Friday, August 31, 2007

Potent tools in Wichita's opinion toolbox

In an effort to smoke out Kansas' mediagenic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on where she stood on a proposed coal-firec power plant, Wichita EPE Phillip Brownlee and his "Brownback Girl" video crew have fired up their satire machine again.

"Coal-Lovin Governor" builds on "Coal Miner's Daughter" in much the same way the Brownback video tapped "Material Girl." A local actor and editorial page crew went on location for this shoot, and even managed to corral a local television news team who reported on "the making of Coal-Lovin Governor."

The effort is "just another form of satire that we do," Brownlee said. "It's actually a serious subject but we'll do it in a humorous way and hopefully get people to think about it."

The governor apparently did. Their report includes video of her reacting to the satire, and a follow-up editorial suggests she's moving out of the shadows on the issue.

"Coal-Loving Governor" is unlikely to attract the viral internet interest that the Brownback effort captured, but its direct impact will likely be more profound. Wichita has a new tool in the opinion toolbox – and Brownlee & Company are clearly ready to use it.

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