Retired Telco PR Exec Who Sent XYZ Corp. Letter To FCC Insists He Wrote It

from the uh-huh... dept

We've already written about how a former PR exec from what became AT&T has been outed as the guy who sent a letter to the FCC where he forgot to take out the boilerplate XYZ Organization that was almost certainly left there by the AT&T lobbyists who wrote the letter for him. However, one of our commenters noted that MediaPost spoke to the guy, Bob Sells, who insists that he wrote the letter with the XYZ part included:
Sells, a 77-year-old retired public relations executive in Little Rock, tells MediaPost that he often writes letters with placeholders and fills in the correct text later, but overlooked the reference to XYZ in this case.
Really? I'm really trying to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but I can't come up with a single explanation for why he would write "XYZ Organization" when writing a letter himself from a group of people he supposedly represents. If you're the one writing the letter, on behalf of your supposed organization, why would you include "XYZ Organization"?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Griff (profile), Oct 27th, 2009 @ 5:06am

    Can't a guy represent more than 1 group ?

    Suppose this guy legitimately represents several groups. He writes 1 form letter then sends it 3 times, each wearing a different "hat".

    I do marketing for several clients. If there was a legislative issue that affected them I might write to my representative from each of them. And if I was really lazy I might re-use some of the letter.
    In addition to replacing boilerplate text I'd probably reword a few paragraphs too...

    But if I was 77 I woudl reserve the right to have a senior moment and forget to replace something.

    I'm not saying that I believe this for a minute in this case - simply that if you, Mike, cannot think of a single scenario where the guy might be telling the truth then you have a fairly limited imagination.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    John Doe, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 6:11am

    Of course he did

    It is the old "I meant to do that" defense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    iamtheky (profile), Oct 27th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    Please note the exact sameness of Senate Minority Leader Kim Hendren and state representative Fred Allen. Again, all posted in the span of 2 days, so someone gave a very impassioned net neutrality speech to the lawmakers in Arkansas. Though I like the DNC connections, and i would prefer our former democrat turned republican senate minority leader be the mastermind over the retired realtors husband. /ecfs2/document/view?id=7020141314

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    I do stuff like this all the time. Since I usually have to write a person's name multiple times in a document, easiest to do this, then a search and replace when done with the document. Only have to type the full name once.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Xyro TR1 (profile), Oct 27th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Any kid with Microsoft Word can use the Find and Replace functionality better than he did... and you would think that someone that was so experienced in the industry would be better at lying. :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    interval, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    One ex-friend of mine who loved to play the field explained one of his problem-avoiding tactics with his girlfriends was to, during conflict, "...deny, deny, deny, even when the truth is obvious, never stop denying. If she's tied you to a stake and is pouring on the gasoline, never stop denying. As they slap you in cuffs and take you away, never stop denying."

    Sounds like AT&T has the same play book.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    MrGullible, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 8:28am

    I believe him

    Maybe he was captured by aliens and just before he hit send THEY put in XYZ Corporation to fool everybody.

    It could have happened that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 9:14am


    This is by far the stupidest explanation for this I have read to date, WTF would you write one thing MANY TIMES just to FIND AND REPLACE with ANOTHER??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    XYZ is much shorter than The Happy Fun Co. Ltd. Inc. of South Western America, All Rights Reserved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    What do you expect?

    He's a PR hack: he forgot what the truth was so long ago he can no longer recognize it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    ike, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    I use placeholders all the time when I don't know the exact name or spelling of something or if I know something is missing and I don't want to interrupt my train of thoughts.

    That said, I don't believe him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.