Why Did Philly.com Remove a Video About That Blonde With Michael Nutter?

That’s what we were wondering

On Friday, philly.com gossip reporter Marnie Hall posted a video on the site asking Mayor Michael Nutter, “Who is Heather?”, referring to an “attractive blonde” he was seen dining with recently at Rangoon, the Burmese restaurant in Chinatown. In the video, viewable here, she wonders if “Heather” is the same blonde that Nutter reportedly had post-midnight drinks with last year at the Happy Rooster and on another occasion at the Ritz-Carlton. She reports that the Mayor’s office refused to provide a comment, so she ran her story without one. But later in the day on Friday, the video was removed.

According to sources, one of the mayor’s press aides contacted philly.com to complain about the video. Philly.com vice-president and editor Wendy Warren won’t explain why the video was taken down, stating, “We have a policy on not commenting on the internal editorial decision-making process … ” Sources say that Hall is angry about her story being killed post-publication, but in response to my request for comment, she simply writes, “I would love to talk to you … but I am not permitted to talk about editorial decisions.” As for the Mayor’s office, Deputy Press Secretary Katie Martin confirms that they did reach out to philly.com about the video. She adds, “We do not comment on the particulars of the Mayor’s … non-public schedule.”

So why did philly.com remove the video? Was it because the Mayor was trying to quash rumors of an affair? That’s certainly the sexiest version of the story. However, one source close to the matter says that the story did not receive the approval it should have from philly.com management prior to its publication. Okay, but even if that were true, why take it down after the fact? After all, Dan Gross had already reported in the Daily News and on philly.com that the mayor had been previously spied with a blonde. This was just another sighting, albeit with a more salacious, wink-wink-nudge-nudge video delivery by Hall.

The answer could be in how Hall may have obtained the story. According to Rangoon co-owner Mya Gyaw, when Hall visited Rangoon last week to make inquiries, she did not identify herself as a reporter but as a “friend of Heather’s”. Hall did not immediately respond to my request for comment on Gyaw’s allegation, but if it’s true, it’s as good enough reason as any to yank the video.

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  • Harris

    So I assume then that you’re going to vigorously hold Marnie Hall’s feet to the fire to explain what, if true, is clearly sleazy, unethical behavior??

  • http://shellyweisburg@yahoo.com Shelly Weisburg

    So if the restaurant didn’t know who she was why were they telling customers to watch Philly.com for the story about them?
    Sounds like she did identify themselves and maybe, they got cold feet after that?
    You should do your homework before you make cast the first stone.

  • Jon

    How was the restaurant unaware that she was a journalist? She obtained pictures of the Mayor posing with people IN the restaurant! Pictures that don’t even feature her supposed “friend.” I don’t know, in this case, Rangoon seems to be withholding the WHOLE truth from their end.

  • Fast Eddie

    Is that another round of STD that is part of Eddie’s legacy. Just another Comcasr intern?

  • Lisa Schmitz

    So Philly.com sacrifices one of it’s own to justify a bad management decision? No wonder the site sucks. Does this mean if Philly Mag profiles someone and the subject doesn’t like it, they can claim your reporter never identified himself? And then philly.com can print that philly mag reporters possibly misrepresent themselves. Victor, I think there is an opening for you as a philly.com manager. Go for it.

  • joan Naphys

    Marnie Hall seems to be a trouble maker. Is it Marnie’s business who someone is seen with. It may be an old friend, neighor or whoever, and who cares. It is people like you that start up rumors to try to hurt people. How would you like it if you were the one being spyed on. If this is how low you have to stoop to get published get another line of work.

  • Greg

    this is typical of the type of press fear Nutter and his people exact on News organizations. my question is why do These news organizations cave in?

  • Greg

    intimidation from the Mayor’s office. why did the news organization coward under this pressure? your organization abdicated your professional objectivity. He is a public official in a public -place why shouldn’t it be published? personally it doesn’t concern me its between him and his wife. but why take it down under pressure from the mayor’s office? Bullys