Nobody likes Ben Sherwood, a notoriously self-promoting former Good Morning America executive producer who was recently, and inexplicably, placed in charge of ABC News. Some of his new employees hate him so much they made this undermining video about him.
The video, posted to Vimeo by someone using the name of legendary ABC News chief Roone Arledge, shows footage of Sherwood's underwhelming speech to the troops on accepting the new job juxtaposed with title screens accusing him of being a "bizarre office behavior," having "no strategy" and losing 1 million viewers for GMA, and generally being an unctuous dick.
The most serious charge is that when Sherwood left GMA in 2006, he "told a lie about his mother being sick" to cover for the fact that he was on the verge of being fired. According to news reports at the time, Sherwood "resigned to move to Los Angeles, where his mother is suffering from cancer." In a promotional interview for his 2009 book The Survivors Club, Sherwood described his mother as "a nine-year survivor of ovarian cancer," which would put her diagnosis at roughly 2000. The video offers no evidence that she wasn't still suffering from the illness in June of 2006, when Sherwood left.
The people who made the video contacted Gawker anonymously and claim to be current and former ABC News staffers. An ABC News spokesman declined to comment.
Upshot: People really, really hate this Ben Sherwood fellow. They've been sending us his embarrassing e-mail fuck-ups from 2004. They've been writing scientifically astringent accounts of how terribly, clinically horrible he is as a human being. And this isn't new: The first documented attack on Sherwood took place in 1988, when he was just 24, in Spy magazine, when a young Andrew Sullivan devoted 1,300 words to the proposition that "Ben is one of the most hated people alive." That story certainly had legs.