Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MEdia: Public Relations Spending

My underlying strategy-execution bias: Act your way into thinking beats think your way into acting. The science behind that assertion is solid.”
~ Tom Peters
With a week to go before the revelation of this year’s Nobel literature laureate, internationally renowned names including Irish Booker winner John Banville and Japanese favourite Haruki Murakami are edging up the odds at bookmaker Ladbrokes

Reductions in entry costs allow producers to “take more draws,” and given the unpredictability of quality at the time of investment, taking more draws can generate more “winners.”  Our illustrative estimates for music show that the production mechanism could generate almost 20 times as much benefit as the consumption mechanism for an equal-sized increase in the number of products.
Panama Papers honored with a Gold Barlett &  Steele Award for Investigative Journalism ICIJ

Leaked emails show how the Clinton campaign deals with the press

Robert De Niro has delivered a scathing attack on Donald Trump in a new video, saying he would "like to punch him in the face". "He's so blatantly stupid. He's a punk, he's a dog, he's a pig, he's a con, a bullshit artist," the Hollywood legend says Robert De Niro: 'I'd like to punch Donald Trump in the face'

A business model based on content from illiterate celebrities & passive-aggressive media dorks might fail? Who knewhttps://t.co/zSUiG0FxIU

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) October 6, 2016

Public Relations Spending: Reported Data on Related Federal Activities, GAO-16-877R: Published: Sep 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 2016.
“The rise of Facebook, Twitter, and other new platforms has changed the ways in which the federal government communicates with the public. But what is the total scope of federal public relations activities? We found that the federal government spent about $1 billion a year during fiscal years 2006-2015 on advertising and PR contracts, with 10 agencies responsible for 95% of this spending. Total salaries for federal PR employees averaged about $430 million per year during fiscal years 2006-2014.”

A senior ministerial adviser who quit over his part in the "budgie nine" scandal was initially hired to answer phones and do some diary work, Peta Credlin says. Former prime minister Tony Abbott's chief of staff said she would have thought that Jack Walker, 26, wasn't up to the position he eventually filled, policy adviser to defence industry minister Christopher Pyne Egos at Adelaide that are 10 feet high 

Last week, Timothy Garton Ash called for a “robust civility” – he added “that’s the gamble of liberal democracy.” But how does that play out in a social media avalanche of images, tweets, and hit-and-run postings?

Tim was here at Stanford in-between lectures, readings, discussions, and book-signings for his newest, Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, and that lauded 480-page volume was the subject of his talk at Cubberley Auditorium Wednesday night Timothy Garton Ash

Non-materialistic millennials and the Great Stagnation Library of Economic and Liberty Moving away from “stuff”?

In the bowels of Parliament House, the Commonwealth Bank's chief Executive Officer Ian Narev strode confidently into the main committee room and took his seat. Just beyond him, cameras clicked and flashed. Beyond the cameras, members of parliament took their own seats, ready for a showdown. Did the parliamentary hearings into the big four banks do their job?

The long tail is better than you think - via  a new working paper quality predictability and the welfrae benefits by Luis Aguiar and Joel Waldfogel

The 2014 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall. © Nobel Media AB (Photo: Alexander Mahmoud)
The 2014 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall. (Photo: Alexander Mahmoud)

Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “How to Win a Nobel Prize (Rebroadcast)” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.)

The gist: the Nobel selection process is famously secretive (and conducted in Swedish!) but we pry the lid off, at least a little bit.

Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post. And you’ll find credits for the music in the episode noted within the transcript.

Election Officials Are Ignoring Voter Fraud. “According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date, or a duplicate

TO BE FAIR, WE ALLOW THEM IN POWER, SO. . . Washington’s ‘governing elite’ think Americans are morons.
Recently, Johns Hopkins University political scientists Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg conducted a study of the unglamorous D.C. bureaucrat. These are the people who keep the federal government humming — the Hill staffers, the project managers and all those desk workers who vaguely describe themselves as “analysts.”
As Bachner and Ginsberg argue, civil servants exercise real power over how the government operates. They write and enforce rules and regulations. They might not decide what becomes law, but they have a hand in how laws are drawn up and how laws are implemented.
For all their influence, though, nearly all of these technocrats are unelected, and they spend most of their time with people who are just like them — other highly educated folk who jog conspicuously in college tees and own a collection of NPR totes.
In their new book, which is part ethnography and part polemic, Bachner and Ginsberg argue that Washington’s bureaucrats have grown too dismissive of the people they are supposed to serve. Bachner and Ginsberg recently sent around an informal survey to selected members of this technocratic class, and the results, they say, were shocking.
“Many civil servants expressed utter contempt for the citizens they served,” they write in their book, “What Washington Gets Wrong.” “Further, we found a wide gulf between the life experiences of ordinary Americans and the denizens of official Washington. We were left deeply worried about the health and future of popular government in the United States.”
With reason.

