose young people to Broadway and, with luck, spread word about the show to more parents, the “Memphis” producers spent $75,000 on their own program, Inspire Change, that has sent cast members into schools and then students from those schools — nearly 1,000 so far — to the musical. The program began after a fifth-grade teacher at the KIPP Star College Prep Charter School, in Harlem, wrote to the “Memphis” producers after seeing a performance and asked if the musical had an educational outreach component and discount tickets for students.
“A week after we saw it,” said the teacher, Trenton Price, “I introduced the vocabulary word ‘integrate’ in class, and a kid used an example from ‘Memphis’ — about how the white D.J. goes into Felicia’s bar, but the bar wasn’t integrated at that point.”
Felicia, the R&B singer who is the leading lady of the show (played by Montego Glover), has proved to be a draw for African-Americans. The marketing team for “Memphis” played clips of Ms. Glover singing Felicia’s big first-act number, “Colored Woman,” at Harlem street fairs, as well as at beauty salons, churches and community centers in predominantly black neighborhoods in New York City.
The lyrics — “Colored woman with few chances/Has to do what she must do!” — proved captivating to women in particular, according to Ms. Frost, the producer.
Still, Ms. Frost and her main producing partner, Randy Adams, acknowledged that African-American support was not enough to sustain a Broadway show: “Memphis” grossed $835,071 for the week ending June 20, its best box office week so far, but the show has sold unevenly during some weeks and is far away from turning a profit.
“It takes time to reach a tipping-point moment where everyone is talking about your show,” Mr. Adams said. “We just have to keep faith that our fans will continue spreading the word.”
The July 2010 issue of Black Enterprise presents the 40 Best Companies for Diversity. The list features plenty of prominent advertisers. And zero advertising agencies. Advertisers brag about their corporate commitment to inclusive workplaces—and a few of them even ran contrived diversity ads in the publication—yet they still conspire with agencies where exclusivity reigns. The contradictions and hypocrisy continue.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
From The Chicago Sun-Times…
Blackhawks, Cubs partake in Pride Parade
By Sandra Guy, Staff Reporter
An eclectic mix of stars — The Stanley Cup with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel, The Cubs’ Ernie Banks and country singer Chely Wright — basked in the celebration of an estimated 400,000 who attended the 41st Annual Pride Parade in the Lakeview neighborhood. The parade started at noon.
Sopel, who was traded last week to the Atlanta Thrashers but will remain in Chicago throughout the summer, said he intends to make Chicago his home, even if only in retirement.
“Chicago has brought me great memories and I hope to one day be playing again for the Blackhawks,” he said. “After my career is done, I’ll be staying here.”
Sopel, who stood on the float of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association, said he participated in the parade to honor the memory of the gay son of his former general manager.
Brendan Burke had come out as a gay man when he was 21 and working for the hockey team at Miami University of Ohio. He was killed in February in a car accident on a snowy and icy road in Indiana. Burke is the son of Brian Burke, the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team. The elder Burke was Sopel’s general manager while he played with the Vancouver Canucks.
“Anyone who buries his son is heartbroken,” Sopel said. “It should never happen. It’s in their honor that I’m participating.”
Sopel was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, who wore badges with the initials “BB” in Brendan Burke’s memory. He said the couple’s children didn’t attend because they didn’t want to endure another huge crowd scene and the time and effort it requires.
“We raise our kids to believe that everyone is equal,” said Sopel, a 33-year-old native of Saskatchewan, Canada. “Everyone is a person, regardless of race, color or religion.”
Sopel said he believes that gays “lead a tough life trying to deal with all of the stereotypes” and he hopes one day, “things will be clear and wide open for everybody.”
Banks rode in a convertible with the Ricketts family, who bought the Cubs last fall and who made the team’s first official appearance in the parade.
Banks said he participated for the first time at the Ricketts’ behest and to thank the neighborhood Cubs fans.
“I know the area — Boystown — and they’ve all been very nice and friendly with me,” Banks said. “I want to show that I have compassion for them.
“They know the game and have great respect for the players,” he said.
The parade reflected several themes top-of-mind in the gay community, including the Obama administration’s perceived foot-dragging in ridding the military of the “don’t ask/don’t tell” rule, the need for a federal law outlawing workplace discrimination, and their desire to see gay marriage legalized nationwide.
From The New York Daily News…
Leaked video of Gary Coleman's private parts causes ‘Midgets vs. Mascot’ director to threaten site
By Soraya Roberts
Daily New Staff Writer
Want to see Gary Coleman in his skivvies? It’ll cost you $10 million.
The director behind “Midgets vs. Mascots” has threatened a Web site with legal action for leaking a clip from the film in which Coleman flashes the camera, TMZ.com reports.
Kikster.com has reportedly posted the clip from that shows the “Diff’rent Strokes” star’s male anatomy as he stands in a shower.
Ron Carlson, the director behind the film, has threatened kiksiter.com with legal action if they don’t remove the video.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ.com, Carlson is demanding $10 million if the site refuses to take down the clip.
