Person Who Sent Tweet Touting Newport Beach After LAX Shooting on Friday Fired: Update

NewportBeachTweet.png
Twitter
"You know honey, I'd hate to get shot. Let's stay in Newport."

See the update at the end about how the guy responsible wasn't an intern but is now also not an employee.

ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 1, 2013, 1:06 P.M.:Three hours isn't too soon to use a tragedy as a PR point, right?

That's apparently the question the people behind the official Newport Beach Twitter account asked themselves earlier today when they sent a tweet about how Newport Beach is such a nice vacation spot when compared to the chaos at LAX -- chaos that was caused by a shooting that injured seven and killed at least one person.

The tweet was sent at 12:32 p.m. and read "Heading out of town on a weekend getaway via #LAX? Avoid the chaos and make it a beach vacation here in #NewportBeach."

It was quickly deleted, but not before several followers took the account to town about how tasteless it was. The account's excuse? The people who run the account were "focused on closure and hearing reports of ppl stuck."

How do you not hear about a shooting at the largest airport in the region three hours after it happened? Especially when you work at a destination marketing organization? Please, let it just be some dumb, uninformed intern.

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Twitter

To the city's credit (very little credit), they do not run the Twitter account directly.

The account is manned by Visit Newport Beach Inc., a non-profit organization that's affiliated with the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Orange County Visitor Association, Discover America, and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association and that contracts with the city. They're funded primarily by Newport's Transient Occupancy Tax -- also known as the hotel tax -- as well as through membership dues from the hospitality industry.

Tourist tax dollars at work, everybody!

Unluckily for whatever intern that's now no longer manning the social media desk, the Tweet is still completely visible on the VisitNewportBeach website.

Let's see how long it takes them to fix that one.

UPDATE NOV. 5, 8:00 A.M.

The guy responsible wasn't an intern! The person behind the Twitter account at the time of the tweet was former Visit Newport Beach PR Director Jeff Soto--"former" in that he was fired on Monday.


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75 comments
ocblues
ocblues

We all misspeak at times, don't we?
 The punishment did not fit the 'crime' of tactlessness.

Bonnie Garcia
Bonnie Garcia

The most greedy and selfish from Orange County.

laree2108
laree2108

This is all ridiculous all! He made one mistake and your hounding on him! Cut him slack, i mean seriously?! There has been a moment in everyones life where you all thought about yourselves first. Even me. I feel bad for him, i mean getting fired and then getting all this hate from you, he feels bad enough. Cut the crap. And now your blaming thw whole city? " Stay classy Newport and amoral capatilist monsters?" It wasnt the whole city, come on. Do you hear yourselves? While some of the comments are a tad witty, this is horrible. Just beacause Newport Beach is one of the nicer cities does not mean in anyway that they are amoral monsters!! Honestly, Its human nature to think about yourselves first. Stop the hate, Its seriously not worth it.

laree2108
laree2108

This is ridiculous all. Come on! He made one mistake, i mean seriously?! I feel bad for him, he is getting enough hate from all of you and now fired, i mean people cut him some slack! Your also blaming the city. Stay classy Newport? While witty and I must say funny, It wasn't Newport Beach itself, it was one company. All the other people in the Company had nothing to with this 2 sentence tweet, it was just him. I'm sure all of you had a time where you were thinking about yourselves. Its human nature. Sorry he just wanted to help the company. I do think it was a little conceited, stop the hate, Its not worth it.

Lon Hall
Lon Hall

over-reaction by NB in response to media hysteria

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

There's only one thing that bothers me about stuff like this when I see it and that is that even though they say that they're not discriminating against people and that it's against the laws they're violating the laws anyway by discriminating the people that they're going after in the first place. So it's a no win situation for everyone involved.

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

Not only does this guy have poor judgment and bad taste, he is an outright liar. If he was on twitter that day, he most definitely knew about the shooting/deaths.  It was all over twitter.  Firing the guy was the best thing they could of done.  You can't have a guy like that represent the face of newport.  

Cheryl Lynn
Cheryl Lynn

People need to stop being so sensitive! Bunch of cry babies.

Brennan King
Brennan King

So it wasn't just a horribly-timed coincidence?

David Quesada
David Quesada

Honestly, who wouldn't rather be sailing or on a beach in Newport than in an active shooter event. At the most it was bad taste. Don't advertisers say that even bad press is free press? It seems very excessive to fire someone over that. There must be something else to this story that we don't know about.

