A swiftly-sparked debate

September 16, 2009

alisonWow – I didn’t even know the MTV Video Music Awards were still relevant, let alone hot enough to spark a national debate on the social media revolution!  As everyone has seen by now, Kanye West made a national fool of himself during Sunday’s live telecast of the awards by stealing the podium from first-time VMA winner – and 19-YEAR-OLD-GIRL – Taylor Swift to let her know she didn’t really deserve her moon man.

And as everyone has also seen, a reporter from ABC tweeted an off-the-record President Obama calling West a “jackass” for his actions, sparking a national debate on Twitter, social media policy, ethics and where we go from here.

moon manMy take?  The first thing I learned in my PR 101 class and again in introductory media trainings was that EVERYTHING is on the record.  And guess what?  Obama does too.  He knew what he said would get out, and he knows our country’s obsession with pop culture.  He cleverly made that “everyman” comment “off-the-record” knowing full well what he was doing.

And so did the reporter – but were her actions ethical?  By actions, I mean both the tweet AND her “agreement” to go off the record at all.


One Response to “A swiftly-sparked debate”

  1. susan hart Says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Alison. President Obama is an excellent strategist and persuasive communicator. I believe his choice of words was deliberate, just as I believe his “acted stupidly” statement earlier this summer was purposeful because he knew the question was coming. But this time, he rallied positive public reaction to his “off-the-record” comment. OTR, my eye!

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