Carlson labels the video “a direct and blatant violation of our rights and quite frankly offensive on so many disturbing levels.”
Saturday, June 26, 2010
From The New York Times…
Hudson, 77, a Photojournalist During the Civil Rights Era
By The Associated Press
Bill Hudson, an Associated Press photographer whose powerful images of the civil rights era documented police brutality and helped galvanize the public, died Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 77.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said his wife, Patricia. He lived in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Mr. Hudson worked in photojournalism for more than three decades, beginning as an Army photographer in the Korean War. Covering the civil rights movement in the 1960s, he photographed protests in Birmingham and Selma, Ala., where the police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators.
His most enduring photograph of the era, taken on May 3, 1963, shows an officer in Birmingham grabbing a young black man, Walter Gadsden, and letting a police dog lunge at his stomach.
The photograph appeared across three columns at the top of the next day’s front page of The New York Times.
In “Carry Me Home,” a 2001 book about the civil rights era in Birmingham, Diane McWhorter wrote that the photograph helped move “international opinion to the side of the civil rights revolution.”
Mr. Hudson’s wife said he encountered a great deal of animosity from those who did not want him documenting the treatment of the protesters. “Sometimes people were throwing rocks and bricks at him,” she said.
Mr. Hudson was born Aug. 20, 1932, in Detroit and began his career in the Army in 1949. He later took photographs for The Press-Register of Mobile, Ala., and The Chattanooga Times in Tennessee before joining The Associated Press in Memphis in 1962. He left The A.P. in 1974, joining United Press International.
Besides his wife, Mr. Hudson is survived by a sister, Sharon Garrison of Laguna Beach, Calif.
Friday, June 25, 2010
From The National Review…
A Political Moment to Savor
A black Republican wins a GOP nomination in South Carolina.
By Abigail Thernstrom
State representative Tim Scott, a black Republican, has won the GOP primary in South Carolina’s First Congressional District. It’s not particularly big news in the mainstream media; perhaps Republican victories are always unwelcome — particularly ones that put a tiny chip in the image of the GOP as whites-only. In fact, it’s a moment to savor.
Scott’s opponent was Paul Thurmond, who got a mere 32 percent of the vote. Not even close, in other words. The young Mr. Thurmond is the son of the late U.S. senator Strom Thurmond, who led the segregationist Dixiecrat rebellion from the Democratic party in 1948 and filibustered the 1957 civil-rights bill for a record 24 hours and 18 minutes.
But that was a different time and another world. Such was the impact of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that even Strom was forced to change. By the 1970s, he was securing federal funds for South Carolina’s black mayors and black colleges, and extending his famed constituent services to black voters.
The First Congressional District is only 20 percent black, with a miniscule number likely to participate in a GOP primary. Thus both candidates were competing for the white vote. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee endorsed Scott, while Thurmond was the choice of much of the state’s Republican-party establishment. Perhaps the name carried some negative baggage. “This is a state which has gotten tired of its reputation for religious and racial intolerance,” Brian McGee, a professor at the College of Charleston, told Bloomberg News.
The solidly Republican district, which John McCain won with 56 percent of the vote, is based in Charleston and runs along much of the state’s Atlantic coastline. Scott owns an insurance company and is a partner in a real-estate firm. He graduated from Charleston Southern University (a Baptist school) in 1988, and served for 13 years on the Charleston county council.
When Scott was elected to the state house of representatives in 2008, he was the first black Republican there in over 100 years. And if Scott prevails in November, as is likely, he will be the first black Republican to serve in Congress since the retirement of Oklahoma’s J. C. Watts in 2003 — and the first black to represent any southern state in Congress since Reconstruction.
It is often said that southern whites will not vote for black candidates. Wrong. They will not vote for blacks with the far-left message of most of the Congressional Black Caucus. Scott doesn’t fit the mold. Get on his website; his message is that of a solid Republican: “If I can seek opportunity, not security, I want to take the calculated risk to dream and build, to fail and to succeed. I refused to barter incentive for dole.” He describes himself as a “believer in small government” and entrepreneurship, as well as an opponent of Obamacare. “President Obama’s health care bill taxes too much, spends too much, is bad for our health care, and is unconstitutional. Tim Scott will fight against government takeover of health care,” his site reads.
The site also contains a video of Scott talking to voters. Not a trace of a southern accent — in sharp contrast to the state’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Haley. Indeed, just listening to him, not knowing his color, one might think he was a northern white. His race- and region-neutral voice will likely be an asset should he seek higher office in the future.
Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele made a big push for black candidates, most of whom either have lost primary elections or are expected to lose in November. But a win is a win — even if it turns out to be only one. Tim Scott will not be the first black Republican to secure public office, assuming he takes the district in November. His predecessors, however, have been few and far between. Many on the left will continue to describe American race relations as basically unchanged since the days of Strom Thurmond; true patriots know differently. And Scott’s victory is welcome evidence that of course they’re right — if we needed it.
