A Tale of Two Crises

From a crisis communications perspective, the Penn State and Herman Cain scandals have a lot in common. Both are about something that happened long ago. And both have been badly handled, allowing the damage to get worse and worse with each passing day.

The curious case of Herman Cain is certainly one that crisis communicators will use in presentations for years to come. His mistakes are classic. He ignored the opportunity to confirm, deny or discuss Politico’s story before they went public. He has demonstrated a stunning lack of sensitivity and compassion toward his accusers and a condescending attitude toward women in general. He seems unaware that sexual harassment is a serious charge.

Can’t anybody here play this game?

In 1962 the New York Mets were born as a new National League expansion franchise. The team was assembled from players other teams left unprotected in the league’s expansion draft, so the first Mets were a combination of no name rookies, washed up bums and broken down former New York stars from the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants.

Casey Stengel was the team’s first manager. He was a legendary character and baseball man who won 10 pennants in 12 years, including five straight world championships as manager of the Yankees. Known as the Old Perfessor for his comical, home spun humor, he famously asked after watching the team stumble through their first spring training, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

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