Viacom unleashes PR thunder on San Francisco's press corps

Viacom's legal spat with Google has the media conglomerate cast in copyright-hating, freedom-to-upload-videos-loving Silicon Valley as a mustachio-twirling villain, out to expose YouTube viewers' usernames and IP addresses. Bwahahaha! Benighted flack Jeremy Zweig has been reduced to leaving comments on blogs in response. At last, he's getting some corporate firepower: Zweig and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Sr. are inviting a bunch of tech journalists a screening next Monday of Tropic Thunder, the Ben Stiller action-movie parody coming to theaters next month, and YouTube probably sooner than that. We've seen the invite list, and it left us scratching our heads.

None of the invited reporters, as best we can tell, are film critics. Instead, they cover technology and business. Here's my bet: Most will show up, if only to get facetime with Viacom's CEO, who rarely makes it to northern California. But if Viacom really wanted to offer local hacks a good time, Zweig should have invited Dauman's son, Philippe Jr. For one thing, Philippe Dauman Jr. works at Google, which means he'd have an interesting perspective on the copyright dispute. And the kid knows how to party. Heck, if Junior shows up, we'll skip the movie and go wherever he leads us. We hang out with journalists far too often, and we're sure he's more fun than the lot who'll show up to the screening.

  • Viacom's favorite tech reporters:
  • Miguel Helft, New York Times
  • Elinor Mills, CNET
  • Owen Thomas, Valleywag
  • Jackson West, Valleywag
  • Scott Morrison, Dow Jones Newswires
  • Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
  • Rob Hof, BusinessWeek
  • Mark Hachman, Ziff-Davis
  • John Paczkowski, AllThingsD
  • Mark Glaser, PBS
  • Peter Burrows, BusinessWeek
  • Eric Auchard, Reuters
  • Liz Gannes, GigaOm
  • Brad Stone, New York Times
  • Matt Richtel, New York Times
  • Vindu Goel, San Jose Mercury News
  • Eric Savitz, Barrons
  • Antone Gonsalves, InformationWeek
  • Tom Claburn, CMP
  • George Anders, Wall Street Journal
  • Steve Johnson, San Jose Mercury News