— Abigail Thernstrom is the author, most recently, of Voting Rights — and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections. She is an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
From The Los Angeles Times…
Spirit Airlines says: ‘Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches’
By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Sometimes, a disaster brings out the best in people. Sometimes, not so much. The Gulf oil spill seems to have set off a particularly bad outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease.
BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, wanted his “life back.” BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said the oil company really does care about the “small people” who are suffering. And now Spirit Airlines, whose sale promotion urges folks to “Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches.”
Todd Wright, writing a post on NBC’s Miami website, says this: ”With hotels and other tourism-related businesses in panic mode awaiting the black ooze from the Gulf oil spill, now is not the time for parody.”
Spirit Airlines issued this response Tuesday: “It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today’s beach promotion. We are merely addressing the false perception that we have oil on our beaches, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spots.”
The statement added: “The only oil you’ll find when traveling to our beaches is sun tan oil.” Which was the point that the airline apparently intended to make with the advertisement.
It’s not just Florida fares that Spirit is flogging. Besides Fort Lauderdale, the promo mentions Cancún, Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Atlantic City, N.J.
But still. We don’t call airfare sales to California “fire sales” during the wildfire season, do we? We didn’t call fare sales to the East Coast last winter a “blizzard of savings,” did we? We didn’t advertise a “flood of low fares” to New Orleans post-Katrina, did we?
You’re doing a heckuva job, Spirit.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
From Nationwide News Sources…
Former NBA player Manute Bol dies at 47
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Manute Bol, a lithe 7-foot-7 shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and was dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa, died Saturday. He was 47.
Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition, Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise, said in an e-mail.
“Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us,” Prichard said. “Manute, we’ll miss you. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all his family, and all who mourn his loss.”
Bol played in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami, averaging 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks for his career. He led the league in blocks in 1985-86 with Washington (5.0 per game) and in 1988-89 with Golden State (4.3 a game).
“Manute’s impact on this city, our franchise and the game of basketball cannot be put into words,” 76ers president and general manager Ed Stefanski said in a statement. “He ... was continually giving of himself through his generosity and humanitarian efforts in order to make the world around him a much better place, for which he will always be remembered.”
Bol joined the NBA with Washington in 1985 and played three seasons there. He returned to the team briefly toward the end of his career. The Wizards lauded him as a “true humanitarian and an ambassador for the sport of basketball.”
“Despite his accomplishments on the court, his lasting legacy will be the tireless work and causes he promoted in his native Sudan and the cities in which he played,” the club said in a statement.
After the NBA, Bol worked closely as an advisory board member of Sudan Sunrise, which promotes reconciliation in Sudan.
Bol was hospitalized in mid-May during a stopover in Washington after returning to the United States from Sudan. Prichard said then that Bol was in Sudan to help build a school in conjunction with Sudan Sunrise but stayed longer than anticipated after the president of southern Sudan asked him to make election appearances and use his influence to counter corruption in the county.
He said Bol had undergone three dialysis treatments and developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that caused him to lose patches of skin. Prichard said the skin around Bol’s mouth was so sore he went 11 days without eating and could barely talk.
Prichard said it’s believed Bol contracted the skin disease as a reaction to kidney medication he took while in Africa.
Janis Ricker, operations manager of Sudan Sunrise, said Saturday the organization will continue its work building the school in Bol’s home village in southern Sudan. She said Bol’s goal was to build 41 schools throughout Sudan.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
From The Chicago Tribune…
Just as we were getting used to the monotonous drone of the South African vuvuzelas, an even louder din arose from the 2010 World Cup: the whining of players and fans who want to silence the host nation’s traditional stadium horns.
Tens of thousands of the colorful plastic trumpets have been sold every day since the World Cup opened for the first time in an African country. A single vuvuzela (voo-voo-ZAY-la) emits a sound variously described as a bleat, blast, honk or wail; thousands blown in unison produce a buzz that has been likened to a swarm of mosquitoes, a flock of mating geese, a giant kazoo or a sustained bout of flatulence. You can download the ringtone from iTunes. You know you want it.
We’ve noticed that players coming off a disappointing performance are disproportionately likely to grouse that they couldn’t hear their teammates’ shouts or the referee’s whistle. Tough luck. The vuvuzela is essential to the South African football experience. You’re a guest in their country. Act like it.
This controversy reminds us of nothing so much as the local uproar over Blackhawks fans screaming the national anthem. Fair-weather fans tuning in for the first time in almost 50 years couldn’t stand the sight of the hockey faithful doing its thing in its own house. Who asked for their opinion?
The vuvuzela haters claim the horns are a health risk. A team of researchers determined that the noise at one game averaged 100.5 decibels and peaked at 144; doctors recommend ear protection at 85 decibels. The trumpets also spread colds and flu by spraying tiny germ-filled droplets. But still. People who are bothered by germs and noise have no business in a venue that seats 44,000.
