“My strategy worked for World Vision just like it did for Duck Dynasty,” says PR superstar

In a statement released early this morning, Dan “Switcher” LaRue (above), the Hollywood public relations powerhouse responsible for last December’s Duck Dynasty “controversy,” confirmed what industry insiders have been saying for days: that he is the man behind relief organization World Vision’s recent grabbing of national headlines.

“World Vision came to me about a month ago,” said LaRue in his statement. “They knew the work I’d done for A&E’s hit television show Duck Dynasty. Remember that? First Phil Robertson was fired—and then he wasn’t fired? Jesus tap-dancing on Good Morning America wouldn’t have generated so much publicity.

“So of course World Vision wanted some of that same action for themselves. Who can blame them? Not me!

“I saw right away that not only could I do for World Vision what I did for Duck Dynasty, I could do it using the exact same gimmick: the gays. Think of Christianity, and what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? The gays! ‘ The gays are ruining America! The gays want our children! The gays hate Jesus!’

“I had World Vision’s entire media strategy figured out in about twenty minutes. They announce they’ve changed their anti-gay policy; they sit back and watch the media fires roar; they fan those flames just slightly with pictures of starving children; and the moment the fires begin dying out—boom! They change their mind! They’re back to hating the gays!

“As we all know, the plan worked like a charm. How could it not? It’s like shooting ducks in a barrel.

“And this will hardly be the last time we’ll see this. There’s just too much money to be made pitting anti-gay Christians against pro-gay Christians. I hope neither side in that fight wins. I hope they fight forever. Because then guys like me will keep getting richer and richer.”

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Eric Weiss

    Cute satire. :p

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Being cute is my goal.

      • Jill

        Well then job well done

  • http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/ jesuswithoutbaggage

    It must be satire. I did numerous and various searches for Dan LaRue and couldn’t find anything that seemed to relate to this person. It cost me 15 hectic, painful minutes out of my busy day. I was just now going to ask if John’s sources were legit when I saw Eric’s comment and a bulb went off.

    When I read the article, I assumed it was serious; satire didn’t even occur to me. My heart sank, and I actually hurt at the news that World Vision had done this as a publicity ploy. Just call my a gullible sucker I suppose. Anyone have a famous bridge to sell me?

    • James Walker

      if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck…

      the piece may be satire but I suspect somewhere lurking under the “oops, we made a BIG mistake” facade there’s a little self-satisfied “and it worked out perfectly for us”.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Yeah. I couldn’t help thinking that myself.

      • anakinmcfly

        “if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck…”

        …shoot it like a duck?

    • Matt

      I would know John’s writing style anywhere, or else I would not have known the difference. Hence, excellent satire. There are those who actually think like Dan LaRue and we know it, so it’s not a stretch at all to create a convincing composite character. Don’t be ashamed of trusting people.

      • James Walker

        yep. I was immediately suspicious when I realized “Mr. LaRue” was speaking with a voice that sounded remarkably like John’s. it’s amazing how you can pick up on wording and stylistic hints after you’ve read a certain writer for a while. hehe

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I recognized it as satire immediately. The thing about good satire, and John writes damned good satire, is that you read it and think “This is utterly possible, its just a crazy enough idea to be true.” Then you notice the persistent pulling on your leg.

    • http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/ jesuswithoutbaggage

      I understand satire and can appreciate it, but I was not expecting it. It caught me unprepared, so I was flabbergasted. The problem with satire is that it is a plausible as a some real news; that is why it is so often shared in social media as the real thing.

  • Jakeithus

    It’s become quite difficult to tell PR and Marketing genius apart from plain old incompetence, knee jerk decisions and short-sighted thinking.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Ah, you’ve discovered the trick of how to be successful in advertising.

  • http://hopefullyknown.com/ Tamara Rice

    The photo of Dan “Switcher” LaRue is really what gets me. Now you see it … now you don’t. Switcher, indeed.

  • Marta L.

    John, I’d love to get properly enraged, or at least express that outrage I’m feeling properly, but can’t in good conscience without a source. Can you give a source for this quote?

    • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

      Marta, you should be enraged … but don’t spend time looking for quote sources. ;)

  • Christie Draper

    I wish you wouldn’t post things like this that are untrue. It takes away from the issue.

    • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

      Satire draws attention to issues …

      • Marta L.

        Only when it’s recognized as satire, though. The issue here is that John typically posts factual things. This isn’t the Onion, and I don’t assume stuff posted here is satire unless it’s labeled as such. It really is irresponsible IMO to present made-up things as if they’re literally true, if only because it tends to drown out legitimate outrage over the things that actually were said.

        • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

          I find it hard to believe that John’s post in any way drowned out legitimate outrage.

          • Marta L.

            Drowned out may have been a poor word choice. What I meant was that before this post I was mad at World Vision. After it, I was furious because it took away my last niggling doubts that this was perhaps a badly-planned, badly-executed cave-in to pressure from outside groups, rather than toying with gay people and LGBT allies.