Em Sedano
Em Sedano

not sure how firing the tweeter fixes the organization's mindset.

msedano
msedano

How does firing the guy respect one's  "platform of core values, including respect and integrity"? Unless the platform also includes a zero tolerance for errors policy, firing the dunderhead illustrates a crummy organization that doesn't want to clarify its own "core values".


Michael Mastagni
Michael Mastagni

I saw the tweet before it was expunged. All I could think was DUMB and it embarrassed me to live in the community. No defense for the dweeb who thought it was appropriate. The TSA employee who lost his life to the numb nuts who shot him deserved better than this.

Gabriel Torres
Gabriel Torres

Hahahaha Newport is like a preteen that never gets attention, enough attention that is. Newport can never get hugged enough

Sean Coolidge
Sean Coolidge

In his defense, when isn't it chaotic at LAX?

Fernando Rodriguez
Fernando Rodriguez

I love and go-to Newport a lot, and I use LAX a lot too, but this tweet was not necessary at all... bad timing and bad taste...

Staci Williams
Staci Williams

It's Newport, they don't think about anything but themselves

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Another great scoop, and lede 

("Three hours isn't too soon to use a tragedy as a PR point, right?") 

by Charles Lam.  


And people wonder why affluent Orange County is so sickening.  

The sad part is, nothing much is going to change, as evidenced by the folksy, not-very-appalled comments 'Newport Beach' exchanged with Joe Serna (who used to write for The Daily Pilot -- Costa Mesa and Newport Beach's newspaper -- btw).  If the comments of 'Newport Beach' don't sound like someone who attends Saddleback Church, Cypress Church, etc. and thinks that absolves them from proclivity to sin and excuses leading an affluent lifestyle, I don't know what is.  


Maybe a public boycott of the hotels in Newport Beach (The Island Hotel, Hyatt Newport, Marriott, etc.) might inspire a little more contrition from the tourism execs?

Cindy Black
Cindy Black

As bad as the City of Costa Mesa's Mayor partying it up on St. Patricks day at his bar, after a man jumped to his death from atop city hall, being one of many who were issued pink slips that day.

Ro Ar
Ro Ar

Yeah, thanks but I'll avoid the young, rich and careless

freeskier989
freeskier989

People calm down, you all call for blood, like none of you ever made a mistake. Geez, if we can forgive Michael Vick, Tiger Woods and all the billions of others who have made mistakes we can sure give the beautiful destination of Newport Beach a little slack.

Shannon Tiare
Shannon Tiare

Full of amoral capitalist monsters. They must be very proud.

Cheryl Lynn
Cheryl Lynn

Yah, they have nice cities/neighnorhoods.

Poppy Figueroa
Poppy Figueroa

Barbara I agree this why I said I would never do it for my resort but considering this came from the OC weekly who does worse and tasteless articles all the time I consider the source forst

Kj From'Oc
Kj From'Oc

was that what they intended? isnt LAX always chaotic?

Poppy Figueroa
Poppy Figueroa

It's fine.. Didn't do it playing off the tragedy.. They worded it to those who can not fly out.. I do PR and social media and although I wouldn't post that for my resort it wasn't done I'm sure purposely and distastefully...

April Scott
April Scott

Wow.... So rude!! Go to Newport Beach as long as you don't care about other peoples tragedies, or want to surf the wedge. They are rude and tasteless.

Jeremy Lee
Jeremy Lee

But....its ok when the OC Weekly does it....

Bill Martin
Bill Martin

all I can say is fuck the morins brain dead losers no respect

Don Mexico
Don Mexico

stay classy, newport beach. smfh

Susan Haroutunian
Susan Haroutunian

They were probably just clueless with a dose of really bad timing.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

To be fair, they live in South County...

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

I like Newport Beach and I know the city doesn't directly run their Twitter, but that was uncalled for and somebody needs to be fired.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@msedano  

I have to disagree with you, to some degree...

even though I believe the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree -- among other things, they hired him, after all -- I give Gary Sherwin credit for swiftly and decisively responding, and being intolerant of what occurred.  The alternative -- retaining him -- would convey condoning what happened and beget even more egregious future conduct in the rarefied Newport/Irvine/949 universe.  

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

@Don Mexico Any other city > Newport Beach

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

@OC Weekly Poor taste and south county go hand in hand

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