Even those watching on television are complaining. They paid $1,800 for that HD model and it’s humming like an old analog. Sound technicians have their work cut out for them, adjusting the mics constantly to amplify the action closest to the ball, but they’re doing a pretty good job of it, and the BBC offers one channel with the horns filtered out. You can get the same effect by watching the Cup surrounded by the table buzz at your local tavern. Or of course, there’s always the mute button.
Cup organizers won’t ban vuvuzelas as long as the revelers don’t blow them during national anthems, throw them on the field or whack each other with them.
”We should not try to Europeanize an African World Cup,” said Sepp Blatter, president of soccer’s international governing body. “Vuvuzelas, drums and singing are part of African football culture. It is part of their celebration. Let them blow it.” In other words, buzz off.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Jim Edwards at BNET reported on a bp commercial featuring a soccer match between café owners and Black mamas. The spot was created by Ogilvy Johannesburg, demonstrating that the advertising industry has no business practicing in Africa.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Advertising Age presented a lengthy piece titled, Adworld Explores Final Frontier: Africa, ‘Continent of Opportunity.’ Wow, can’t think of an industry more qualified to handle that cultural task. The story reported, “Until now, Western agency networks that have been on the continent have largely operated out of South Africa…” No surprise there.
Weekend wrap-up with a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Sean “Diddy” Combs provided a succinct answer when asked about giving his 16-year-old son a car worth $360,000 as a birthday present. He said, “I think it’s appropriate to give my kids whatever I want to give my kids. I feel the way I raise my children, I don’t have to explain to you or anyone else, ‘cause nobody knows the way I raise my children. So nobody knows the lessons that I’ve taught my children to understand, if they are mentally ready for that.” However, it sure puts a lot of pressure on the son to deliver a comparable Father’s Day gift.
• Lawyers for O.J. Simpson continue pursuing appeals to overturn his conviction, citing the jury’s racial makeup and the judge’s conduct as key issues. During oral arguments in Las Vegas on Friday, attorney Yale Galanter said, “Mr. Simpson really believed he was recovering his own property.” Simpson also really believed someone else killed his ex-wife.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
From The Chicago Tribune…
An ‘anti-Brit’ eruption?
Let’s all be beastly to the Brits
After President Barack Obama suggested the firing of the CEO of BP and talked about his desire to get the facts “so I know whose ass to kick,” people in Britain detected a foul whiff of unwarranted animus toward them.
A member of the House of Lords denounced this “crude, bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan, political presidential petulance.” The mayor of London objected to the “anti-British rhetoric.” Prime Minister David Cameron has come under attack for not hitting back at the president.
Oh, please. Obama words weren’t genteel, but they also weren’t anti-British. It’s not as if he vilified Tony Hayward as “a tea-swilling, monarch-worshipping soccer hooligan spawned by a defunct empire whose highest contribution to cuisine is something called “toad in the hole.”
No, the way we calibrate indignation, Obama was restrained. Imagine an America in which there really was an eruption of bitter anti-British fury in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. Imagine defiant gestures from Maine to Hawaii:
• Imagine NBC dropping coverage of Wimbledon in favor of the Nebraska State Tractor Pull Finals.
• American women boycotting Burberry and sending their plaid scarves and umbrellas to Louisiana to be used sopping up oil.
• Mounds of angrily signed petitions demanding that Posh Spice be deported.
• State legislatures moving ahead with legislation to ban English and make Spanish the official national language.
To hear the Brits’ tender gasps at Obama’s testy words, you’d think the BP spill had unleashed a rage that has simmered ever since the lobsterbacks torched the White House in the War of 1812. Truth is, most of today’s Americans are less perturbed about that infamous blow to Anglo-American relations than they are about the arrival of Simon Cowell.
The British think Obama has been too rough on them? They’re lucky he hasn’t dumped a shipload of Tang in the English Channel to give them a taste of their own medicine.
As Americans, we know we owe more than a few things to our British cousins, such as democracy and Monty Python. Jane Austen, too. We’re grateful.
We may even forget that BP originally stood for British Petroleum, once the company has paid for all the damage it caused.
From The Los Angeles Times…
Columnist urges UCLA grads to thank campus workers
By Larry Gordon
Gustavo Arellano, the writer of the satiric “¡Ask a Mexican!” column in the OC Weekly, delivered a commencement speech Friday night to UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and took note of two groups that did not want him there.
Labor unions had asked Arellano and other University of California graduation speakers to drop out of the ceremonies in solidarity with workers’ protests against UC.
Arellano instead urged the 4,500 graduates to thank the custodians and cafeteria workers for their hard work and “to raise Cain with those responsible for slashing the funds and budgets that imperil our beautiful campus and its faithful employees,” according to an advance text.
Arellano, who earned a master’s in Latin American studies at UCLA in 2003, also mentioned critics who said he was not enough of a celebrity to merit the honor. “I only regret that the Facebook group created against me didn’t have more members than the one students created last year against James Franco,” he said jokingly.
Franco, the film actor who also is a UCLA alumnus, dropped out as speaker last year, saying work obligations had kept him abroad, but some students suspected that he did not want to face similar protests against his selection.
