Letter: Balancing the Editorial ScorecardI was shocked to see DM News run an advertisement ("Tom Mabe's Revenge, Round One," Feb. 14) for an individual trying to profit from unethical and humiliating attacks on the teleservices industry. I almost fell over backward when I saw that this was no advertisement at all, but an editorial penned by [Tad Clarke]. This prankster (a mild term compared to how he really should be referenced) preys upon the hard-working individuals that make up our industry and quite literally support your publication.
By titling your article with the exact name of his effort, it was as if you were acting as his press agent. You then proceeded to detail the price, his Web site and list his telephone number for ordering (something I find a bit ironic for a man who professes to hate the industry). The only thing I noticed missing from your article was his order form! You also appeared to elevate his status to industry statistician by using his hyped-up figures without regard for accuracy or source.
But you saved your best comments for last by stating, "It's amazing that someone can turn this into a business - and succeed at it - yet, sadly, the industry's answer has been silence so far." Not true. Had you read the complete USA Today article you referenced, you would have seen my rebutting remarks defending the industry. I always welcome the chance to add value and perspective to stories/editorial like yours, if given the opportunity. For your information, there have been numerous attempts by representatives of our industry to balance the editorial scorecard. Unfortunately, most of these efforts fail to make it to press. It seems the media is more interested in the promotion of this individual, rather than the practice of responsible journalism.
If you are looking for someone to break the "silence," I say look no further than your mirror. As the editor in chief of an industry trade publication, you have the tool, the information and the status. By the way, I very much enjoyed your Feb. 21 editorial on predictive dialing.
Senior vice president
American Teleservices Association
Mr. Miklas missed the irony in my editorial, which was intended to point out that Tom Mabe is becoming what he hates. I did not write that Mabe is doing a great job, nor did I say to run right out and buy 10 copies of his CD. As editor of a trade publication, I do not think it is my job to be a cheerleader for associations or their causes, it's to inform the readers of news and events important to them. Mabe and his CD fit the bill, and for me to ignore them would be a disservice. Likewise, for me to get up and say "Tom Mabe is a jerk" is preaching to the choir. If you don't think the telemarketing industry has problems, check out Mabe's message board and see what the public has to say. - TC