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Featur e

The Advice of Friends

Alex Callahan and Robin V. Sears

Editor’s Note

Just before going to print, Tiger Woods announced that he had hired former White House Press Secretary and advisor to President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, to help with damage control and a strategy for returning to golf. Ari Fleischer Sports Communica- tions was formed in 2008 as a media relations consultancy for athletes and sports executives. His clients have included embattled St. Louis Cardinals hitting instructor Mark McGwire on his public admission to using steroids. Tiger is back and he’s now swinging with Fleischer watching his back. The 2010 Masters will mark his return to competitive golf.

T

oronto politics had a curious echo of the Ti- ger Woods fiasco this winter. The meltdown of mayoralty candidate Adam Giambrone in a

week of brutal media coverage does not share the same roots in sexual hyperactivity as the sad Mr. Woods. The particulars were different, but they share one important ingredient. Deceit. Giambrone tried for some months to conceal relation- ships with other women from his partner and the pub- lic. Tiger Woods successfully concealed a larger, and more breath-taking number of ladies in a variety of ports for years. In each case however it was the attempted cover-up, not the infidelity, that led to disaster. And in each case the interplay of the exploding social media world with the mainstream media were what drove the story. The management of this story by Tiger and by those close to him was abysmal. But that is perhaps the least

10 Politics | Canadian Edition

interesting part of the story. Failure to manage a crisis is as common as celebrities with zipper problems. To those who spend every day in the trenches of communications management, counseling politicians, executives and other high-profile public figures, Tiger’s story does offer some stark lessons about crisis management. It also sheds a fas- cinating light on what one should expect from friends — and professional agents and advisers. Contrast Giambrone’s fate with that of another famous Canadian politician, Rene Levesque. On February 6, 1977, Premier Levesque ran over and killed a homeless man while driving home. There were whispers that Premier Levesque had been drunk behind the wheel and with a woman who was not his wife. Or more recently, consider the fate of a B.C. politician. In 2003, while on vacation in Hawaii, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, was arrested and pled no contest to a drunk driving charge, again battling “another woman” rumours. Both continued Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69
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