Tag Archives: The Daily Mail

Is Jason Knauf Fur Real?

This is Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

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He looks like the kind of well-groomed, non-threatening generic American model that J. Crew uses to sell cardigans.  While it’s true that pr reps can only be as effective as their clients are cooperative, in recent weeks Jason has started looking like he is either a complete idiot or the most deliciously evil adversary the British Monarchy has ever faced, the kind that from a historical perspective could ultimately make Rasputin look like Funshine Bear.

The Cambridge’s spin doctor has a background in crisis management and started his royal gig in the beginning of 2015.  Jason Knauf replaced former BBC producer, Ed Perkins, who had joined the Palace in 2007 working for the Duke of York, managing his scandals and overseeing the Diamond Jubilee before being assigned to Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge where he lasted two and a half years before deciding on a new career path.  The search for Perkins’ replacement lasted six months, reportedly Prince William wanted someone whose loyalties weren’t divided by connections to other members of the British Royal Family.  So basically, William’s criteria was finding someone who couldn’t be influenced by the guiding wisdom of his father or grandmother.  And really, Her Majesty has only built one of the most globally recognized brands in the world, what could she possibly know about public relations.

Recent pr mistakes by Jason Knauf’s office have led to even more media backlash towards the  Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  The latest likely made both Jesus and Darth Vader facepalm.

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The force of Captain Picard’s facepalm probably blew the Enterprise off course.

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I didn’t even catch this latest goof, but the press sure did.  The Daily Mail ran an article on the mittens Kate wore in the photos released this week  by Kensington Palace on Twitter showing the Cambridges on a ski getaway from all that work they’re not doing.  Kate’s Alexski gloves are lined with possum fur.

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Alexski

While it’s not surprising a woman who has been photographed wearing a fur hat while hunting pheasant bred for the royally lazy version of the bloodsport would wear fur-lined gloves, it’s shocking that the Palace would release photos of Kate wearing them to the world.  Could they not find a clubbed baby seal for Kate to put a cigarette out on?

The ski glove’s possum fur comes from New Zealand where the marsupial is widely considered a pest because it is a non-indigenous species that was introduced in the 19th century by the fur industry and having no natural predator, possums have wreacked considerable havoc on New Zealand’s flora and fauna.  One land’s pest is another’s protected species, there are even people who (mostly illegally and definitely ill-advisedly) keep possum as pets.  Usually what separates aww from ugh is how much destruction a species causes, in Australia where possums are indigenous, sometimes foxes are regarded as pests even though they bring the internet this kind of snuggle buddy cuteness.

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In NYC, our pests are rats and mice.  Given their plague-spreading history, most wouldn’t put them on their most cuddly list but still wouldn’t stick their hands in the skinned remains of one.

Because of the exposed cruelties of the fur industry and the increased trendiness of its condemnation, spin doctors go to extraordinary lengths to shield their clients from the barrage of criticism that comes from being photographed in fur.  Even celebrities who unabashedly wear fur like Kim Kardashian are aware it’s a controversial topic many feel passionately about.  North West has gotten some serious shade for being papped in it and she’s only two.  Based on the fact that in this photo she’s dressed like her first word was “Nevermore”, I think it’s safe to assume most of North’s fashion isn’t self-selected and we should give the kid a pass.

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For a small child to even be unfairly called a “fur hag” by some illustrates why most in the public eye steer clear of the fur debate, regardless of their personal feelings, it is a hotly debated topic.

Bella Thorne recently posted a photo of herself on Instagram in a fur jacket and in response to the enormous backlash, claimed it was faux fur.  When Instagram fashionistas identified it as an alice + olivia rabbit and fox jacket, the actress quickly deleted her faux fur claim and her reps dealt with the fall-out, releasing the statement Thorne “was told it was faux fur” with the promise she would never wear it again.

The Queen also provoked widespread criticism with her fur-clad Christmas appearance prompting many to take to social media to express their disappointment Her Majesty would even wear her vintage fur, especially since she is a representative of the UK which passed laws over a decade ago prohibiting “the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur”.

