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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stupidity claims another victim

Arbitron president and CEO Michael Skarzynski has resigned from his position at the radio ratings firm with immediate effect for giving false information at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  http://www.research-live.com/news/people/skarzynski-quits-arbitron-for-giving-false-information-to-congress/4001826.article

OK. Misleading Congress seems serious. What did he mislead them about?  As it turns out, he told what seems like a meaningless lie: “Skarzynski told the hearing that he had “personally participated” in a home visit to Arbitron panel members in November last year but in a conference call this afternoon chief financial officer Sean Creamer said that although Arbitron staff had visited panelists, Skarzynski had not.”

So, he lied stupidly, about something that was easy to check (particularly within the company) – and something that really isn’t that germane. Is it important to the PPM controversy whether he visited panelists or not? Not really.  In fact, in the original news story on the hearing, visits to panelists aren’t even mentioned. (http://www.research-live.com/news/legal/arbitron-boss-defends-ppm-technology-at-house-hearing/4001604.article )

So why did he lie? Habit?