The news — oh, boy

I read the news today, oh, boy.

I actually thought that would be a clever opening. And maybe it is. But a Google search produced more than 300,000 hits. Oh, boy. Clearly, just like when I go to Starbucks, I never seem to be at the beginning of the line.

Yet here are a couple of items that caught my eye as I was scanning the Akron Beacon Journal this morning. All have some lessons involving news media relations.

It appears that Peter Raskind, National City Corp. chief executive, took a pay cut last year — to $3.4 million from $4.6 million in 2006. National City isn’t doing so great these days — and I guess Raskind is feeling the shareholders’ pain. In fact, the Beacon Journal said that Raskind told the Columbus Dispatch that shareholders have a right to be angry about National City’s performance and should hold him and other senior managers accountable. For $3.4 million I’d beg for their mercy and offer to come to their homes and do light cleaning. As usual, I digress. I’ve been banking at National City for 30 years or more. Go figure. (Lesson — when you’re putting $3.4 million in the bank — National City? — don’t try to score points with shareholders and employees who stand to lose a lot and can’t quite figure out how you and the other senior managers created this mess. Take a pay cut that really is significant. In this case, actions really would speak louder than words.)

And then there is Roger Clemens. This guy can’t catch a break. First his personal trainer links him to using steroids. Now “several people who asked not to be identified” said that the Rocket had a decadelong relationship with country singer Mindy McCready. Here’s the fun part:

Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed a long-term relationship, but told the newspaper [the Daily News] it was not sexual.

“He flatly denies having had any kind of an inappropriate relationship with her,” Hardin said. “He’s considered her a close family friend…He has never had a sexual relationship with her.”

Oh, boy. Have we ever heard that before? (Lesson: Once trust and credibility are lost don’t expect people to believe you or rush to your defense.)

And how about Miley Cyrus? One day, apparently, she was happy as could be with a provocative photo of her taken by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. But later the 15-year-old celebrity had second thoughts. According to the Beacon Journal story, Cyrus said Sunday through her publicist: “I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.” (Lesson: Talk to your publicist before you take your clothes off.)

Oh, boy. This will be on the cable news shows for at least the next several weeks. Thankfully the presidential election is over and the troops are home from Iraq. And I tagged this post Miley Cyrus. Don’t know if that means anything. But I sure don’t want to miss out on the media frenzy.

Ah, by the way. Who is Miley Cyrus?

And I couldn’t find references to any of these stories on the Beacon Journal’s Web site. Maybe the Beacon Journal is using its pathetic Web site as a way to keep readers like me buying the printed version.

Oh, boy.


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