The Houston Press got a press release today regarding Cinergy Health, and the flack offered to put us in touch with the president, who was described as a "very smart entrepreneurial CEO." And here's why that's funny: the Press just ran a cover story on Cinergy Health's dubious marketing of "limited health insurance," and Cinergy let the lawsuit threats fly before even one word was written.
Today's press release came from NYC-based 5WPR, headed by a colorful character named Ronn Torossian, who threatened to sue the Press, and writer Craig Malisow, if we wrote anything that would besmirch the fine, fine name that Cinergy Health has worked so hard to build.
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And what was the Press doing to besmirch Cinergy? Well, apparently, even the simple act of asking if the company was an insurance agency or an underwriter was enough to make Ronn's blood boil. So we wonder why Ronn didn't let his poor new flack know not to bother e-mailing the Press, since it's a paper that's not into writing blowjob puff-pieces, especially when the flack starts threatening you off the bat.
Ronn has a problem, apparently, with asking too many questions, even if the questions are based on public records. But Ronn doesn't mind spouting off himself, such as the time the Atlantic Monthly quoted him as saying "I think we should kill a hundred Arabs or a thousand Arabs for every one Jew they kill," or for titling an e-mail to 5WPR's human-resources manager "YOU STUPID CUNT." 5WPR was also accused of -- and later copped to, in a backhanded way -- impersonating other people on blog comments (including a freaking rabbi! That's chutzpah!)
For an amusing rundown of Ronn's inimitable approach to PR, check out Gawker's collection -- especially the one about a website created solely to accuse Ronn of being a douchebag.
We just hope the nice, perfectly innocent flack who e-mailed today's press release won't be called a "stupid cunt," or suffer any other punishment. After all, maybe when Ronn was giving her the Cinergy account, he could've given her a heads-up. But we guess you don't get to be one of the most amusing flacks in NYC by sticking to stodgy rules -- you blaze your own path, even if that path means...well, just read the Gawker stuff.