Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reporter Fired for Mistakenly Sending a Vulgar and Insensitive Email to P.R. Firm

This is what happens when you send obscene notes via e-mail. They can get you fired.

A reporter at Style Weekly Magazine in Richmond, Va. who was a bit ticked off about a persistent public-relation firm's pitch tried to apparently complain to his editor. But instead Chris Dovi sent it to the public relations firm. The email contained insensitive and vulgar reference to a blind person who is scheduled to make a motivational speech.

Goldman & Associates released the email on its web site:

An obscene e-mail a reporter apparently intended to send to another newsroom staffer at Style Weekly Magazine in Richmond, Va. reveals society’s ongoing prejudice against the disabled. The reporter used the phrase “blind f**ker” (edited here) when describing William Weeks, a blind motivational speaker who will be making his “Brace for Impact” presentation on Feb. 25 in Richmond and on later dates in cities in states across the mid-Atlantic. Mr. Weeks’ seminar focuses on how to overcome adversity, something he has faced since he lost his sight to disease as a child.

In the e-mail, Style Weekly reporter Chris Dovi complained to another employee at the magazine about being contacted several times by a public relations professional at our firm, Goldman & Associates, attempting to interest Style Weekly in covering Mr. Weeks’ presentation. By mistake, he sent the e-mail to our firm. Below is the e-mail with the obscenity edited. The original is available upon media request.

“From: Chris Dovi []
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 11:55 AM
To: Scott
Subject: RE: For Story Idea: Acclaimed Speaker Launches “Brace for Impact” Jobs Tour in Richmond
This guy is trying to kill me. He may be the most tenacious flack of all time. He’s been calling me about this blind f**ker (edited here) for four weeks. I keep telling him I’ll consider it and he keeps calling back. Finally I tell him it’s up to my editor and he still keeps calling back because he can’t get you on the phone. Now he’s back again! He’s making me want to claw my own eyes out in the hopes that if he won’t just get lost, I at least won’t have to look at his press release anymore!”
“This is a sad and telling example of the prejudice that persons with disabilities still face,” Weeks said. “In making this e-mail public, we hope to raise awareness of the very real challenges so many people in America confront every day. We ask that all those who are distressed by this attitude and would like to create some positive momentum to combat this kind of ignorance, please attend the presentation,” which will be 6 - 8 p.m., February 25, Holiday Inn Conference Center, 10800 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, Va. (admission is $30) or visit:

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