Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Category 2 Publicity Stunt Alert

Put the greenwasher on spin cycle for the next 55 days. Mayor P. T. "Dan" Coody is about to demonstrate the power of incumbency to command the media on his whim. Reporters will come from far and wide; editors will sing his praises. Tomorrow is the early preview showing of the Dan Show. It will take the form of a press conference at noon to announce another conference on one of Dan's favorite words, Sus-tain-a-bil-i-ty. It will be brilliant theatre. Credit will be claimed. Children wil marvel. Cameras and presses will roll.

As Christopher Meyer said so well, "'Sustainability' is a meme morphing into a buzzword. As 'climate crisis,' 'triple bottom line,' 'carbon cap and trade,' 'cleantech,' and other phrases enter more widespread use, they are amalgamating, becoming code words that signify that the user 'gets it,' while offering little specificity about what it is that’s gotten." That is why it is so handy for a slippery politician like Coody.

Coody will give us yet another opportunity to hear him say "sustainability," to watch him praise our "regional partner" Wal-Mart for its cutting costs, and to bask in his progress in developing the image of a Green Valley by repeating those words once a day between now and November 4th. He will say stuff like how successful he has been in marketing our city as "the center of the universe for sustainability," and he alone has made us "a nationally recognized leader on the sustainability front." At least we're not Springdale. There will be a big meeting sometime in October. Before the election. Nothing will come of it, except maybe some publicity and a gushing editorial in the Northwest Arkansas Times.

For more information, contact Dr, Susan Thomas, Ph.D., Public Relations Advisor, at 575-8302, or the Coody Campaign Headquarters at 442-3644.

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