I’m sorry, publicists, but it’s a reporter’s job to have a contentious relationship with you. If you really like the reporters you’re working with, you’re doing a bad job. And we know it. Which is why if you ever try to do what the following flack did, we will freak the fuck out and come as close to punching you in the face as we possibly can, and then we will wreak havoc upon whatever press line you’re trying to get us to toe.
Via AgencySpy, Dan Noyes, a reporter from San Fransisco’s ABC-7, was trying to speak with the hospital director at Laguna Honda, a hospital ABC-7 notes as one servicing “some of the city’s poorest residents” that the TV station recently investigated after using public records to find that the hospital had spent thousands of dollars out of a public gift fund – intended for patients – on themselves. They sent out their reporter to speak with the hospital director at their “town hall”-style meeting, and their flack tried to get the reporter to back down.
And flacks across America, learn your lesson: this is how you turn a local story into a national story. You fucking try to touch us.
Marc Slavin – the guy you see touching ABC-7’s Noyes in the video – released the following statement after ABC-7’s first story came out:
The city Controller’s Office has reviewed the hospital’s practices and confirmed today that gift fund donations are spent for the intended purposes and consistent with city law.
• However, to prevent any confusion, the Controller has recommended that the hospital create a completely separate account to accept gifts for staff development and training.
• We will follow the recommendations. Until a separate fund for staff support is established, we will not draw out any money for purposes other than patient care.
• Please be assured that, unless you have expressly requested that your donation be designated for staff support, it has been used for the care and comfort of Laguna Honda residents.
What this means is that the “gift fund” wasn’t legally earmarked for patients, so previous to this, Laguna Honda could take money that was intended for patients (but not technically) and spend it on themselves, which they did. While patients in their hospital likely suffered without the money that was intended for them. And in the video above, you can see a crook trying to get a literal hand on the situation when he sees it getting out of his control, which it will hopefully spin further, as the next thing this person and these people should be manhandling are unemployment benefits. Fuckin’ creep.