Home Pop Culture Rachelle Hruska- Did she violate FTC rules?

Rachelle Hruska- Did she violate FTC rules?

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Rachelle Hruska- the new breed of new media?

A letter to the editor- Scallywag.

“Dear Mr. Koulouris:

When I read your rather irreverent blog entitled: “Rachelle Hruska: Media Whore/Manipulator for Hire”, I nearly choked on my morning coffee. I had become aware of your website through the social whirl which is New York City, some stating to me that like myself you were not digesting the social excrement passing for meaningful celebrity and were in fact asking valid questions.

The blog on Ms. Hruska and the related blogs on the [scripted] CW High Society reality series resonated with me both from my position as a Society photojournalist, social commentator and my legal training at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where in terms of full disclosure my record of accomplishment was similar to that of John McCain at Annapolis, except we had no planes I could crash. Nevertheless, for me it is rather clear that the issue is: Is or has GuestofaGuest.com been involved in and orchestrated paid media campaign on behalf of CW’s High Society in violation of FTC Disclosure rules?

When you then agreed to publish my blog “American Internet Pie: The Curious Rise of Society Marionette Rachelle Hruska” I could not have imagined the firestorm that would have ensued from my email account being hacked, strange emails and phone calls, sometimes anonymous, many with anecdotes of their personal experiences with said individual, including some whom I had presumed were her close friends, so much so that maybe I thought that I was being played or at least set up.

When I then read Steve Lewis’ blog on BlackBook.com “Weighing In on Tinsley & Guest of a Guest” and chose to comment, talk about Insider Baseball, again I was amused how Cayte Grieve and Steve Lewis responded to my asking of a rather simple question. The blog itself seemed to attempt to dismiss the character and quality of your evidence with the macho dismissal that Steve Lewis was essentially knocking boots with a girl who the GuestofaGuest.com whistle blowing photographer apparently had his eyes on. If I have learned anything in this world is that, every man has stolen the affections of a woman who another man had eyes for and nearly every man has had a woman turn away from their overtures.  The portrayal of photographer Dylan Armajani as some guy who was trying to get into the same squeeze box of the “blue blooded blonde” that was preventing BlackBook daddy from getting any sleep at night was humorous, but did not answer the question of whether or not GuestofaGuest.com, Rachelle Hruska engaged in some “quid pro quo” or had some form of contractual arrangement with the CW. Ironically enough, another Holly GoNightly in the form of Cayte Grieve, the blonde babelicious former Executive Assistant now Assistant Editor at BlackBook Magazine weighed in on her boss’s post, for which I was forced to respond (shortened for convenience):

…… Call it what you want but it ain’t journalism. Please so we do not get confused with the ongoing celebration by this blog of Rachelle Hruska editorial success, kindly advise me of one “1” blog where the former “hedge industry professional” (i.e., secretary/receptionist) and “Holly Golightly” who came to NY from Nebraska illustrated all this insider wisdom an knowledge about New York City and all its power players and Society families. FACT is that she had none at the time she was quoted in a NY Post Story about Walter “Bernie Madoff Feeder Fund” Noel and how his Golden Girls Got Tarnished.

In the present world of non stop media spin and PR, if one merely asks questions about the FAMEGAME and those working to contrive or fabricate their Holly Golightly naïveté legend in pursuit thereof, said inquiry is treated by defenders as some form of hate speech. Your marching orders aside, it is not my job to question CW Lawyer(s) (See: Dawn Ostroff, President CW Network  │11800 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90025   │(310) 575-7000  tel: (818) 977-5000 │

e-mail: dawn_ostroff@upn.com)   about their private contractual relationship with Rachelle Hruska or GuestofaGuest.com in an effort to “bring her down”. It is not illegal to have a social blog, but it is duplicitous to report something as news which is scripted, whether you were receiving actual cash payments to do so or in lieu thereof cross promotion of your own legacy and brand in exchange for that. One might assume some form of quid pro quo to promote the legacy of Rachelle and GuestofaGuest.com into the show in exchange for her promotion of the show on their blog. In one of my blog posts I mentioned and it was also noticed by folks in the Hamptons charity community at The Parrish Art Museum last Summer the curious and disparate treatment accorded to the Paterson & Cuomo Campaign on GuestofaGuest.com around the same time. When you rise to a certain level and have the ability to impact wide swaths of the population with subtle and not so subtle promotion or denigration of political figures, business leaders or socialites than it is fair to ask: “who are you”, “who is behind you and what do you represent?”

