Reporter pressing charges against PR chief in Honeywell debacle

A PR guy allegedly barricaded the journalist to shield the CEO from questions. The worst media relations gaffe you’ll see all year, maybe all decade—oh, hell, ever.

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Mike Elk, a reporter with In These Times, accuses the company’s external communications director Rob Ferris of barricading him in a room for several minutes when Elk was trying to interview Honeywell’s CEO, Dave Cote.

“Indeed, Capitol Police asked me if I wanted to press charges against Ferris for false imprisonment for barricading me into the room, but I declined,” Elk writes in his account of the ordeal.

However, Elk tells PR Daily:

“I have changed my mind with this and have pressed charges. The U.S. Capitol Police are currently investigating the matter. At the time, I just wanted to go home, I was very upset. After thinking about it over the weekend, I decided its important to not let PR guys get away with roughing up a reporter in a room like the U.S. Capitol.”

Earlier that day, Elk tried to ask Cote a question during a Washington, D.C., event at the Capitol, which was hosted by Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). A video posted to YouTube shows someone ripping the microphone out of Elk’s hand as he attempts to ask Cote a question. The video has more than 50,000 views and has appeared on a number of other websites.

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