THE PUBLICIST: The summertime heat brings about a bevy of PR meltdowns

Summer is supposed to be a time for chillin'.

Summer is supposed to be a time for chillin'.

Especially in LA. We invented laid-back. So why is everyone in such a dither? I return from a month-long business trip back East to discover it's summertime, but the livin' is uneasy. Last month alone saw several PR miscues which caused many to get a little hot under the collar.

The PR controversy surrounding LA's Department of Water and Power (DWP), of course, made headlines across the country.

Hint to the DWP. You want good PR? It's simple. Make sure that when the handle of the hot water spigot is turned, hot water comes out. That's all we ask. You don't have to save the world.

Meanwhile, California Republicans are trying to save our governor from himself. He put his foot in his mouth again, calling Democrats "girlie men." Were his calves not so big, Arnold would manage to stuff an entire leg into his pie hole. Suffice to say that the honeymoon with our new gubernator is starting to wear off. The only thing he's managed to do so far is borrow $25 billion - earning Wall Street investors a cool $300 million in the process. Thanks, Arnie. Better try to get some of that back in donations for your reelection bid. You're gonna need it. How does a "Draft Nancy Reagan" campaign sound right now?

Arnold's education guru, Richard Riordan, made a ridiculous remark himself a few weeks ago. Asked by a little girl if he knew what her name, Isis, meant, the loopy former mayor said, "Dirty little girl." As a joke. Could someone please get these guys a writer? Chris Kattan is out of a job. Ask him.

And don't even get me started on the Linda Rondstadt-Aladdin Hotel fiasco. As if any establishment with a Middle Eastern moniker needs more PR problems. I've been thrown out of a casino for doing less and it's never pretty, but c'mon, Linda's still got chops. She's your cash camel, Mr. Magic Lantern. Unless she sings the national anthem in pig Latin while burning a flag and doing the unmentionable on your flying carpet, you don't throw the genie out with the sand.

Rondstadt is suddenly a new "Dixie Chick" hero and the Aladdin is now nothing but a scorned oasis for spandex-wearing tourists not smart enough to book Bally's.

PRoblems, PRroblems. Perhaps autumn will bring cooler heads.

Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer

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