They may as well have given Mooch the finger
Ex-White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci’s untimely firing – capping off a turbulent 10 days on the job marked by slick-talking Long Island bravado and a filth-laced rant to a reporter – received an unceremonious kiss-off from the Oval Office.
“Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “We wish him all the best.”
President Trump had felt the hotheaded hedge-fund manager’s tirade against other top advisers was “inappropriate for a person in that position,” Sanders said during a briefing Monday, and reportedly gave the newly installed Kelly his blessing on the ouster. Hours after Scaramucci got his walking papers, Trump gloated about “A great day at the White House!” on Twitter.
So Scaramucci didn’t earn confetti or hugs on his last day. He got a “wish him all the best” — in other words, the new F-U.
“I absolutely think this particular statement is a swift kick in the pants,” San Diego-based lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann told Moneyish. “It just sounds contrived to me … That was one of those things where they really didn’t have anything nice to say at all.”
And if you’re the one doing the firing, Swann added, try tacking on praise for the person’s specific contributions to the company. For example: “They were very influential in making sure the third-quarter earnings were stellar.”
“You don’t have to go into great detail, but really tailoring it to the individual would make it sound more sincere,” she said.
Protocol School of Palm Beach founder Jacqueline Whitmore deemed the goodbye “a blanket statement” that’s lost its meaning with overuse. “It’s very generic,” she told Moneyish. “Unless it’s followed up with something a little bit warmer … for example, ‘We know Anthony will be an asset to the next organization. He will be missed.’ See, that’s a little more heartfelt.”
Parsing emails and statements can be “tricky business, because not every person’s words can be taken at face value, especially something like ‘we wish them all the best,’” said Lisette Sand-Freedman, CEO of the integrated marketing agency SHADOW.
“That never means that,” she said. “And it never will.”
The Wall Street financier is far from the first to be front-stabbed by such a bland, tepid farewell. Here are a few other examples:
Kellyanne Conway to Sean Spicer
Before Mooch arrived on the scene, Old Spice reigned supreme. The much-mocked former press secretary, who resigned last month upon Scaramucci’s appointment, had long struggled to reconcile the administration’s messaging with the President’s contradictory tweets and remarks – and won a “Saturday Night Live” caricature with his signature bluster. He made it only six months and one day into his tenure.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) July 21, 2017
NBC to Billy Bush
Fallout from the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” footage found Trump in the Oval Office, but sidekick Billy Bush shunted to fun-employment. Bush, who was caught on tape guffawing as Trump boasted his fame allowed him to grope women, was slapped with a suspension from his new “Today” show gig last fall before NBC ultimately fired him.
“NBC News announced last night that Billy Bush would be leaving the ‘Today show’ effective immediately, noting that he was a valued colleague and a longtime member of the broader NBC family,” co-host Matt Lauer said on air. “A statement Billy released separately last night read in part, ‘I look forward to what lies ahead.’ And of course all of us here at ‘Today’ wish Billy the very best.”
Anchor Tamron Hall chimed in too, wishing Bush “all the best as he moves forward.” Hall later made her own NBC exit — abruptly leaving the network in February after her show was axed to make room for newcomer Megyn Kelly.
NBC said in a statement it was “disappointed” she was leaving but wished her “all the best,” while her “Today” co-anchor Al Roker paid tribute on air.“Personally, Tamron has not just been a co-host … for the past few years but a good friend, not just to me but to all of us here,” he said. “And we want to wish her nothing but the best, much continued success, and we cannot wait to see what her next chapter is.”
Jerry Seinfeld to Kesha
A starstruck Kesha solicited a hug from Seinfeld at the National Night of Laughter and Song in June; the stand-up repeatedly told her “no thanks” and later revealed he had no idea who she was. Perhaps the most mortifying part: Seinfeld’s throwaway quip after learning her identity.
“I don’t know who that was,” he told a red-carpet interviewer.
“That was Kesha,” the reporter said.
“OK,” Seinfeld replied. “Well, I wish her the best.”
CNN to Reza Aslan
The erstwhile host of CNN’s “Believer” watched his new show get canned after tweeting Trump was a “piece of s—” for using terror attacks in London to plug his travel ban. Aslan issued a mea culpa and admitted he “should have used better language” — but CNN was unyielding.
“CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series ‘Believer with Reza Aslan,’” the network said. “We wish Reza and his production team all the best.”
One Direction’s management team to Harry Styles
Styles, following in the footsteps of 1D defector Zayn Malik, broke off from Modest Management in favor of CAA’s Jeffrey Azoff after the boy band went on hiatus last year. The management company confirmed the split to Billboard.
“We wish Harry the very best. It has been a real pleasure working with him,” executives Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee said in a statement. “Harry is a total gentleman, and we know our good friend Jeffrey Azoff will look after him.”
Camila Cabello to Fifth Harmony
The passive-aggressiveness goes both ways. After girl group Fifth Harmony became four with Cabello’s departure, the newly minted solo artist was asked to weigh in on her former bandmates’ first single without her – and whether it felt “weird” not being on the track.
“I wish the best for them, and I’m sure that they’re gonna kill it,” Cabello told 92.3 AMP Radio in June. “I’m super happy making my music. So it doesn’t feel weird, it feels natural.”
MSNBC to Greta Van Susteren
The veteran newswoman jumped to MSNBC after her 14-year run at Fox News (Moneyish publisher Dow Jones and Fox News’ parent company share common ownership) — only to have her low-rated “For the Record with Greta” canceled within six months. The network tapped legal correspondent Ari Melber as her replacement.
The abrupt departure went public with Van Susteren’s tweet – “I am out at MSNBC” – before execs issued an official announcement.“Greta is a well-regarded television veteran and one of only a few broadcasters who can say they’ve hosted shows at all three major cable news networks,” MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement. “We are grateful to her and wish her the best.”
I am out at MSNBC –
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) June 29, 2017
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