Once a person expresses his or her true feelings on a subject, it’s impossible to take those words back, and the consequences become more extreme in the media.
That’s a lesson Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart probably learned when he spoke to student journalists. Brian Slodysko in the Chicago Sun-Timesreports Dart told the students, “Most of the people in my world hate the media,” and said even though he doesn’t hate them, “I feel sorry for them.”
He even criticized objectivity when journalists want to get both sides of a story: “one thing that always eats at me.”
Not only was his speech covered in the Sun-Times but it was posted on YouTube, and even though it hasn’t gotten a lot of hits, he obviously struck a negative cord with the people who are supposed to cover him fairly.
His spokesperson didn’t really help the situation either when she said he’s a “passionate guy” who wants to help aspiring journalists. What Dart should have done is said “sorry”, not assign a representative to explain away his opinions with an insincere statement.
It’s another example of how people have to think before they speak, and since attorneys work on sensitive cases, it makes it even more important. However, if you have said something you shouldn’t have, it’s better to offer a real apology so that people won’t think poorly of you. Also, it’s important to do it yourself, not issue a statement through your publicist. If you’re not sure how to go about it, talk to your public relations professional so that you can express yourself in an intelligent, positive way.