Verizon Wireless: Open Mouth, Insert Mountain

posted by scott parkin

I really savor those moments where corp PR hacks screw up. Really, I do.

While CREDO and the Center for Biological Diversity have turned up the heat on Verizon Wireless in the blog-o-sphere over the company’s sponsorship of the anti-environmental anti-union Friends of America labor day rally, their corp communications VP James Gerace decided that mountaintop removal and climate change were not important enough issues and sent (mistakenly, I assume) a off color dismissive email to CREDO’s Political Director after what had been a cordial communication over the issue.

This is how our response is going over with the activists. Becky once lived in a tree for a while. At least now I know where the emails are coming from.
— James Gerace, VP of Corporate Communications at Verizon Wireless


Hmmmm, Verizon maintains that they have been thrust into a political argument and their participation is non-political. Gerace’s comments towards people opposing mountaintop removal, climate denial, anti-enviro extremism and right wing demagoguery sounds political to me.

Furthermore, Verizon Wireless’s actions appear VERY political to me.

Here are some highlights:

1. Verizon Wireless sees nothing wrong with participating in overtly anti-environmentalist event. Don Blankenship has said the purpose of the rally is to show “how environmental extremists and corporate America are both trying to destroy your jobs.

2. Verizon Wireless sees nothing wrong with doing business with Massey Energy, the worst mountaintop removal coal mining company in the country.

3. Verizon Wireless sees nothing wrong with doing business with Massey’s CEO Don Blankenship, who said that his environmentalist critics are “crazy” “greeniacs” who are his “enemies” comparable to Osama bin Laden.
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4. Verizon Wireless sees nothing wrong with supporting an event featuring Ted Nugent who remarked: “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun…Hey Hillary [Clinton] you might want to ride one of these [machine guns] into the sunset, you worthless bitch.

I’m pretty tired of corporate weasels being two-faced on issues that are near and dear to my heart. We need to make MORE noise if companies like Verizon are not listening and keep doing business with Massey (JPMorgan Chase comes to mind). Some actions links are below. If you do business with them think about how to stop being part of Verizon Wireless’ “Friends and Family.”

And BTW Mr. Gerace, I never lived in a tree but I do think mountaintop removal is a horror and that climate change exists. I’m also supportive of unions. Once you get that foot out of your mouth, think about how a majority of your 87 million customers agree more with me than Don Blankenship.

CREDO’s action page here.
Center for Biological Diversity’s action page here.
RAN’s action page here.