Breakfast Briefing, 4.12.2017: Whetstone out at Uber

The former Google executive has left the embattled ride-hailing company as it faces a series of scandals.

Rachel Whetstone exits Uber
Uber’s top communications and public affairs executive, Rachel Whetstone, is departing the company amid a series of reputation crises. The former Google comms executive is leaving after a two-year stint at the ride-hailing startup. Global policy and communications SVP Jill Hazelbaker is replacing her. Sources told Recode that Whestone had a "lack of appetite for even more drama" before stepping down.

Chinese social media not satisfied with United response
Social media networks in China are not happy with United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz’s third statement, and first real apology, about why a passenger was dragged from his seat during a Sunday flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. #UnitedAirlinesforcespassengeroffplane has been the top trending topic on Weibo for the past two days, according to CNBC. Social media users in the country believe re-accomodated passenger David Dao of Kentucky was targeted because he is Asian-American, according to CBS News. PRWeek: United Airlines needs to do better. Bloomberg: United’s Munoz goes from savior to man on the hot seat real fast. New York Times: How technology has failed to improve your airline experience. Update: Munoz appearred on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning and again apologized for the incident, saying he "felt shame" when he saw the video of Dao being dragged off a flight.

Spicer apologizes for extra-clumsy Hitler comparison
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went on CNN Tuesday evening to apologize for his what-the-hell-was-he-thinking? statement from that day’s press briefing comparing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler—during Passover of all times. Spicer told the network he "made a mistake and didn’t want to be a distraction to the president’s agenda." The Atlantic: How Sean Spicer flubbed the Holocaust on Passover.

What fortuitous timing! O’Reilly announces vacation
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said Tuesday night that he’s taking a long-planned vacation, with plans to return to the air on April 24. The time off comes as dozens of advertisers are boycotting The O’Reilly Factor after The New York Times reported five women were paid $13 million in settlements after accusing O’Reilly of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior. While The O’Reilly Factor’s ratings continue to be strong, the amount of paid advertising on the show has been cut in half since the story broke, according to the Associated Press.

Trump sits for Fox Business interview
President Donald Trump told the network’s Maria Bartiromo that the U.S. military is "not going into Syria" and blamed Russia for causing problems in the country by backing its regime. Trump also chatted with the New York Post and made eyebrow-raising comments about top aide Steve Bannon, downplaying his role in the 2016 campaign. Bannon was the campaign’s CEO. 

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