My blog post about Michael Jackson's former publicist picked up by NY Times' Media Decoder

Amidst Fond Remembrance, Flack Attacks

A lot of tender pixels got spilled yesterday over the death of Michael Jackson, but Drew Kerr, a New York public relations executive, noticed that there was a clank amidst all the encomiums.

One person that didn’t hold back their axe to grind was Jackson’s former publicist, Michael Levine, who worked with the singer when he was accused of molestation in 1993. Instead of doing the classy thing and taking the high road, he belly-flopped right into the mud.

According to the Associated Press, Levine said: “I must confess I am not surprised by today’s tragic news. Michael has been on an impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years. His talent was unquestionable but so too was his discomfort with the norms of the world. A human simply cannot withstand this level of prolonged stress.”

Mr. Kerr, whose been around the PR game for a while suggested that the social convention of not speaking ill of the dead applies double when he or she happens to be a former client.

Wow. Couldn’t the guy just stick with nice things to say about his former client instead of playing backstabbing armchair shrink?

If you’re a client of Michael Levine, don’t get on his wrong side if you part ways. Guys like this give public relations a bad name, even after you’ve passed on.