The Social Exchange

commentary and discourse

An introductory roundup.

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Since this is a new blog, a quick note about roundups: I routinely post what I call a “roundup” – a post with links and commentary on news, other blogs, and events that I find interesing and/or informative. Sometimes they’re long posts, sometimes they’re not, but they are always (hopefully) useful. To begin:

Via Feministing:

So, on August 12th, Rush made the following comments regarding the John Edwards affair scandal:

“It just seems to me that Edwards might be attracted to a woman whose mouth did something other than talk…my theory that I just explained to you about why — you know, what could have John Edwards’ motivations been to have the affair with Rielle Hunter, given his wife is smarter than he is and probably nagging him a lot about doing this, and he found somebody that did something with her mouth other than talk.”

Really. He said it. It’s on film.

Keith Olbermann, who picked up on the story I imagine the same way we did (through disgusted, loud-mouthed women), made an hilarious response on his show yesterday. It’s gold, I swear.

Oh, Keith Olbermann, how I love you:

Now, I haven’t commented on the whole John Edwards scandal yet, but I have just a few things to say.

In short: not only is Johns Edwards an asshole, he’s also an idiot.

I was pissed about this for several reasons, the most obvious of which is that I love Elizabeth Edwards. I’ve always thought her husband was a dimwit, but he gained points with me simply for marrying her. So I hate that he did this to such a great woman. However, aside from the fact that we was a jackass for having the affair in the first place, he’s a twit for not doing for himself, his family, and his career what he should have done immediately: control the frickin’ story.

Once he know the story was about to come out (and there is plenty of evidence to show that he at least had some warning), his first – the VERY first – call should have been to his PR guy/girl. Why? Because by letting the story come out (in the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, for god’s sake) and speculation continue, he really screwed over his wife and his family AGAIN. Now, I’ve only been doing Public Information for a little while, and I don’t quite have my communications degree, but it seems this is common sense: CONTROL. THE STORY.

I have three main points:

1. He should have IMMEDIATELY assembled his PR team and crafted a message to the public regarding the scandal. You do this so that 1) you can control at least the initial tone of the story, and to a certain extent, the reaction of the public, and 2) to preempt whatever extreme assumptions that will be made about your character. He still would have suffered character attacks, but at least this way he still shows a certain amount of character in being honest with the public. Also, it would have reinforced his version of the facts, simply because he was forthcoming with them.

The message should have sounded something like this: “I think everyone can understand why, for the sake of our family, that Elizabeth and I wanted to keep this a private matter. However, now that we realize the situation has entered the public domain, we want to be as honest and open as we can. In 2006, I had an affair with Rielle Hunter. It did happen, although I am not the father of her child. After the affair concluded, I confessed to my wife what I had done, and she chose that we work the difficult time together. The affair was a mistake; it was destructive to my family and to myself, and I have no excuses. I can only say that I am sorry, and ask your forgiveness for betraying your trust in me.”

2. If you’re not going to come right out with the truth, at least have the good judgment not to comment. ‘No comment’ is bad pretty much at any time, because it confirms you have something to hide, but it’s better than the alternative, as now you’re on the record as having lied about it. Now you’re a liar and a cheat. Good Job.

3. Because Edwards failed to do these two things, he managed to impeach his own character, which is not an easy thing to do. At the very least he could have shown a little character to the public in his handling of the situation, but now – from the perspective of the public – he has no redeeming strength of character. Now he’s a guy who cheats on his wife, lies about it, and then tries to save his own ass after it’s too late to do anything else (including protecting his family at least a little bit from the media onslaught).


Moving on…

This is cool: apparently Chef Julia Child was part of a WWII spy network.

From NPR: the Energy boom in Wyoming may increase wages, but it also increases inflation (8% to the nation-wide 5%).

Via Slate: the Google Black Hole: the awful things that happen when Google buys your company.

And, in sync with me shouting “HELL, YEAH!” to Linda Hirshman, I offer you an extremely well-reasoned article on reclaiming the morality of abortion and the overdue change to he Democratic platform.

Also, an interesting look at whether Osama Bin Laden’s movement is destined to fail. Lastly, the very legitimate problem of Bush’s questionable response to the Russian invasion of Georgia.


Written by sfaile

August 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm

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