OR House Republicans Hire Christie Castoff in Key Role

Chris Christie: PR FiascoLet’s face it: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office has become a public relations fiasco, with charges of bullying, corruption, and dangerous political retribution torpedoing his chances to ever become president. From a PR standpoint, it’s one of the biggest meltdowns in recent memory.

So, if you were a statewide political organization looking for a new communications director, exactly how desperate would you have to be to take your search to Gov. Christie’s communications office?

Apparently, you’d have to be Oregon House Republicans desperate.

From the Oregonian’s Harry Esteve, who’s still occasionally reporting about politics:

Oregon House Republicans have hired a new communications director who comes straight from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office.

And yes, she was there for the infamous Bridgegate.

Kara Walker was Christie’s deputy press secretary up until late last month. She wasn’t among those who received individual subpoenas as part of a federal investigation.

Christie, who was looking like a plausible front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, came under harsh criticism when it was revealed that some of his staff members engineered a major traffic tie-up to punish a mayor for not endorsing Christie.

Does this mean we can now expect some retributive traffic jams along I-5 during legislative sessions when Republicans don’t get their way? Will we see House Minority Leader Mike McClane screaming at teachers in public just to score some YouTube hits?

Kara Walker was part of the Christie communications shop that saw Gov. Christie build his reputation as a Jersey-sized bully, getting into yelling matches with his constituents on a seemingly weekly basis—an interesting strategy for someone trying to run for president.

Republicans in Oregon are clearly grasping at straws here, and have no idea how to reverse the downward electoral spiral they’ve been on for years. The evidence: Their best candidate for caucus communications director—the person chiefly responsible for telling the story of who the Republicans are and what they stand for—is a castoff from the most politically damaged office in the country.

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Dear KATU News: Your Likebait Posts Are Seriously Terrible

Over at KATU News, someone on staff has clearly gotten the memo from corporate about needing to increase their Facebook engagement. They’re now reaching awful new lows in their quest to get clicks at any cost. I mean, there’s Likebait… and then there’s bottom-feeding exploitation just to up your engagement score.

Get a look at just two of their Facebook posts over the past couple of days:

KATU Like Bait

KATU Like Bait

 Reaching people on social media is clearly important–but can we at least all agree that exploiting tragedies and disasters isn’t exactly the most appropriate way to get likes?

Here’s a sampling of the responses KATU got on their post about the tragic plane crash:

“If I lost a loved one in such a tragedy and saw a News page using that tragedy to get Likes, I’d be beyond furious AND heartbroken. Shameful posting.”

“Well, time to unlike this page. Using a tragedy to get Facebook likes is shameful. Screw you guys, I’m going to KGW.”

“How will clicking like do anything but address a sensationalist ‘breaking’ blurb on Facebook.”

This certainly isn’t the first time KATU has been caught trolling their followers. See “KATU’s Epi Anti-Obama Facebook Fail.”

2 Responses to “Dear KATU News: Your Likebait Posts Are Seriously Terrible”

  1. Connie

    As much as I would like to point a finger at one station and narrow down the “awfulness” they all play the sensational slanted news game. Most of the news is day old rehash, tabloid quality and quite frankly leading and leaning to the right. I would have like to say leaning to either right or left, but so many questions are left unanswered or issues tainted with the “Fox” dye that we seldom watch more than the weather. And even the weather is becoming tainted with advertising like so and so is going on tonight or with banners so big and obtrusive you can’t actually see the maps. We even have one weather man, knowledgable as he is who is so enamored with himself, I guess that he needs to stand in front of the 7 day screen rather than let the viewers see it. The comment of our times is “there’s an app for that” and certainly that makes reading the news and weather more appealing than turning on the TV. (PS I am not referring to the TV station apps that mirror the programs either).

  2. Patrick Story

    Ya, KATU has the worst news culture in town. And of course on corporate media today “news” generally means infotainment. A well-known KATU newsreader recently even plugged her own charity on the air! Also, remember the first night of Occupy Portland? KATU newsreaders were visibly angry that the cops didn’t resort to violence right away against occupiers. There’s probably disgusting video of that somewhere.

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Chevron Takes Heat For Fake News Site

Here’s a journalistically troubling development out of California: In the town of Richmond, home to a massive Chevron oil refinery, the company has launched its own “news” site.

Chevron LogoThe Richmond Standard looks, for all intents and purposes, like a normal local news site (although a lot less cluttered than, say, Oregonlive.com). It’s tagline is even “Community-Driven News.” Except there’s one big difference: It’s funded entirely by the petrochemical giant. Not surprisingly, it features plenty of “reporting” that paints Chevron in a positive light.

Media Matters has a full rundown of what Chevron is up to:

The stories that populate Richmond Standard — posted by former Bay Area newspaper reporter Mike Aldax — largely avoid any in-depth or investigative reporting. Recent articles include things like highlighting McDonald’s offering free small coffees to customers.

The site enters murkier ethical territory in its occasional coverage of corporate parent Chevron. One section is apparently devoted to the company’s position on issues, dubbed, “Chevron Speaks.”

There are only two articles on “Chevron Speaks.” The first announced that the Richmond Standard would be “dedicated to shining a light on the positive things that are going on in the community.” The second, from February of this year, targeted an allegedly “misleading” article in an alternative weekly that was critical of Chevron’s planned refinery modernization project.

But Chevron’s corporate spin isn’t restricted to the “Chevron Speaks” section. Another page titled “Community Views” claims to give readers a place to submit their own content. The only posting mentioning Chevron quotes from a local union member’s remarks at a town meeting offering support for Chevron’s refinery modernization project. The post includes glowing praise of Chevron’s impact in the community:

“It’s my job as community activist to say to you, our city leaders, that Chevron is a participant not just a provider. They provide for nonprofits all over this community. And also they are the main player of Richmond. Without Chevron we’d be like Vallejo – broke. So can’t we all just get along? If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Our community is tired of falling for anything.”

Other stories invoking Chevron include a post from February which apparently sought to assuage potential concerns about clouds hanging over the local Chevron refinery. The post explained that the clouds were “only steam,” and cited a Chevron employee laying out how the clouds were “similar to what you might see coming out of a tea kettle.”

Another highlights a “much-anticipated” environmental impact report about the company’s refinery modernization project and cites a Chevron spokesperson to claim that the “project is a win-win for Chevron and the community.”

Salon puts it more succinctly in the headline to their post about the Richmond Standard: “Chevron is now running a community news outlet for the community it’s been slowly poisoning.”

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