The week in foot-in-mouth

February 18th, 2011

This week has been notable for two amazing career/personal meltdowns: that of journalism professor Nir Rosen, who wrote a series of offensive tweets about Lara Logan, the reporter who was assaulted in Egypt; and that of public information officer Aeron Haworth, who — okay, it’s complicated. Read the article. Point is, he said a lot of things on the internet that he really, really shouldn’t have.

Bad judgment doesn’t usually surprise me. These two cases do, though. Can these men, who are professional communicators, seriously not know that the internet isn’t private? And that nothing on it ever goes away?

Truly, I do not understand.

2 Responses to “The week in foot-in-mouth”

  1. Brooke on February 19, 2011 10:16 am

    It’s been a while since we’ve all had the talk about how the internet is forever, isn’t it? I hope we’ve all learned something today. Let’s recall our own mid-90s learning curves, shudder, and move on.

    Striking (but unsurprising) are the common threads in the men’s post-flameout reflections: a “glass of wine,” writing in the late evening, the tunnel vision of kneejerk/unthinking responses. All of these inhibit that healthy back-of-the-head voice that says, “Wait…what the hell am I about to do? What am I thinking?”

  2. Shulamuth on February 22, 2011 1:04 am

    I get forgetting that we are all linked to each other now. I shudder to think what could be done with some of the things I’ve posted in my life, especially in the early ’90s when the net still was a vaguely private place, or at least one mostly populated by a certain kind of folks.

    I get that when drinking it is sometime hard to remember that posting under the influence is generally a Very Bad Idea.

    So, not acceptance and not approval but certainly some understanding.

    But, the thing about my reaction that in some ways befuddles me the most is that the most surprising thing to me in both cases is that the apologies were sincere and indicated that the guys “got it”, one in that awful moment after you hit the send button, and one withing a few days. I am rather upset that I appear to have developed a worldview in which I do not except people to be willing to own and apologize for their really stupid mistakes.

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