Edit: Welcome to all of the TOTALFark visitors… glad to have you here.
(So tell me, exactly what sort of link to this blog is bringing you all here, anyway?)
You’ve seen this guy. You’ve heard this guy. Later, you’ll probably agree that he had one of the most memorable lines in the entire Star Wars saga: “Stay on target… stay on target!”
Well, he has a name. Graham Ashley. And that role as X-wing pilot “Gold Five” will live forever.
Maybe it’s because that line has become a mantra for crisis communications. “Stay on target… stay on target!”
Conservative pundit Armstrong Williams is exercising that muscle right now, in an attempt to control the damage as previously outlined. Williams was on the talk-show circuit, where columnist David Corn observed the following:
“He was quick with his main talking point: “It was bad judgment, Dave. Bad judgment.” His phone rang. He answered it, said hello, and then told the person on the other end, “It was bad judgment. You know, just bad judgment.” I was reminded that in addition to being a pundit, Williams, a leading African-American conservative and Clarence Thomas protÃ©gÃ©, is a PR specialist with his own firm. Not too long ago, Michael Jackson called him for advice. Now he had himself for a client, and, heeding conventional crisis-management strategy, he was practicing strict message discipline: bad judgment, bad judgment, bad judgment.”
Unfortunately for Williams, he let’s his guard down. Corn continues:
“And then Williams violated a PR rule: he got off-point. “This happens all the time,” he told me. “There are others.” Really? I said. Other conservative commentators accept money from the Bush administration? I asked Williams for names. “I’m not going to defend myself that way,” he said. The issue right now, he explained, was his own mistake. Well, I said, what if I call you up in a few weeks, after this blows over, and then ask you? No, he said.”
There comes a point where you need to shut up.
Just as Jek Porkins. Porkins, one of the most famous unknowns in the Star Wars universe, got to say a lot more than Gold Five did. He had such lines as “Red Six standing by” and “I’m right with you Red Three.”
Speaking more can hurt you, as Porkins soon found out.
“I’ve got a problem here.”
“I can hold it.”
“No I’m alright, I’m alright aaaarrrrrggghhhhh…. “