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Friday, May 27, 2022

Staff Editorial

Bad publicity can often be used for the public’s good

When common sense is not enough, bad publicity can right all wrongs.

Nothing has the power to change the behavior of the famous and the powerful like bad publicity. Even the Catholic Church has finally fallen under its might, though, it must be said, they put up a long and valiant fight.

But what is the source of its power? The ‘court of public opinion’ is a term often bandied about to explain the sway bad publicity holds over the elite, and with each of us holding the position of judge, jury and executioner, it is a large court indeed.

But the question remains, “Why do the elect care what us schmoes think?”

And a better question, “Why does it take us schmoes to point out the difference between right and wrong?” Can it really be that as your life gets more successful, you get less able to tell what should and shouldn’t be done?

Does power corrupt absolutely, or does it attract the absolutely corruptible?

Or does it just attract the stupid?

Take, as an example, a recent story from Galveston. After its building was damaged during Hurricane Ike, the local Humane Society was given use of a vacant police building by the city government. All the castaway puppies and kitties had found a new home. A happy ending, right?

That is, until the big bad landlords sent an eviction notice to the shelter, giving them one month to vacate the premises.

And just who were these cretins who didn’t bat an eyelash at the thought of kicking discarded pets to the curb? It was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Obviously not learning any lessons about acting responsibly after their shoddily made levees caused the flooding of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the Corps saw no problem in denying the Humane Society’s pleas to wait the six months it would take for their new building to be finished.

That is, until their actions became public. Fearing the backlash the bad publicity would create, they quickly reversed their position and released a statement saying that they had no intention of evicting the Humane Society.

And all it took was the fear of bad publicity. Without it, where would we be?

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