01 May, 2009

Gilding Shit

You know what they say about shit: dip it in gold, it's still shit. For some reason, that old saying keeps coming to mind as I read up on various and sundry attempts at "rebranding."

The Republicon party's trying it. Yes, again. Arlen Specter's done it by changing his label from Con to Dem (and changing nothing else). When "clean coal" didn't fool anyone but the willingly fooled, Newt Gingrinch rebranded it "green coal." Now the abstinence only crowd's decided to take a whirl on the rebranding bandwagon:

It's been a rough several months for the abstinence-only sex education crowd. As study after study continues to confirm that their approach just doesn't work, the Obama administration has cut $14 million of funding to their programs and specified that remaining curricula will need to meet actual scientific standards. "When the National Abstinence Education Association gathered on Capitol Hill last month for their annual lobby day, the sense of fear in the room was palpable," writes Joe Sonka at RH Reality Check.

But they're not ready to admit defeat! The NAEA's constituent organizations are giving themselves marketing makeovers in an attempt to keep the gravy train rolling. "They would," writes Sonka, "simply rebrand themselves as curriculum that 'wasn't just about abstinence,' but was all about 'holistic approaches' to 'healthy lifestyle choices.'"


Sonka points to WhykNow, a major abstinence-only program. With a PR firm's help, they've changed their name to OnPoint and made some noise about promoting "healthy decision-making skills." Nothing, however, is forthcoming about whether OnPoint will change its abstinence-only message.

One somehow gets the feeling that the answer to that last one is "no." They're just hoping P.T. Barnum was right about all those suckers, and relying on air fresheners to cover up the smell of bullshit under that thin gold leaf.

1 comment:

John Pieret said...

One somehow gets the feeling that the answer to that last one is "no."

It might even be "Just say no!"