I spend a lot of time reading blogs that exclusively report on the American mafia because my brain doesn’t function properly. They’re fantastic, as every article is poorly-written, disjointed nonsense rooted in some weird resentment over some old bullshit that happened in Queens 30 years ago. You read it long enough and you begin to diagnose the writers with things like benzodiazepine withdrawal based on their patterns and outbursts. The comments are filled with people attempting to extort one another, threatening murder, and accusing others of being federal informants under their full names. I thought this was a bit of an anomaly, even part of the charm of those places. Everything not hosted on a Wordpress platform seems totally antiseptic and pablum nowadays,so these utterly bizarre blogs were a welcome throwback.
I’ve also spent a lot of time reading Everything-PR per Ed’s instructions. I wrote about it previously, citing a strange piece this guy wrote about Gloria Allred. That one stood out to me because I thought that it was just some personal grudge, and it seemed totally out of place on a site devoted to PR news. It was kind of like I was back on those fucked up mafia websites, but I figured it was a small aberration. After all, I thought, PR as an industry is partly to blame for the dull tone of most semi-professional websites.
It turns out I was totally wrong! Today, I was idly looking up and down Everything-PR and noticed that 3 of the top featured stories right on the front page are either steeped in a low-stakes hatred that the writer fails to explain properly or otherwise have a bizarre, accusatory tone.
The first story, “Brooke Hammerling: Brew PR Party Girl turned PR Princess” (http://everything-pr.com/brooke-hammerling-brew-pr/70671/). The entire thing is this mishmash of second-hand accounts that leave you wondering why this is a story at all. It’s just about someone who’s successful in PR. Is it really relating any new information? Then at the end:
“Brooke has done very well for herself and Brew PR, but from all reports, it seems her real talent lies more in people, reading them, seeing what is important to them and then using that information to propel herself and clients forward.”
The entire article carried this tone, that she’s a social climber and “apparently has done ok”. They blatantly fuck up and say Marc Andreessen is the CEO of Oracle (he is not), and that Larry Ellison founded NetSuite (he did not) but beyond that It’s quite high school reunion. It's tame and properly contextualized compared to the next two.
“Ruder Finn, Waggener Edstrom & Ed Zitron Represented on Business Insider Best Tech PR People” (http://everything-pr.com/best-tech-pr/71579/):
“No. 11: Ed Zitron, EZPR: While we don’t think highly of him, certain journalists described him as a winner due to his “unconventional” approach to PR. What we still cant find is any of his clients.
Media did say that “Ed is easily the most cynical PR person I’ve ever met. He hates his profession even more than journalists do. It’s refreshing. I love the way he slaps his colleagues around in public. It’s great sport. And he treats journos like human beings, which most of us are, most of the time.”
We still don’t understand why that makes him a good PR pro….but hey, Business Insider is WAY better read than Everything-PR.”
Between commiserating about the trolls and an exercise in self-loathing, it goes on to link my favorite Everything-PR article, “Ed Zitron Of EZ-PR is A Jerk & A Fool: Miserable Person Who Is Bad For PR!” (http://everything-pr.com/ed-zitron/60580/), a deranged tirade made better by the fact that they’re proudly calling back to it.
Why Did Larry Rasky of Rasky Baerlein Threaten To Sue Everything-PR? (http://everything-pr.com/larry-rasky-rasky-baerlein-sued/71596/):
I’ll spare you a longer cutout on this one as it’s pretty boring, but it boils down to some old dick PR guy suing the younger/middle aged dick PR guys at Everything-PR because they supposedly misreported a story. The entire piece is just background on Baerlein, then a defiant outburst, “But, Mr. Rasky – threats won’t stop Everything-PR from writing about you. You say there’s inaccuracies? Everything we reported was checked – is there something wrong? Say so. This ain’t the vast right-wing conspiracy Hillary Clinton complains about.”. Very current!
This should have lived and died as an intra-office email. Or a press release that simply stated “Rasky Baerlin is suing us”. Instead you get this third piece of weird personal drama. One of the pathologies I noticed here is that they typically wait till the very end of an article to hit you with some sort of stinger, something that’s supposed to leave you thinking, “oh shit, that guy must be a dick!”. Instead it gives you the impression that everyone on staff is a catty moron who hates and is hated by half the people they’ve ever worked with. This actually falls in line with what I’ve been told about PR, so in that way it’s a rousing success.
The common thread linking those insane mafia blogs and PR blogs is a false assumption of importance. The people on mafia blogs have this nostalgia for an era of gentlemen criminals that never really existed, lashing out at phantoms who caused the world to change before they were ready. The PR people crumble at the slightest suggestion from the outside world that their job, just the thing they do to get paid, isn’t essential to human progress.
The mafia people make it up as they go along, declaring which greedy murderer is a “stand up guy” and which other epitomizes everything that’s wrong with crime nowadays. The PR people lash out at other professionals that use the media the wrong way, or are too greedy with clients, or do any number of things that the same professionals they lavish praise on do. The only mistake of the offending parties with either group is that they didn’t show proper deference to whatever petty weirdo is determining the criteria of acceptable behavior. The greatest threat either issue is that they’ll ruin someone’s name. To those on the mafia sites, that will mean that Commenter A can no longer play cards in a disgusting pool hall because Commenter B told the bartender that he’s a rat or whatever. With Everything-PR, they’ll poison the other person’s name among clients. Both are completely full of shit, as they’ve painted on an even faker impression of influence to compliment their false importance.
In any event, these people are fucked up.