BOISE -- The fallout from a recent Comedy Central television episode criticizing Idaho's historic J.R. Simplot Co. could hurt both the company and the state of Idaho, according to local public relations experts.
Part of that episode, which appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart Thursday, was titled "A Simple Plot." The clip featured a fake news report by comedian Asif Maandvi as he "investigated" alleged environmental damages to Idaho's rivers caused by Simplot and overlooked by the EPA and various Idaho politicians.
The Daily Show is one of Comedy Central's top-rated offerings, reaching millions of viewers across the world. What's more, the particular clip is now widely circulating on social media throughout the Treasure Valley and beyond.
At least one local public relations professional told KTVB that while the Simplot clip might be funny, its message could cause big problems for both Simplot and the state of Idaho.
Leigh Ann Dufurrena is an account manager at a local public relations firm. Dufurrena said her firm does not represent Simplot, and her opinions don't reflect her company's stance on the issue.
However, she said those in Boise's public relations community are well aware of the clip.
"I hope they have a crisis communication plan in place," Dufurrena said, reffering to Simplot. "As a huge corporation, I assume they do."
Duffurena says a crisis communication plan is typically a public relations tactic where a company will use a top official as a mouth-piece to deflect bad publicity.
Duffurena also told KTVB she believes the video clip could damage the reputation of Idaho's natural and political landscape as well, saying that those at the Idaho Governor's office, and EPA should also be aware of the implications.
KTVB reached out to both the J.R. Simplot Co. and the Boise EPA office, whose officials were both panned in the show.
A spokesman at the Simplot Company told KTVB that Simplot declined to comment further on the issue. Officials at the Boise EPA office were not available for comment.