AND THE WINNER IS….
“No one is frustrated. No one is anguished,” said David Axelrod, former chief campaign strategist of the Obama presidential campaign. Is it too early to pick on the incoming Administration? Nah…despite being at the helm of the incredibly successful Presidential campaign, Mr. Axelrod needs a reminder about being quoted. His full quote, commenting on discussions with Sen. Hillary Clinton about the position of Secretary of State, was “This is a great example of when there’s a vacuum, the vacuum gets filled with a lot of speculation and hyperbole. No one is frustrated. No one is anguished. She’s obviously a talented public servant and someone who’d enhance any team.” The quote was perfect without the two negative phrases.
CBS, “Obama Advisors to Public: Temper expectations,” Nov. 21, 2008
“We weren’t trying to be insensitive,” said a spokesperson for a Glendale, Calif. shopping mall, Americana at Brand, which set off fireworks even as the surrounding neighborhoods were in flames.The shopping center argued that the celebration was scheduled weeks before as part of a Christmas tree lighting. Last time we looked, trees were just plugged in, not exploded. The fireworks part should have been canned.
LATimes.com, “Fireworks during a Fire?” Nov. 17, 2008
WRONG THING TO DO… AND SAY
General Motors asked the Federal Aviation Administration not to allow the media to track where its fleet of leased corporate aircraft was flying. “We availed ourselves of the option as others do to have the aircraft removed” from a Federal Aviation Administration tracking service," said Greg Martin, a GM spokesman in an interview. He declined to discuss why GM made the request.Just as flying to Washington, D.C., on three corporate aircraft to ask Congress for $25 billion in taxpayer money sent the wrong message, this move says “we don’t want you to know what we’re doing.” There are good reasons for corporate executives to travel privately, but the spokesman should have cited those – security, confidentiality of business strategy and efficiency.
Bloomberg, “GM Asks U.S. FAA to Bar Public Tracking of Leased Corporate Jet,” Nov. 27, 2008
“[They’re] not quick to pull the trigger on a national level like this,” said David Curtis, a Dallas lawyer who represents employers in labor and employment cases, about a lawsuit filed by the Communication Workers of America against AT&T Inc. The lawsuit claims the company was not living up to collective bargaining agreements.The use of the gun “trigger” analogy probably wasn’t the best. While no one expects the union violence seen in India to occur in the U.S., given big labor’s extreme wish list for the next Congress, another word might have been better. AT&T did a good job with its statement in response, saying, “Many of the allegations are inaccurate. Some are simply preposterous,” and taking the opportunity to remind workers they enjoyed “a strong cooperative relationship” and that they “intend to continue that relationship and to provide (well)-paying union jobs despite this lawsuit.”
The Dallas Business Journal, “Media union sues over AT&T Clash,” Nov. 21, 2008
“It’s far from a mess,” said a spokesperson for the movie studio of “Australia” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. And, in a contender for ”understatement of the year,” the spokesman added that no one had seen the picture “other than Oprah’s (Winfrey) audience.” Hardly a ringing endorsement, even if the screened version was a “rough, unfinished print.”
WENN News, “Australian Bosses Deny Dispute with Luhrmann,” Nov. 13, 2008
RIGHT THING TO DO… AND SAY
Comes from former UBS executives, Marcel Ospel, Stephan Haeringer and Marco Suter, who announced they would forego pay due them after the bank reported $50 billion in losses and an even greater sum of support from the Swiss government. “I realized that decisive action was required on my part, and I hope that my action will help resolve a situation that was inconceivable to me until a short time ago,” said Ospel in a statement. He gets it. Despite the fact that they might have been forced to give the money back anyway, being proactive goes a long way to shoring up faith in the values of business leaders.
The New York Times, “Remorseful Ex-Officials Decline Pay from UBS,” Nov. 26, 2008
"I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model,” said former NFL player Michael Vick while he was being sentenced by a state court judge. It was part of a deal to obtain early release from prison after being convicted of dogfighting charges which shocked the nation because of the brutality.Expect to see Vick back. Dan Shannon, assistant director of PETA, signaled that the activist group could look favorably on such a high profile reformed abuser said Vick “must speak out against dogfighting as someone who ‘participated in dogfighting and saw it ruin everything he built for himself and take away all his fame, all his fortune, all of his respect.’”
Fox Sports, “Vick Pleads Guilty in Va. Case: Early release next?” Nov. 26, 2008
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