Once a quarter Squaw CEO Andy Wirth grabs a hold of his keyboard and spits out magic.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

Whether it’s “confirming the prevailing wisdom” (<– my favorite #wirthline to date; how does one confirm such ambiguities?) that Olympic Valley residents shouldn’t have the power to incorporate or his latest offering attempting to muzzle board members while wearing his Reno-Tahoe International Airport Authority Board Chairman bro beanie, Squaw CEO Andy Wirth is the Sierra journalist’s Rumplestiltskin, spinning gold from air on a slow mountain town news day.

In the case of his latest gaffe triumph, the RGJ got a hold of some emails between Wirth and fellow board members containing his explicit orders for nobody (except presumably, him) to talk to the press about bonus and pay structure for the airport’s CEO.

Besides meta stories explaining why we should no longer listen to Donald Trump, there’s NOTHING the press likes more than clandestine emails instructing people not to speak to the press. The surest way to get yourself quoted is to say you don’t want to be quoted. It’s the “Don’t taze me bro” guarantee. It’s kind of like the media version of a guy going out unshowered/unshaven and acting for the most part like he don’t give a fuck is the surest way to get laid.

Wirth, however, is the Kendrick Lamar of spitting existential game in such communications. He’s like one step away from your crazy right-wing spambot uncle who accidentally sends you a Lemon Party link because one of his golf buddies is fucking with him saying it’s a new, more-effective-than-the-Tea Party faction of Libertarianism. Once keys are stroked, everything backfires for Wirth in the best way imaginable.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin trades in the walk and talk, the use of lyricism and injecting his personal life into his characters; examples of each can also be found passed out all over the floor of Wirth’s emails:

  • The Walk and Talk: “It has come to my attention that local press is actively pursuing a story in regards to our CEO’s compensation. It strikes me as very odd…”

Can’t you just see Wirth prancing and preening between Mamasake and The North Face store explaining such oddities to head henchman Jonny Moseley? And Moseley being like “A-Dub, you gots to get this on wax.” I also fucking love how Wirth gets warmed up. He telegraphs his moves more than Michael Bay. “It has come to my attention…” We’re not Wirthy.

Wirth loves the filler platitudes; he’s a virtuoso with the text completes. I’m surprised he lopped off the “Ladies and gentlemen” portion of that line. I also love playing my own version of Mad Libs with Andy Wirth offerings:

It has come to my (noun) that the local (noun) is (adverb) pursuing a (noun) in regards to our (proper noun, possessive) compensation

Try it.

Mine ended up like this:

It has come to my dog that the local hooker is sexily pursuing a bucket of puke in regards to our The General Lee’s compensation.

…I think Andy Wirth Mad Libs may have been a bit more effective than his messaging in this case. Because in this case, after imploring his board members to not talk to the medias…wait, I’ll let him do it in his words:

  • Lyricism: “I would strongly recommend that no discussion– ON or OFF the record– be taken on relative to any/all calls from reporters by individual board members.”

The strange use of the slash or the—oh fuck, THE ALL CAPS BUTTON moment notwithstanding, I Red-dog dare you not to put any song from 1989 on and sing out Wirth’s prose:

I would recommend

That no discussion happen

That’s what I have said mmm, that’s what I have said mmm

No answering of the phone

Not in person or alone

That’s what I have said mmm, that’s what I have said mmm

But I keep sending

Can’t stop won’t stop emailing

Even though I tell others not to

It’s like I got these words in my body and it’s gonna be alright

‘Cause the press is gonna type, type, type, type, type

And the board members not gonna bite, bite, bite, bite

Baby, I’m just gonna write, write, write, write

Say it all. Say it all.

Oh whoa-hoo.

  • Injecting his personal life into his characters: “I am deeply saddened and disappointed to have two board members go on record with a reporter prior to receiving all information and the board meeting tomorrow,” Wirth wrote in a follow-up email.

Deeply saddened and disappointed is how one of the Romney clan feels when they discover the dog’s crate slipped off the car somewhere between Cedar City and St. George. Deeply saddened and disappointed is how everyone who saw the first advance screening of Eyes Wide Shut reacted after learning the next day that Kubrick died of a massive heart attack. Deeply saddened and disappointed is what you write on the customer satisfaction card at the Courtyard by Marriott if you’re angling for a free stay.

Deeply saddened and disappointed is NOT (<—proper use of all caps) what you write when you’re sending an email about how you said everyone but you should be able to talk to the press in response to the earlier set of emails that made it clear to everyone on their behalf but the press that everyone but you should be able to talk to the press.

At the actual meeting (where people are allowed to speak whether Wirth approves or not) board member Jessica Sferrazza referred to Wirth’s email as a “gag order.”

“Should we be allowed to speak to the press? Absolutely,” said board member Jennifer Rose, employing the you answered your own question trope (a news magazine interview, not a Sorkin staple)…well played Ms. Rose. Well played.

Say it all. Say it all.

Oh whoa-hoo.

 

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