Notoriously Litigious Sexual Harrasser Cablevision CEO Jimmy Dolan Would Rather Us Not Discuss His Penis

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So, you're in the corporate communications department of a very big company whose chairman has a reputation for being so aggressive with the press as to invoke comparisons to swatting flies with hammers. Something not nice is written about your boss in a very concise, if generally cheeky and/or obscene, manner. There are three ways to handle this situation:

1. Don't do anything. It's not like the blogger wrote anything that was factually incorrect. Sending the blogger and the blogger's boss a vaguely intimidating e-mail and pairing it with a phone call that will only serve to solidify your boss's reputation as (notoriously litigious and) unnecessarily hostile with the press will probably just provoke the blogger into writing another item about it. Why waste the time, really? You could explain to your employer that this is small fry, and thus, not really something you should bother with. Which would be accurate. Sometimes, strong ideas that maybe make sense get spoken aloud or even written. It happens. Move forward.

2. Send the blogger and the writer's bosses a vaguely intimidating e-mail and pair it with a phone call in which you explain to the writer's boss that you felt the item went "over the line" and that lawyers are looking into it to see if they find it "defamatory," and ask that they take the item down. Now. Because who're you to let that kind of thing stand?

3. Laugh at the item. Because it's true, and, as far as dick jokes go, nothing groundbreaking, but still, fairly decent.

Guess which one Cablevision chose?

Yesterday we wrote an item about Rainbow Media/Cablevision's rumored pending purchase of local blog network Gothamist. And last night, representatives of the (notoriously litigious) Jimmy Dolan contacted us in response to it. Not with one, or two, but three separate e-mails, all like this:

From: Kimberly Kerns Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:11:30 -0400 To: Tony Ortega Cc: Charlie Schueler Subject: Please call regarding Blog Posting on Cablevision

Tony --

Can you please call one of us at Cablevision regarding the following line, which appears in a Blog posting titled: BlogBeat: Gothamist Sells Out to Cablevision, James Dolan Presumably Excited to Ruin Another News Outlet [By Foster Kamer on Monday, Mar. 22 2010 @ 4:45PM]

"Wonder how Dobkin's gonna feel with Jimmy Dolan's cock in his mouth?"

Thanks.
Kim Kerns
VP, Corporate Communications

Contacts:
Charlie Schueler, EVP, Media Relations -- 516-[Redacted]
Kim Kerns, VP, Media Relations -- 516-[Redacted]

That said, as a guy who was once named as a defendant in an employee's high-profile (and ultimately successful) sexual harassment lawsuit, Dolan should understand the difference between what one could and could not get away with when discussing things like where one puts one's penis. And thankfully, there's no law that's going to force us to take Jimmy Dolan's figurative cock out of anyone's mouth. Least of all ours.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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