But in this world rather than answer simple questions, it is easier to just swagger and call into question the testicular fortitude of some “lesser man.” You will have to excuse me, I am off to see Liam McMullan in Concert at an Irish Saloon not too far from Madison Square Garden, actually it will be just a booth in the back but I understand PMC and GuestofaGuest.com will be covering.

Sincerely,

Christopher London, Esq.

  • JJRueLaLa

    Did nobody else notice that…
    Guestofaguest.com ran the Paul johnson story “Porn Star Scandal” and the picture they used of him kissing the guy, was clearly a still from the fotage shot by “High Society” camera men – therefore the story was leaked or given to them by the TV producers…

    BUT WHO CARES!!!

  • How far is enough. A new case where Ms Hruska and her backer Cameron Winklevoss push the boundaries of in-proprietary.

    Will they ever stop?

    https://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/04/guestofaguest-com-continues-artistic-rip-off-joins-the-social-cia-movement-to-be-a-homing-device-on-your-persona/

  • Chris, you are a joke. Stop putting down others and work on yourself.
    Maybe step away from the computer and take a run or a jog.

  • This whole string has become polluted with nonsense. For what it is worth my sense from viewing the pieces published by Chris Koulouris on Scallywag & Vagabond as a result of an email dialogue between Chris K and Dylan Armajani do not illustrate any intent or effort to slander/libel Dylan but rather are seemingly designed to give a platform for a whistleblower calling into doubt the so called “reporting” by GuestofaGuest.com I would imagine if Dylan wants his 15 minutes to pen a piece on this blog or in rebuttal on BlackBook that relative to all the other stuff reported in Nightlife Industry blogs, I guess there would be no harm in that. Sometimes its more helpful to let someone speak before you editorialize what they are in fact speaking about. As for the ass hats who attacked me above, it is ironic that they use a name of a photographer in NYC in Julle Beers while cross linking back to Heather Hunter’s This Fish Rides a Bicycle blog. Chris K, Steve Lewis, Dylan Armajani and myself have at least made whatever statements on this issue in our own names.

  • Dylan

    because Chris, my email to you was to you. you published it on your site as if it was towards a specific article, and YOU POSTED IT under my name as if it came from me not as if it was a repost from you. My lawyer not says I have just as much cause to go after you as I do steve lewis. I am not going to do it at the moment. but you are CUT OFF from any shit from my in the future unless you fucking give a serious apology and also publicly admit to your fault.

  • now does anyone want nude photos of me???? my current girlfriend or that ex of dylan and myself may be able to provide.. we will settle once and for all who is the bigger man !!!

  • Dylan, my dear, I beg to differ. I think ‘you are all in the hot seat.’ I just report the fracas as it happens…Keep it all up kids, we the public are thoroughly intrigued…

  • Dylan

    How the hell did this go from guestofaguest vs. jules kirby, to guestofaguest in bed with CW, to me vs steve lewis, to me not vs steve lewis, to chris london naked in chatrooms…. this is one fucked up string. Sorry chris, looks like your in the hot seat now!

  • Oh dear, and I thought this was going to be a mud slinging match between Rachelle and Jules Kirby…

    Sex tapes? The editor is intrigued but me thinks the shit is going to hit the fan…

  • I also received nude photos of Chris London. He used to go into chat rooms on AOL and send them to women. Hilarious that he is still fighing on the internet.

  • Steve, for the record, I have consulted your blog in the past as well as BlackBook in general for profiles on venues and people and hardly think it is garbage or not useful. To the contrary. And I am hardly anti capitalistic. BUT, on all these blogs, I think that it is helpful once we all get beyond promotion and spin that we consider the consumer, the end user and whatever recommendations or referrals we make that we try to be as candid as possible. Consumers are more circumspect now more than ever about hype. When people see that we are all struggling to provide candid insight into how things work I think it enhances all of our reputations. You will expand your readership. I question my own truths every day and candidly I do not derive any pleasure in criticism, drama is actually exhausting. I wish the economy were perfect, business and political leaders were 100% honest, everyone had affordable health care, a gym membership and plenty of disposable income. There are folks all over New York City in all socioeconomic groups who have had to make adjustments in these times. I only contributed commentary to Scallywag as per the request of Christopher Koulouris. My personal blog is not nearly as prolific if only because I am inconsistent and it is far from the only thing I do in this town.

  • Julie: Nice revisionist history here my dear. You know, there are such things as defamation laws, although to be frank I think that folks like yourself make men turn away from women, at least those who live to blog about their relationships. Sorry my friend dumped you because he is a private person who did not want to be the subject of your blog posts. Nevertheless, truth be told, the critique against Stephanie Klein actually came from bloggers far more prolific than my once or twice per month blogs. Here is the link to the blog written by women critiquing your friend Stephanie Klein: http://goldsteins.typepad.com/ and Alex Blagg wrote the most persuasive piece on Stephanie called Profiles in Douchebaggettery: http://blaggblogg.blogspot.com/2004/12/profiles-in-douchebagette-ery.html which ironically I find fascinating that you never take on the more prolific bloggers but instead come after me 5 years later. Fascinating indeed.

