A P.R. Blitz

Much has already been written about the Michael Bryant-Darcy Allan Sheppard affair including right here at this site and elsewhere. Adding my obviously biased voice won’t offer any new insights or revelations. Still, there is one point I cannot remain silent on and that’s the increasing role that public relations plays in our society.

When someone, especially a someone with a higher profile than most, falls afoul of the law and hires a p.r. firm immediately after securing a lawyer, you know that their intent is not to seek truth or justice. Neither of those quaint notions are in the purview of public relations. It could be easily argued that the exact opposite is the case. So it seems to be the situation with Michael Bryant and Navigator Ltd. There was no sitting back, waiting for the judicial wheels to turn. Instead, go on the offensive, muddy the waters, demonize the opponent, all in the name of avoiding responsibility for your actions. It’s a great lesson for the kids.

Nothing I have heard from those in the p.r. industry since all charges were set aside against Michael Bryant in the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard has done anything to convince me otherwise. Former journalist and now p.r. person Susan Reisler’s interview on CBC’s Metro Morning Wednesday was quintessential double speak and plausibly deniable insinuation. She mocked social media and “citizen” journalists for rushing to judgment against Michael Bryant before all the facts could emerge but then claimed ignorance about the talk of Navigator Ltd.’s role in massaging the facts. Those who wanted Bryant to at least face his day in court were simply screeching for a “show” trial according to Reisler. You know, like they have in China, Iran and all those other undemocratic banana republics.

Later on during the local news broadcast on CBC, another p.r. person (whose name I did not catch and I’m too lazy to try and track it down now) was quoted as saying that with this whole imbroglio now behind him, Michael Bryant’s future public career could in fact be “enhanced” by it.

Imagine the cold, cold, shriveled heart of the person able to utter such sentiments out loud with the wound of a man’s death still that fresh. These are the dark arts, my friends, and those who practice them possess a dearth of compassion toward their fellow man that is nothing short of sociopathic. There’s a job to do, a mess to clean up and they will do so regardless of consequences.

I could go on with my indignation and outrage but, instead, I’ll step aside and give you someone much better and more entertaining at it than I. The late American comedian, Bill Hicks, who at moments like this I miss most for his ability to skewer the fatuous and fearlessly attack the powerful. Yes, he’s talking about marketers but they are of the same breed as consultants and p.r. people. Soulless obfuscators and murderers of truth.

Enjoy. And parents, cover the childrens’ ears.

submitted by Urban Sophisticat