Say you’re a flack for an organization that’s weathering a PR nightmare. For example, you represent a canned beans company, and a customer posted a viral TikTok of finding a dead rat in a can of your beans. You know a rival organization plans a high-profile media attack that includes a rat-free beans ad.
So, what’s your strategy? Maybe you’d line up your best spokespeople to offer a counter narrative. Perhaps you’d skip town and keep quiet, hoping the whole thing blows over.
What you probably wouldn’t do is let the most clownish dopes in your organization lead the response. But that’s what the Republican Party did yesterday. Via Rolling Stone:
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) don’t feel too bad about what happened on Jan. 6. The far-right lawmakers on Thursday hosted what they described as the Republican “response” to a slate of Democratic events commemorating the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Predictably, they said some really dumb, damaging things. They downplayed the mayhem Trump supporters caused and made wild accusations, such as that the FBI fomented the riot.
But in this case, it’s hard to imagine the seemingly poor crisis communications strategy causing a ripple. Gaetz and Greene, two of the most odious individuals in Congress, are echoing the twice-impeached, two-time popular vote loser who is their party’s leader. Also, their message isn’t appreciably crazier than what up-and-coming party leaders like Ron DeSantis are saying.
It all makes sense when you know the Republican Party isn’t selling a product to a broad consumer base, something like canned beans. The rat is the product.