In his speech, Arellano praised former UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden, who died last week at age 99, describing the coach as a model of fortitude in tough times. Arellano said that Wooden, then a young man, had lost his life savings in the banking collapse of the Great Depression but was undeterred.
“Yes, Class of 2010, Coach Wooden was a college graduate nervous about the future. And I am sure he’d be the first to say that if an Indiana farm boy could make his life a masterpiece and better us all in the process, so can you.”
The graduation ceremony included a special tribute to Wooden, featuring a procession of athletes and other students carrying flags.
Local NAACP branch: Hallmark greeting card is thinly veiled racism
By Sandy Mazza Staff Writer
[A] Hallmark greeting card either delivers some quirky, fiery graduation wishes or it conveys a racist attack against black women.
The Carson-Torrance branch of the NAACP claims the musical card — featuring cartoon dogs Hoops and Yoyo — is a low blow at African-Americans.
On Tuesday, the Carson City Council will vote on a resolution to encourage Hallmark Cards Inc. to quickly remove the card wherever it is sold.
Local black leaders claim that it is a thinly veiled racist message. The main point of contention is the use of the phrase “black holes,” which some believe actually says “black whores” or “black hos.”
“It’s passive intent aggressively stated in a way that makes African-Americans feel insulted,” said Olivia Verrett, president of the Carson-Torrance branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The card is saying that “I (as a black woman) am below class, and feel as though I can run the universe, but I’m not going to run the universe because I have to watch my back,” Verrett said.
The card came to the attention of the Los Angeles and Carson-Torrance NAACP chapters recently, after the Chicago chapter notified them about it, she said.
The card says: “You’re graduating? Well then, it’s time to let the world know what’s coming. … But not only the world, noooo! We’re talking the entire solar system! The world is yours grad!”
High-pitched voices in the card’s automated recording jokingly threaten the world and universe: “You better watch out ‘cause this graduate here’s kicking rear and takin’ names (laughter). This graduate’s gonna run the world, run the universe, and run everything after that, whatever that is. And you black holes — you’re so ominous (laughter). Congratulations! And you planets — watch your back!”
Steve Doyal, spokesman for Hallmark Cards Inc., said the company does not believe the card is racist. But because of complaints from the NAACP, it has already destroyed its inventory of the card, which has been in circulation for three years. Hallmark has also alerted its stores and franchises to remove the card from shelves, and offered to reimburse franchise locations for the expense, Doyal said.
“We believe that the intent of the card was clear,” Doyal said. “It’s solar system-universe based. When it was pointed out to us that some people did not hear what we intended to do, we removed it from the marketplace. I don’t think there’s anything more we can do. We’ve demonstrated positive intent and hope people recognize that.”
But Verrett and others said Hallmark should issue a formal apology to African-Americans. They also said they found the card in Hallmark stores in Redondo Beach and on the Palos Verdes Peninsula as recently as last week.
Councilwoman Lula Davis-Holmes, who is an NAACP member, said she will probably vote in support of the resolution on Tuesday.
“I’m insulted in the first place because we, as black women, cannot be victimized if, in fact, it says ‘ho,”’ she said. “I think Hallmark owes an apology. If there’s an inkling of a doubt, it should be dealt with. People are outraged.”
Friday, June 11, 2010
Advertising Age presented another fluff piece spotlighting one more AAF A-hole. Now the organization “wants to be the public face” of the industry. Brainstorming includes launching a reality TV series. Whose version of reality has yet to be determined. AAF President James Datri hopes to feature the “bright, young, diverse, talented kids that represent the very best of advertising and its future.” Which should contrast nicely with the dull, old, White, mediocre adults who represent the very worst majority of Madison Avenue and its past and present. Datri’s résumé includes lobbyist, lawyer and ad wonk—making him a perfect example of the field’s honest-to-goodness, true, authentic, unfiltered reality.
AAF Wants to Put Public Face on Advertising Industry
Exploring Reality TV Show, Bricks-and-Mortar Hall of Fame
By Rance Crain
ORLANDO -- The American Advertising Federation wants to be the public face of advertising and among its initiatives to accomplish this goal is exploring a reality TV show to showcase young ad people.
James Datri, president of AAF, believes advertising suffers because it doesn’t have a public face (unlike doctors or lawyers) and if the industry doesn’t present such a face others will “fill in for us.” And whether it’s consumer decisions or public policy and regulation, it’s a lot easier to legislate against the industry without a public persona, Mr. Datri said.
Mr. Datri is presenting his vision for the advertising industry Friday morning at AAF’s national conference here.
As part of this vision, the AAF this week announced its institute for advertising ethics in cooperation with the University of Missouri. The institute’s charge is to come up with key principles of advertising ethics, and the University of Missouri will research links between advertising and ethics and brand values. AAF will present awards to companies judged to be most ethical at next year’s national conference.
Mr. Datri said AAF is also starting an online hub for members to seek answers to questions they have about careers and ad practices.
