Quotes / Slave to PR

Film — Live-action

This could look very bad for OCP Jacques. Scramble the best spin team we have.
Old Man in RoboCop 2, after Robocop 2 destroys an ambulance

"We cut 'em in half with a machine gun and give 'em a Band-Aid."
Willard, Apocalypse Now

Toots:: [to Rocco] I say smack her, and let it go at that.
Frank: That'd be alright for you, not for him. The Roccos don't, or they wouldn't be Roccos. No, smacking her isn't enough; it's too great an insult. He'd have to kill her. Then he'd have to kill us who witnessed it. Not just Mr. Temple and me, but all the witnesses. It's all or nothing. He needs you, and Curly, and Angel. So it'll be nothing.
Rocco: Wise guy.


Widely recognized as a tyrannical megalomaniac who prided himself on cruelty and ruled through fear, Caligula was nearly undone by an underground smear campaign to depict him as a 'pretty nice guy.' Other sculptures and frescoes of the time libelously show him flying a kite and helping an old lady cross the Appian Way. An incensed Caligula immediately went into 'damage control' by publicly sodomizing a puppy.

Live-action TV

Niska has his own code, twisted though it may be. Very excited about reputation.
Zoe Washburne, Firefly

Claire Underwood: There's a lot more to Francis and me than what you wrote.
Tom Yates: Maybe so, but I never got a chance to ask.
Claire: Then ask! Whatever you want.
Tom: Why aren't you with him in Iowa?
Claire: [thinks] I'm headed there tomorrow.
Tom: You see? I ask a question, and neither of you answer. It's tiresome constantly swinging a sledgehammer at the facade, just to get a glimpse beneath the cracks.

Marlo Stanfield: He used my name? In the street? TALK, motherfucker!
"Monk" Metcalf: He just, you know, uh, say that you need to step to, and that... I dunno. He just running his mouth some.
Marlo: He call me a punk?
Chris Partlow: (terrified) It was bullshit, man. You ain't need that on your mind—
Marlo: What the fuck you know about what I need on my mind, motherfucker? My name was on the street?! When we bounce from this shit here, y'all going to go down on them corners and let the people know: Word did not get back to me. Let them know Marlo step to any motherfucker — Omar, Barksdale, whoever. My NAME is MY NAME!
The Wire, "Late Editions"

Western Animation

Tombstone: Sorry, Doctor. Too many witnesses. L. Thompson Lincoln can't be seen collaborating with supervillains and gangsters.
Doctor Octopus: Then L. Thompson Lincoln...IS WEAK!

Real Life

"Dukat is not a nice man. He is not a sensitive man. He likes to act like a sensitive man, but he's a man of appetites to whom public image is very important, much more important than the truth."

When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers must be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.
Umberto Eco, "Ur-Fascism"

No matter how well-intentioned they may be privately, they are limited by those they govern. Paradoxically, this is truest of dictators.
Gore Vidal, "Nasser's Egypt"

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.
Marshall McLuhan

I stand by this man. I stand by this man, because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world.
Stephen Colbert, White House Press Correspondents' Dinner

I think we drum good people out of politics who are defined by the single worst thing they've ever done, as opposed to the context of their public lives, and I think we make it much, much easier for people who have no business holding office to enter the process. Because when you're not talking about ideas and world views and agendas, when you are talking about character and personality, it makes it very easy for for someone to float through the process, without ever having to explain themselves or demonstrate what they know.".
Matt Bai, deconstructing this trope in politics on The Daily Show

He seems content-free to me. Never had a job, except in PR, and it shows.

Justin says he was just nervous because he was afraid people would be at home judging him and he didnít want to come off "arrogant or conceited." Yeah, too fucking late. He also got all ~deep~ by talking about how heís done "pretending" to be someone he's not, and that he's not actually an awful come-to-life canker sore.
Michael K., "Justin Bieber Wants You To Know He Was Just Pretending To Be A Little Asshole Last Year"

Presidents abstain from making key policy decisions because of how they might look. News organizations bury corrections quickly because of how those errors will look...Everything gets clouded in a fog of optics, while reality lurks out of view.

If there's a hurricane or a flood or some sort of disaster, you can bet cartel trucks loaded with aid supplies will start flooding into the region, and that cartel men with cameras will be there to videotape it for YouTube. Because a few trucks loaded with food and water totally make up for all those murders.

I'm not Walt Disney. I do a lot of things that Walt Disney wouldn't do. Walt Disney doesn't smoke. I smoke. Walt Disney doesn't drink. I drink.
Walt Disney, on his public persona

The problem here isn't that Bernie Sanders is a crazy-pants cuckoo bird. It's that we've all become so accustomed to stage-managed, focus group-driven candidates that authenticity comes across as lunacy.