May 28, 2024

5W Public Relations: 5W PR Blog

Public Relations Insights from Top PR Firm 5W Public Relations

CBS VP is out after Vegas shooting comments



Sometimes, all it takes is shooting your mouth off at the wrong time to permanently wreck your career. These days, though, it doesn’t even take that. You can harpoon an otherwise promising career path with a single social media post.

It happens all the time, week after week after week. And yet, people who should know better, continue to make the same mistake, Consider the case of Haley Geftman-Gold, a CBS Vice President and senior counsel. Well, we should say “former” VP and senior counsel. She has been terminated for making what anyone – especially a high-level attorney – should have known was a very stupid comment.

Social Media Doomsday

After the horrific massacre in Las Vegas, Geftman-Gold took to social media to express her comments about the tragedy. First, she said the victims didn’t deserve sympathy because country music fans are often Republican.

That may have been enough to earn her the ax, but she continued to dig herself deeper into a very public hole.

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered, I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing… I’m actually not even sympathetic because country music fans often are Republican gun-toters…”

CBS Makes a Quick Call

CBS was quick to put distance between their brand and the attorney, releasing the statement that says, in part: “This individual, who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS. Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families…”

More PR Insights  Why You Should Consider a Public Relations Internship at 5WPR

While many on the initial thread expressed support for Geftman-Gold’s comments, complaining about gun control and the politicizing of the issue when so many were dead, once the message spread beyond that particular group, things went decidedly against the attorney.

Many who saw the comments expressed rage. Some blamed “liberal media” in general, and this narrative took hold. CBS had to move quickly to avoid being tarred and feathered by the rage the initial comments generated.

So, as it turned out, the attorney, who started at CBS in September of 2016, made it just over a year before her comments turned her continued employment into too volatile a PR football for the network to carry. Once again, the attorney should have known better … and she is not alone. These days, every time I see something like this, one of my first questions is, “When will they learn?” followed by, “I wonder who will be next?”