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Mark Fabiani — Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This timely survey of recent PR crises (which even draws on the July 2012 Louis Freeh report on Penn State) will likely stand as the go-to manual for the foreseeable future. Lehane and Fabiani are well positioned to distill the lessons of the baseball steroid scandal, Tiger Woods’s infidelities, and Anthony Weiner’s obscene tweets into clearly articulated principles of crisis responses (e.g., full disclosure; don’t feed the fire); they served on the “rapid-response” team for the Clinton White House. With filmmaker Guttentag, Lehane and Fabiani contrast thoughtful and effective responses with ineffective ones, noting, for example, how Eliot Spitzer quickly rehabilitated himself after resigning as New York’s governor for patronizing prostitutes, and how John Kerry’s presidential campaign made a fatal error in not moving promptly to rebut the Swift Boat campaign. The authors also make plain how much things have changed in the age of Twitter, where negative stories can spread electronically around the world in a microsecond, necessitating contingency plans that can get the responses out as soon as possible. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Dec.)

From the Publisher

“Masters of Disaster is the perfect playbook for how to respond when you’re under enemy fire…a vital and fun read full of back-room tales for those who want to learn from America’s greatest corporate and political scandals.”—The Huffington Post

“A how-to brought to you by the guys who defended Clinton on impeachment.”—The National Journal

“The go-to manual…Lehane and Fabiani are well positioned to distill the lessons of the baseball steroid scandal, Tiger Woods’s infidelities, and Anthony Weiner’s obscene tweets into clearly articulated principles.”—starred review, Publishers Weekly

“If you are a public figure, or even a private citizen who might engender controversy, read this book and put its authors on your speed dial.  These guys are truly the masters not only of avoiding or minimizing disaster, but of dealing with the kind of crises faced by ordinary people when they first encounter the media, the law or the blood sport we call politics.”—Alan M. Dershowitz, author of The Trials of Zion

“In a hostile climate where reputations and markets can be capriciously destroyed in seconds, the old chestnuts about crisis management don’t apply.  What’s needed is perspective from the seasoned  Masters of Disaster who understand that damage control is a temperamental art, not grade school science.  A valuable addition to the modern crisis canon.”—Eric Dezenhall, CEO Dezenhall Resources, Ltd. and author of Damage Control: The Essential Lessons of Crisis Management

“Every board, every manager and now almost every individual now faces the possibility of being swept up in a firestorm of media and mangled message.  Masters of Disaster provides both sound rules and great examples of both the positive and negative kind to guide us all through to the best possible outcomes.  The only danger is that you won’t read it in advance. I recommend it to all my board colleagues and CEO friends.”—Howard Stevenson, Sarofim Rock Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School

“Today crisis is common, and news of scandal, whether large or small, spreads rapidly. Through detailed case studies that focus on both those who have successfully overcome a crisis and those who have failed, Masters of Disaster offers essential insight into crisis management.”—Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitols and Washington Wizards

“Managing the world’s most famous sports franchise is never dull, and there are times when I’ve turned to and found valuable tactics from this crisis management playbook.”—Jeanie Buss, president, Los Angeles Lakers

“Think if you are not in the public eye, this book does not apply to you? Think again. Disaster will happen to all of us, when we least expect it. And if you are in the public eye — this is mandatory survival reading!”—Guerrino De Luca, CEO of Logitech

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MSNBC Transcipt

JANSING: We have three congressional investigations that are under way to get to the bottom of this Congressman as you know. A Justice Department probe. The president has suggested with all of that going on there is no need for an independent council. But Mark Fabiani, former special council to Bill Clinton, told “The Wall Street Journal” that a probe run by the administration may not silence critics and that maybe a special council should be considered. What is your position on that?

CROWLEY: Well, I think at this point in time we should let Congress do its work right now. The one thing we haven’t had is a Congress doing its job. We have been bogged down in partisanship. Let’s see if the Congress can act like adults and actually ask the questions that need to be asked and get the answers. And if after all of that process you said there’s three, there may be more hearings scheduled in the future. As many hearings as possible I think to find the answers we need to do. And if that fails then we can look at other alternatives then.

JANSING: Congressman Joe Crowley, I know you want to get back into that hearing room. You are good to come out and talk to us about this. Thank you so much.

CROWLEY:  Thank you Chris. Good to be with you.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeffrey-meyer/2013/05/17/msnbc-cuts-away-irs-hearing-interview-dem-congressman-slamming-hearin#ixzz2VMmpkZou

MSNBC Transcript

JANSING: We have three congressional investigations that are under way to get to the bottom of this Congressman as you know. A Justice Department probe. The president has suggested with all of that going on there is no need for an independent council. But Mark Fabiani, former special council to Bill Clinton, told “The Wall Street Journal” that a probe run by the administration may not silence critics and that maybe a special council should be considered. What is your position on that?

