When Grown People Do Stupid Things via the Internet
Posted by Dave Thomas on June 10, 2011 in Public Relations, Social Networking [ 0 Comments ]
Did you ever stop to wonder what would have happened had sites like Twitter and Facebook been around when JFK was allegedly womanizing while in the White House or when the infamous Watergate scandal went down?
As we have seen in recent times, every day employees, politicians and other well-known figures have tweeted one too many times or shared something they shouldn’t have on Facebook, only to end up at the center of a controversy.
The latest public relations embarrassment goes to New York Congressman Anthony Weiner (D), who after first trying the usual denial approach, has admitted to sending sexually suggestive pictures of himself over the Internet to at least half-a-dozen young women.
Not only married, Weiner’s wife is currently pregnant, making his actions all the more reprehensible. Oh, and Weiner claims that since he did not actually have any physical contact with any of these women, things aren’t as bad as they appear.
Weiner, who tried to invoke sympathy while holding back tears during a recent press conference, is under heavy pressure from both sides of the aisle to step down. “To be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it. I’m deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife, and our family, my constituents, my friends, my supporters and my staff,” he said.
So, with that apology, is Weiner feeling in his mind that this is all water under the bridge and he can move along with his political career? Well, apparently the answer is yes.
Despite his lack of brains, Weiner claims he will not hand over his congressional seat because he did not break any rules or laws.
To contradict Weiner, yes, you did break a major rule. Quite simply, Weiner broke the rule of intelligence.
The last place you want anything so provocative going up on is the Internet. That is the equivalent of rewarding an alcoholic with a drink for running some errands for you or giving a convicted arsonist a box of matches. Quite simply, dumb!
In this technologically-driven age that we live in, the last place you want to try and keep a secret is on the Internet. Unless Weiner, 46, was looking to get caught, one can’t imagine that his brain was in full function mode at the time he hit the send button.
Weiner’s initial foray into this debacle was sending a photo of presumably himself wearing only underwear to a 21-year-old. He first told reporters his account had been hacked before coming clean. “I lied because I was ashamed at what I had done, and I didn’t want to get caught,” Weiner told the media.
To date, it’s not clear that Weiner violated any laws or ethical rules either in his conduct with the women or the volume of lies he told in a maneuver to cover it up.
As for his credibility, you pretty much guessed it, zero!
Rule #602 of being a politician or any other well-known individual – Do not use the Internet to partake in anything remotely troublesome that may come back to bite you.
If only all politicians, celebrities, every day workers and such would heed this rule.
For Anthony Weiner, he really is a dog in more ways than one.
Photo credit: Timesleader.com