Unfortunately for Weiner, no crisis management pro in his/her right mind is going near this case
At this point, Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign has gone so far off the rails that we’ve begun to question whether it’s somehow been taken over by the producers of Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show and is being run purely to create joke fodder. In the latest twist from this bizarre tale, former campaign staff aide Olivia Nuzzi dished unflattering inside info about the campaign to the Daily News, making for a juicy front-page story.
But wait, it gets worse! In an interview with Talking Points Memo (which was actually for an unrelated story on Weiner’s fundraising efforts), campaign communications director Barbara Morgan, “went off on a curse-filled rant about Nuzzi, describing her as a fame hungry ‘bitch’ who ‘sucked’ at her job. Morgan also called Nuzzi a ‘slutbag,’ ‘twat,’ and ‘cunt’ while threatening to sue her.”
Of course, Talking Points Memo wasted no time on crafting a story that perfectly frames just how outrageously unprofessional this response was. Here’s a choice quote:
“I’m dealing with like stupid fucking interns who make it on to the cover of the Daily News even though they signed NDAs and/or they proceeded to trash me,” Morgan told TPM, referring to a non-disclosure agreement. “And by the way, I tried to fire her, but she begged to come back and I gave her a second chance.”
Morgan went on to suggest Nuzzi would be unable to get a job in New York City’s political scene as a result of her actions.
“Fucking slutbag. Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again,” said Morgan.
Morgan claims that she thought she was “off the record,” which leads us to repeat this priceless crisis management lesson:
There is no true, “off the record” unless you keep your mouth shut. Any conversation of controversial subjects with, or within earshot of, members of the media, should stay restricted to the type of careful wording you would use in an official release.
In fact, social media has really pushed this one step further, to the point where if you’re, say…in charge of communications for an already-devastated political campaign…it would be best not to be using words like “bitch” or “slutbag” to describe anyone within earshot of the public at all. While obviously news published by popular sites like Talking Points Memo gets out there faster, there is nothing stopping your average citizen who overhears some ugly quips or insider info from heading to Twitter or Facebook and sharing it with the world at large, along with every news editor they can find.
The BCM Blogging Team