Thursday, February 22, 2007

Put up or Shut up

Dear Mr. Immelt: (CEO, GE Corporation)
There's no doubt you've received enough scorn about William Arkin's hateful invective in the Washington Post and on one of GE's subsidiary, NBC, to fill a swimming pool. What I'd like to offer is good will suggestions that might serve to improve GE's sagging image as the rebuke to Arkin was so late in coming that many see it as insincere.
What you might want to do is find a worthy military charity, maybe, several and break out the check book. It might initially pinch but in the long run you'll serve to soothe a lot of hard feelings and restore GE's good name. Surely you've heard the negative comments, seen some harsh words, felt the heat from Arkin's big mouth.
The criticism is justified. GE simply waited too long to distance itself from this man. Now you should take the high road.
I suggest Project Valour IT, a division of Soldier's Angels (a registered 501 (c)(3)), which supplies voice-activated laptops to wounded troops. This is such a worthy effort; it helps to assist in returning some sense of normalcy to soldiers who can no longer access computers through traditional means. Its website is:
Perhaps you could look into Wounded Warriors--men and women who require assistance as they don't have a lot of "obscene amenities" in their lives. Maybe donate a few appliances to families of wounded warriors as they often live on tight budgets; a new blender is a luxury, the dream of a new refrigerator is far off their scale. Its website is:
There's also a family assistance center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that could really use some help. Families often feel tremendous hardships while tending to their wounded family members, many of whom will be undergoing months or years of rehabilitation.
Or you could start a bold initiative to hire returning troops or their spouses, something that could go a long way to restore GE's tarnished reputation.
So, Mr. Immelt, the ball is truly in your court. I could have engaged in the same abusive tactics applied by Mr. Arkin but that wouldn't serve any purpose, save to get myself all worked up and see your assistant delete this email.
Doing something useful and kind is so much more rewarding. That's why this email won't spew anything but suggestions of charity and good will. You should try it. Right now, it would serve you and your damaged company in ways that can't begin to be counted.

Cut and Paste all above and mail or Fax to:

Gary Sheffer

Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
(203) 373-3476

Russell Wilkerson

Financial Communications
(203) 373-3193

Peter O'Toole

Director, Public Relations
(203) 373-2547

Greg Farrett

Europe, Middle East, Africa, International Public Affairs
+32 2 235 6912

Deirdre Latour

GE Corporate Communications
(203) 373-2145

Josh Karpf

GE Corporate Communications
(203) 373-3061


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