I almost never write weekend posts. I can't remember the last time I did, actually. It's kind of like seeing a dog walk on his hind legs. That or hearing Mike Tomlin give a press conference without using the phrase "the reality of it."
But this time, I feel it's important.
At this point, you've probably heard about John McCain's creative memory. Well in response to the slip up, his campaign had this to say...
"[This] was an honest mistake...If bloggers want to make fun of John McCain because he forgot which team he used under torture, that is their right."From a PR standpoint, this is a classic but anachronistic strategy that I call "the Jedi Mind Trick." Yes, he was wrong, but look over there - those bloggers are a bunch of insensitive dicks (/McCain sneaks out back door while everyone throws stones at bloggers).
Having worked in PR at the beginning of my career, and now authoring this blog, I have what I think is a unique perspective on this.
Which is, that's a piss poor response. The last thing you want to do when the center of your campaign has completely screwed up, is blame someone else who merely pointed out the mistake (albeit in a sarcastic and less than flattering tone). The right reaction would have been just to apologize. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.
For example, think about the steroid situation in baseball. Take Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi. I know they're not exactly on the same talent level and I know it is remotely (very very remotely) possible that Bonds didn't use steroids. But my point is - Bonds has chided everyone for suggesting that he cheated, and everyone hates him (well, just about everyone). Giambi openly admitted his mistake, apologized, and people forgave him.
It's not some brilliant strategy. It's human nature. When you make a mistake, you apologize. And you certainly don't blame other people for pointing out the truth. This is not 1955. Today, information is distributed at light speed. You just can't expect everyone to ignore such a glaring mistake.
So I don't know who's in charge of McCain's PR, but in this man's opinion, they handled this one really poorly. I mean, after all, McCain is vying for the Presidency. This certainly doesn't instill much confidence in me that he's a decent and caring man. Especially when his campaign takes a shot at bloggers. Way to go with the flavor of the week defense. Jerks.
Anyone feel differently? Thoughts? Were bloggers wrong for highlighting McCain's blunder?
McCain's Mind No Steel Trap [Post-Gazette]
McCain's Steelers Memory Contradicts His Book [KDKA]
John McCain Is Old Or A Liar [PSAMP]
John McCain is a Steelers Fan (when in PA) [MJD]
In PA, McCain Tells a New Version of Heroic P.O.W. Story [ABC News]
McCain claims he recited Steelers lineup, problem is... [Daily Kos]