When public figures are already the subject of negative focus, it’s generally not a good idea to serve up more to find fault with on a gilded platter.  Really the only thing the Palace has as a selling-point for Kate is the so-called Kate Effect when people who want to dress like Kate snatch up whatever inventory is left on items Kate waits to wear so people can’t Copy-Kate her.    Every single outfit Kate wears is broken down and written about because she offers such little substance with which to work.  Considering how contrived and manipulated these snaps are, how did no one even think to make sure the Paper Doll Duchess wasn’t committing a pr fur pas?

While I find these pr goofs highly amusing, the British Royal Family might want to check Jason Knauf’s bank account for large deposits coming from the Republican Party because it’s hard to believe anyone with pr experience could screw up this royally.  Especially an American, we invented pr.  Technically, the founding father of spin was Austrian-American Edward Bernays but we staked the claim convincingly enough that the rest of the world bought it.  Quite frankly, the way the pr is being handled for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is utterly un-American.

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Royal Family is Trippin’

Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George are on their way to Australia and New Zealand and we’re assured by the UK press that everyone is excited about it.  Waity Katie can’t wait because she’s always wanted to visit, Prince William can’t wait because he has been there before, and Prince Georgie is probably thinking, “I require a window seat and an in-flight Happy Meal. BUT NO PICKLES. OH, GOD HELP YOU IF I FIND PICKLES.”  We’re assured the people of Australia and New Zealand are simply giddy waiting for the trio to touch down.  Because the UK Press has absolutely nothing to gain by passing along royal propaganda.

I mean, it’s not like Royal Family and the press they abhor so much have any kind of agreement in place like the press won’t take pictures of them during their private down time and in exchange for their cooperation in not publishing anything that would damage the carefully crafted public images of the Royals, the Palace will “leak” information to the press, providing them with juicy little tidbits about the Royals so they can sell their papers and magazines.  Oh, wait a second, that’s exactly the arrangement in place.  The often-quoted “anonymous source” in articles about members of the Royal Family is the Buckingham Palace Press Office which of course obtains permission before “leaking” any juicy little tidbits.  (Of course disgruntled staff members and the Royals themselves with their own agenda have also been known to leak to the press directly without going through the Buckingham Palace Press Office.)  Members of the press who do not comply with the arrangement are frozen out.

The Daily Mail published an article about how the Duchess of Cambridge “will use the Royal tour of New Zealand and Australia to champion the cause closest to her heart – the children’s hospice movement.”  The article then went on to praise her and the article went on to compare Lazy to Princess Diana who worked tirelessly for her causes and dared to call Lazy “Queen of Hearts”.  The outrage this caused was so intense, the Daily Mail stopped publishing comments thirteen hours ago and I’ve noticed the tally of comments has decreased.

My comment was not published.  I pointed out that Lazy Kate has only done four appearances to date this year, none of which were for children’s causes and she often mispronounces “palliative”, a word she shouldn’t struggle with if palliative care was truly a cause close to her heart.   I suggested that the article should be labeled a paid endorsement.

Weird they didn’t publish that.

Here are some comments they did publish, though.

Someone from Australia noted:

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To which someone in New Zealand responded:

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And people from the UK and Canada chimed in with:

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I have yet to hear one positive comment about the Lazy Duo from anyone in Australia or New Zealand which is probably the point of the visit.  It’s generally assumed that upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand, Australia and Canada will declare themselves full republics.  Out of the mouths of babes who don’t know either what function Prince William and Kate serve: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/royal-tour/9905651/What-do-Prince-William-and-Kate-Middleton-really-do.

Diana’s 1983 Australian tour with Prince Charles and baby William cast the Royal Family in a very positive light; engaging and enchanting princess, adorable baby, and heir to the throne, all a promising and captivating picture of what the future could hold.  The Royal Family is trying to pull a repeat.  They’ve got a royal trio, but magic can’t be manufactured and Kate is a poor understudy to Princess Diana, try as she might, Pageant Girl has no passion for charity work, her interests are in shopping and hair appointments.

