Remember that CEO who decided to give all his employees a raise to $70k? Well, Bloomberg Businessweek has a story, authored by Karen Weise, about how maybe it wasn't just the altruistic move it appeared to be.
The article, which is posted under the Vox-esque trash headline "The CEO Paying Everyone $70,000 Salaries Has Something to Hide," is mostly about how the timing of the highly publicized raise is somewhat suspicious, given a lawsuit filed by his brother, who owns about 30% of the company.
And then, at the fourth paragraph from the end of the long piece, we come to this:
Price's life may get more complicated the week of Dec. 7, when TEDx plans to post online a public talk by his former wife, who changed her last name to Colón. She spoke on Oct. 28 at the University of Kentucky about the power of writing to overcome trauma. Colón stood on stage wearing cerulean blue and, without naming Price, read from a journal entry she says she wrote in May 2006 about her then-husband. "He got mad at me for ignoring him and grabbed me and shook me again," she read. "He also threw me to the ground and got on top of me. He started punching me in the stomach and slapped me across the face. I was shaking so bad." Later in the talk, Colón recalled once locking herself in a car, "afraid he was going to body-slam me into the ground again or waterboard me in our upstairs bathroom like he had done before."I have a problem with this.
I read those quotes to Price. "I'm just going to take a second because this is very surprising to me," he said. He paused. "I appreciate and respect my former wife, and she played a very positive role in my life," he said. "Out of respect for her, I wouldn't feel comfortable responding to a supposed allegation she may have said coming from a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter when I have absolutely zero evidence of an allegation being made." I told him that I wanted to be clear: I was giving him the chance to deny the claims. "My comment is very responsive," he said. "I would be more than happy to provide a comment if and when I actually get the benefit of seeing what you are referencing."
About three hours later, Price called back. "There's one more thing that I would like to add to my previous statement," he said. "The events that you described never happened."
I have a problem with allegations of domestic violence being tossed in as an afterthought, and treated like just another possible "complication" in the life of someone whose credibility is being questioned, even as he is being lauded far and wide as a progressive hero.
And when the entire premise of the piece is "could he have done this seemingly magnanimous thing in order to preempt a lawsuit," I have a problem with the author evidently treating as truth that he'd never heard about the impending talk alleging domestic violence and not suggesting the possibility that he decided to stage his PR hero stunt in order to preemptively discredit imminent domestic violence allegations.
I don't imagine that media-savvy Dan Price is unaware that becoming a liberal hero tends to shield men from accusations of misogynist violence.
Engendering good will, and thus the reflexive defense of legions of strangers who will aggressively push back on any woman who dares to suggest a Good Guy might be abusive, is a strategy demonstrably employed by lots of abusive men.
And yet the reporter merely comments that she was giving him a chance to deny the claims.
Because while it's easy to believe a man may have cynically given raises to derail a potential lawsuit, it's somehow impossible to believe he may have cynically given raises to position himself as a Good Guy, right before his former spouse publicly alleges he isn't one.