  • Eric

    It’s a bit like radio payola, or LiLo’s cocaine habit – certainly illegal, but rarely is anyone prosecuted.

  • Christophen London is a known nutjob who has been whoring himself all over the internet for years. There are several gay photos of him that have surfaced via email, chatrooms and the internet and he should really be careful who he makes enemies with. Years ago, he attacked Stephanie Klein, Greek Tragedy authoress and her now husband. He is jealous of anyone with any talent and legitimate taste. Chris should be snapping photos instead of writing and pretending to be JUST. He is anything but, and cant get arrested, much less find a job.

  • Dylan can you possibly fax or email me further incriminating facts that you may be possibly holding out on. JUSTICE needs to be served by this weekend or my google ratings will plummet…

  • actually nobody at blackbook ever tells me what to write about.. sometimes they suggest . i think i question all the time.. i dont think you read me… anyway there is no conspiracy over at bb to protect rachelle. i like her.. thats about it. nobody here is trying to camouflage anything. its your story .. i personally am awaiting facts. you haven’t shown me any and i have no interest in doing your job for you.. you made some accusations now prove them. bb gave dylan a chance to say his piece. ive said mine. now it’s up to you guys to… what do they say??? oh yes… put up or shut up.
    oh and hi dylan ..really lets meet up i appreciate your toning it down as again we really dont have beef

  • Tears streaming down my face…R Hruska de-friended me on Facebook. Why lord?

  • Dylan: I think that you are wasting your time in seeking to have your credibility and the evidence that Christopher Koulouris published here on Scallywag & Vagabond somehow validated by Steve Lewis and BlackBook. BlackBook is a Nightlife Industry Blog tied that promotes the industry and its leaders as a whole, including folks like Rachelle Hruska and GuestofaGuest.com, who’s legend that Steve Lewis helped to extend. BlackBook Mag is not an independent investigative media. It is essentially Nightlife P.R. so do not expect Steve Lewis to question anyone who is helpful in promoting club life. He simply won’t. Furthermore, frankly, most folks have imperfect backgrounds which call into question their credibility and the character and weight that should be attributed to any evidence that they put forth. And as I mentioned above, Mr. Lewis is not exactly Mother Theresa. BlackBook is trying to camouflage a legitimate issue regarding whether “quid pro quo’s” were exchanged between CW & GuestofaGuest.com by turning this into a debate about you, Steve Lewis and some chic.

  • Dylan

    Well Steve perhaps I over-reacted, perhaps you over-reacted but I hope were beyond that. And I never said it proves anything, only exactly what you said….that it implies something. And if somebody finds that fascinating (as many people seem to… for reasons that I dont completely understand myself) then they should look into it. Anyways again no hard feelings, and glad to hear your in a good relationship. Don’t worry, I wont harass her 😉

  • dylan as you know i dont know you except for that time back when.. then i felt you overreacted and moved very far from the truth of the situation. that being said i am not willing to trust you as a source. as far as the dialogue i saw it implies a little but proves almost nothing. i have no beef with you. the gal in question is now only a friend of mine. i am in a very nice relationship with someone else so being jealous of someone i never met over a girl i dated for a week or so months ago isnt my style. i don;t mind sitting with you and suggest you christopher and the skallywag tidbits have cocktails somewhere chic…oooh better yet ill pop for a bottle !!

  • Dylan

    Just to comment in. I never even gave my opinion to Chris about what had happened. I simply forwarded to him all the emails that I had with guestofaguest about this show. You can hate me as a person, call me a drunk, call me whatever you want but all I have provided anybody with is basically being able to look at my email box. Truth is, guestofaguest’s event manager and leader told me to call a guy named Mike. Mike is an executive producer on the show. Those are facts that exist in my inbox. This is ridiculous that it has become a personal attack on me and in any way involves the anger that Steve Lewis feels for me. I mean seriously this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. Scallywag wrote about how guestofaguest was basically portraying Jules as a horrible person and on a mission to bring her down. All I did was send them the proof that I had this encounter that involved guestofaguest and Jules and the show and provided screenshots from my facebook account as well as the whole email string (with dates…etc) to prove that it actually happened. Steve Lewis, if you doubt I ever had these emails with Sarah and Rachelle would you like me to provide you the email headers and you can hire an internet investigator to check the full headers to see that in fact they were sent from guestofaguest’s ISP and recieved by mine?

