Monday, June 27, 2005

Oops! I did it....

There. She finally said it. Hers was the voice on the tapes.

It's a good feeling to know that you've stared the highest-ranking official of the land in the eye and made her blink. Kudos to PCIJ, Inq7, and TXTpower for leading the online fight for truth and transparency. It's a fantastic case study of how technology at work in politics.

On the flip side, it's also a fascinating case study in how to mismanage a crisis situation. Two weeks of stonewalling, prevarication, ambiguity, and double-talk simply added fuel to the fire. What did GMA et al. hope to achieve from it? That the problem would simply go away? That we would forget about it and "focus on the economy"?

The two weeks of silence, I think, did the most harm, far more than any accusation the opposition could throw in their direction. The silence meant (1) they were hiding something (2) they were not in control of the situation (3) they were biding their time to come up with an acceptable spin. Not a good approach when your citizens, i.e., your customers, want answers NOW.

In any case, the damage has been done. Not that there was much trust to begin with, but this simply brings it several levels lower.

And really, we're hardly at the truth of the matter. This is just the first step.

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