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January 25, 2012

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I wouldn't say you're an asshole. But you're definitely a shit-disturber. Something we have far, far, far too few of in our field.

I was an IABC DC Metro chapter Board member during that period when IABC was on the verge of collapse due to stupid mismanagement and lack of oversight. Frankly, the only way our chapter Board knew anything about it all was from my reading Ragan coverage that I shared.

I know and love John Clemons, and am happy to see him in this role. But I completely agree that IABC is consistently unprepared for scrutiny and as a culture often fails to practice the open communications that so many of our speakers preach to cheers. That's true at chapter and International level.

So please, keep asking questions and sharing the answers and digging when the answers are vague, incomplete and evasive. Some of us 500 Club members who bailed IABC out in the bad times still believe in its value if it can be kept on track.

It seems to me this whole "mini-fiasco" could have been avoided if you had gone to the top of the association (Cropley) first instead of going to your buddies who clearly either didn't know everything that was going on or didn't feel they were in a position to speak to it, on or off the record.

I think this is much ado about nothing. And I especially think John's business really is John's business. Do we really need to know why he left Raytheon? Isn't that a private matter? It's not like he's an elected public official or that any IABC member's funds are affected by that aspect of the story one way or another.

I'm no fan of IABC these days, but I don't see what the big deal is.

I think this may be the longest post I've seen from you in a very long time.

Obviously, the most titillating piece of the article was this:

"I know. I am an asshole. Recognizing this too, Cropley moved for a phone call. Which we had, yesterday. And of course on the phone, I was much less of an asshole. Cropley was nicer, too."

I recognize that in myself too (it really *is* much easier to be an asshole behind a keyboard) -- thank God that we know have iPads with built in 4G connections, so we we're not stuck having to play nice when we can't be home with our laptops.

It's possible I missed the point of your post :P


Tru dat, Chris. It is long, and it is assholeish.

And still, I think the exchange between Adrian and me--namely, his surprise and initial annoyance at having these questions thrust upon him in non-IABCniceynice language--was the point of this piece, and why I published it.

I don't blame Adrian, or any of the other players here, for being surprised to be asked such questions; they thought they'd been clear enough about the leadership situation ... and this is the first time a reporter has called them in four years!

As a result of this little dust-up, we're all awake again, and I'm corresponding with IABC's PR people who I never new existed, and we're planning to meet in Chicago so I can interview everyone (including the new executive director) for a "State of IABC" story that I used to do every year.

Meanwhile, I've heard from a number of longtime IABCers who have said they've missed Ragan's coverage of IABC, which they relied on for news during the big crisis that befell the organization a decade ago.

Could all of that have been achieved had I not printed this insanely overlong piece, which portrays assholeism in all its assholeish subtlety?

I don't think so.

Sure it could have. It could have gone something like this:

David calls IABC's PR manager.

David: "Hi, it's David Murray with Writing Boots. I was thinking, it's been a long time since I've covered IABC like I used to when I was a reporter at Ragan. Given the change in executive leadership and looking ahead to the Conference, I'd like to do that again."

IABC: "OK."

Really, David. This is much ado about nothing. Assholeism is way overrated.

@David -- Oh, I wasn't commenting on the length. I was making a funny that - to me - the most important thing I got was how easy it is for us to be assholes :)

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