So let me ask y’all a question.
I hate publicity stunts. Not that I haven’t pulled a few myself in my day but I’ve always hated myself in the morning. In general I believe all manner of stunt publishing should be kept safely behind glass with “break only in case of emergency” written on it.
This holds particularly true for the “no such thing as bad publicity” stunts. The stupid reality shows, the purposefully incendiary articles, I just hate to give them any press at all, which puts me in an odd position. Am I upholding what few shreds of journalistic integrity I’ve developed as a newspaperman or am I depriving my readers of the whole story?
Take for example PETA and their latest campaign that has a cartoon of a fat woman in a bathing suit with the heading “Save the Whales, Go Vegetarian” on it. I mean, that’s just tiresome to me. It’s a stunt, we all know it’s a stunt, and yet they’re getting tons of free publicity –they even just got a bit from this blog which makes me insane– because people see the bait and go after it.
This isn’t news; it’s marketing and by writing about it we’re unintentionally creating the most odious of all pseudo-journalistic droppings: the advertorial.
I mean, it’s not like we’re unaware that fat hate is out there or that any of us are shocked that PETA who has never met an anti-feminist image they haven’t wanted to exploit (see also: Pamela Anderson’s spokesnipples) are preying on women’s self-loathing, so it’s not like these people are offering us any new or useful information, by re-publishing them the only message it really sends is “if you ridicule fat people, you’ll get a lot of response.” and when print, television, radio and new media are ALL competing for your attention, that response –whether positive or negative– is solid gold.
So I’m opening it up to you. Do you want to see these stunt-type fat-bashing articles or links or would you be just as happy focusing on the positive?