Since studying public relations, I’ve considered attending law school. Anyone who knows me would probably start laughing after reading that, but PR and law go hand-in-hand. I could easily write a statement that could lead me to a costly lawsuit if I didn’t understand the legalities behind it.
I have since crossed law school off of my bucket list, but that does not mean I can float right by the jurisprudence boat and remain in calm waters. Let’s be “honest” here…
Flip on the news any given day and you’ll see politicians, lobbyists, athletes, and CEO’s deteriorate their name for what ever reason. Let’s talk Enron. Their major execs, including their director of investment relations, were thrown in prison for fabricating their company earnings on public media. Those jerks made the company completely collapse and cost thousands of people their money and jobs.
NBC sure made an uproar when General Motors (GM) filed a multimillion-dollar defamation suit against them after Dateline carried a story on their program about GM’s gas tanks exploding on their pickup trucks in side-impact collisions. It turns out the explosions were actually caused by the producers rigging the trucks with toy rocket “ignitors.” NBC ended up airing a 9-minute apology and also paid GM $2 million to reimburse the costs of its legwork. Nice going, NBC!
Even with all the ruckus the producers of NBC put us through, I will forever be reminded of Chris Hanson’s To Catch a Predator on Dateline. I mark my calendar when they list marathon dates.