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The New Professionalism – Hiring High Schoolers?

It’s no secret that I’m mystified by the current efforts by the Brady Campaign to retweet various people in favor of gun control while ignoring their other bizarre or hateful recent tweets. Regardless, none of that holds a candle to what has come out of the Brady headquarters in the last few days.

Rick Perry Report
I complained about it on Twitter. I struggled to read it without beating my head against a desk. Finally, I had to take the red “pen” to it. If a Brady staffer were to tell me that they actually bothered editing this thing before they released it, I would say it’s time to fire everyone. There’s no excuse for something riddled with so many errors and inconsistencies coming out of any organization with paid staff, especially since a number of those staff are paid to do nothing but produce professional materials.

I do realize that even professionals make mistakes. Lord knows that I’ve made my share. Given that this blog is something we do casually, you’ll find plenty on here if you look closely. Regardless, if someone handed me this as even a rough draft in a professional setting, they would likely find a bunch of red marks on a paper with a note for them to start over before I even attempt to do anything with it.

The most common mistake is a lack of consistency in style. Inconsistent Oxford comma usage, improper titles, and formatting issues are abuses one can find on every page except the front cover and table of contents. Well, even the table of contents has formatting problems. In addition, there are random sentence fragments, redundant phrases, and grammatical errors. (Yes, the image of the report is impossible to read for a reason. First, fair use. Go visit the Brady website to read their train wreck of a report. Secondly, I won’t do the job they are paid to do for free and let them benefit.)

Can We Not Agree on the Basics?
There is one area where I feel we should be able to reach out to the Brady Campaign and agree. It’s about the fundamental meaning spelling of amendment.

Alas, no. We cannot even find common ground in spelling rules. Call me a radical if you must, but I will not simply agree to disagree on this important component of our Bill of Rights.

It’s Not Just the Typos
I think the most startling changes to the Brady Campaign public relations efforts since Peter Hamm left are just how childish they have become when it comes to issues they should be taking seriously.

You don’t exactly see us as the largest advocates of open carry for activism purposes, but even I find this tweet by the organization to fall somewhere below sticking our your tongue on the maturity scale. If they are offering legal support services to cities who want to enforce their gun laws, then it shouldn’t be sarcastic or condescending. In fact, I know some city officials have questioned the Brady’s sincerity in being willing to fund legal issues that may arise from passing local gun control laws. This kind of message reiterates that those pledges aren’t to be taken seriously.

Conclusion
I realize that I shouldn’t try to step in and help out our opponents. That’s not what I’m trying to do at all. I just can’t help but point out how bad it has truly gotten for them that they have been reduced making to more mistakes in a week than most of the top unpaid, unedited bloggers produce in a month. While I wish they would stop exposing me to these glaring errors that I find painful to read, I can’t complain about the fact that they are most likely driving away any middle-of-the-road or undecided folks who simply won’t continue to read such unprofessional work.

5 Responses to “The New Professionalism – Hiring High Schoolers?”

  1. PT says:

    Nice use of Perry using a starter pistol to start a marathon to imply he is some sort of Yosemite Sam.

  2. Alpheus says:

    I’ve noticed a few typos on your site, here and there. Some of them were even written by you and Sebastian! (And I’ve certainly contributed to my share as well…)

    Every so often, I’d see an error here and there…tiny errors, but things like “tn” when “nt” was meant instead, or an “n” where an “s” was supposed to be, and I wonder if these errors are caused by someone using a Dvorak keyboard layout.

    (I only wonder about this because I’m such a person myself! ;-)

  3. Alpheus says:

    Oh, and I agree: If you make a typo on a blog, it’s no big deal, but anything that’s written to be in “print” (and PDF counts as such) ought to be as immaculate as possible. An error here and there is understandable…but *that* many little red circles, in something meant to be published?!?

  4. Matthew Carberry says:

    There’s something to be said in the realm of dignity?, self-respect? to have an opponent, you consider worthy of you, that in return takes you seriously.

    I don’t know the source but there is a quote that applies, “…you will be judged by the quality of your enemies.”

    The Bradys continue to play schoolkid games when it comes to facts (“la, la, la, I can’t hear you” and “nuh-uh” remaining favorite responses) but at least they used to use sophisticated propaganda techniques against us with the undecided, less-involved middle.

    This kind of stuff demeans them and insults the people they need to convince to vote with them. It was bad enough feeling like our side was consistently wayyyy out of their weight-class based on reasoning skills and research methods, but as you point out, countering them is starting to feel like kicking a particularly dim puppy.

    Just have to remember they remain dangerous.

  5. Bitter says:

    PT,

    One of the interesting things is that I did not judge the report on intellectual honesty. I edited it as though I was on their side and believed every word and every presentation of “facts.” That’s what makes the report & imagery even more frightening.

    Alpheus,

    I admit that my most common mistake is dropping a word. I create the sentence in my head and go to write it, but I’ll think a word rather than actually typing it. One thing that few people notice about my writing style – even after so much time writing publicly – is that I choose to avoid some words when writing on a whim as opposed to writing with time to run spellcheck. There are a few words that I always screw up no matter how many times I try to get them right.

    Matthew,

    There is actually a part of me that almost feels a little sorry for them. Working in an environment so poorly run is demoralizing in itself, but doing so while consistently losing is more so. I’ve often said that I could do a better job of arguing their points & presenting their case better than most of them could do, and that was before things took a downhill slide.

    Obviously, I don’t actually want them to succeed. I also recognize that this kind of fall means that they will ultimately be replaced as the common & mainstream threat. Just like really VPC & CSGV are truly worthless in the serious policy debate arena, the Brady Campaign will soon be there with this type of behavior. Of course, considering at least one of their board members support the VPC & CSGV models online, it looks like this sort of fall is actually being encouraged by their leaders.

    I think it also goes to show that Bloomberg is really the next big serious threat. As the Brady Campaign makes itself more irrelevant in the mainstream, it reminds us to keep an eye out for bigger threats. Right now, those are coming from Bloomberg.

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