Colbert’s Racist?

Diving into controversial, political topics is the main point of Stephen Colbert’s job, but a Tweet that an account from Comedy Central’s Twitter (@StephenColbertReport) had sent out recently got him into some hot water with social media.

The Tweet by the account was as follows: “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

This Tweet was immediately taken down once the firestorm hit. Many Twitter users were complaining about Colbert’s blatant racism, and even started a hashtag called #CancelColbert.

To get a better glimpse as to why the account Tweeted this in the first place, it is important to look into some background information. On Wednesday night’s show, one of the segments highlighted Dan Snyder, the Washington Redskins’ owner. He created the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to retaliate against the controversial team name. The Tweet was making a joke in light of that particular segment.

Apparently Colbert’s Twitter followers do not watch the Stephen Colbert show itself, or else they might have understood the context of the Tweet. Although it was written in typical “Colbert” manner, the Tweet was actually meant to be against what the public is accusing the man of: racism. Plus, the account in question, although verified with the check mark and all, is not run by Colbert.

It has recently been discovered that the Stephen Colbert Report is not even run by Stephen Colbert himself (his Twitter name is @StephenAtHome). The Twitter account run by Comedy Central sent out a couple of clarifying Tweets, stating that the account is in no way affiliated with Colbert and his show.

With no context to go along with the Tweet, a public relations crisis fell right into Colbert’s hands. Although the Tweet has since been deleted, Twitter users took a screenshot of the Tweet. So naturally, it is still virally making its way across every corner of the Internet.

Public relations catastrophe at its finest.

With Stephen Colbert actually Tweeting from his own account (in humourous manner of course), the wildfire of controversy ceased: but only so much. The Tweet is still out there, people will not do their research and look for themselves if the account is actually run by Colbert (the check mark is enough, right?) and Colbert is now labeled as racist. The hashtag #CancelColbert has been going strong all day on all platforms of social media (I see the hashtag trend on the side every time I log into my Facebook account).

As a public relations student, I would have to say Colbert suffered a bit of a blow with this social media trouble. I believe the best way to calm people down and clarify information has already been done: The Comedy Central account Tweeted and said they were not affiliated with the show or Colbert. Colbert spoke on his own Twitter. The only thing left to do is simply to make a tasteful joke about it on the next show.



Good Uses of Social Media

Social media is a huge business innovation that public relations practitioners should consider to further build their brand, client or company. Let’s face it, the two entities are fusing together. With social media, it is easier to create conversational topics to customers, introduce discussions and receive constructive feedback (or nasty feedback). These channels of potential communication between company and public can be used through different sectors of a social media site such as Facebook message, Tweets or blog comments on your company’s website. I decided to create this blog post regarding the ever-evolving world of social media and its practical uses for practitioners, because let’s face it, social media ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

We all know and love Facebook. It’s a grade up from Myspace and allows users to post their own statuses, post pictures and videos, and message their friends. As social and unprofessional as it may sound, companies can gain a lot of coverage and publicity through this site. Professional companies can even create their own page through a Facebook account. Through this page, you can schedule posts, view your activity log and view analytics of your page.  Posting statuses regarding special offers from your company, a chance to win tickets to your client’s concert or any overall promotions you want people to know about can be posted right to your page with easy access to your consumers. Photos can also be posted (via Instagram if you want that fancy filter) so consumers are also getting a visual aspect that is always visually rewarding… Photographs speak 1,000 words after all.

Twitter is basically a condensed form of Facebook’s statuses. Limited to only 140 characters a Tweet, it is important for the company to realize this, and think thoroughly of a condensed message that will be understandable to your public. It is a great site to also post photos, ReTweet your clients or follow relevant people.
Side note: Don’t lose your company’s dignity by messaging every new follower with a generic “Thank you for following! Please go to our website at to learn more information!”

This site is a great place for… you guessed it… videos. If your company wants to create content such as “How-Tos” or “DIY (Do It Yourself)” tutorials, it might be better to create videos in order to make it easier for your consumer to comprehend with visuals instead of reading a long list. It also can present great opportunities for other potential stakeholders that are new to your organization, brand or company to be aware of, and possibly gain more overall publicity.

