If I Only Had a PR Brain

MSNBC takes two reputational hits today: the first showcased the internal disgust over the cable net’s decision to lead its news report with one Paris Hilton.

The second revolved around “Hardball’s” ratings-fueled ploy to invite a wacko, invective-laden right wing blonde that some have called the Britney Spears of politics onto its program, (which prompted one Presidential candidate’s wife to take umbrage. Olbermann aside, I guess the network sees its future in shock culture.

Talking about shock culture, I wonder whether the retention of a more sophisticated PR handler will accrue to the fortunes of one vacuous numbnut. My blogging buddy Heather Yaxley points to a Gawker item I somehow missed earlier this week that united the Hilton “parents” with L.A. corporate crisis man Michael Sitrick:

“The hiring of Sitrick proved that the Hiltons are taking this latest crisis involving Paris very seriously indeed. It’s a problem that clearly could not be managed by Paris’s longtime spokesman, Elliot Mintz, who is ‘more of a PR footman,’ snipes one entertainment journalist.”

Some have expressed surprise by Mr. Sitrick’s atypical, but high-profile new charge, but I’m certainly not one of them. What PR pro wouldn’t want to insert him or herself smack in the middle of today’s lead story — and get paid big bucks for the privilege?

I do kind of feel bad for the usurped Elliot Mintz. But no matter how many A-listers he’s handled over his storied career (Dylan, Lennon, etc.), his PR toolbox did not seems to contain what was need to remedy that which ailed Ms. Hilton, (i.e., the Wizard of Oz’s gift to the Scarecrow?)

Let’s keep an eye on Paris’s persona under the watchful eye of Mr. Sitick & Co. to see if better and more strategic communications for a talentless tabloid star can create some legitimacy.