  • Miss OverExposed

    So are you trying to say Rachelle and Guest of a Guest are a one pony sham(e) show?

  • Mr. Lewis: Let me be even more BLUNT. There are many reasons why The Team at GuestofaGuest.com has very little respect and is held in ill repute by many creative folks in this town. You can begin with their web aggregation techniques which in effect allow them to seize artistic and creative license of content which they neither own or create and then stamp it with the GuestofaGuest.com logo. Truth is that Arianna Huffington & The Huffington Post have been criticized for the very same thing of re-printing original editorial that is elsewhere on the web, reporting it as news with a small link at the bottom of the piece. So while yes they may drive some traffic, they also steal the traffic and often appear as the lead in search engines through slick SEO engineering when the fact is that THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE SOLITARY LEGITIMATE WRITER OR JOURNALIST on the team at GuestofaGuest.com but rather a frustrated Facebooker and a girl who is dying for FAME and genuine Socialite Status at all costs. RACHELLE HRUSKA is an SEO DREK QUEEN and the Frankenstein Monster/Puppet of CAMERON WINKLEVOSS who frankly has no standing to attack Gawker’s acquisition of Cityfile if he is going to again COPY another more prolific website. You contrast this with a site like FAMEGAME.COM which for all of my issues with that name, drives traffic in the world of philanthropy to many charities and local cultural organizations. GuestofaGuest.com wants your content to steal the eyeballs while offering little in terms of originality.

  • haha

    PMC and guestofaguest =’s incestuous group of social climbers

  • MODEM

    IAM SICK OF ALL THE LIES AND DESCEPTION. THIS IS A GOD DAMN JOKE! THE “SOCIALITIES” AND THE ONES WHO PROMOTE THEM ARE JUST AS USELESS AS THEIR VAPID AND DRUG ADDICTED PARENTS.

  • ari

    I have been following this story for some time and I am all to familiar with these scams that take place in New York City. Rachelle Huruska is contributing to everything that is going wrong in America. Rachelle should start setting a better example for her readers, and stop promoting celebrties vapid and materialistic behavior as being ok. ITS NOT!

  • Good Morning Mr. Lewis. Truth is you can never begrudge a man who steps up and admits he is simply a man. We are all imperfect but sometimes in our rush to canonize people we may like or be aligned with, we do not recognize the power of our platform, say in your case of BlackBook. We are living in uncertain if not surreal times. Your platform reaches a good many social going and nightlife oriented folks looking for the insider scoop as to where they should spend their disposable income. Beyond promotion of those who may not always be consumer friendly, you can help elevate the nightlife game by serving as a reminder that where folks do not listen to the consumer in any business, they will soon be out of business. People do read and listen to you and with that comes some responsibility to those that may take your word. So if some of us have challenged your dogma it is simply for that reason. “Hate” is a pretty strong word and while I may have some contempt for the business methods of some in this town, I am pretty sure that I do not have the time, energy or inclination to hate anyone. It’s not like anyone we are talking about here is Saddam Hussein.

  • Steven, no matter what comes of this my dear, you and I are still going out for a drink, so lovely to come across a kindred soul- Scallywag

  • oh btw… i don’t actually drink.. the jamesons thing is an inside joke..sorry to confuse

  • don’t remember forest being very bright… anyway i dont really have any animosity towards dylan… so far he’s your story and thats not much in my humble opinion. noah is my friend and i see him differently than you do. rachelle until you show me a money trail or something tangible …is fabulous. justin ross lee and i get along just fine, talking to him later. i was partners with michael alig long before he became the “party monster” but dropped him when he started acting up.. i designed marquee to be what it has turned out to be and im designing a restaurant/lounge for the 1oak boys on 14th street. i design lots of places in manhattan,nj.long island, vegas, miami, brooklyn even utah! design is fun. im sure you have visited some of the places i did. maybe even liked one or 2 of them. i never portray myself as innocent, although i am often not guilty. i have no beef with you except for your objection that i stand by friends. i think thats a good quality. i don’t blindly side with them but do listen closely when they are beseiged. lets sit down and chat..i don’t necessarily disagree with you all that much just defend my friends. why don’t we all become good friends! ill even interview you for bb .your side needs to be told as well ! and dylan…i mean who cares anymore.. in reality we dont even have a beef… now i feel better..