All in all, it is important to stay engaged with your social media sites. It does no good leaving your sites dead for a week or even a couple days with little to no activity. It is also important to not only be active, but create posts that make conversation. Your messages should be open to questions from your customers, and always facilitate a good environment for both your client and the public you are trying to attract.

LinkedIn: Professionalism Wasn’t In This Article

LinkedIn is a professional networking site where people can connect, find possible job opportunities and show off who you and your company are. It is the business part of social media. Or so you’d think.

An article titled, “The Written Words That Leaders Live by” by Francesca Levy sparked the 14-year-old boy in some of the professionals on LinkedIn. The article was meant for people to comment and say what their most inspirational book is and why to the LinkedIn community. You’d think this would be lighthearted chatter and nostalgia about reading. However, just as natural with people as it is to eat, so is unnecessary quarreling.


The reader in me had to comment on one of my inspirational novels. Plenty of them have given me an out-of-world experience of enlightenment and new ideas. I chose “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand as my inspirational book. Rand’s written words (to me) were to work hard, be proud of your own production and that the will to work is one of the most beneficial attributes to a human being’s happiness. Nothing more, nothing less.

An hour or two later, I could not help but notice a new comment from a person saying this:


All right, all right, before we get into an argument that people have the right to say what they want… I have to say a couple of things…

First off, LinkedIn was, I gathered, a professional networking site. Then you see this. I get that he wanted to be comedic. At the same time, he purposefully tried to insult Rand readers and calling them “sociopathic” is a tad much…
Secondly, the point of the article was to say YOUR most inspirational book, not attack someone else’s choices. If he just had to disagree with someone publically like this, it was best to say it in a more professional way that could have sparked a healthy debate (I’m all for those). But posts that he made are not substantial in the slightest.

As you can see with the comments responding to his post, not everyone was pleased. I guess some people realize that LinkedIn is not exactly the best kind of place for people to display this kind of humor, disrespect and immaturity. 

Is the Internet becoming the new television source?

 It seems as though television is becoming a thing in the past as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have been stealing the viewership from the once over-populated television domination. It’s funny because television shows have higher production value than they ever have before with examples such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead”.  You would think that with higher production value comes excessively high viewership, but because shows can be distributed on YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, people have lost an interest in watching television in the box. These actions led by the viewers have started a new evolution in technology, because it has become so convenient to stream anything by the tap of a finger, people are discovering they can easily watch anything, anytime, and anywhere with the laptop.

There is a contradiction: People say that viewing television shows on the laptop is convenient because they can watch any episode or season of a show they want to see through a Netflix, Hulu or YouTube account. The catch is that television can serve the same purpose because there are tools to record television episodes. Since television and laptop viewing can serve the same entity, it should be noted that there is an advantage to using a laptop versus watching television.

The advantage of using a laptop besides just watching television shows, social networking, or posting pictures is that you can USE these social media sites even more for your shows. Watching TV in your living room by yourself on a Thursday night doesn’t have the additional blogs, Facebook page, or Twitter account that a laptop provides to where you can get different peoples’ feedback on the show you are watching.

Additional feedback, reviews and maybe overly critical comments by other people all over the world watching the same episode as you can provide more open-minded discussions.

Furthermore, producers of these TV shows can see this feedback and act accordingly.

For example, A.J. Cook of Criminal Minds was fired before season six of the syndicated show for ‘creative reasons’ by the big men of CBS. Fans of the psychologically thrilling show were in an outrage over the news and expressed it through social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. YouTube videos were made in response as well. This feedback was effective because the producers brought her back just in time for the start of season seven to please the fans.

In conclusion, the laptop and its social media sites are becoming more of a convenience than our simple television set because of the additional feedback that is available to view and criticize. Producers of shows see this feedback and act accordingly. There was a time, just a few years ago, where social media did not have such a powerful presence in the entertainment world. Radio and television were head-to-head as “entertainment enemies” decades ago, and television won. Now it’s the Internet and television, and it is clear to see who has won for this generation.

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