Engage the public
Stage two, Mr. Datri said, is to engage the public by showcasing the “bright, young, diverse, talented kids that represent the very best of advertising and its future.”
In this regard, the AAF is in “very serious concrete talks” with a producer willing to commit major resources to a reality TV show based on how young ad students put together ad campaigns for the National Student Advertising Competition. (This year’s NSAC for State Farm Insurance was won by Chapman University in Orange, Cal.) Several networks, Mr. Datri said, have shown interest in the project. Ad Age first reported on that project in May 2009.
To make the public face of advertising more visible AAF also wants to give the Advertising Hall of Fame a brick-and-mortar presence in New York City.
Shot at change
Mr. Datri’s career encompasses jobs and professions that are low in the respect quotient—lobbyist, lawyer and now advertising. But he thinks advertising has a good shot at a change for the better.
“I think we’re at a time when public trust and belief in industry and government is at a real low point. This is a chance for us to not just be a leader of the advertising industry but a leader amongst industries. We want to play a broader role, and we can accomplish this. I know we can achieve it, I know we can make a difference,” Mr. Datri said.
Also announced at the event: The American Advertising Federation and Security Point Media are collaborating on an ad contest to assure tourists that Florida is open for business. Security Point is donating ad messages on the bottom of security bins in airports across the country for the winning entries of a contest to publicize that oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t affecting vacations in Florida. Creator of the first place poster gets $1,000. Second place is $750 and third receives $500. Security Point has bins in 22 airports and expects to add ten more by the end of the year. Microsoft, Sun, Honda, Zappos and Schwab are among Security’s major advertisers.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the nature of the talks regarding the reality TV show and report the AAF-Security Point collaboration.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
From The New York Daily News…
Globe Magazine publishes shocking deathbed photo of Gary Coleman
By Meena Hartenstein, Daily New Staff Writer
In yet another tragic twist in the saga of late former child star Gary Coleman, a shocking photo of the actor on his deathbed was released today on the cover of Globe Magazine with the splashy headline ‘IT WAS MURDER.’
As Coleman lies inert with eyes closed in the photo, bandaged and breathing from tubes, his ex-wife Shannon Price stands by his side looking directly into the camera. Price made headlines this week after rumors circulated that she had tried to profit by marketing other photos of Coleman.
Dion Mial, Coleman’s longtime friend, former manager and executor of a 1999 copy of his will, has accused Price of selling the deathbed photo to the Globe. He labeled it an “ongoing desperate attempt” to capitalize from the tragedy, reports CNN.
Price’s rep did not deny Mial’s accusation but did release a statement saying Price needed money because she had helped Mial pay for a lawyer.
American Media, the Globe’s parent company, admitted it did buy the photo, which is purported to be the last one ever taken of the ill-fated actor. Spokesperson Samantha Trenk, however, would not confirm what was paid for the image or who sold it, according to CNN.com.
Although Coleman and Price, 24, were legally divorced at the time of his death, it was confirmed by Utah Valley Regional Medical Center that Price did have legal consent from Coleman to make medical decisions on his behalf.
Price also told ABC’s Good Morning America Monday that the two were very much still together and in fact had planned to renew their vows.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
Marvin Isley of The Isley Brothers dies at age 56 in Chicago
From The New York Daily News…
By Jim Farber, Daily News Music Writer
Marvin Isley, whose muscular bass lines propelled the hits of his classic sibling band The Isley Brothers, died Monday in Chicago at age 56.
The cause of death has not yet been announced, though Isley suffered from diabetes severe enough to have caused him to leave the band in 1997. Later, his condition led to the amputation of both legs.
Isley will be remembered for the resilience and power of his bass work, which, for one thing, formed a crucial hook in the undulating ‘70s hit “Fight The Power.” The bassist also played on the smash “Who’s That Lady,” as well as on prominent songs like “For The Love Of You” and “Harvest For The World.”
Isley, who grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, wasn’t old enough to join the first incarnation of the Isley Brothers, who have a history snaking back to the mid-’50s and who scored hits in the ‘60s like 1966’s “This Old Heart Of Mine” and the funky, 1969 track “It’s Your Thing.” By the late ‘60s, while still of high school age, Isley formed a trio with older brother Ernie and brother-in-law Chris Jasper. By the dawn of the ‘70s, those three pacted with the other Members of the group to create the classic “3+3” album, which went Top Ten in 1973.
In 1984, the Isleys fractured again. The original group continued to perform under their brand name while Marvin, Ernie, and Chris became Isley-Jasper-Isley. With that group, Marvin scored a No. 1 R&B single with “Caravan of Love.”
For the ‘90s, Marvin once again became an Isley Brother. But by ‘97s, his illness forced him to quit.
In 1992, he was inducted, along with the other key Isley Brothers, into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
Two early members of the group have also died: O’Kelly Isley Jr. in 1996 at age 48 and Vernon Isley, who died back in 1955, at the age of just 13, after being hit by a car on his bicycle.
The group’s two best known members — singer Ron Isley and guitarist Ernie Isley — continue to perform under the group’s name.
