Anatomy of a Fast-Food PR Feast

Bruce Watson, writing for AOL's DailyFinance, serves up a highly entertaining, vaguely gonzo trip into the underbelly of fast-food PR. He spins a first-person tale of passing the velvet rope at a Burger King all decked out for the media elite:

"I've never seen a Burger King with a doorman, but the restaurant near New York's Penn Station sported a formidable guard at the entrance and an honest-to-goodness velvet rope. Check-in was packed with cheerful publicists clad in slick suits and little black dresses, their intense friendliness slightly disconcerting. These were PR sharpshooters, the best hired guns that the King could afford, and I was in their world. To put the natives at ease, I tentatively tried out a smile: I was in New York, after all, where showing your teeth is a sign of weakness."

The narrative is strong, the writing is zippy, and the overall impact is chilling: Welcome to how food writers in New York City live. One part appealing, one part revolting, one part glimpse behind the curtain.

Elsewhere on DailyFinance, the site offers a depressing recap of another burger-related news item: the appearance of White Castle co-owner Dave Rife on CBS's Undercover Boss. Rife works undercover at his own chain, learns much wisdom about the struggles of the workers and the challenges of the company ... and fails to make an impact on his co-owners, a.k.a. his siblings and cousins. Once again, the ancient human experience: All the insight in the world pales before the noncomprehending face of a slack-jawed relative.

Image source: Flickr member tedmurphy under Creative Commons