CHRIS KAYE, Hamptons' society columnist, Country magazine
She's handled this poorly. The Hamptons have long been considered
consequence-free, a place where the NYC social set can go for a weekend
of vulgar debauchery and leave the mess for the natives to clean up.
Having Howard Rubenstein say "she feels she did nothing wrong" is a big
mistake. Ms. Grubman's actions aggregate and aggravate the area's
hot-button issues (loud, fire-code violating clubs; drunk driving;
relentless traffic; spoiled brats in fancy cars; etc.), wrapping them
into one easy-to-prosecute package. With a stunning display of apathy,
Grubman has proven the point of local residents and become their poster
child for bad behavior. Instead of hiring Rubenstein to do her dirty
work, she should disappear from Southampton until her court date and do
something bold, like visiting the people she injured to personally
apologize. At this point, her actions make you wonder who her clients
are: Conscience Point or Southampton natives.
Ann Higgins, STC Associates, New York
I have been extremely dismayed by the coverage. Although I don't believe
Ms. Grubman has handled this matter well, I do believe she is being
vilified by the popular press. The New York Daily News has referred to
her as a "flack" on numerous occasions and continually refers to her
wealth both directly and indirectly. For example, they've used phrases
like high-priced attorney and Mercedes-Benz SUV. Why not just say
attorney and SUV? In many cases, they make a point of showcasing her
wealth in an effort to influence their readers. It's hack journalism at
its worst. On the other hand, I'm dismayed at how this reflects on our
profession as a whole in light of the coverage, her conduct and,
unfortunately, Howard Rubenstein's actions on her behalf. It's a sad
situation for all concerned.
Louise Cassano, President, PR Professionals of Long Island, Principal,
LuCas Communications, NY
Lizzie Grubman's first line of defense was evasion. No physical presence
means no tests for evidence of DUI, if such possibility existed. Her
next-day apology could have been a good tactic had it not been followed
by a battery of lame excuses.
Her lawyers need to get out the truth and deal with it. Lies are as
transparent as the gossamer web upon which Lizzie's short lived career
has been woven.
Legal problems aside, Lizzie has to deal with the impressions she has
made. She'll need to overcome the alleged "white trash" remarks. Such
pejoratives don't bode well with the Hamptons crowd, who will be
challenged to prove it's Lizzie who has to drag herself out from under
the trash heap. If Lizzie Grubman still chooses a PR career, she needs
to learn to put her clients before her ego. PR is not about the
practitioner. It's all about the client.
Adam Nelson, Workhouse Publicity, New York
Not since the Sweet Smell of Success has the PR game been subjected to
such dark commentary. The headlines blare: "Daddy's little girl tries to
win with spin" and "case full of politics." It's a beehive of bad
judgement with no end in sight. How's Lizzie handling the incident?
Apologetically. Is the circulating anger derived from the idea that
she'll get off? Absolutely! In our justice system no one's above injury.
The real question is will she end up earning more money than penalty?
You betcha. In his upcoming book, former Peggy Siegal employee Kevin
Starace says, "In our society media outweighs, precludes or determines
justice. That is not the purpose of media. That is not the function of
justice." As a media professional, the rules of my trade demand
integrity. In Grubman's case, I fear money, not integrity, will prevail.