Aren’t you sick of all those dopey lists of the best and worst of 2013? Of course you are -- particularly of those “Public Relations Winners and Sinners!” Gag me with a spoon.
Enough already with Groping Mayor Filner and Crack Smoking Mayor Ford and Pitiable Paula Deen and God-Forsaken Anthony Weiner. I mean who cares?
What we really need to know is what happens next. And so, by popular demand, here is what we can look forward to with the leading “Public Relations Headlines of 2014.”
• “A&E & Hillbilly Homophobe Kiss and Make Up”
In February, a loving bow will be tied on the end-of-the-year dust-up between the Arts & Entertainment network and the star of its blockbuster reality show, “Duck Dynasty.”
Although the brave network took the unprecedented step of suspending the duck darlings’ elder statesman and chief wackadoodle Phil Robertson -- with pay and after an entire Season Four was safely in the can – A&E demonstrated that it could let bygones be bygones.
For his part, the bible-thumping Robertson stayed true to his “free speech values” but agreed to watch himself a bit more closely, after an interview in Gentlemen’s Quarterly – Gentlemen’sQuarterly??? – went horribly off-the-rails.
And so in the end – while A&E satisfied its liberal fans by taking quick action, and Robertson accommodated his conservative base by not backing down from his beliefs – the two sides demonstrated they weren’t too dug in to compromise.
Meanwhile, the controversy breathed new life into a show that cynics suggested was getting a little long-of-beard. So the now-settled squabble appeared just in the nick of time.
• “Obamacare Flops Miserably; Sebelius Takes Blame”
And speaking of much ado about nothing, President Obama, having lost his Administration’s only legitimate achievement in six years -- Ben Bernanke -- will continue to struggle. By June, it will be clearer than ever that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – pejoratively referred to even by Democrats as “Obamacare” – is a colossal nightmare.
With the Employer Mandate leading to thousands of companies dropping employee insurance, sick old people flooding the system for reimbursement, healthy young people avoiding signing up and taking the consequences, and all penalties waived – the media and public will seek the blood of the individual responsible.
The President, bravely accepting that “the responsibility rests in the Oval Office,” will point the finger of blame squarely at Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius. Silver-tongued Sebelius will gracefully acknowledge her mistakes, Teflon talk her way out of danger, and announce her intention to run for the Senate, to which she will most assuredly be elected.
• “Schumer, McCain Fail to Shut Up”
And speaking of the Senate, in September, the approval rating of Congress will approach negative numbers, with a majority of Americans agreeing that the U.S. Congress constitutes the “lowest form of human life.”
Out of the morass will emerge two bi-partisan individuals adjudged the “lowest of the low.”
On the left, Sen. Chuck Schumer – eager to jump on any train crash, mass murder, corporate scandal, or any other tidbit that might get his mush on television -- will set a modern day record for meaningless press conferences-followed by-wasteful/non-productive legislative bill drafting. Schumer will also be voted, “Number One Reason People Despise New Yorkers.”
On the right, Sen. John McCain – entering his fourth decade of reminding people he was a prisoner of war – will continue to ride into any foreign hot spot to make toothless pronouncements that earn him publicity and his country agita. (McCain’s trusty sidekick, Lindsay Graham, will continue to accompany him and sweep the back of his horse.)
• “Chris Christie Balloon Punctured”
And speaking of politics, in November, Gov. Chris Christie will announce his plans to seek the Republican nomination for President.
The announcement will be muted on account of Christie having suffered embarrassing public relations setbacks, including but not limited to:
--Christie costing the state of New Jersey $7 million for insisting that Corey Booker’s shoe-in Senate election be held on a ballot separate from his, so the popular-but-impotent Newark mayor wouldn’t pull votes from the governor.
--The revelation that Christie, himself, quarterbacked the closing of George Washington Bridge access lanes to get back at a non-supportive Fort Lee mayor.
--The rising crescendo of outrage from New Jersey poor people still homeless from Hurricane Sandy, blaming Christie for taking credit without delivering.
Undaunted by the negative publicity and declining poll numbers, the governor will vow to wage “as fierce a campaign for President” as did his political mentor, Rudy Giuliani.
• “Public Relations Nit-Twit Canned Over Dumb Tweet”
And speaking about going down in flames, at year-end yet another sad story will be reported about a bright-eyed public relations millennial losing her job after posting a moronic message that goes viral.
In this unfortunate exchange, the U.S. public relations director for the Lamborghini Company, enroute to Monaco for the Grand Prix, will be summarily terminated after using the corporate account to tweet to her 150 bestest friends, “OMG, don’t these Newark baggage handlers ever bathe??? SMDH!!!”
Public relations “experts” and Internet “gurus” will immediately flock to the airwaves to denounce such capricious misuse of hallowed social media and solemnly predict, “This cautionary tale should end this practice for good.”
Meanwhile, Jack O’Dwyer will be hard at work castigating the Public Relations Society of America for ----- everything!!!!
Happy New Year!