We love a good professional development class -- it's a great chance to brush up on skills, keep up with new developments in your field, and shake out the cobwebs in your day-to-day routine! Also, something something networking, something something "best practices." And looky here, the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy isoffering a class aimed at improving police communication after an officer-involved shooting! Those guys are EXPERTS at "winning the media," after all -- they managed to take a press conference about releasing the name of a killer cop and use it to re-image Michael Brown as a cold-blooded gangster thug! The flyer for the class notes that the "shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri and the events that followed were tragic" and then explains that "this fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA!"

Not only will you "learn a lot," you'll even "have fun doing it!" Hold on big guy, they mean the learning, not shooting black teenagers.

Among the topics, which are very well thought out and we are not making these up:

  • Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla
  • DWI and the Media
  • Feeding the Animals
  • “No comment” is a comment
  • Don’t Get Stuck on Stupid!
  • Managing Media Assault and Battery
  • Managing the Media When Things Get Ugly (think Ferguson)
  • Managing the Media in a Crisis (including lessons learned from the Newtown, CT school shooting.)
  • Of course, only a terrible racist liberal would have any problem with completely neutral phrases like "Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla" and "Feeding the Animals" in relation to a case study of media management after the shooting of a GIGANTIC BLACK TEEN whose very body was a weapon. God, why do you have to read negative motives into everything? We're also not sure whether "Managing Media Assault and Battery" is supposed to be about damage control after you slam a reporter's head into a soda machine, or what to do when reporters beat up cops, which they do all the time, or if it's just a metaphor like that 900-pound gorilla, which is in turn a wild, out of control African beast that is so terrifying that you have no choice but to shoot it.

    St. Louis Police Academy Class on Officer-Involved Shootings and the Media

    Now, to be fair (which is kind of a weird thing for us, and we promise not to let it become a habit), the guy who teaches the class, Rick Rosenthal, has used the terms "feeding the animals" and "900-pound gorilla" in his classes long before the current iteration, as seen in this 2012 piece about what he teaches. So shut up with suggesting that maybe it would have been a good idea to reconsider using them in the promotional flyer for St. Louis County -- it can't possibly be insensitive. Now get out there, whitewash your officers' actions, and remember to have fun!

    [Shaun King on Twitter via TPM]

    Doktor Zoom

    Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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