Embarrassing The Press Relations Profession, On The Public Stage

I spent most of my career in either Press or Analyst Relations. I have seen my share of successes and failures. I’ve been in both. We know each other well. My work includes dealing with behemoths (IBM), so I understand what it’s like dealing with a Kraken.

When I see others making mistakes, it’s cringe worthy. Tactical mistakes happen. Strategic planning mistakes are usually worth termination, like Gillette trashing men on Super Bowl Sunday. Putting incompetent people in front of a crowd is inexcusable.

I’ve seen unqualified, and that is what we have at the White House Press Podium right now. If anyone cries racism or sexism at this, you are wrong. So wrong that 180 degrees from now you’d still be wrong. There are professionals and there are amateurs. We have someone who is not seasoned enough to be where she is. It reared it’s ugly head yesterday more than the usual incompetence that is rookie material.

I’ve overlooked a lot of what has been said. Jen Psaki lied every day, but was skilled at how she said it and commanded the room. She was a professional and acted for the most part like one. So did almost every other White House Spokesperson prior to her. They handled some tough ad hominem attacks.

From Brian Lonergan:

In the arena of politics, incompetents and charlatans can have long careers in ways that others in fields like medicine and architecture cannot. If someone botches a heart bypass operation or designs a wobbly skyscraper, the consequences of those mistakes arrive quickly and cannot be explained away. Even when their policies fail spectacularly, politicians can obscure, deflect, and mislead for years and not be held accountable.

This is essentially what we are seeing now from the Biden Administration, practiced to a more shameless and insulting degree than any of its predecessors have ever attempted. The latest nadir of this strategy happened recently when Fox News reporter Peter Doocy confronted White House flack Karine Jean-Pierre about the glaring hypocrisy of not allowing unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic to fly to the United States to compete, while untold numbers of unvaccinated illegal aliens enter the country on foot daily and are allowed to stay.

“But that’s not how it works,” Jean-Pierre said over Doocy’s indignation. “It’s not like somebody walks over.”

Millions walk over the border in full view of cameras (and hidden by coyotes) bringing fentanyl, diseases (Covid) crime and a drain on the taxpayers. They are given phones, EBT and rooms in luxury hotels. The new American dream.

THE TRUTH SLIPS OUT

When you can’t keep track of your lies, the PR mistakes happen. You step in it like KJP did. It is a rookie mistake by an unqualified person. You have to have ice water in your veins when you stand up and mis-direct questions or deflect issues. You don’t give the press the gun to shoot you with.

When Doocy pressed further, Jean-Pierre could only respond by reading talking points about how the administration is adding technology at the border and securing more funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Those bullet points do nothing to explain why thousands of unvaccinated aliens are being allowed into the country.

Such comments are indicative of either next-level gaslighting or ignorance of the issues on a breathtaking scale. Any sentient being who has followed the news the last two years has surely seen the ubiquitous videos showing thousands of foreign nationals crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, then processed by the Border Patrol.

Biden’s own Customs and Border Protection has reported 1,822,160 encounters with illegal aliens so far in fiscal year 2022, a 586 percent increase since 2017. It is reasonable to assume that most, if not all, of those people are still in the United States. Maybe Jean-Pierre was being too literal and splitting hairs, since technically the border-crossers are swimming and wading across the border, not walking. Regardless, noncitizens are clearly traversing our border in record numbers and are being allowed to stay.

How did the situation get this bad? While the border security problem has been festering for decades, it is only in the last two years that the situation has spun out of control at its current record-breaking pace. The White House, again in gaslighting mode, has blamed the spike on everything from COVID to climate change. It couldn’t possibly be anything they did, right?

Even in a sea of political spin, the truth occasionally slips out. During a recorded deposition as part of discovery in a lawsuit filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody against DHS and other border agencies, Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz made a succinct and honest statement. Under questioning about the number of people crossing the border, Ortiz, a 31-year law enforcement veteran, said, “In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences,” said Ortiz during the deposition.

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