CROWLEY: Well, I think at this point in time we should let Congress do its work right now. The one thing we haven’t had is a Congress doing its job. We have been bogged down in partisanship. Let’s see if the Congress can act like adults and actually ask the questions that need to be asked and get the answers. And if after all of that process you said there’s three, there may be more hearings scheduled in the future. As many hearings as possible I think to find the answers we need to do. And if that fails then we can look at other alternatives then.

JANSING: Congressman Joe Crowley, I know you want to get back into that hearing room. You are good to come out and talk to us about this. Thank you so much.

CROWLEY:  Thank you Chris. Good to be with you.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeffrey-meyer/2013/05/17/msnbc-cuts-away-irs-hearing-interview-dem-congressman-slamming-hearin#ixzz2VMmpkZou

Mark Fabiani and San Diego Chargers

Diego Chargers in San Diego

13 days ago by 
0 22 10 0  Share32 

 

Dean Spanos San Diego Chargers

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers have called Qualcomm Stadium their home since the 1967 NFL season, but Qualcomm needs to be replaced for many reasons due to issues with the stadium that are beyond repairable.

According to an article on nfl.com, Chargers President and CEO Dean Spanos said “I’ve said this the last 10 years. The Chargers belong in San Diego. That’s where we want to be. We’re going to continue to try to get something done in San Diego. Obviously we know what’s going on up in L.A., but we have never used L.A. as leverage against the city of San Diego. I won’t do that.”

One of the reasons why San Diego needs a new stadium is due to the NFL’s desire to host Super Bowls in more modern stadiums. San Diego has not hosted a Super Bowl since the 2002 season when the Oakland Raiders were defeated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Spanos has a relationship with Texas governor Rick Perry, so there were rumors that the Lighting Bolts could relocate to San Antonio and play in the Alamodome which opened in 1993. The San Antonio Spurs called this arena their home from 1993-2002 and it can fit up to 72,000 fans for a football game.

The city of L.A. desperately wants an NFL franchise, but this will be the Chargers’ 53rd season in San Diego so it makes sense for them to stay there. There have been multiple proposed deals that were rejected when attempts were made to have a new stadium built in San Diego.

It sounds like Spanos is committed to keeping his father’s franchise in San Diego, but it will be interesting to see if he and Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani are able to get a proposed deal approved.

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/05/23/dean-spanos-is-committed-to-keeping-the-san-diego-chargers-in-san-diego/?2g1jPK5VVD8XbmkZ.99

Mark Fabiani and San Diego Chargers

Diego Chargers in San Diego

13 days ago by 
0 22 10 0  Share32 

 

Dean Spanos San Diego Chargers

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers have called Qualcomm Stadium their home since the 1967 NFL season, but Qualcomm needs to be replaced for many reasons due to issues with the stadium that are beyond repairable.

According to an article on nfl.com, Chargers President and CEO Dean Spanos said “I’ve said this the last 10 years. The Chargers belong in San Diego. That’s where we want to be. We’re going to continue to try to get something done in San Diego. Obviously we know what’s going on up in L.A., but we have never used L.A. as leverage against the city of San Diego. I won’t do that.”

One of the reasons why San Diego needs a new stadium is due to the NFL’s desire to host Super Bowls in more modern stadiums. San Diego has not hosted a Super Bowl since the 2002 season when the Oakland Raiders were defeated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Spanos has a relationship with Texas governor Rick Perry, so there were rumors that the Lighting Bolts could relocate to San Antonio and play in the Alamodome which opened in 1993. The San Antonio Spurs called this arena their home from 1993-2002 and it can fit up to 72,000 fans for a football game.

The city of L.A. desperately wants an NFL franchise, but this will be the Chargers’ 53rd season in San Diego so it makes sense for them to stay there. There have been multiple proposed deals that were rejected when attempts were made to have a new stadium built in San Diego.

It sounds like Spanos is committed to keeping his father’s franchise in San Diego, but it will be interesting to see if he and Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani are able to get a proposed deal approved.

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/05/23/dean-spanos-is-committed-to-keeping-the-san-diego-chargers-in-san-diego/?2g1jPK5VVD8XbmkZ.99

Fabiani and Lehane LLC

The scandal trap

By Tom Galvin – 05/31/13 01:00 PM ET
  

After five years of watching President Obama live a charmed political life, Republicans are salivating at the trifecta of scandals that threatens to derail his second term. I’d advise them to be careful. It’s a trap.
 
Yes, it will undermine Obama’s core “government is the solution” message. And yes, it will force Team Obama off message at a critical time. 
 
But any Republican with a memory will recall that they have seen this movie before and they didn’t like the ending. Think back to the Clinton years, which I saw firsthand as an investigative reporter. I covered everything from the silly (“Travelgate”) to the soap opera (Monica). Here’s what usually happened: Clinton screwed up, Republican overreached, the public ignored.
 
