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Burris Embraces The "faulty Communications" Excuse

Roll Call reports that Roland Burris "has not considered resigning," because

[t]he Senator believes he has been honest and above board, but feels he is suffering in part because of a faulty communications strategy in relation to how he has dealt with this latest scandal.

Hey, can we put a total moratorium on this lame, euphemistic, cynical and increasingly ubiquitous "faulty communications strategy" excuse? Blagojevich insisted a faulty communications strategy was to blame for his impeachment ("If you could hear the whole story, I think the whole story will tell a story of a governor who's on the side of the people," he whined on the "Today Show"). Defenders of the Pope's recent solicitude towards the Holocaust-denying Bishop Williamson argue that the Vatican's mistake lay less in lifting the Bishop's excommunication than in failing to set its press office "working around the clock, with press releases flying, to provide context and do damage control." Republicans have totally embraced the soothing idea that their losses have resulted from poor communication. ("[T]he most important factor [in the GOP downfall] may be our failure to articulate who we are as a party," Rick Santorum, surely a trustworthy source on how to achieve electoral success, assured his fellow conservatives in December.) It shows the pervasiveness of a sort of George Lakoff view of public life, in which the perception of whether your actions were wrong -- and perhaps even the basic truth of whether they were -- primarily depends on how you've framed them.

It might be a good, character-building exercise for the Burris types to have their words bleeped out on TV or their op-eds rejected every time they try to invoke the "bad p.r." line, even in cases in which it might be true. I get the feeling poor Burris may actually have come to believe that it's a "faulty communications strategy," rather than lies, that's doing him in.

--Eve Fairbanks