Last Updated Jun 7, 2011 10:48 AM EDT
That was the advice Michigan athletic director Don Canham gave to his coaches whenever some problem in athletics arose. And during Canham's twenty-year tenure few scandals did arise.
Too bad Representative Anthony Weiner never got to meet Canham; it might have saved him from a week of frivolous hole digging only to find himself so deep in the hole that he had to bury himself with a woeful and yes, tearful press conference. (You can watch a clip below.) Weiner admitted that he, not a hacker, had been sending suggestive pictures of himself to six different women.
Sexting doesn't matter, character does
Weiner's sexual proclivities are none of my business, or of the press either, unless of course he becomes predatory. And there is no evidence of that.
What is of concern is his repeated lying. Last Thursday he held a series of one on one interviews with influential media to deny impropriety. He lied through his teeth, and while lying to the media is hardly criminal, it does get to the heart of the matter â€" character, or in Weiner's case lack of it.
Weiner now becomes a poster child for why so many in the electorate dislike politicians. They say one thing but do another. And it is too bad because until now Weiner has been a stalwart for issues he believes in. Until now he proved himself to be media savvy, always ready at the drop of a hat to come on television to defend his causes. Liberals loved him; conservatives loathed him.
And that loathing will only grow. Note, as so many pundits did, that few in the Democratic Party have offered him support. Credibility in Weiner is at low ebb now. And he has no one but himself to blame. His hubris, thinking he was above the fray, led him to do stupid things.
What can those of us who make mistakes learn from Weiner's saga?
1. If you make a mistake, admit it right away. So often the cover up is worse than the transgression because it shows you are deceitful.
2. Do not lie. Especially do not tell lies repeatedly. You'll get caught.
3. Apologies aren't enough. No matter how long you drone on. You have to show you're not just sorry you got caught. You're sincere. That means make reparations.
4. Shut up and go back to work. For Weiner, going back to work may be problematic. He has vowed not to resign. While resignation is his option, it is really not his decision. It is the decision of his constituents. They will do it at the ballot next year but what to do in the meantime? It would have been preferable if he had said in his press conference that he was going to talk to his constituents first and then make a decision about staying or going.
That statement would have resonated with integrity. But as we all know now, integrity is not one of Representative Weiner's strong suits.
Watch his press conference, and tell me in the comments below how you think he handled it:
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