Friendly neighborhood Discover magazine owner and Penthouse scion Bob Guccione Jr. objects to our recent characterization of his actions in the item "Bob Guccione Jr. Prefers Backdoor Approach to Firing," so he sent us the following letter last week. Though we called the magazine offices while writing the item, which we stand by, and later spoke with a publicist who did not issue an official statement, Guccione would like to say his piece, and who are we to stop him? Since we're all about reader feedback (and self-flagellation), we're reprinting it for your edification:
I just want to point out that your reporter’s half baked attempt to get ahold of me (or anyone else apparently) hardly constitutes a real, journalistically professional attempt to verify facts. And I think it was particularly incumbent on him to do so, since the item was fixed on me personally and obviously designed to ridicule me.
I had nothing to do with placing that ad. I was on vacation in Europe at the time (my CFO placed it). But that would have not been as sexy an item I suppose, so why ruin a story with facts, right? I’ve never been involved in placing an ad looking for staff, although my managers have of course, like managers everywhere. But your item, which was very hurtful to several people here, wouldn’t have been very interesting if it hadn’t, erroneously, implicated me as frivolously toying with people’s careers.
Furthermore, Tina Wooden was never replaced and remains a very valued part of the staff! So there wasn’t a story in the end at all. We have learned, due to that person’s uncontainable pride of authorship, who the source was for the story. Since that person all but wears a “Disgruntled Ex-Employee” t-shirt, I would have thought your journalist would have had some alarm bell, however weak, that would’ve suggested checking the story out.
Good, right? Please send us more reader mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!