  • Steve, my good man, in terms of truth and veracity, you are hardly a character witness, even if you are a character nonetheless; You have been partners with a known and convicted felon, you designed the consummate tourist trap club in Marquee and see the Cheney’esque Noah Tepperberg as a model citizen in Nightlife despite Justin Ross Lee’s dissection of the emperor who has no clothes on ClubPlanet.com. The club land hustle based upon myth that you perpetuate on the pages of BlackBook hardly makes you an innocent bystander or voice of independence in matters related to Rachelle Hruska, who’s myth you went to great lengths to propagate. That one of her photographers whether he wanted to deliver flowers or lay some pipe into a young blue blooded blonde that was sleeping on your couch is hardly relevant. The “fruit from the forbidden tree” is you and all your sullied friends who are so morally compromised that you are too barren of emotion or perspective or face down in a bottle of Jameson to comprehend. ClubPlanet.com is at least a voice of the people in that it forces venue owners to address consumer issues related to the Nightlife Industry which you choose to deflect and rationalize because you are friends with so and so and happen to be designing their latest fraud trap for the dim witted consumer. With all due respect, Dylan Armajani, is “Forrest Gump” compared to you.

  • Dylan Armajani

    Scallywag- Just wanted to let you know thanks for standing up for me. I actually mean it. I may be filing charges against Blackbook later this week. Mr. Steve Lewis made some accusations in his piece about me that I actually already had my lawyer check into and audited both my cell phone and my email account when steve first made those accusations. He can’t produce any evidence, or any proof of said “order of protection” so I think I will be filing defamation of character charges later this week against blackbook. But just wanted to say thanks for sticking to the story and not getting off track by petty differences (aka the fact that I fucked a blonde little coke whore that now Steve Lewis is with… and doesnt want to admit he has sloppy seconds). It means a lot.

    Dylan

  • but questions are not answers. you criticize rachelle for not being a reporter but present assumptions and innuendo instead of proof. that makes you even less of a reporter. show me a money trail. present a reliable witness who is in the mix.. a document… asking dont make it so… i would like proof that my friend has been unethical .i reported today on a story regarding the waitress suing 1oak. i am currently building a joint for the 1oak guys. i disclosed this and welcomed inquiry regarding conflict of interest, i reported the story fairly and have a rep of doing so regardless of financial gain..i think thats my rep :).. i believe in rachelle until proven wrong.. prove me wrong. btw dylan and i werent fighting over the girl.. thats plain silly

  • stevesbestfriend

    Why do all of you write so poorly? Its horrible! Anyway – the point is that SHE TAKES MONEY TO PROMOTE A TV SHOW (AND PARTIES) AND THEN PRETENDS TO GET EXCLUSIVES!!!! IT IS ONE GIANT PHONY SCAM!

  • Steven, I am very curious to get to the bottom of this. Dylan may be a caustic individual and maladjusted, but the chain of email correspondences signed off by Sarah Kunst, Rachelle and Dylan is very very alarming.

    I didn’t ask to have these emails sent to me and yet they were and I think they are incriminating in the context of the type of coverage GoG offers, particularly in light of the way this show called ‘High Society’ has been propagated and marketed.

    As Mr London writes:

    It is not illegal to have a social blog, but it is duplicitous to report something as news which is scripted, whether you were receiving actual cash payments to do so or in lieu thereof cross promotion of your own legacy and brand in exchange for that.

    Honesty is a wonderful thing. We’re not questioning sources Steve, we don’t care about that, just the integrity of what is being communicated and how that communication plays out to a public that has no awareness of the behind the scenes deals that brought this all to light.

    Perhaps I am mistaken but the paper trail (no matter who delivered it…) is very disconcerting.

    All I am doing is asking questions, that’s my oath as a writer Steve, the same as yours,
    ALSO STEV, I don’t think I am missing the point, rather I am questioning a point of view that is rarely discussed or addressed and I think it ought to.

    Kindest regards,

    Scallywag.

    The evidence is here- https://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/03/former-guest-of-a-guest-photographer-blows-whistle-on-cws-high-society/

  • i think christopher is missing the point. dylan is not a source. nothing he says can be relied on as far as im concerned . i don’t buy into the fruit from the forbidden tree. i think this is a non story. her sources and agendas dont need to be divulged to you or anyone and if you dont like it dont read it. i wrote a story today and 10 in the last 2 weeks and i dont reveal my sources. her agenda seems to be growth and it seems to be happening. you guys are all assumptions and whys and what if’s and supposes… all leading questions.. where is the proof? i think i work for cayte btw. rachelle is my friend because i believe in her word. i trust her. if im wrong and you are correct i will be shocked. so shock me! i know i cant trust dylans word and everything awful that has been talked about came from him… where is the meat behind the accusations.. give me answers not a bombardment of snide questions.

  • Michelle

    $11,000 is the fine…. WB prob paid $40,000.. still a sweet deal.