Pat Tillman

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

The year was 1987. Democratic presidential front-runner Gary Hart was rumored to be having an extramarital fling. “Follow me around. I don’t care. I’m serious,” he challenged the media. “If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They’ll be very bored.” A couple of Miami Herald reporters did indeed put a tail on Hart and found a yummy blonde named Donna Rice. Shortly thereafter, a photo surfaced of Hart and Rice canoodling in the Bahamas aboard a yacht, aptly named Monkey Business. Hart not only lost his front-runner status, he was no longer a runner at all. He also opened Pandora’s

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

I read seven newspapers a day. Two of them—The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal—are consumed in hard copy over coffee in the early morning. The other five—The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post—are scanned on the Internet along with regular visits to AOL’s news page and Matt Drudge’s deliciously scurrilous Web site (www.drudgereport.com). One morning, when things were going particularly badly in Iraq and former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, I saw a Web ad for John Kerry in The Times and sent him $500 charged to my American Express

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