Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Journalism Tastes Paula Deen

Food Network started the rope tightening. A popular chef/celebrity is swiftly shown the door, probably the one at the back where the mudroom is. Don't slam the door on the way out. Wham!

Let’s take a step back. I've seen Paula Deen’s plight compared to two other recent events:
  • A rapper stomping on the American flag.
  • Alec Baldwin mouthing off in regards to the orientation of a journalist while using extremely foul words and phrases.
These actions appear to be acceptable in our society however a woman using the “N” word over twenty years ago is not despite her admittance and pleas for forgiveness.

I’ve witnessed the hanging of Paula Deen on a journalistic level and from opinionated friends. 

Hung before the jury had a chance to judge and gather all the facts. Food Network didn’t even think twice! Most of the big boxes followed that lead (Lowe’s would be an exception) and tossed ropes around her neck. The true believers remaining with Paula Deen are companies you've likely never heard of; what are their chances of finding another celebrity of her stature?

And what about the lawsuit filed by a former employee who has changed her tale? Oh sure; you couldn’t remember the story correctly when you originally filed the suit? Doesn't matter; you've added another knot to the noose whether you’re telling the truth or not.

Paula Deen’s latest book was #1 on Amazon until Ballantine Books pulled it. And the book wasn't scheduled for release until October!

Sensationalism sells. Journalism can swiftly make the cookies crumble on an empire. 

Many remarks made on articles about Paula Deen come to her defense. One commenter, assuming he or she did their homework correctly, cited numerous other notorious celebrities who are currently gainfully employed by Food Network. Their crimes include various lawsuits against them, DUIs, use of profanities, false claims regarding their backgrounds, withholding tips and wages from employees, bankruptcy filings, and premeditated murder! None of these appear to be grounds for firing. 




What will ultimately happen? Paula Deen will relax in a glider on her front porch while sipping sweet tea and waiting it out. Food Network has now made the Paula Deen haters happy. Once they simmer down, the network will likely bring Paula Deen back. Then her fans will be pleased and they'll start watching Food Network again. Win win for Food Network.
Oh, let’s not forget Martha Stewart’s plight for her "crafting" with insider trading. The media hung her too; probably from a grand oak tree at her expansive Bedford, New York home. 

So how come it’s okay for the media to hang prominent, well-established, successful women? Is it unladylike to be a “bad boy”? Society says yes. Women are expected to behave in a certain way that is different from men. Heck, women are still fighting for better wages! Where’s the equality here? 

What if it was a man...maybe Alec Baldwin? What if we were to learn HE used the “N” word 
in the Eighties? Would American Express drop him? He has proven more than once that anger management classes would be helpful to him. 

Famous ladies, who’s next? Step right up and see the show! Watch a woman get moved to tears! Witness the abandonment! See a brand crushed right before your very eyes. 

Journalism is power.  It is abusive and mean at times. It bites, chews and spits it all out. Forget swallowing! On the other hand, people at large should chew slowly, explore, fact find, and stop chomping down on the first thing they read or see as truth. 

Lessons to be learned here.

Note: I don't know all that much about Paula Deen. Have watched her show twice and own an iron cooking pot with her name on it, purchased at Kohl's. She's not perfect; none of us are. Forgive her and let's move on from this episode.

Paula Deen, here’s a song for you (see below). If you'd like to see your marketing efforts taste mighty fine stop by our websiteor say hello on TwitterFacebook, or Google+






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