5 Media Relations Tips For Gaddafi

I don’t normally offer unsolicited advice on media relations to Arab dictators.

But the media escorts described in this NY Times dispatch (or click via Twitter) from Tripoli are so dysfunctional, I just can’t hold my peace.

1. Don’t smear hospital pillows with obviously fake blood and tell the foreign press corps that a NATO airstrike killed the patient.

2. Media escorts should never exclaim in the presence of reporters, “This isn’t even human blood!”

3. Media escorts must never ever spill the beans that the deceit was premeditated. Allowing  journos to overhear you tell other minders, “I told them, ‘Nobody is going to believe this!’ ” is very bad form indeed.

4. When they become part of the story, media escorts must be macho enough to be fully identified, rather than have their names withheld “for their protection.” After all, if you’re tough enough to bundle off Eman al-Obeidy, be a man and show up for work the next day when your boss wants to know what went wrong at the hospital.

5. It’s Propaganda 101 that martyr status and inflated casualty figures are more credible to Big Media when you’re attacked by Israel. Gaddafi’s best hope for a quick fix is to provoke an IDF response that the world can label disproportionate.