But politicians have lousy memories, and Republicans will find it irresistible to focus on scandal. But that may not sit well with voters who think that the economy and solving unemployment for millions of Americans should be the priority. Remember, the Clinton scandals occurred during a boom economy and prior to 9/11. The public is in a more serious mood these days.
 

It’s too early to say what real impact the Trifecta of Woes that plagues Obama will have on his presidency. In the short term, it’s a clear distraction. Not that he’s asking, but my counsel to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would be to ration the amount of time lawmakers spend on scandal. The mistake in the past was the rush to push the story forward, often beyond the facts. That meant the story often became about Republican overreach, not the scandal itself.
 
For example, Boehner should keep somewhere close a rolled up newspaper, and use it liberally whenever one of his colleagues mentions impeachment.
 
Because if the Joe Voter comes to believe that Republicans are more interested in making Obama look bad than helping their neighbor or friend find a job, he will make the GOP pay on Election Day 2014.
 
Of course, there is one big variable here: Obama himself. 
 
Can the Chosen One handle this? Bill Clinton, literally a child of chaos, spent his political life immersed in crisis. Clinton could play Jenga during a mudslide. He was the ultimate compartmentalizer. Obama’s charmed political life has not prepared him for a year of televised congressional investigations, the inevitable revelations and bad news that will come and the loss of confidence, even if temporary, that scandal brings.
 
Obama has apparently decreed that his team devote only a small fraction of its efforts to dealing with the crisis. That’s guaranteed to fail. When the headlines blare bad news, it will be all hands on deck. He’d be much better served to dedicate some smart staffers to dealing with these issues. Clinton brought in masters of disaster Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane to handle scandal, largely freeing the rest of his team to devote to the people’s business. And Clinton’s saving grace in the middle of his troubles was the public’s belief that he was focused on their problems, not his.
 
So beware, Republicans. The months ahead may feel good watching Obama squirm, but it doesn’t mean you won’t pay the price as well.

 

 

Galvin is a former investigative reporter with the New York Daily News. He is now CEO of the consulting firm 463 Communications.

 

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/302733-the-scandal-trap-#ixzz2VMjWZqXe 
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

Fabiani and Lehane LLC

The scandal trap

By Tom Galvin – 05/31/13 01:00 PM ET
 

After five years of watching President Obama live a charmed political life, Republicans are salivating at the trifecta of scandals that threatens to derail his second term. I’d advise them to be careful. It’s a trap.

Yes, it will undermine Obama’s core “government is the solution” message. And yes, it will force Team Obama off message at a critical time.

But any Republican with a memory will recall that they have seen this movie before and they didn’t like the ending. Think back to the Clinton years, which I saw firsthand as an investigative reporter. I covered everything from the silly (“Travelgate”) to the soap opera (Monica). Here’s what usually happened: Clinton screwed up, Republican overreached, the public ignored.

But politicians have lousy memories, and Republicans will find it irresistible to focus on scandal. But that may not sit well with voters who think that the economy and solving unemployment for millions of Americans should be the priority. Remember, the Clinton scandals occurred during a boom economy and prior to 9/11. The public is in a more serious mood these days.

It’s too early to say what real impact the Trifecta of Woes that plagues Obama will have on his presidency. In the short term, it’s a clear distraction. Not that he’s asking, but my counsel to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would be to ration the amount of time lawmakers spend on scandal. The mistake in the past was the rush to push the story forward, often beyond the facts. That meant the story often became about Republican overreach, not the scandal itself.

For example, Boehner should keep somewhere close a rolled up newspaper, and use it liberally whenever one of his colleagues mentions impeachment.

Because if the Joe Voter comes to believe that Republicans are more interested in making Obama look bad than helping their neighbor or friend find a job, he will make the GOP pay on Election Day 2014.

Of course, there is one big variable here: Obama himself.

Can the Chosen One handle this? Bill Clinton, literally a child of chaos, spent his political life immersed in crisis. Clinton could play Jenga during a mudslide. He was the ultimate compartmentalizer. Obama’s charmed political life has not prepared him for a year of televised congressional investigations, the inevitable revelations and bad news that will come and the loss of confidence, even if temporary, that scandal brings.

Obama has apparently decreed that his team devote only a small fraction of its efforts to dealing with the crisis. That’s guaranteed to fail. When the headlines blare bad news, it will be all hands on deck. He’d be much better served to dedicate some smart staffers to dealing with these issues. Clinton brought in masters of disaster Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane to handle scandal, largely freeing the rest of his team to devote to the people’s business. And Clinton’s saving grace in the middle of his troubles was the public’s belief that he was focused on their problems, not his.

So beware, Republicans. The months ahead may feel good watching Obama squirm, but it doesn’t mean you won’t pay the price as well. 

 

Galvin is a former investigative reporter with the New York Daily News. He is now CEO of the consulting firm 463 Communications.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/302733-the-scandal-trap-#ixzz2VMjWZqXe
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook