Executives Don't Shoot Messengers
OK, I'll try to make this my parting shot on the presidential campaign. For all of you caught up in the emotional sweep of Obama-ism, you're not going to like this. An ABC reporter catches Joe Biden off-guard, makes him look like a fool (not too hard to do to Mr. "Gird your Loins"), and the Obama camp "punishes" ABC? OK, let's step back here a second. I'd say the same thing if the McCain camp pulled a stunt like this. The candidate gives a bad answer, and it's the media's fault? The same media darlings who have been treating Obama like the messiah he thinks he is and have been biasing the campaign against McCain is now being punished because Foot-In-Mouth Biden makes a gaffe? Can you imagine an Obama Whitehouse Press Conference? There won't only be gag rules, there will be bound-and-gagged-and-tied-up-and-body-dumped-where-nobody-will-find-them rules.
But because I try to keep this in the arena of organizational behavior, let's bring this back to cubicle-land for a minute. How many of our executives and managers do the same thing? Somebody gives a bad answer, and they are pigeon-holed as incompetent. An employee asks a question at a public forum, and all of a sudden they are shunned as a trouble maker. We cringe at these behaviors, the same ones that got AIG and Enron and other giants in trouble, the same behaviors that Obama is criticizing as corporate greed and malfeasance. And yet we'd be willing to tolerate a shoot-the-messenger mentality from the most powerful man in the world? Obama has touted himself as the anti-Bush, which is moderately wise branding given how unpopular "W" is right now. But then he turns around and exhibits the same brand of bullying which got the Bush Administration to where they are now.
Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe Obama isn't really a naked emperor. Maybe it's all a big misunderstanding. After all, the only true Messiah was misunderstood as well.
But then again... maybe Joe Biden is right. Gird your loins, folks.