Utne Blogs > Media

‘Golden Voice’ Tale Is Golden Corporate PR

 by Keith Goetzman

Tags: homelessness, unemployment, American dream, Quicken loans, YouTube, media, Keith Goetzman,

It’s heartwarming to see an unemployed, panhandling man plucked off a streetcorner and given a job due to his singular talent—that’s why the post-holiday human-interest story about “golden voiced” YouTube sensation Ted Williams spread far and wide last week. But David Sirota at Open Left has dug deeper into the narrative behind Williams’ unlikely rise and found the story of his re-employment to be a silky-smooth public relations maneuver by Quicken Loans and “a microcosm of a media that has become far more a manufacturer of false, establishment-serving storylines than a documenter of genuine everyday reality.”

Sirota explains:

Cheers to Sirota for daring to ask impertinent questions about the motivations of the golden-hearted Samaritans in Williams’ story. He takes pains in his post to point out that “we should all be genuinely happy for Williams,” and I share the sentiment—but taking a broader perspective on this tale reminds me that whenever a story seems too good to be true, it’s usually leaving something out.

Here’s the original viral video in case you’re one of the few who haven’t see it yet:

Source: Open Left