Friday, October 2, 2009


This week's perspective from Kathy Barnett

We PR folk just love a good helping of third party endorsement. It’s particularly useful when it comes from an expert in a relevant field – someone who can be a credible voice on your side of the ledger because they have the credentials to back their opinions. We call these individuals “Key Opinion Leaders” (KOLs). In some cases though, having a strong opinion AND a microphone, camera or other communication platform presents such a tempting combination that we take it upon ourselves to BE the KOL, even when we’re not. We say: DON’T RISK IT. Whoopi Goldberg took that risk this week when the topic of Roman Polanski was raised on The View. Goldberg postured, "I know it wasn't ‘rape’ rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was ‘rape’ rape.” The public response was swift and strident, with many chastising her for trying to challenge the definition of rape or pass judgment on the severity of a crime without any “credentials” to back it up. At TD&F, we don’t analyze opinions. We simply call the play. And in this case, since Ms. Goldberg is not a ‘doctor’ doctor or a ‘lawyer’ lawyer, we think her comments make her sound, plainly and simply, ‘dumb’ dumb.

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