The Re-Branding of America: On the curious case of Mitt & Paris’ Publicized Privacy

“Mitt Romney” and “Paris Hilton” are going hard-press-in-the-paint right now. Note the quotations, because when it comes to celebrity and public figuration: there’s the brand, and then there’s the (wo)man… here, beyond the (yet-to-be-determined) human factor behind the individuals, their enterprises are functioning like well-oiled machines.

It’s kind of like best week ever, right?

Paris is a mistress of the mishap-turned-publicity-masterpiece, Romney is not far behind in his ability to grab headlines with oddly well-staged gaffes.

The past week has seen both go viral with unsurprisingly on-par brand pushes: Romney doesn’t care about untaxed people, and Paris “Puddle of AIDS” Hilton thinks gays are gross… in other news: citizen paparazzi caught The Cookie Monster smuggling Snickerdoodles packaged as Sprouts’ Summer Squash into his Sesame Street penthouse…

So how does one figure these “mishaps” and “private conversations” gone public play as brand determinants and not character detriments… let’s delve a bit #itsaprocess

Step 1: Create a “crisis;” accidentally-on-purpose drive a nail in the coffin (“Oh, is that how that leak got there?”), lay in the cut for a few hours, chat with the PR team, draft a response, paint on the “snitch set me up” face, and mic up just in time for the media frenzy…

Step 2: Publicize the private – on your terms; reiterate your seemingly controversial point in language that legitimizes the original “out-of-context” clip.

Mr. Romney said in an interview on Fox News. “I think a society based on a government-centered nation where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money, that’s the wrong course for America.”

The comments were Mr. Romney’s attempt to find some benefit in the political furor after the disclosure of statements he made at a closed fund-raiser in Florida in May, where he spoke of nearly half of Americans who pay no federal income taxes and, in his analysis, would never vote for him.

Those are people, he said at the fund-raiser, who are “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”

#andthensantorumwasalllike Oh, he was talking about the entitled Welfare Queen victims – right, right – they don’t pay taxes, he’s so right. USA, USA…”


According to, the homophobic slurs came up as a gay pal of Hilton’s was telling her about an app called Grindr, a popular social media app that can be used to allow gay men to locate sexual partners.

Reps for the 31-year-old heiress claim that the quotes were taken out of context when they were secretly recorded by the NYC cab driver.

“Paris Hilton’s comments were to express that it is dangerous for anyone to have unprotected sex that could lead to a life threatening disease,” Hilton’s rep told

“The conversation became heated, after a close gay friend told her in a cab ride, a story about a gay man who has AIDS and is knowingly having unprotected sex. He also discussed a website that encourages random sex by gay men with strangers.”

#andthenstepfordmomwasalllike Oh, she meant the gays on Grindr – right, right – they are dangerous, she’s so right.” #USAUSA

Step 3: Bolster the boosters – don’t get mad, get money; otherwise, don’t get mad, get GLAAD. Get the BBC/GOP (billionaire boy clubbing Grand Ol’ Party) to back your battle against the riff-raff of the middle-and-lower class; buddy up with the most prominent Gay rights advocacy group for a bit of quid-pro-quo right when your celebrity stock is on the low (It’s a recession, the rent is due, hmm… sounds a lot like headline time for Hilton).

“Boy:” terms, like “Opportunity,” used lightly when in regards to the “Right” society … #oldmanmccain


Public Apologies: because it’s only really a sorry if you staple a minimum of three supplementary parties to the press coverage…

#andanotherthing: RadarOnline posted their exclusive audio of Parisian naggerdom on September 20th at 9:30pm, GLAAD posted her pristine-and-press-ready apology letter on September 20th at 11:15pm #curious Last time I made an apology, it took me three days alone to figure out what I did wrong in the first place… Oh, right, Daylight Saving Time and Eastern versus Pacific Time Zones, what with the carrying of the ones and the jet lag, it probably all evens out… #IMJUSTSAYING maybe she really was caught off guard, maybe it really was a rogue leak, maybe she is a really fast writer/apologizer, maybe her PR team really is clairvoyant – and maybe Christian really was tired 

Step 4: Go back to being masters of the universe – but this time, with more press! … and somehow, someway, more power – via hyperimmediate media coverage – than you had before; Romney has something stable about which to talk, something that defines his character – no matter how seemingly “wrong” (because Republicans have never platformed from the plague of the system-leeching lower (slash every non-upper-upper) class) – which is more than he could say before, well at least it’s something he can say twice in a row the same way without the verbal asterisk of “What I meant to say was…” #andthentheresparis Paris “No such thing as bad publicity, except when you are irrelevant publicly” (Confirmation name: “I didn’t jump the shark, he fell out from under me”) Hilton – and she’s the happiest thing to get pressed since Just For Me hair.

My two cents on the dime: Once the private becomes public it enters discourse, and in the seeming “crises” both parties – ilk of the sole Right Wing side of parties – have been able to gain relevance, popularity, press, and – most importantly – a podium upon which they can voice their key opinions. Both parties used the opportunity to bolster their original standpoints, Romney overtly reinforces his new stump in motion towards all but pulling the trigger on a civil class war #clapclap #usausa and Hilton’s PR team shopped out a subtle reinforcement of the fact that Paris can still drum up controversy, still grab headlines, and is still hot within the upper echelons of Gay culture #justaskperez … must be election season.

Watch This Space: Clearly, Mitt and Paris are right on time with the right stuff… as Hov so private elitistly said “I Will Not Lose…” anthem of those who could care less about you; these crowned clowns: because problems are for poor people, and of your 47 percent’s 99 – being rich ain’t one #peasantries.

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