Advertising Age reported on the creation of an Institute for Advertising Ethics. The goal of the organization will be to combat the negative perceptions the public has about the ad industry. As always, the morons behind this effort don’t seem to realize there’s a very easy way to appear more ethical: Be more ethical. Lead idiot Wally Snyder actually had the audacity to compare the IAE to other AAF pipe dreams like the Mosaic Awards and diversity initiatives. Um, pointing to the “success” of such things only confirms the dearth of ethics—as well as the dearth of ethnics.
Ad Industry Battles Back Against Bad Rep, Forms Ethics Institute
AAF Partnership With University of Missouri Led by Wally Snyder Draws Marketing Heavyhitters to Its Board
By Jack Neff
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It’s no secret that consumers don’t exactly think highly of the advertising industry—especially when it comes to ethics. So the American Advertising Foundation is teaming up with the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute this week to launch an Institute for Advertising Ethics.
In a 2007 Gallup/USA Today Poll, advertising practitioners ranked third from last among professions in public perception of honesty and ethics, just ahead of lobbyists and car salesmen and below congressmen, state officeholders and business executives.
The institute, to be formally announced at the AAF national conference June 11 in Orlando, will research what matters most to consumers regarding advertising ethics, and will develop a set of principles for marketers and agencies to follow.
The AAF is providing seed money, office space and staffing to help launch and run the institute, which the group’s former president, Wally Snyder, will head as executive director. An advisory board of current and former industry leaders includes former Procter & Gamble Co. Global Marketing Officer Bob Wehling, who said he began pushing to create the institute in 2008 in response to the Gallup poll.
“I’ve been concerned about this issue my whole life,” Mr. Wehling said. “I’ve seen so many people shade the truth. This is my profession, and I feel like it’s being desecrated by so many people.”
University of Missouri research, led by Mr. Snyder as an adjunct professor, indicates honest advertising is the single biggest factor in corporate reputation, ranking ahead of sustainability and corporate-social-responsibility programs.
Yet about a third of consumers don’t feel advertising is ethical, Mr. Snyder said.
“So there’s an opportunity here to really enhance the ethics,” he said. “And as companies do that, they’re going to really get a better response.”
What people think
Missouri’s research, if anything, is more forgiving than Gallup’s, which found only 6% of people gave advertising practitioners high or very high marks for ethics, compared to 42% who gave them low or very low marks.
“How are we ever going to have a positive relationship with our consumers and recruit the best and brightest people into the profession in the future if people think we’re charlatans?” Mr. Wehling said.
When he accepted his entry into the AAF Hall of Achievement in 2008, about five months after the poll came out, Mr. Wehling called on attendees to take up the charge to improve the industry’s image. He said the effort got immediate support from Mr. Snyder and some others now on the new institute’s board of advisers, such as Omnicom Group Vice Chairman Tim Love and William Price, founder of Cincinnati media agency Empower Media Marketing, a Missouri alum.
The institute’s first order of business is conducting research on what matters to consumers regarding advertising ethics, including in emerging areas such as behavioral targeting and online privacy, said Margaret Duffy, associate professor of strategic communications at Missouri, who will lead a research effort that will also include in-depth interviews with industry practitioners and CEOs.
The institute’s board of advisers also will establish a program the first year to recognize advertisers who demonstrate high ethical standards.
In year two, the institute will introduce a set of guiding principles for advertising ethics and begin discussions with industry players on how to apply them. Mr. Wehling said he would like to see everyone in the industry annually sign a pledge to adhere to ethical standards.
He compared the ethics drive to another effort he spearheaded in the 1990s via the Association of National Advertisers—the Family Friendly Programming Council—since redubbed the Alliance for Family Entertainment. Mr. Snyder compared the IAE to another AAF initiative, the Mosaic program to encourage progress on multicultural advertising and diversity.
While the ad industry has made progress on multicultural marketing since the AAF launched Mosaic, and many advertisers have substantially increased representation of ethnic minorities in their management ranks, general-market advertising agencies record is still so poor they face the prospect of a class-action diversity lawsuit.
Mr. Wehling said he hopes to “keep the issue in front of people until we see those polls say something different, which I think is going to be in my grandchildren’s lifetime, but certainly not mine.”
The goal isn’t just repairing the advertising industry’s image, but also leapfrogging some others, said AAF CEO James Datri.
“This is an opportunity not only for us to lead within the industry but, at a time of a lot of public mistrust of business in general, I think this is an opportunity for the advertising industry to be a leader among industries,” he said.
Besides Messrs. Snyder, Wehling, Love and Price and Ms. Duffy, other board members of the Institute include David Bell, chairman emeritus of Interpublic Group of Cos. and adviser to Pegasus Capital Advisors; Linda Eatherton, director of Ketchum’s global food and nutrition practice; and Tiffany Warren, chief diversity officer of Omnicom. Mr. Datri joins Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, among ex-officio board members.
These types of ads have always been patronizing to the point of insulting.
