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TODD SMITH — U.S. is split on media treatment of Trump


In the wake of numerous contentious encounters between President Donald Trump’s White House and the national press corps, Americans disagree on the news media’s coverage of the new president and his administration.

Just over a third of Americans (36 percent) think the media have been too tough on Trump, while just under a third (31 percent) think it has been about right and 28 percent say it has not been tough enough. Republicans overwhelmingly believe the media have been too tough on Trump.

Trump’s team has battled some media estimates of the size of his inauguration crowd, media descriptions of his executive order on immigration and refugees as a “Muslim ban,” and one reporter’s assertion that Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office, which the White House refuted. Meanwhile, Trump has been on the defensive for his team’s reliance on “alternative facts” and his assertions of voter fraud in the November election, which The New York Times deemed a “lie.”

It is against this backdrop that nearly three in four Republicans (74 percent) say the media have been too tough on Trump. Democrats, on the other hand, are more divided, with 49 percent saying the media has not been tough enough and 40 percent saying coverage has been about right.

The public’s mood, according to this late January poll, differs from that in January 2009, when only 11 percent of Americans thought the news media had been too tough on newly elected President Barack Obama.

Nearly half (48 percent) thought the media were about right in its coverage of Obama and his administration, while 38 percent said the media was not tough enough.

As is the case today, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to be unhappy with the media: In 2009, 65 percent of Republicans thought the media were not tough enough on Obama, while 66 percent of Democrats thought it was about right.

The divergence between Republicans’ and Democrats’ views on media coverage of the president reflects the broader skepticism rank-and-file Republicans have of the news media. Gallup trends have long shown fewer Republicans than Democrats expressing high levels of confidence in the press to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.” This deficit swelled in 2016 as GOP confidence in the press plummeted to 14 percent, down from 32 percent in 2015.

Americans as a whole are split in their assessments of whether the Trump administration is being covered fairly. However, this masks broad disapproval among Republicans, who mostly believe the media – which Trump has declared “the opposition party” – is being too hard on the new Republican president. Meanwhile, about half of Democrats think the media should be tougher on Trump.

Google Emerges As Most Valuable Brand

Apple, the most valuable brand in the world for the past five years, has yielded the top spot to Google, according to a new report.

The iPhone maker’s brand value has plummeted 27 percent to $107 billion since the start of last year, according to Brand Finance’s Global 500 2017 report.

Google’s brand, however, is now worth $109 billion, making it the most lucrative in the world. It is the first time the search giant has topped the list since 2011.

After Google and Apple are Amazon, AT&T and Microsoft.

Google’s place as the dominant search engine safeguards its stream of advertising revenue, which increased 20 percent last year. The uptick occurred even though marketers are paying less for page views generated by those searching online.

Apple, meanwhile, is losing its grip on some tech-crazed consumers. The Apple Watch has not been the moneymaker the company had hoped it would become. A company that was once renowned for its innovation is not signaling that it has another unique product coming anytime soon. And Apple’s list of competitors in the smartphone space is continuing to grow, the report says.

This week, however, Apple showed that its signature iPhone still has the potential to be a profit machine, buoying investors.

Robust sales of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus over the holidays led to the tech giant to just report it earned $17.9 billion, or $3.36 a share in the first fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31. Though the net income was off 2.7 percent from $18.4 billion in the same quarter a year ago, revenue was a record-setting revenue of $78.4 billion. Apple beat analysts’ profit expectations.

Meanwhile, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reported net income of $5.33 billion, or $7.56 per share, for the fourth quarter. It missed analysts’ estimates, though revenue soared 22 percent to $26 billion. The revenue growth was propelled by mobile search, video ads, and its expansion in newer business lines like cloud computing.

While technology was dominant among the world’s most valuable companies, the banking industry was next in having the most lucrative brands, followed by the telecom sector, retail and the auto industry.

Dictionary Adds 1,000 Words

Just as the English language constantly grows, so does the dictionary.

More than 1,000 new words have been added, including terms from recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and words from tech, medicine, pop culture, sports, and everything in between.

This is a significant addition to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, reflecting the breadth of English vocabulary and the speed with which we seek information. These new entries also highlight the old-fashioned skill of crafting useful and readable definitions that require the expertise and experience of our unique staff.

For example, we now see that new tech terms are more about what we do with technology – how it is managed, deployed, and organized – than giving a name to the technology itself; hence terms such as net neutrality, abandonware, and botnet. Our devices, apps, and programs allow us to binge-watch, photobomb, and ghost someone. Things we read online might be NSFW listicles; things we post online might be humblebrags. Some of these terms came into use in the past decade, and none are more than twenty years old.

From sports we get the verb airball as well as up-fake and five-hole.

From medicine: supercentenarian, EpiPen, and urgent care. And from other sciences we have CRISPR, phytoremediation, and microbiome. Prosopagnosia, sometimes called “face blindness,” is a neurological condition that has only relatively recently been the subject of study.

New words from the ever-expanding vocabulary of cooking and food include arancini, EVOO, and macaron, as well as sharp tools of the kitchen santoku and chef’s knife. The adjective artisanal now has an expanded entry.

Political terms include town hall and truther as well as SCOTUS and FLOTUS.

Fun words for language lovers include conlang (a constructed language, like Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki), Seussian, and snollygoster (“a shrewd, unprincipled person”). Its frequent use by conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly sent people to the dictionary to find it over and over in recent years, and demonstrated that the word still has a place in the American lexicon. Its origins have a political context: it was used in the name-calling politics of 19th-century America.

All of these words have been observed, collected, and researched, with many examples in context used to write definitions that explain both basic meanings and specific usage.

A recent sense of agnostic has been defined as “not preferring a particular device or system” and “designed to be compatible with different devices (such as computers or smartphones) or operating systems,” since “platform agnostic” can refer either to a user or a program. The verb boo-hoo adds the note “especially in mocking imitation of another’s tears, complaints, unhappiness, etc.” to the definition.

Pepperoni Mic | Little Caesar Founder Tossed Branding To New Levels With ‘Pizza Pizza” Tagline

He launched a worldwide restaurant empire who’s “pizza, pizza” catchphrase became world famous – and one of the hottest brands in a generation. Mike Ilitch, Little Caesars founder and owner of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings – died last week at age 87.

Ilitch and his wife opened his first Little Caesars restaurant in Garden City, Mich., in 1959, after squirreling away savings from a job as a door-to-door salesman. The restaurant spawned a business empire that posted $3.4 billion in revenue last year, according to the parent company. Forbes clocks Ilitch and his wife’s net worth at $6.1 billion.

Ilitch’s mark on his home city includes huge investment and development projects, highlighted by the Little Caesars Arena, which is scheduled to open later this year as the new home of the Detroit Red Wings. Ilitch and his wife also have given tens of millions of dollars to Detroit’s Wayne State University to establish a new business school that bears his name.

Despite all his success, he will be forever remembered as the man that tossed “pizza pizza” into branding gold!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon. 


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