So, the NY Times had a piece on Sunday that questioned the steps Roger Clemens took to defend his reputation against allegations that he took steroids: Clemens Faces Dangers of Spin in Steroid Case.
The article lined up a coterie of spinmeisters and lawyers, who pointed out that Roger was bucking conventional crisis management tactics like "issue a brief prepared statement" and "limit your public comments."
"In my view, you have to make a contrary impression as soon as the news comes out," said Barry Langberg a lawyer who represented [celebrity clients] in defamation suits…"And then you shield the person from direct confrontation…"
Langberg and Marina Ein, a crisis-management consultant based in Washington, said they would have strongly advised against Clemen’s appearing on "60 Minutes" last Sunday…They tell their clients to assert their innocence, outrage and commitment to fight the charges under oath only in a brief written statement, rather than in the more uncontrollable forums…."
I dunno, not sure I agree and I feel some of the commentary in the article is overly legalistic (although I am not a lawyer and agree that there is a valid argument for limiting legal exposure and liability).
The article was about PR and spin. If you want to bring in legal implications and metaphors, why not talk about the good sense of the accused speaking out in their own defense?
It is generally assumed that defendants who don’t take the stand at their trials have something to hide. Granted, there is no trial – at least not yet – but there is a congressional inquiry, and, anyway here we talking about the court of public opinion.
I saw the 60 Minutes piece and thought that Roger sounded very sincere. The Times piece and others have pointed out inconsistencies, or problems with the broadcast as well as follow on tactics like the press conference in which he shared the call that he covertly recorded with McNamee to little effect.
Look at it this way, regardless, most people will think he, and all others accused are guilty – as Dan Rather pointed at, there is no obvious reason for McNamee to lie – so there is little to lose with a full court press, even though Roger appears to be a loose cannon. This actually adds to his credibility IMHO. I don’t know the facts of course, but to me and I am sure many others, the anger and self righteousness appear to be genuine and I think gave him a net gain for handling it the way he did.
And 60 Minutes is both highly visible and as American as Mom and Apple as far as being the news forum of record when it comes to trying to set the record straight.
What do you think?