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  • Ray Rice Fumbles Media Appearance

     

    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice held a media event today to apologize to his team, fans and the public for the notoriety he won when security cameras caught him dragging his unconscious wife from an Atlantic City casino elevator. Rice was accused of knocking his then-fiancee out.

     

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    A court ruling this week means that charges will likely be dropped if he completes a pre-trial intervention program.

    Apparently Rice’s game plan was to speak from the heart today — so he skipped writing out his remarks. Bad plan. We understand that he did not want to sound scripted — but the result was a rambling, disjointed statement that included a couple major blunders.

    In the video you can see Rice periodically look down at notes his mobile phone. Come’on Ray, at least print them out. In between glances at the cell phone he said things like:

    “One thing I can say is that sometimes in life, you will fail. But I won’t call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down; it’s not getting up.”

    Not the best choice of words given the nature of the allegations against him.

    At the end of the session, where Rice wisely took no questions, he invited his wife Janay to say a few words. She said “I do deeply regret the role I played in the incident that night.” That set off alarm bells in the social media from folks who thought having her say that played into the “blame the victim” mindset.

    The Ravens didn’t distinguish themselves either. They live tweeted the whole event giving the appearance that didn’t understand how badly the event was playing out.

    Today’s session was apparently intended to start Rice on the road to public redemption. By being unprepared and improvising his comments, however, it turned into a major fumble.

  • NYT: Ready, Fired, Aim

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    You would think one of the world’s feistier newspapers would have known how to take a punch.  Apparently not.

    The New York Times made news of an unwelcome kind on Wednesday when they sacked their editor, Jill Abramson.  Some reports say that the two parties signed non-disparagement agreements but that hasn’t prevented others in their corners from throwing a few punches.

    It has been widely reported that Abramson was  unhappy because she believes she was paid far less than her male predecessor.  One story in The New Yorker on Thursday reported that the prickly Abramson recently had hired a lawyer to address the issue.  The article, by Ken Auletta, quoted, Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokesperson, as saying: “that there was no real compensation gap”  but conceding that hiring a lawyer  “was a contributing factor” to the firing of Abramson, because “it was part of a pattern.”

    Politico later reported that Murphy had disputed Auletta’s story:

    “I never ‘conceded’ that the issue of a lawyer being brought in to discuss pay was a contributing factor to her firing. It was not, and I never said it was” Murphy said.

    According to Politico, “Murphy says she was instead conceding that Abramson’s decision to hire a lawyer was seen as a hostile act, and part of a pattern of frustration. She says she never stated that it was a factor in the decision to fire her.”

    Seems like a distinction without a difference to us.  All the NYT spokesperson achieved by disputing the account is to draw even more attention to her own remarks.

    Meanwhile Auletta is standing my his story and Abramson’s daughter is circulating the photo above which ended up on the front page of the New York Post.   Looks like the Times has a fight on their hands.

     

     

  • Hotel Tries to De-Escalate Elevator Story

     

     

    In case you missed it, the celebrity gossip site TMZ has a story today about hip-hop entrepreneur Jay-Z receiving some inexplicable hard knocks from his wife’s sister in a hotel elevator.  The video which obviously comes from a security camera (and is linked to the still below) reportedly shows Beyoncé sister, Solange, flailing away at him.

    TMZ

    Normally, what Solange and her brother-in-law do in the privacy of a public elevator would be of no concern to us — but we couldn’t help noticing that the hotel in question — The Standard – tried to do some damage control by putting out a statement.

    That is most likely a necessary step since some hotel employee probably just got a big payday from TMZ.

    The statement said:

    “We are shocked and disappointed that there was a clear breach of our security system and the confidentiality that we count on providing our guests. We are investigating with the utmost urgency the circumstances surrounding the situation and, as is our customary practice, will discipline and prosecute the individuals involved to our fullest capacity.”

    Not bad — except for the phrase:  “…as is our customary practice…”

    That would give readers the impression that it is  The Standard practice for hotel employees to violate guests privacy — and that the upscale lodgings routinely has to discipline and prosecute its employees for similar infractions.

     

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    The Standard High Line Hotel

    h/t PR Newser