Trying to claim that Kate is a champion for children’s hospices is a feeble attempt to make her seem endearing to those who haven’t been paying attention to her idle approach to Duchessing.  This year, her mere four appearances have been at the National Portrait Gallery where she flubbed a seven sentence speech she had to read from cards and admired a portrait of herself, an appearance at the opening of the Art Room at the Northolt High School, a meet and greet with celebrities at Buckingham Palace and handing out shamrocks to Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day.  The rest of the time she was busy going over-budget on taxpayer-funded renovations for her home at her Kensington Palace and off on two luxury vacations.  Queen of Hearts?  Hardly.  If anything, she’s the Joker.

Here’s the tour schedule the Daily Mirror published with its exhausting wine tasting, draining boat rides and strenuous “Rest” days.

NEW ZEALAND

  • April 7 – Wellington: Arrive to ceremonial welcome.
  • April 8 – Rest.
  • April 9 – Wellington: Meet parents and their babies at Government House, hopefully with George.
  • April 10 – Blenheim: Events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
  • Wellington: State Reception where William will unveil a portrait of the Queen.
  • April 11 – Auckland: Meet serving air force personnel and their families. Race each other across Auckland Harbour in Team New Zealand Americas Cup yachts. Ride on a Sealegs craft – boat that can be driven into and out of water. 
  • April 12 – Waikato: William views an aircraft factory while Kate goes to a children’s hospice. Both travel through Hamilton town centre and meet Olympic athletes and open the new velodrome. 
  • April 13 – Dunedin (Travel away from George for one night): Maori tribal welcome, visit cathedral then watch and participate in a Rippa Rugby tournament – non contact rugby.
  • Queenstown: Wine tasting, travel on the Shotover Jet – 50mph white water ride.
  • April 14 – Christchurch: Ceremony for those who died in 2011 earthquake. Watch a 2015 Cricket World Cup event, later visit air force museum and memorial wall. 
  • April 15 – Rest.
  • April 16 – Wellington: Visit a police training college, sign the city’s visitor book then depart.

AUSTRALIA

  • April 16 – Sydney: Arrive and attend reception at the Sydney Opera House.
  • April 17 – Sydney: Fire-ravaged street in Blue Mountains.
  • April 18 – Sydney: Attend the Royal Easter Show, visit a children’s hospice before watching a demonstration by surf life-saving volunteers. 
  • April 19 – Brisbane: RAF base visit then reception for Queensland’s young people. 
  • April 20 – Sydney: Cathedral service then visit Taronga Zoo where the bilby enclosure is being named after Prince George.
  • April 21 – Rest.
  • April 22 – Uluru (Ayres Rock) (Second night away from George): Visit the National Indigenous Training Academy, view Aboriginal art display then walk round part of the rock.
  • April 23 – Adelaide: View young people’s music workshop and watch skateboarding display.
  • April 24 – Canberra: Visit the National Portrait Gallery, attend a reception at Parliament House, plant a tree at the National Arboretum.
  • April 25 – Canberra: Attend ANZAC Day March, lay a wreath and plant a ‘Lone Pine’ tree in the Memorial Garden.
  • Depart for home.

Articles like the one the Daily Mail published are offensive, expecting the public to accept these ridiculous attempts to salvage the royal image.  Respect is earned, not carefully crafted by PR teams.  The Press dubbed Kate Middleton Waity Katie.  And she was also referred to quite frequently in the press as The Mattress.

The Duchess formerly known as The Mattress leads off the cheeky Entertainmentwise.com article published yesterday.  Here’s a screen grab.

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For those who can’t tell, Kate Middleton is the mattress on the right.

The very press who blasted this woman for almost a decade as being lazy, waiting around for a prince who cheated on her to marry her, giving her the mattress moniker that eluded to her open-leg policy when it came to royalty, now expects us to buy that this woman who rarely makes any charity appearances actually cares about something other than being Mrs. Prince William, shopping, salon appointments and luxury vacations?

Ridiculous.  The Palace has let her skate by with only four engagements to date in 2014 (and really, it’s being generous counting making small-talk with celebrities as an engagement).  If they want us to respect her, she has to earn it.  Until then, I would appreciate it if the press would refer to Kate Middleton by the titles she has earned: Lazy Katie, Waity Katie, The Duchess of Doolittle, and The Mattress.

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