Kids are full of potential.
And unlocking it starts with a great sandwich.
Right. Your kid is one Lunchables away from realizing her destiny.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
From nationwide news sources…
Apologetic BP ads get criticism, not sympathy
From The Associated Press
MIAMI — An apologetic advertising campaign by BP for causing the biggest oil spill in U.S. history has earned the company more criticism than sympathy as the pollution spreads across the Gulf Coast from Louisiana into Alabama and Florida.
The new radio, TV, online and print ads feature BP CEO Tony Hayward pledging to fix the damage caused by a gusher of crude oil unleashed by an April 20 drilling rig explosion that killed 11 people. He says the company will honor claims and “do everything we can so this never happens again.”
The ads, which began appearing last week have been criticized by President Barack Obama, who said the money should be spent on cleanup efforts and ol compensating fishermen and small business owners who’ve lost their jobs because of the spill, and to help residents and visitors of the Gulf Coast, where some beaches have been blackened by the oil and others remain threatened.
“Their best advertising is if they get this cap (in place) and they get everything cleaned up. All you’ve got to do is do your job and that’s going to be plenty of good advertising,” said Grover Robinson IV, chairman of the Escambia County Commission in the Florida Palhandle. He was referring to BP’s efforts to place a cap over the gushing pipe to capture some of the flow of oil.
BP PLC spokesman Robert Wine said in an e-mail Saturday that “not a cent” has been diverted from the oil spill response to pay for the ad campaign. He said he didn’t know its cost.
“All available resources are being deployed and efforts continue at full strength,” he wrote. BP estimates that it will spend about $84 million through June to compensate for lost wages and profits caused by the spill. The company has promised to pay all legitimate claims and no claim has yet been rejected, Wine said.
Shortly after the one-minute television and online version of the ad begins, Hayward speaks to the camera, saying “The Gulf spill is a tragedy that never should have happened.”
Hayward then narrates over images of boom laid in clear water before uncontaminated marshes and healthy pelicans. Cleanup crews walk with trash bags on white sand beaches as he youts the oil giant’s response efforts: more than 2 million feet of boom, 30 planes and more than 1,300 boats deployed, along with thousands of workers at no cost to taxpayers.
The ad’s imagery clashes with disturbing news photographs published recently of pelicans coated in oil, some immobilized by the gunk, others struggling with crude dripping from their beaks and wings.
“To those affected and your families, I’m deeply sorry,” Hayward says in the ad.
As the ad fades out to show BP’s website and volunteer hot line, he says, “We will get this done. We will make this right.” In the Florida Panhandle, the ads have been received about as well as the sticky tar balls and rust-colored froth that began washing ashore Friday.
Picking up tar Saturday with her parents on Pensacola Beach, 13-year-old Annie Landrum of Birmingham, Ala., called Hayward’s apology a joke.
“It’s a lame attempt a month and half after the disaster. It’s too late,” she said.
On Sunday, Hayward told BBC television that he had the “absolute intention of seeing this through to the end.”
He said he believed the cap is likely to capture “the majority, probably the vast majority” of the oil gushing from the well. Hayward also told the BBC his company had been left devastated by the disaster, and conceded that safety standards must dramatically improve.
Public-relations experts said BP’s ad blitz seems premature and a little shallow. BP missed an opportunity to shift focus away from criticism of the company and toward BP’s strategy for cleaning up the spill, said Gene Grabowski, a senior vice president with Levick Strategic Communications.
“The one element they seem to be missing is laying out a plan for what they’re going to do. Usually in ads like these you apologize; he’s doing that in the ad. You talk about your resolve to fix the situation; that’s also included. But what’s missing is a concrete plan or vision for what they plan to do next,” he said.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
From The Chicago Sun-Times…
Desiree Rogers hired as Johnson Publishing consultant
By Sandra Guy, Staff Reporter
Former White House social secretary and Illinois Lottery director Desiree Rogers is working as a consultant with Johnson Publishing Co., owner of Ebony and Jet magazines, to help with corporate strategy, a Johnson Publishing spokeswoman said today.
The news comes just two days after Johnson Publishing Chief Executive Officer Linda Johnson Rice hired author and magazine turnaround expert Amy Dubois Barnett as the new editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine and declared that the company is not for sale.
A Johnson Publishing spokeswoman declined to give details about Rogers’ role.
Rogers left the Obama administration earlier this year after she got caught up in controversy over a White House security breach.
Johnson Publishing, the world’s largest African-American owned and operated publishing company, based at 820 S. Michigan, is facing the same dilemma as much of the print-media world—sharply declining advertising revenue. The company has recently redesigned Ebony and Jet magazines to appeal to younger readers and to reflect diverse opinions.
Friday, June 04, 2010
The Boston Globe published sobering photos of birds victimized by the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. The brainstorms for dealing with the spewing oil have included turning to Kevin Costner and collecting human hair. But maybe the pictures inspire another idea: Dump millions of New York City pigeons into the Gulf of Mexico, and let them soak up the mess.