FLAK BITES BACK*

Tomorrow's Business

A reader writes: there’s a certain breed of hack who is less honest than the flaks he so often derides.

One clear example: when the client for which he spins has made a complete Horlicks of something or other, the hack expects him to concede the point.

Come off it, says the hack, you can’t possibly defend this. It’s a total disaster.

The flak says, no, you’re right. I can’t defend it. It was a terrible idea right from the start. ‘Fessing up is part of establishing trust, says the flak. Of making sure you get taken seriously when there is a case for the defence.

When the shoe is on the other foot, when the media company for which the hack works has got itself in hot water, does the hack offer the same concession?

He does not. He stands his ground on thin ice, desperately batting back any suggestion that his employer might be in error.

I think this is a fair point. Since we are in the business of criticising business, seems only right that we should be honest about this stuff. We are not going to write a comment piece explaining how our own boss has mucked it up.

We might concede that they sometimes do.

*an occasional series dedicated to moans about hacks.

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