Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, the site of the birth on Jan. 7 of Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z's daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, has received a serious dose of negative coverage this week in the New York Daily News and the New York Times for the celebrity couple's assumption of authority over the sixth floor neonatal intensive care unit. According to the News and the Times, the couple's own security team has prevented other parents from seeing their children, covered windows and taped over security cameras.
Rumors of a $1 million payment to the hospital from the couple have also been floated.
One new mother, attempting to visit her baby in intensive care, was told by a private security guard that "the floor is on lockdown." A new father told the Daily News that he was barred from seeing his daughter for three hours by bodyguards. "I felt like I was in prison," he told the News.
The story has gone national, putting the hospital's spokesperson in a much brighter spotlight than she's probably accustomed to. One of the most sensitive issues is the taping over of security cameras, which increases the risk of abduction—one of a new parent's greatest fears those few days in the hospital.
The spokesperson's comments to the Times fed into every lay person's suspicions that PR is mere spin: She said the hospital has received no formal complaint about security measures. "We have been in control of the security detail, and we remain in control of it," she told the Times. "The security plan was designed not to limit access to patient care areas."
Every word of her statement has the ring of falsity. There is not the slightest hint of concern for the aggrieved parents or even a sense that the hospital will look into the matter and perhaps even learn from its mistakes—if indeed mistakes were made. Her statement that the hospital is "dedicated to providing high-quality care to every patient" in this context confirms the belief for many that every day is Opposite Day for a professional spokesperson.