Well the first reaction was pretty odd. Last week I sent a copy of my paper to Sarah Palin’s former press secretary asking if he had any comments, since he is mentioned in an unflattering way. He went ballistic. He called me a “scumbag” who is “in the service of evil.” He said he would slap me if he ever saw me, and that in a former age he would have challenged me to a duel. And then, under the heading “Brad Scharlott disgraces your university” he sent that critique of me in an email to all my colleagues in my department. I’m guessing he was used to using strong-arm tactics like that in Alaska. I guess he didn’t realize that 1) I am a tenured professor who can research anything I want, and 2) no one in Kentucky gives a shit about what he thinks.
And then something happened he didn’t count on. The student newspaper at my university learned what he did. So they interviewed me about his toxic rant and effort to embarrass me, and then they called him and got his view (he called for me to be fired), and then they posted a story about the matter in the online version of the student paper. And I thought, “What a golden opportunity!” So I asked the student newspaper editors if they wanted to post my paper online next to the story – and of course they did. And then it started spreading like wildfire. Exactly the opposite thing that Bill McAllister would have wanted.
As for reactions from journalists, a writer at Salon.com took note of the paper in a negative way yesterday, suggesting my university should be embarrassed that I wrote it – but give the writer his due, he posted my paper for reading or downloading so readers could maker up their own minds. His article prompted Andrew Sullivan of Newsweek/Daily Beast to essentially defend the appropriateness of my research – and to make the observation that the Salon writer was basically providing evidence in support of my thesis about a “spiral of silence.”
So those are the heaviest of the heavyweights to weigh in on my paper. There are blog sites devoted to revealing the truth concerning Trig’s birth, such as ImmoralMinority.com and Politicalgates.blogspot.com, and folks there have treated me like a rock star. I’ve had dozens of emails and phone calls from people basically saying, “Thank God you’re doing this.”
Thank you, Brad! We are all very, very glad that you have taken the initiative, put your reputation on the line and pushed “Babygate” into the mainstream!
There was a strange collective decision not to know – and to stigmatize those who simply wanted to get the question resolved. And we still don’t know. Now that Palin herself has joined the Birther nonsense, would it be too much to ask for former half-term governor Palin to provide some medical records – as she promised? (…)
But there really is no comparison. We have gotten all the data one can want out of the Obama administration on his birth certificate. He has delivered it. Palin has delivered nothing … but a fantastical, un-fact-checked manuscript, bald-faced lies, and a campaign of media intimidation. Which worked.
So what is left to say right now? Events are moving very fast – and Sarah Palin’s silence is deafening. The only weapon she and her fanatical fans have are ridicule, smears and diversions (“you are attacking Trig”) – but that won’t be enough, as the cat is out of the bag.
She generated 225 stories today.
We generated 25.
If I were HER PR person, I would have done EXACTLY the same thing. Get more google links out there — content, content, content. Bury the “bad stories.” It’s all about content generation and managing the search crawlers in this day and age of news spreading.
What does this tell me, as a PR professional? Sarah is scared. VERY, VERY afraid. Her team worked their BUTTS off today to generate news.
So our work here is not done. We need to keep emailing reporters, keep tweeting, keep working. Sarah put her 2 announcements over the news wires (that costs about $1200 each) and reached 2500 media outlets at once. We just contact people, unpaid, one at a time.
But are WE scared? Nope. Our story is far more interesting. :)
“Babygate” has been covered in more detail in previous posts. You can find all this information here:
Download the research paper regarding Sarah Palin’s faked pregnancy and the role of the media, written by Brad Scharlott, Associate Professor for Journalism at Northern Kentucky University – CLICK HERE.Brad Scharlott’s revised version of the paper has also been published by “Business Insider.”
Read the old post at Palingates about the faked pregnancy with the pictures still intact in hardcopy HERE.
Read the old posts at Palingates online HERE (useful also for watching the video clips which were published with the posts).We break the “Spiral of Silence” – Read the details about the “biggest hoax in American political history!”