Monday, November 28, 2005

'off the record' in a crowd?

Not possible, as proven most recently by a Time Warner event last week featuring Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. At the program's start, the organizers told the audience of 100 executives and journalists that comments made would be "off the record," or not for publication. The New York Daily News and New York Post both followed up with articles quoting Scalia's views as expressed in the meeting, prompting an angry response from the company. Even odder: At least one reporter was told privately that Time Warner expected reporters to write about the meeting, and Scalia was said to have no complaints. We say: Don't speak it in front of a crowd, a microphone or even a single person if you don't want to see it later in a newspaper....and get your ground rules straight before you go marching out in public. For training on handling public and media situations -- and a primer on when you are and are not on the record -- contact Denise Graveline at

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