It is time, once again, to remind people being interviewed by the media that words matter. You never want negative words, which repeat allegations about you, to come out of your mouth. Textbook example: Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”
Nixon demonstrated that there should never be heard a discouraging word from the lips of the accused — even when you deny the allegation.
Today we have an amazing corollary. In Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is a story about how long-time Congressman John Murtha is defending himself against allegations that he directs budget earmarks to firms in his district, which in turn hire lobbyists who make big contributions to his campaigns.
And what does Murtha (who is under investigation by the FBI) tell the Post-Gazette?
“If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district,” Mr. Murtha said. “My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it’s Republican or Democrat.”
Wow. Murtha has gone Nixon one better…no, make that one worse.
He is essentially saying “I AM a crook. But it is in a good cause.”