Your October 10 article, "America West merge sends US Air comms staff packing," was quite misleading. As any good PR person knows, headlines are not written by the reporter, nor do they always accurately reflect the authenticity of the article. Such was the case here.
The America West team did not send the US Airways communications team "packing," as the headline suggests. Once readers get through the article, they learn that the real reason none of the US Airways people are coming over to the new airline's team has more to do with geography, personal reasons, and other logistics issues. In short, making the move to Phoenix from Washington, DC, was the main reason the US Airways team did not move over. We did not send them packing.
Moreover, I personally view this as a loss, given the professionalism and integrity of the team at US Airways. This is a unit of experienced, terrific communicators who simply have been through a lot over the past three years. They haven't had a lot of good news to share, yet they hung in there and did a superb job through the merger's close, helping to preserve 30,000 jobs in the process.
While communication styles between the two airlines may be different, that doesn't make one right or wrong. Just different. I have nothing but the fondest regards for the US Airways communications team and simply wanted to set the record straight, given your misleading headline.
I speak for the entire communications team at America West - the new US Airways. Still not used to writing that! - when I say that they are wished happy and smooth landings. I know they all have great opportunities ahead of them.
VP, corporate communications
Supreme Court doesn't negate marijuana laws
A major part of our involvement in recent Supreme Court medical marijuana case Gonzales v. Raich involved trying to make sure that the press understood the meaning of the ruling. Your October 3 Analysis story, "Cases before the Supreme Court demand supreme PR," inadvertently illustrated just how tough a job that was.
The high court did not rule that "states could not legalize marijuana for medical purposes," as your story indicated. Rather, it ruled that state medical marijuana laws do not confer protection from federal prosecution.
This might seem like a subtle difference, but in practical terms it's huge. The Raich decision did not overturn the 10 existing state medical marijuana laws, all of which remain in full force and effect, and did not prevent other states from enacting similar laws. It merely maintained the status quo, in which patients protected under state law remain potentially vulnerable to federal prosecution.
While that's definitely unfortunate, one must bear in mind that federal authorities make only 1% of all US marijuana arrests. So these state laws still provide substantial protection
to medical marijuana patients and their caregivers, despite federal hostility.
Director of communications
Marijuana Policy Project