The other day, I got a complaint from a senior business person. It happens. The complaint came in the form of a letter to the boss, which banged on about the closeness of their supposed friendship and his disappointment at the tone of recent coverage.
This turned out to refer to a 70 word story with one vaguely contentious word. This business person could sue, they grandly insisted, but showed what decent sorts they are by agreeing to let it slide. As long as I got told off.
If I could tell you how minor the issue he found so upsetting was, you would barely believe it. If he had simply phoned me to discuss it, I might even have said, you’ve actually got a small point there chief. I can change it if you like. Or I owe you one.
I asked other hacks I know who write about this person regularly. They say this is absolutely standard procedure. All of them hate him.
He seems to imagine that he is leveraging his relationship with editors to secure good press. What he actually has is a bunch of really hacked off hacks willing him to fail.
When he does, the press will be brutal.