Congressman Anthony Weiner…we go back. Way back. You represented me years ago when I was a starving grad student you were an even more starving young city councilman and I’d run into you on the Brooklyn streets. And now, look how far we’ve come.
Now that I’m an aspiring communications guru may I give you some constructive criticism? You fell into one of the worst traps of crisis communications. And I don’t mean by sending sexually inappropriate photos to women other than your wife or your unfortunately prescient name.
The first rule of crisis communications is to Take. Out. Your. Own. Trash. Frankly your allegations of being pranked, punk’d or the victim of hacking were about as thin as those boxers that have been plastered over every newspaper. Last week you should have come clean and maybe, just maybe, Andrew Breitbart might not have crashed your party.
Yes, Anthony, you would have looked like a creep and a bad husband, but not necessarily a failed politician. It would have expedited – if not ended – your embarrassment and starved the media of extra days of juicy speculation. Most importantly, you might have been able taken control of the narrative.
Hubris, ego, or chutzpah…whatever you call it. From here, it looks like the same bad energy that led to Weinergate is what’s kept you from properly handling the situation when you got caught. Now you look like a creep, a bad husband and a first-class liar for dragging out the inevitable. A ten day media cycle capped by two Sunday show pundit parades is now assured.
Food for thought. Handled earlier and better, you might have launched your mea culpa on Friday, before the weekend and saved enough face to march in Sunday’s Salute to Israel Parade in New York, in front of your most loyal constituency. It could have saved your mayoral dreams, as we both know that New Yorkers are well-known for forgiving our leaders their imbroglios.
But, repeatedly and badly lie to us? Talk to us like we’re stupid? Forestall our smug satisfaction of catching a politician in an embarrassing sex scandal? Fuggedaboutit!