It's time once again for the Media Guy Media Studies Pop Quiz -- Almost End of Summer Edition. All books and papers off your desk. Now, people!
An algorithm change at Klout, the social-media influence-measuring firm, recently resulted in the downgrading of the Klout score of singer Justin Bieber to a mere 92 (down from his previously perfect 100) -- which means President Barack Obama, whose Klout score just jumped to 99, is now considered to be more "influential" than the pop star. How did Bieber respond?
A. He fired his chief of staff, shook up his cabinet, and recalled his ambassador to Syria.
B. He accused President Obama of running a "campaign of division and anger and hate."
C. He held a press conference in which he clarified his economic policy—"Baby, take a chance or you'll never ever know, I got money in my hands that I'd really like to blow"—and outlined an ambitious new program of entitlements: "Swag swag swag on you, chillin' by the fire while we eatin' fondue."
The runaway book publishing phenomenon of the summer -- and the year -- is :
A. "50 Shades of Grey ," CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's illustrated book of hair-care tips.
B. "50 Shades of Gay," CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's coming-out memoir.
C. "50 Shades of Heyyyy," CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's collection of his favorite Instagram photos from his recent Croatian vacation with Andy Cohen and Kelly Ripa.
One of the Obama campaign's obsessions this summer has been Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital, the controversial investment firm he founded. Romney insists that he left Bain in 1999, but SEC paperwork filed by the company shows that he held onto his CEO title and drew a salary until 2002. Why does it matter when he left?
A. Because if Romney was still in charge after 1999, that means he was involved in Bain's controversial practice of killing puppies using offshore puppy-killing mills -- and then baptizing the puppies into doggy Mormonism post-mortem.
B. Because Fox network paperwork, as well as a signed affidavit by Waylon Smithers, proves that Romney's supposed successor at Bain, Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns, continued to serve as the chief executive of the Springfield Nuclear Power after 1999 -- and, in fact, continues to run the controversial energy plant to this day. He couldn't possibly be doing both jobs... could he?
C. You know, it seemed like it mattered, but now the media has "retroactively retired" the issue in favor of obsessing over Joe Biden's "back in chains" quote.
If there were a question about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in this quiz, would you boycott it and just skip to the next question on principle?
B. Hello?! Anybody there?
Hey, did someone just take the letter "C" that was right here? Geez, people. Really? Looting already?
Desperate to keep pace with Mitt Romney's fundraising, the Obama campaign launched an initiative this summer called the "Event Registry," which was somehow supposed to convince engaged couples to request Obama 2012 donations from their guests in lieu of wedding gifts. What other fundraising schemes has the Obama campaign inflicted on selfless donors?
A. The "Obamacare Registry," wherein health-care beneficiaries can decline life-saving medical procedures and leave their estates to the Obama campaign in hastily drawn-up wills.
B. The "How Many Jewish Mothers Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb Registry," wherein Jewish moms who answer "That's okay, I'll just sit here in the dark" are encouraged to donate the amount that they save on their electricity bills to the Obama campaign.
C. The "If You're Not Going to Finish That Sandwich Registry," wherein Obama supporters are encouraged to sell their leftovers to friends and coworkers, and then use the proceeds to make donations of $3 or more to the Obama campaign.
Earlier this summer "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both announced that they're leaving the show. Mariah Carey is set to replace J.Lo, but who is rumored to be replacing Tyler?
A. McKayla "Not Impressed" Maroney
B. Ryan "Pees In The Pool" Lochte
C. Suri Cruise
Facebook once again courted controversy earlier this summer by automatically shifting everyone's default email addresses to Facebook addresses without clearly warning users that they were going to be doing so. What other sneaky stuff has Facebook been up to lately?
A. What you don't know is that they've substituted CafeWorld instant coffee for your regular blend.
B. What you don't know is that they've replaced your real life with an all-consuming black-hole-like simulation of your banal existence as filtered through an emotionally unsatisfying, surface-skimming barrage of status updates and likes.
C. What you don't know (yet) is that they're starting to replace the Facebook you're used to with an overwhelming MySpace-like jumble that is supposed to suck you deeper in, but will actually only end up repelling you in the end.
KEY: The correct answer is A -- unless it's B or C.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.