Do you remember that time LeBron James rushed across the runway of a Bosnian airport, while taking sniper fire, so that he could meet up with an undercover police officer in the men’s room? Tim Hardaway does and he hates it.
If that doesn’t sound familiar it’s probably because it didn’t happen. The story is a compilation of three big public statements… followed by even bigger public backpedals.
– During her Presidential Campaign Hillary Clinton made the claim, on multiple occasions, that she had landed in Bosnia under sniper fire… this was proven false by CBS news.
The Spin: Good ole’ Bill chastised the media for taking advantage of an old woman and her feeble memory.
– On a radio show, in 2007, Tim Hardaway made the statement, “You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known.”
The Spin: Hardaway apologized, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said I hate gay people or anything like that.” but only after being told not to attend any of the NBA’s All Star Weekend events.
– That same year Idaho Senator, Larry Craig, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after being snared in a men’s room sex sting.
The Spin: “I am not gay. I never have been gay… In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision.” Craig later filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
So what does all this have to do with King James?
With LeBron’s recent Contraction Confusion, he’s now entered… once again… the swollen ranks of public figures that say one thing and then decide later that it’s vitally important for them to say another.
It is clear from what LeBron said, at first, that he thinks Contraction would be good for the NBA. He thinks the league would be stronger without the Nets and Wolves… and to be fair, what NBA fan doesn’t?
But that’s something that LeBron isn’t supposed to think, much less say, and so he was forced into saying this… “That’s crazy, because I had no idea what the word ‘contraction’ meant before I saw it on the Internet…”
It became important, in the eyes of some, that he express a view in complete contradiction to the view previously professed–even if his new stance made him look uninformed and foolish.
Larry Craig needed to get out of that airport. He needed to make those charges go away… so he said he was guilty. When it became more important that he not be gay, he said he wasn’t and that his guilty plea was a mistake.
Hillary Clinton needed to seem experienced. She needed to add some drama to her time as First Lady… so she said she’d been the target of a shooter. When it became more important that she not be seen as a liar, she had Bill attack the media and attempt to shift the focus.
Tim Hardaway wanted to express his disdain for the homosexual lifestyle, so he said… rather emphatically…that he hated gay people. When it became more important that he keep his position as an NBA ambassador, he apologized and said he was wrong.
It’s no surprise that public figures have to backpedal all the time. The media, and the public being served by that media, are constantly on the lookout for another new scandal; for the next somebody to say something, so we can all disagree with them–For the next big flub up.
We’ve all done it, we’ve all put our foot in our mouth a time or two. TheLongTalk certainly has, but that’s not what these examples are about. This is not someone simply saying “Philadelphia,” when they mean Pittsburgh. This is someone saying “Steak,” and then pretending they ordered Cheesecake. These are examples of complete 180’s done by powerful people in full view of the public. In each case, the person involved got his or her pant leg caught in their own backpedal. What amazes TheLongTalk is that they even try. Why not just stand by your story? Why not just go down with your sinking ship of public opinion? Or better yet, why not tell the truth the first time?
Hillary didn’t have to make that story up and she should have known she couldn’t prove it. Larry Craig never should have entered a guilty plead to a crime he didn’t commit, and if he did commit it, he should have owned it. Tim Hardaway shouldn’t have said he hates gay people, unless he really does hate gay people… and if he does, shouldn’t he stick to it and ask that we, as a people, show him the same level of tolerance and acceptance for his beliefs that we’re supposed to show members of the gay community?
If you believe one thing, and that thing is something that’s not supposed to be said, that’s so politically incorrect or factually inaccurate as to bring down doom on your head… DON’T SAY IT!!! If you do, at least have the spine to stick by it.
Already preparing my recant,