Who will defend the indefensible?

July 29th, 2019

When you’re in a crisis, no one really wants to know you.

The people you thought were your best friends tend to melt away like summer snow.

I know. A young man to whom I gave a first break in journalism, at a time when they were hard to come by, ended up as a very senior position in a national TV station. We’ll come back to him in a minute.

I ended up running PR for radioactive waste. Not the most popular cause but I had no problems with it. We have all benefitted from this waste in terms of nuclear electricity, radiography (the rays cure as well as kill) and scientific research. So it should be disposed of responsibly.

As you might expect, the Green groups, particularly Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace gave me a hard time in the media, even though we did enjoy a good chat when we met. (It’s important to maintain a dialogue.)

Now back to this young man (now 15 years older) who called with a hard ‘green’ line on a story. I was surprised he was so aggressive. I certainly did not expect any favours – he had a job to do – but I was shocked that he would not really listen to the arguments.

Anyway, I got shafted as usual.

Last week, the disgraced firm Cambridge Analytica, that harvested the profiles of tens of millions of Facebook users, admitted they could not get any PR company to represent them in the crisis because they found their brand too toxic.

What Cambridge Analytic did was wrong. But even the worst criminal deserves a decent defence council.

As to Facebook, are they totally in the clear after paying a $5billion fine? And they have no problem finding PR advisors.

Think about it.

Have a good week.

Tom

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