Famous Last Words: Never Trust the Media!
For example, check out the first photograph (in the mediaplayer to the right)—the official government portrait of S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, former director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), who was in charge of "environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas" when the BP oil spill hit the Gulf of Mexico. The media had a field day digging up dirt on her. Here's what President Obama said about her at his news conference on May 26:
When Secretary Salazar took office, he found a Minerals and Management Service that had been plagued by corruption for years—this was the agency charged with not only providing permits, but also enforcing laws governing oil drilling. And the corruption was underscored by a recent Inspector General's report that covered activity which occurred prior to 2007—a report that can only be described as appalling.
My take: Birnbaum was sandbagged at an agency that is in the pockets of Big Oil, and under the thumb of congresspersons who receive huge campaign donations from Big Oil, and rendered impotent. She was fired, of course.
Now compare the first nice portrait with the next one that ran in a May 25 New York Times article. Note the huge blank space at left and the shifty-eyed, sullen subject seemingly cornered like an evil rat.
I never trust media—any of 'em; including Facebook and LinkedIn.
Denny Hatch is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter, and author of the e-mail newsletter, Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense. Visit him at www.businesscommonsense.com or www.dennyhatch.com, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.