            Then on working out this was satire, I had to scale back that response, and because of the way my brain works (I don’t think unreasonably, though who knows?), it made me think the issue was more nuanced than it was. Whereas before I was just mad at them. The problem with satire that’s not presented as satire as it makes the subject of it seem like they’re being lied about, which naturally makes people (or at least me) more sympathetic.

  • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

    The real issue that we’re all overlooking is the innocent ducks that Mr. LaRue has been shooting. And, why does he keep them in a barrel? And, how many of those ducks are gay?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      And what happened to the fish that usually reside there?

    • Matt

      Think of the ducklings!

  • Liya

    Excellent!! Poe’s law. See nothing wrong with using satire to make a point and fight for what’s right..

  • Sheila Warner

    A big yuck to what he said.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    I don’t want to look stupid, but if this is satire, I’m not getting it because it’s entirely probable to be true. While this particular LaRue person may not exist, this satirical LaRue does and the point of this “satire” is NOT amusing precisely because it is probably happening; cynically, irresponsibly, outrageously happening at gays’ expense. And there’s no one at whom to direct my wrath.

    • Adam Spiers

      Is that not the point of satire? To lampoon current events? I would recommend reading the pamphlet ‘A Modest Proposal’ by Jonathan Swift. He used satire very effectively in a similar capacity to this, and by doing so, highlighted not only the plight of the working class Irish, but the blatant racism, and I would argue genocide caused by the British political establishment at the time.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        OK. I get it. I guess I react too seriously to the gay issue in our nation. I do understand satire but this particular one made me angry. So I guess it worked,eh?

        PS: And that “LaRue” guy is fugly!!!

    • Michelle M

      Satire is not always meant to amuse, although that’s often how we think about it. It is meant to get a strong reaction by shining the light on the folly of mankind. That strong reaction may also be anger or disgust, like in the “A Modest Proposal” example that Adam S. gave. If satire raises people’s consciousness and helps to bring about change (even if only for a few people), then it’s done its job.

  • Sheila Warner

    Ha! I was fooled. I admit it. I am one of the most gullible people on the planet. *feeling embarrassed*

  • Bones

    Sorry. I didn’t get this at all,

    Must be an American thing.

    Oh and

    I’m angry and disgusted with the US Christian Right

    On one occasion an expert in biblical ethics and Christian standards of sexual morality stood up to test World Vision. “Chief Exec,” he asked, “what must I do to sponsor an impoverished child in the proper Christian way that is honouring to God in accordance with His Word?”

    “What is written on our website?” he replied. “How do you understand it?”

    He answered, “‘Our Christian identity underpins everything that we do. Motivated by our faith, World Vision is committed to following the teaching and example of Jesus Christ in his identification with those who are poor, vulnerable or forgotten’; and, ‘Just 75p a day can free a child from the fear that poverty creates. Sponsorship keeps children protected and provides them with clean water, nutritious food, healthcare and education – everything a child needs to enjoy their childhood’.”

    “You have answered correctly,” the Chief Exec replied. “Do this and the malnourished, diseased, trafficked and enslaved children of the world will live.”

    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked the Chief Exec, “But what if one of your employees is gay and in a civil partnership? You see, I read in Christianity Today that you’ve changed your conditions of employment and now accept married gay dudes, who aren’t actually married, you know, in God’s eyes, but you say that abstinence outside of marriage remains a condition of employment, so how does that work?”

    In reply the Chief Exec said: “A six-year-old starving boy and eight-year-old trafficked girl were going down from Djibouti to Hargeysa in Somaliland, when they were attacked by fanatical militia. They stripped the starving boy of his clothes, beat him, and then raped and mutilated the genitalia of the girl, and went away, leaving them both half dead.Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the children, he passed by on the other side. So too, Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, when he saw the children lying there, he walked on by. And also Denny Burk, professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, when he came to the place and saw them, passed by on the other side.

    But a gay guy in a civil partnership, as he travelled, came to where the children were; and when he saw them, he took pity on them. He went to them and gave them bread and water, and bandaged the girl to stop her bleeding, hugging them both to comfort them. Then he carried the weeping girl and put the boy on his own bicycle, and brought them to a World Vision shelter and took care of them. The next day he took out $100 and donated it to the charity. ‘We must look after them,’ he said, ‘and I’m happy to reimburse World Vision for any lost sponsorship you may have as a result of your employing me.’

    “Which of these do you think was a neighbour to the children who fell into the hands of the fanatical militia?”

    The expert in biblical ethics and Christian standards of sexual morality replied, “The one who showed compassion and sponsored them.”

    Jesus told him in his heart, “Go and do likewise.”

    http://signposts02.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/im-angry-and-disgusted-with-the-us-christian-right/

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      The sad thing is that if the expert talked about above were one of those real anti-gay Christians, they would probably count all the people who passed by as their neighbors, since they were, “speeding them to heaven without the false doctrine that LGBT+ people are not created to be tortured.”

  • Andy

    It really bothers me that they would kowtow to those bigoted donors, but I guess they figured their bottom line would suffer too much. Ugh, so much hate in this world.

  • Guest

    It’s only a matter of time before the word is spread about this filthy man, and then he will be out of business. And thanks to social media, the message will spread like wildfire.

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Joke. This post is a joke.


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