When I was a puny little intern at The Stranger, I longed for the day that I made someone so mad they called and yelled at me. Lo and behold, such an event transpired one summer afternoon.
The Port of Seattle had finished an assessment of what another stadium would do to waterfront traffic. We published the PDFs in the morning after receiving them from a source and were amazed that they weren’t online anywhere else. My amazement turned into fear when the receptionist said there was a “Carl Skanks” on the phone for me. Mr. Skanks turned out to be Charla Skaggs, a PR “professional” from the Port of Seattle.
Skaggs breathlessly accused me of breaking a noon embargo, and demanded that we take the PDFs down. I nervously apologized, and she asked to speak to my editor, Dominic Holden.
“Your funeral, lady,” I thought, as she was transferred to Dominic.
Dominic unloaded on her—that the Port’s media efforts consist of their buddies at the Seattle Times, and that because we hadn’t received the documents or embargo agreement from the port, we hadn’t agreed to an embargo. Simple. Then Dominic edited the post to reflect their enlightening conversation:
Skaggs and her boss asked us to take down the reports. We're not doing it, even though Skaggs says it "will affect the way we interact with you in the future." By that, I assume she's not threatening to withhold information (after all, it's not much of a threat if that's already her modus operandi). I assume Skaggs means she will contact us proactively and professionally instead throwing a tantrum when her media strategies backfire.
Ms. Skaggs doesn’t work at the Port of Seattle any longer.