Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Townsend REDUX?

WARNING: Bad joke ahead, which may not appeal to the sensitivities and/or tastes of some readers.

Brian Ross and his investigative reporting team over at ABC seem to be having a lot of fun with the developments in their coverage of Jeane Palfrey and her Washington D. C. escort (or, as she prefers to call it, "sexual fantasy") business. I was willing to just treat this as another government sex scandal, whose primary value was one of a slight bit of humorous relief at a time when just about all the other news has been bad. (Even Knut is growing up and losing most of his cuteness, not to mention photo opportunities, in the process!) Nevertheless, Ross and his team managed to grab my attention this morning by appealing to my less prurient interest in organizational communication.

It turns out that the "management" (otherwise known as "Miz Julia") of Ms. Palfrey's business issued a monthly newsletter (although the image provided with the report on the Web suggested that it was actually quarterly) to the "staff" that "offered criticism, beauty advice and warnings about undercover police." Given the American public's insatiable craving for management books, my guess is that Ms. Palfrey should be able to cut herself a good deal for converting her newsletters into a book; and that should provide some well-needed assistance with her anticipated legal expenses. The Web story provides plenty of excerpts for the curious reader. Robert Townsend she ain't; but she at least deserves credit for attributing new semantics to the phrase he made famous: "up the organization!"

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