July 28, 2010


Al Gore's Weak Defense (Lloyd Grove, 7/28/10, Daily Beast)

[F]our weeks into his multimedia ordeal, Gore hasn’t managed to formulate an effective PR strategy to counter the toxic fallout polluting his once-gleaming image. And crisis managers say his passive stance is only fueling the problem. What’s more, he has yet to personally confront the allegations in a public forum, and refuses to take questions from the howling media mob during increasingly furtive speaking appearances. Inevitably, the ugly charges and Gore’s apparent evasiveness are harming his reputation.

“’Crazed sex poodle’ has got to be one of the great coinages of our time,” says Los Angeles-based crisis communications expert Allan Mayer, who believes that Gore, if blameless, should fight the charges, possibly by going on a respected morning television show opposite a tough interviewer “like Matt Lauer.” Mayer also advises Gore to file a libel suit against the Enquirer and his accusers. “Whenever you’re accused of anything these days, and it’s not true, you have to fire back with both barrels—give an unequivocal denial and, if possible, an explanation,” Mayer says. “I find it hard to understand why he wouldn’t do that, except for the fact that it might be true. From the way he’s been behaving, the only logical inference is that there must be at least some truth to these allegations.”

Gore’s latest public crucible began June 1 with the surprising revelation—in the form of a joint email to friends from Al and Tipper—that they were separating after 40 years of marriage. A few weeks later The National Enquirer began publishing accusations that Gore made unwanted sexual advances toward first one, and then three, female massage therapists in farflung cities—Portland, Beverly Hills and Tokyo—during the past several years.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2010 6:31 AM
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