Bill O'Reilly

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Brands generally don’t want to be associated with sexual harassment and hate speech, but there are a few reasons marketers keep getting stuck in these bad situations. Taking a quick look at ways companies can avoid being linked to Fox’s alleged sexual predators and Breitbart’s and YouTube’s alt-right troubles, I’ll propose solutions that can stave off brand Armageddon.

"Public relations is the business of letting people in on what you are doing," counseled Evelyn Lawson, my first mentor in the business. And Michael Levine's new guide, "Guerilla PR 2.0: Wage an Effective Publicity Campaign Without Going Broke" (ISBN 978-0-06-143852-3, Collins paperback, 354 pages, $14.95), will put you and your team in the mind-set-and give you the basics-of professional PR. Even if you have a PR department or an outside agency on retainer, here is the inside dope that will enable you to know whether your PR is being done right or not.

My wife, Peggy, and I are cable news junkies. We watch network evening news because we've always watched network evening news and it's on when we're making dinner. But it's a dumb habit.

I go back to John Cameron Swayze and the Camel News Caravan-15 minutes of black-and-white news with primitive graphics on NBC at 6 p.m. On Swayze's desk was a Camel cigarette ashtray, so nobody missed who the sponsor was. This was followed by a 15-minute show starring Perry Como and/or Jonathan Winters.

Since then, network news has attained what TV critics call "gravitas," and what I call pomposity.

Fox News with Brit Hume and Shep Smith is a lot faster, a lot more fun and covers many more stories.

But for us, the real action is on cable-a screaming bunch of what Vice President Spiro Agnew called the "nattering nabobs of negativity" endlessly analyzing flyspecks.

The cable news crowd is fun. But in terms of influence on the national scene, cable isn't worth a bucket of warm spit.—

One day God and St. Peter met on the first tee of the celestial golf course, and St. Peter hit a magnificent drive straight down the fairway.

God stepped up, addressed the ball and-with a mighty swing-hooked it deep into the woods.

One minute later, a squirrel with God's golf ball in its mouth ran out of the woods and started across the fairway.

Whereupon an eagle swooped out of the sky, grabbed the squirrel in its talons and flew off. When the eagle got over the hole, it squeezed the squirrel, who dropped the ball, which landed on the green and rolled into the cup for a hole-in-one.

St. Peter turned to God. "Are you going to play golf," he asked, "or are you going to screw around?"

From where I sit, both presidential candidates are screwing around.

The nuts-and-bolts of the issues are buried under mounds of slung mud.

And in terms of marketing, John McCain is playing a most dangerous game.

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