Friday, May 10, 2013

Taxing Day for the IRS

File this one away as one of the most ill-advised comments ever by a government spokesperson.  Lois Lerner, a senior Internal Revenue Service official was on a conference call this afternoon briefing reporters on a brewing crisis.

The IRS is admitting (after having denied it for some time) that some of their personnel inappropriately used their positions to target some conservative organizations.

When trying to explain some statistics in relation to the matter  Ms Lerner, a ranking IRS official, confessed "I'm not good at math."  That's like the Surgeon General admitting that she can't stand the sight of blood.

The Washington Post reports that those auditing the conference call found other anomalies too.

In addition to being bad at math, Lerner is apparently no great shakes at media relations either.   The Post cites numerous examples of Lerner not having her facts together before meeting the media.

When your organization has screwed up -- it is important not only to quickly admit it and get your facts straight -- but also to avoid giving the media the impression that you have something to hide.  Ms. Lerner tried to bail out of the conference call after less than half an hour of questioning.  Reporters objected and she eventually stayed on line for another 20 minutes before exiting in part, she said, because the questions were getting repetitive.  That is a good sign that you have failed to adequately answer them.


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