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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Who Loved the Creepy Way Hospital Flack Marc Slavin Touched Dan Noyes? This Guy!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 1:59 PM

click to enlarge Ronn Torossian
  • Ronn Torossian
The bizarre confrontation last month between local investigative TV reporter Dan Noyes and Laguna Honda Hospital public-relations man Marc Slavin has attracted a lot of attention among media-news junkies. No mystery there: It's one of the wackier exchanges between flackdom and the Fourth Estate ever captured on tape.

For the most part, this wasn't exactly good attention. Both Noyes and Slavin come off as extremely odd birds -- Noyes for his rampant aversion to physical contact ("You don't touch strangers, pal!") and Slavin for his stubborn persistence in laying hands on Dan Noyes. Watch the video after the jump and see if you're not unsettled.

Well, it turns out that Slavin has the support of at least one self-professed media-relations expert: Ronn Torossian, whom Gawker recently dubbed an "incompetent superflack." Torossian comes to Slavin's aide in an article posted online today, asserting, "The PR pro appears to be doing his job." Huh? Torossian's reasoning, in his own words:

-- "...sometimes PR agencies (although we don't often discuss it) are hired to keep our clients out of the media or deflect negative stories. We believe clients often hire us to protect them from the media, much as they would hire an attorney to protect them in legal proceedings."

-- "The PR pro appears to be doing his job: He didn't raise his voice and, to my eyes, did all he could to deflect the reporter's attention to himself. The PR professional is clearly an annoyance to the reporter."


-- "The spokesperson seemed to be protecting his staff (similar to how a good attorney would), and I for one fail to understand why one assumes that the media has the right to question people."

By this reasoning, if all that petting hadn't been enough to get Noyes' goat, Slavin might have justifiably resorted to other measures to make himself an "annoyance." Maybe blow-darts? What would the sage Torossian have made of that? Shit -- there we go again, assuming the media has a right to ask questions.

Follow us on Twitter: @PeteJamison and @TheSnitchSF

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