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Good Enough Mother Responds To “Exclusive” Carolina Girls Interview

Good Enough Mother Responds To
“Exclusive” Carolina Girls Interview


UPDATE: I emailed the news director Bryan Luhn after WCBD aired the exclusive interview with Carolina Girls owner Stephanie Davis. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.12.43 AM

Bryan did respond to me late last night. He said he was going to wait until later but apparently changed his mind since I was “calling us out on social media”.

He basically said that he felt the station had, for 2 days, presented both sides of the story and that they did use a soundbite from Casey (a snippet of audio typically :15 seconds or so; Casey’s lasted :14 seconds)  leading up to the taped story with Carolina Girls owner Stephanie Davis which, with anchor and reporter intro, runs another 2:30 or so.  So a dated, :14 second soundbite presents our side while Ms. Davis gets 3 times that amount.

No one asked me for a statement, like they did Ms. Davis the day before. When Ms. Davis offered to meet with us, the reporter failed to mention that we had left already, a fact thatI had made clear to the news director the day before. 

Regarding my concern about the friendship between Ms.Davis and WCBD anchor Carolyn Murray:

“Aside from sending our reporter a private text about the situation that he shared with you, she has had zero input on this story or how we’re covering it.”

That message from the anchor to the reporter, was deflating.  Murray told the reporter that she was friends with Ms. Davis and, in expressing her skepticism about Casey’s experience said, it, “sounds fishy.”

This is, in part, why so many people distrust the media. Of course, as Luhn told me, journalists have friends and they needn’t disclose because she didn’t influence the story in any way. But I would be surprised if Murray’s friendship didn’t somehow play a role in their exclusive and sadly, incomplete report  with their hometown favorite. 





This is not what I wanted to put up on Good Enough Mother today but I can see you all streaming over here from the news report on WCBD today that I know will leave a response.

Why am I responding here?

Because WCBD never asked for my side of the story. You might be saying now, “You told your side yesterday”. And you would be right. I did. But Carolina Girls also was represented in the piece yesterday, by way of a statement.

Did I have a statement in the piece today?

No. No I did not.

Now, for those of you coming in on the middle of the movie, go here to catch up.

Here is the “exclusive” interview  done by the reporter and introduced by anchor Carolyn Murray who, ironically, is a close personal friend of the owner Stephanie Davis.

Yeah. That.


So what’s the problem Rene?

  1. MY SIDE:  As I stated above, this piece was hardly fair. The reporter who interviewed us yesterday, as well as the news director, knew we were leaving South Carolina last night. But in the piece, Stephanie Davis talks about how she and her staff have STILL extended an offer for us to come in and clear the air. Why wouldn’t the reporter add to the piece that were were gone already?
    A) Ms. Davis and her crew deleted comments about her “apology” from the Carolina Girls now defunct Facebook page. Why were people commenting? Because the apology was hardly an apology.
    B) Ms. Davis neglected to say in her WCBD piece that her “full investigation” only included her own staff; she didn’t bother to ask Casey her side before posting on their (now defunct) Facebook page. And she wonders why we didn’t take her up on her offer to meet. Do you really think we would get a fair shake from someone who thinks a “full investigation” includes just her employees?
    C) Ms. Davis neglected to mention anything about the fake Yelp and Facebook profiles set offering glowing reviews of Carolina Girls.
    D) No one disclosed Ms. Davis close relationship with the news anchor Carolyn Murray. I am not saying Ms. Murray cannot be impartial; I am saying that presents a potential conflict of interest and should have been disclosed. That’s just good journalism.

I hate that a place and a profession that has such a big place in my heart, is being sullied by this entire ordeal.



