Saturday, May 23, 2009

Warriors PR director posed as fan on blog

Merc sports columnist Tim Kawakami reports that Warriors executive director of public relations Raymond Ridder was the author of an anonymous comment posted to the fan site that defended Warriors management.

In the comment, signed as “Flunkster Dude,” Ridder wrote that he appreciated a season-ticket-holder conference call, conducted by GM Larry Riley, team president Robert Rowell and broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. “I actually enjoyed the call and appreciate their honesty,” the Flunkster Dude wrote.

The managers of traced the comment's IP address to the Warriors offices, and they passed that information on to Kawakami, who confronted Ridder. According to Kawakami, Ridder owned up to posting the comment without hesitation.

“It was 100% me. And I’ll take 100% responsibility, if anybody thinks I did anything wrong,” Ridder said. “It was completely on my own. I’ve never been told to do anything by anybody here. It was just me.

“It was nothing malicious at all. I just wanted to get the conversation going in a positive direction–I thought we had a good conference call, I had some good conversations with some season-ticket-holders, then I got to my office and I looked on the internet and all I saw was negative comments, complaints, nothing positive.

Ridder also told Kawakami that he has posted four other comments to anonymously defending management or otherwise trying to get the conversation going in “a positive direction.”

Kawakami also pointed out that Ridder never asked to have his name removed from the story or to blame the postings on an unnamed "Warriors official."

“I’m the one who went into my office and wrote what I wrote,” Ridder said. “I’ll take whatever comes of this.”


Anonymous said...

Raymond Ridder must have learned how to pull this stunt from Gavin Newsom's flunkies.

Anonymous said...

This is a non-story.

Anonymous said...

So newspapers ls are reduced to tracking down the identity of innocuous commentors on websites? Isn't that the signal to shut down the whole enterprise?

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that newspapers supported shield laws. Now I find out that that it's self-serving and half-hearted.

suzanne said...

Dear anonymous commenters:

Wait... what?

You mean just because a newspaper found out something unethical and did a story on it, that news should cease to exist? I don't get it.

PR people shouldn't post anonymous comments. Period. It's disingenuous, misleading and against the PR code of ethics. I'm surprised there's even an argument here.

I think it's stories like this that help bring to light the kind of crap we're getting fed. People trust anonymous comments nowadays more than anything signed, because of the reasoning that anonymous people can say what's REALLY on their minds. This story helps remind people that reasoning is flawed. Why is that a non-story? Why is that a reason for newspapers to fail?
I also find it hilarious all these comments are anonymous themselves.