A few weeks ago, I wrote a fairly critical post entitled “Lou Capozzi: Why the World Thinks America Sucks.”
The post was based upon a podcast recorded with Mr. Capozzi, Chairman Emeritus of Publicis Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group, by Eric Schwartzman of “On the Record.”
I knew that I was stating some views that were likely to get people fired up, so I a) sent an email to the organization that Mr. Capozzi was representing in the podcast, Business for Diplomatic Action, as well as to a former colleague at Fleishman-Hillard who is on the board a well as to Eric Schwartzman. My hope in doing so was to state that a) the post is there so you may as well read it, and b) provide contact information in case anyone took exception with it and wanted to respond.
On November 10, I got a brief email from Cari Guittard of Business for Diplomatic Action:
Thanks for sending, CEG
Cari E. Guittard
Business for Diplomatic Action
Sent by GoodLink (www.good.com)
And I thought it was done.
Not so fast.
Yesterday, I received a comment (posted here as well) from Mr. Capozzi, Chairman Emeritus of Publicis Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group, which I have posted in its entirety:
Let me address your comments, Lou.
- Mr. Capozzi says: “By now I guess it’s safe to say almost nobody saw this, since I have had no reaction from anyone other than the email you sent to BDA.”My response: So the presumption is that since only one person sent it to you, no one else read it? What about the comments from some of the most respected voices in the social media space, like Jason Falls, Geoff Livingston and even Eric Schwartzman himself? And I assure you, Mr. Capozzi, that this was the highest ranked post I have ever done in terms of page views. And that’s not counting others who commented about it in Twitter. Stating that no one saw it because you got it from one source is, a best, not factual. It is at worst, wishful thinking.
- Mr. Capozzi says: “Your post reminds me of the kind of comments you hear from right-wing talk show hosts talking about books they haven’t read, based on the title and the author!” My response: This is the one that really has me scratching my head. Mr. Capozzi, if you had read my post carefully, you would have noted that I state, before almost anything else, the following: “Eric interviewed Lou on about his luncheon keynote at the PRSA International Conference on restoring America’s connections with the world. This took place in Detroit at the end of October. So, caveat #1: I was not there to hear the speech and #2) Mr. Capozzi was presumably limited in the amount of time that he had on Eric’s show.” I lobbed criticism, and when you live in a glass house, you have to expect people to throw stones. But at least have your facts straight. When I state, even using the word “caveat” that I was not at the PRSA conference, but was writing about the podcast itself, it seems pretty clear, I would think, even to the uninterested observer THAT I WAS NOT AT THE CONFERENCE. I based my comments on the interview itself (pretty clear) that was posted AFTER the conference.
- Mr. Capozzi says: “It’s pretty clear you weren’t there to hear my talk, because if you had you would never have written this.“My response: The answer is pretty clear from my last response, but let me say this, Mr. Capozzi: I listened to your interview with Eric three times while writing this post. IF THERE IS ONE QUOTE, ONE SYLLABLE, THAT IS FACTUALLY INCORRECT, ONE WORD THAT YOU DID NOT SAY, contact me and I will take it down. You can’t claim that you were misquoted in an autobiography.
- Mr. Capozzi says: It’s also apparent you didn’t bother to visit the BDA website, http://www.businessfordiplomaticaction/com, because you would have found the large body of research behind the presentation.”
My response: I am getting carpal tunnel correcting what is a firm grasp of the obvious. You’ll note that I link to the BDA Web site in the post, so clearly I have visited it. I got Cari Guittard‘s contact information from the Web site, so of course I have visited it. I saw that a former colleague on mine at Fleishman-Hillard was on the board and emailed him. All of which give a pretty good indication that I have been on the site.And finally, if you are going to criticize me for not visiting the site, the least you could do it offer the proper URL. It’s” http://www.businessfordiplomaticaction.com “not ” http://www.businessfordiplomaticaction/com“
And since we are about correcting the record, did you or did you not say:
- Customs officers are “very threatening…foreboding” and that is one of the reasons why people don’t like to come to America?
- “Picture the guy in Bermuda shorts with a camera and his hat turned to the side walkin’ down the Champs Elysee. We just aren’t as sensitive as we need to be to the way that we conduct ourselves’?
- “There is a broad perception out there that globalization has been fueled by America…Our reputation is really in trouble,” when you work for a global public relations and communications firm who has benefited from globalization?
The bottom line is this: no one likes begin criticized. I get it. Troll this blog for people who think that I am full of it. But I expected a little more from someone who is the Chairman Emeritus of Publicis Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group and has spent 40 years in the public relations industry than being called a “right wing radio talk show host” and for “shoot[ing] [my] mouth off without bothering to do the research first.”
I did the research, Lou. It’s all above.
Maybe you should too — and might I suggest by going back and reading the original post.