  1. Lisa Nelson-Haynes

    August 2, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I have countless issues with this news report, but I think in addition to its bias, I’m most disturbed by the owner of Caroline Girls placing the responsibility of moving forward on you and your daughter. Your daughter is the aggrieved customer. I’m all for working with people to come to a better understanding, but to not first address the inappropriateness of the clerk’s comment and behavior is completely insulting. If she had responded by saying that she is appalled by the allegations and will work diligently to ensure this will never happen again, then I’d give her some slack, but this is not the case. The owner expressed more genuine concern for how her business has been impacted by the social media attention. Maybe she should give a little thought about how your daughter has been impacted by her clerk’s bigoted behavior. Your family was on vacation and it was marred by this incident. Why is it your responsibility to sit at a table with Carolina Girls to assist in their racial sensitivity training? This is 2016 and the comments made are beyond the pale. Everyone deserves to be treated with basic human decency and this is not how your dear daughter was treated.

  2. Elizabeth

    August 3, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Call ABC in NY, get Whoopi on this story. She will wring the truth out these racist liars!

  3. Carolina Girls

    August 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Our business does not tolerate inappropriate treatment of ANY customer. Therefore, we reached out to Ms. Syler both privately and publicly to apologize, to tell her we were investigating and invited her to address her concerns face-to-face.

    Instead of meeting with our owner, Ms. Syler responded by writing, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to be doing: I am going to contact [your landlord], Yelp, TripAdvisor, my media contact in South Carolina as well as nationally to share Casey’s experience in Carolina Girls. I will also share with my social channels and all of your vendors.”

    Since then, Ms. Syler has tweeted nearly 150 times, written nearly 4,000 words of blog posts, and posted links on social media encouraging bad reviews of our business. In her tweets, she has reached out to magazines, news organizations, talk shows, and celebrities. She has continued to tweet to us daily and sometimes hourly, such as today when she tweeted, “@CarolinaGirlsSC TWC & CNN are also aware of your statements.”

    Although we made a second attempt to speak with Ms. Syler personally, she refuses to speak with our owner or to assist her in determining who may have made an inappropriate comment regarding her daughter. Further, Ms. Syler has accused us of creating fake Yelp profiles to leave ourselves glowing reviews. It is worth noting that these two profiles, that are not controlled by us, have been active and reviewing other local businesses for over a year before her daughter came to our store.

    Ms. Syler makes her living as an online personality, an author, and a TV talk show host. As Ms. Syler recently tweeted, these circumstances will make “GREAT FODDER FOR MY UPCOMING SPEECH AND BOOK. #PERFECT.” Perhaps one Ms. Syler will take some time away from social media, her blogs, and her TV interviews to have a personal dialogue with our owner.

  4. Rene Syler

    August 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    “Therefore, we reached out to Ms. Syler both privately and publically to apologize” Public first, private only after, with an “apology” that began with how dismayed you were that these comments were on your social media.” Not that you’re mortified that this happened in your store. You were/are more concerned with your reputation. “… to assist her in determining who may have made an inappropriate comment regarding her daughter.” What is there left to say? You made a “full investigation (without talking to my daughter) and blamed the comment on your young customers. In that same statement you also inferred my daughter, who just wanted to buy a 12-dollar wallet from your store, lied. Now, why on earth would we want to meet with someone who felt that way? My daughter was horrified by the actions of your staff not just in the initial indecent but the aftermath. Stephanie Davis, the owner (who is close friends with the anchor of WCBD) had a chance to tell her story unopposed, which happened AFTER we left Kiawah Island, and though available not one contacted us for a statement. And now she now worried that the same is happening for us? Come on now.

    Adding to the irony, Carolina Girls, the website, is registered to John Davis, the husband of owner Stephanie Davis. He is a family doctor affiliated with Roper St. Francis medical group which has a strong commitment to diversity. You can read more on their commitment here—> . I am almost certain they would be interested in these developments.

    Now, I am a blogger and digital strategist. I give speeches around the country to groups on how NOT to get in a situation like this. Of course, I am going to use this, because at every turn, it is a shining of how companies should NOT do business. And yes, I am going to continue to write about this; not doing so is a dereliction of my duty.

    Perhaps one day you will take time to learn how to properly handle a social media/pr crisis.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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