Funny how the level of defiance and indignation that public figures exhibit in denial of bad behavior directly correlates with the likelihood of guilt.
A sampling of the legion of perpetrators includes:
- President Bill Clinton wagged his finger and proclaimed, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” Only to eventually fess up, “Indeed I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate.”
- Before he finally admitted his guilt, Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun held a news conference to declare, “I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point. … My name has been dragged through the mud …”
- Alex Rodriguez, on the other hand, is still in denial.
- Former Olympian Marion Jones was adamant in her defense, “There is no one that can testify that I have used performance enhancing drugs simply for the reason that I never have.”
- Politician and father-to-be John Edwards had the balls to say, “I know that it’s impossible this child could be mine …”
- Perhaps most infamous was Lance Armstrong’s disingenuous claims, “I have never used dope. … I am sick and tired of these allegations!”
LESS OFFENSIVE DEFENSE
For a slightly less offensive defense, such poor performers might take a page from the script of the great George Burns: “Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that you’ve got it made.”
SAVED BY THE MEA CULPA
Crisis communications 101 states the best strategy (assuming you are unable to offer bullet-proof evidence of your innocence) is a mea culpa. With this acknowledgement of fault or guilt, include an outline for your plan of correction and repentance. Then sit back and “do the time,” holding your breath until the insatiable 24-hour cable news and social media coverage redirects attention to the next fool.
Caution: Completely regardless of guilt or innocence, prepare to bend over and pay up if self-righteous publicity whores Al Sharpton or Gloria Allred attach themselves to your situation. Unless, that is, you are willing to set a (public-service) precedent and challenge their agitations and extortions.