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Sunday, September 26, 2010

P.R. 101 – an Eddie Long cautionary tale

This morning I watched Bishop Eddie Long's press conference about the sexual molestation scandal. Unlike Rod Blagojevich who said to anyone who would listen, "Hi, I'm Rod Blagojevich, innocent of all charges," Bishop Long didn't address the charges that have been levied against him. He just talked about his good works, of which, granted, there are many. His response was listless and strange.

After the press conference, my old friend Terrie Williams was interviewed on MSNBC. She said Bishop Long should "tell the truth. This is Public Relations 101. Tell the truth, then rebuild."

Interestingly, I was thinking the same thing, only from a writer's point of view. When you write, tell the truth. If you don't, the truth will come back to bite you, guaranteed. Your writings will live on forever – on book shelves, remainder bins, in magazines, Google Books, iPhone APPS, and other formats that haven't been invented yet.

By the way, if you've never read any of Bishop Long's books, take a look at the product descriptions and reviews on Amazon.com. The following description for The Elect Lady, which presumably was written by the publisher or someone on Bishop Long's staff, was really disturbing:
After years of hosting the Heart to Heart Women s Conference, Bishop Eddie Long finally succumbed to his wife's pleas and gave the closing address. His wife had been urging him for years, knowing that he would have a powerful message to share. Bishop Long wasn't so sure, but that day, he stepped up. He told the women that his own mother had opted to stay in an abusive marriage in order to cover him. He begged her to stay, saying, If you leave me, I will die, and she sacrificed so that his life could blossom into the amazing ministry he has today.

What boy begs his mother to stay in an abusive situation?

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