[T]he Tax Foundation released the third annual   International Tax Competitiveness Index. Once again, the United States ranks among the bottom 5 countries with the 5th least competitive tax system in the OECD. Only Greece, Portugal, Italy, and France have less competitive tax codes. On the other end of the spectrum, Estonia takes the number one spot once again, with New Zealand and Latvia having the second and third most competitive tax systems, respectively. Australia is number 8 ... Before Slovakia and Czechs are not too far down at #13 

Offshore detention: the dangers of pursuing dubious objectives in secret and at reckless speed.
Offshore detention: the unethical policy that undid loyal public servants

Accused Terror Financier Can Be Served Lawsuit via Twitter, Judge Rules US News
Much attention is being paid to how Donald Trump could have amassed a $900 million NOL in the mid 90s. I remain laser-focused on the Donald J. Trump Foundation.  For this blog post I ask the question: could Mr. Trump’s misuse of the private foundation that he leads result in criminal sanctions under tax law?
I think there is enough evidence to open a criminal investigation into his activities. Nevertheless, a criminal prosecution is highly unlikely for both political reasons and issues of proof (ignorance of the law is a defense). Still, I think the IRS has a duty to open an investigation under the egregious set of
facts I lay out.  Here is the important thing to keep in mind as you consider the arguments I lay out in this post: Donald Trump does not own the Foundation and its property does not belong to him. It does not matter from whom the money came. He is the president of a nonprofit organization that is entrusted with money to be used for charitable purposes that benefit the public. Continue reading

“So has fact-checking failed? Has American politics at last reached its final destination — a desolate, dusty, God-forsaken, Cormac-McCarthian, "post-fact" landscape? We dug into the research, and we have an answer: No. However…” — Read the rest from Danielle Kurtzleben at NPR

It’s been seven years since PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize. Thirteen years since FactCheck.org launched. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker published its first fact-check in 2007. Has the 2016 election finally made fact-checking a household word? We're fact-checking that too

O’Grady, Catherine, A Behavioral Approach to Lawyer Mistake and Apology (October 5, 2016). 51 New England Law Review, Forthcoming; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 16-37. Available for download at SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=2848612

“The Article explores the social psychology behavioral principles that prevent us from recognizing that we have made a mistake and applies those principles to lawyering and the practice of law. A behavioral analysis suggests that the toughest acknowledgement of mistake is the one we make to ourselves. Once a mistake is fully recognized, acknowledgement of the mistake to others becomes a critical consideration. For the lawyer, especially the new lawyer, mistake acknowledgment often means a difficult discussion with senior lawyers and even clients. This Article explores mistake acknowledgement and considers the role of apology to clients for lawyering mistakes. Although lawyers are increasingly advising their clients to apologize to an opposing party in a dispute, often to facilitate settlement, lawyers are generally not considering the role of apology as it applies to them and their professional work. This Article opens up that topic, primarily by exploring the increasing use of apology in the medical field and suggesting that a role for apology exists in the professional practice of law as well as the professional practice of medicine.”

The latest Nyhan/Reifler working paper on the effect of fact-checking gets reviewed by New York Magazine, too.

The IFCN code of principles was announced two weeks ago and has already picked up several new signatories. Meanwhile, existing signatories are starting to publish on their own sites how they intend to respect it. Check out explanations by Africa Check, Full Fact and TheJournal.ie and also The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

Full Fact checked the Labour party leader's conference speech on Twitter, and made a Moment out of it.

FlackCheck.org looked at how the two main presidential candidates in the U.S. distort the facts. Hillary Clinton misleads and withholds part of the story; Donald Trump relies heavily on hearsay. You can find all of FlackCheck's videos on YouTube.


Garry Trudeau, not a stranger to drawing fact-related comic strips, dedicated last week's to The Washington Post's "Pinocchios." Also fun: the Post's Fact Checker Glenn Kessler interviewed by Jordan Clapper on "The Daily Show." Check it out.

(1) Chequeado is crowdfunding, and also translated PolitiFact's debate fact-checking into Spanish. (2) Fact-checking doesn't matter in elections; gender does. (3) Full Fact is hiring. (4) Do fact-checkers have an agenda? Yep. (5) Italian fact-checkers Pagella Politica are back on TV with a segment on a new RAI show. (6) There was a lot of fact-checking on Monday night, but it should have started with a check of "Donald, it's good to be with you," says Stephen Colbert.