What you said about what we said last week
If there’s one takeaway from the reader response to last week’s Loose Lips column, it’s that there are plenty of candidates WMATA could have hired instead of the pricey PR firms they contracted to clean up one of its latest messes. Let’s pull together a list of qualified candidates!
LL name-dropped the gadfly Twitter account @FixMetro (aka Chris Barnes who’s now posting as @FixWMATA; pick a handle, already!) and FixWMATA blushed at the mention: “Flattered, I’m sure.” FixWMATA got some brand-new fans: all_elevators_out wanted to know, “How do we get @fixwmata in as GM? Not only does no one want that job, but let’s face it, folks, he can’t be any worse. 100% serious.” Candidate One. suspicious_package had an excellent—albeit unorthodox—solution for handling these kinds of PR crises in the future: “For that kind of money, they could have hired the Spin Doctors instead. Little Miss, Little Miss Can’t be Wrong…” Solid nomination. Candidate Two. Or, BruceMajors4DC suggested, hire some educrats: “$250,000 for no PR campaign. For that they could have hired two or three mid-level educrats to not teach anyone.” Candidates Three and Four.
noodlez, the shoutiest of our regular commenters, lamented that WMATA really never stood a chance if they were foiled by LL aka Will Sommer aka Willy Earl in noodle-speak. “IF THEY CAN’T EVEN KEEP IN-HOUSE INFORMATION OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE LIKES OF WILLY EARL THEN WE ARE ALL FUCKED!” Then noodlez followed up with some neighborly advice for Metro. WMATA, please take a seat and take out a pen and paper, because this is going to come at you loud and fast. “THE COMPANY HEAD SHOULD HAVE SENT OUT A SIMPLE COMPANY WIDE EDICT TO CIRCLE THE WAGONS AND ROUND UP THE TROOPS TO PROJECT A POSITION; OF PROFESSIONALISM, OF WE KINDA KNOW WHAT WE DOING AND OF WE CARE ABOUT WHAT WE DO FOR A LIVING. IT SEEM TO ME THAT IT WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE NOW THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME. TO GET SOME SHIT RIGHT!” noodlez, you’re Candidate Five.
On Facebook, someone actually defended Metro, and we’re going to call him out by name, because it happened in a public forum and we’re still peeling our jaws off the floor. Chris Rybicki wrote, “Good for WMATA for caring about their image. Why wouldn’t they hire a PR firm to help them through a disaster? Please…” Candidate Six. Then, of course, an accusation of flack-dom was hurled. Lauren Hall got salty when she replied, “If they care about their image so much they should update their crumbling infrastructure to avoid more DEATH. What are you Chris, one of their flacks?” Apologies: Candidate Six has scratched from the list for already being on payroll.