While many shots have been fired from blogs and news organizations over Oprah’s decision to align herself with KFC and give away free chicken dinners, the loudest cannons of all from PETA have yet to fire. In fact, the animal rights organizations has been oddly silent on the issue — which is largely surprising considering their usual snappy media retaliations.
There are two ways to potentially look at this. One, the PR team is attempting to gracefully protest Oprah’s decision while also suffering a hit with their naming her their “2008 Person of the Year“. The marketing blitz that PETA is currently engaged in to force KFC to improve the conditions of its suppliers’ factory farms is definitely taking a direct shot from this promotion. If someone other than Oprah had done something similar, I would bet the cannons would have been firing within hours.
Which leads me to my second point: This is Oprah. One of the most powerful media personalities (and individuals in general) in the world. My guess is they’re trying to figure out how not to piss her off — which could come back to haunt the group in various ways. If they slam her, they risk the wrath of her massive audience. If they go easy on her, they risk backlash from animal rights supporters. Of course, saying nothing doesn’t necessarily help your cause either.
[UPDATE: PETA has responded.]