PR counter terrorism playbook Rule 1: Discredit the messenger

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIGUEL JACOB, STYLING BY TIYANA GRULOVIC

Robyn Doolittle – PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIGUEL JACOB, STYLING BY TIYANA GRULOVIC

The journalist that broke the Mayor Rob Ford story in Toronto Canada was pilloried.  It’s something I’m not unfamiliar with myself.

“But as she became the face of the story, Doolittle also endured a surprising amount of hostility. “I understand how someone can say, ‘I don’t care what the mayor does in his personal time.’ That’s completely valid,” she says. “But you don’t need to say, ‘I bet you’re a heroin-using prostitute.'”  

A Huffington Post Canada columnist mocked her for having “gone Hollywood,” noting her “alabaster skin” and “frictionless smile” and comparing her to Harvey Levin, ring leader of the tabloid-ish gossip site TMZ.

Other attacks were more private, more menacing. Doolittle opened a piece of mail to find an image of a woman’s face getting ejaculated on, with a Toronto Star logo superimposed over it. Scrawled under the photo: “So you fucken pathetic ignorant cunt that you are, how about this for a headline? Robin Doolittle caught on cell phone video sucking cock!!! How does this feel now?”

One evening, when Doolittle was at a coffee shop near her apartment, her phone rang, and she answered. “He said, ‘I know where you work, I know where you live. I’m coming to get you, and I’m going to rape you.‘”

I asked Cooke if he ever considered pulling her off the story. “She wouldn’t allow that,” he replied. “Reporters get threatened all the time.”

We certainly do.  You’re not doing your job unless you’re putting pressure on.  Show me a “journalist” that doesn’t get serious threats and I’ll show you a journalist that is in the pockets of those that fund the stories, be they PR disguised as news or a tsunami of hit pieces run under long standing arrangements.

 

Read the full article at Flare


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