Children's book publisher Frank Watts was my second boss in business. Many of his aphorisms—including the title above—are hard-wired into my DNA. What triggered this piece was the withdrawal by two distinguished, high-achieving commencement speakers at Rutgers University and Smith College.
In last Thursday’s edition of this e-zine about Jay Leno—and knowing how to communicate using different media—I failed to include a very important takeaway point: * Never trust a television studio. You never know when your mike is live and picking up your stupid comments, or the camera is on you while you are picking your nose—or both. Rev. Jesse Jackson, spiritual and moral adviser to President Bill Clinton—and a man who fathered a child out of wedlock, paid her $40,000 out of his nonprofit corporation and once referred to New York City as “Hymietown,” an anti-Semitic slur—is in the limelight once again.
It has been a big year (so far) for public relations catastrophes and crisis management. But no story can compare with Newsweek's huge gaffe when investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and John Barry wrote the following in the Periscope column in the May 9, 2005, Newsweek: Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash. These six words--"flushed a Qur'an down a toilet" --traversed the globe, reportedly caused riots in the Arab world where 16 people were killed and more than