We hadn't been aware of ABC 7 reporter Dan Noyes' investigation into alleged misuse of money meant to help ailing patients at Laguna Honda Hospital instead paying for gourmet perks for administrators.
Now we are. We're also aware that Marc Slavin, the hospital's director of community relations, doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the words "Don't touch me."
We've left messages for Slavin to, bluntly, ask him why he was behaving in this manner. As the above video reveals, he repeatedly pats Noyes over the reporter's strenuous objection. He then gets in Noyes' face baseball umpire style -- except quietly and with a mercurial grin -- and grabs at the camera. He then calls off the town meeting Noyes was attending because of the "disruption" the television reporter and camerawoman caused.
"Do not touch me."
"Can you get your hand off me please?"
"Touch me again I'll call the police. Get your hand off me!"
"Why are you touching me again and again?"
"Just to very gently say hello..."
"I don't like strangers touching me. I don't even know you. ... You don't touch strangers, pal."
(Whispered) "Isn't that weird?"
"You cannot touch the camera!"
"We're fine! Don't be touching us, and don't be touching her. Are you crazy?"
"If you let him stay away from us, we'll be fine."
"You're the one who caused all the problems here, Mike. Mark, Mike? What's your name?"
"Do not touch me again!"
Update, 4:30 p.m.: Slavin replied to our messages querying why he behaved in this manner via the following e-mail:
I don't have much interest in rehashing the exchange with Mr. Noyes. He was intent on disrupting a public meeting rather than scheduling an interview.
Even when we did sit down to speak he summarily disregarded our very
straightforward presentation of the facts regarding the gift fund accounts. (I'd be happy to send send those facts to you as an attachment if you supply your email, or you can find them on lagunahonda.org.)
Mr. Noyes' disregard for the facts -- the clear legality and appropriate use
of the funds -- resulted in an unfortunate report on the air, which obviously supplied more "gotcha" drama than any legitimate examination
of hospital practices.
I understand we're not the first target of Mr. Noyes' bullying tactics, and likely won't be the last.