A television evangelist’s outrageous suggestion about wife beating earned him a place among September’s worst video media disasters.
And he’s not alone on this dubious list.
Joining him are a politician who was surreptitiously recorded insulting nearly half the U.S. electorate, some inept referees blowing a call, and a candidate for office who steals—yup, steals—somebody’s video camera.
Here are the five worst video media disasters from September 2012.
5. Congressional candidate takes a cameraman’s camera.
New Hampshire Democrat Ann McLane Kuster is running for a congressional seat.
When her opponent sent a “tracker” to film her event and ask a question—a common occurrence in modern politics—Kuster took his camera, threatened to keep it, and swore on camera.
In doing so, Kuster handed her opponent the gift of an embarrassing (and completely unnecessary) viral video.
4. Pat Robertson recommends wife beating.
I can’t even find the right words to describe this video. Horrific? Awful? Prehistoric?
Welcome to evangelist Pat Robertson’s strange world, in which wife beating is apparently a suitable fix for a disrespectful wife.
“I don’t think we condone wife beating these days, but something has to be done,” Robertson tells a viewer with marital problems. And since the scripture says you can’t beat her, “move to Saudi Arabia,” he suggests, where she can be beaten. Unreal.
3. Democrats reject God and/or Jerusalem at convention.
Democrats removed a reference to God and failed to state that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital in its official party platform. Republicans immediately attacked that decision. Recognizing the potential PR backlash, Democrats sought to reinsert that language by holding a voice vote with delegates.
But Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who led delegates in three voice votes, seemed to overrule their vote. (To pass, the voice vote required agreement among two-thirds of delegates; the vote sounded even, but Villaraigosa overruled the crowd.)
The crowd erupted into boos. It’s hard to know whether the boos were for God or Israel (as Republicans charged), for the unfair process (as Democrats claim), or some combination of both. But what’s undeniable is that this moment handed opponents an easy line of attack.
2. NFL replacement referees botch a game-deciding call.
When the National Football League’s referees were locked out over a labor dispute, their replacements blew numerous calls on the field. But the worst moment came at the end of a Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, when the refs called what appeared to be a game-ending interception a touchdown. As a result, Seattle won a game they shouldn’t have—and fans rebelled.
Even anti-union politicians suddenly called for the “real” refs to return. The NFL quickly responded by giving in to most of the union’s demands, and the real refs returned within days. You knew which side the fans sided with when they gave an unprecedented standing ovation to the refs during their first game back.
1. Mitt Romney’s private “47 percent” remarks come to light.
If you vote for President Obama, you’re dependent on government and will never take personal responsibility for your life. So said Mitt Romney in a secretly taped video that was shot in May and released by Mother Jones
magazine last month.
The recording of his remarks, made to a group of wealthy donors, instantly damaged his candidacy, with criticism coming from fellow Republicans including Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, and Joe Scarborough.
This video, by itself, will not cause Romney to lose in November. But if he does lose November’s election, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to look back at it’s release as the moment that sealed his fate.
To see two bonus gaffes, visit the Mr. Media Relations blog
Brad Phillips is the president of Phillips Media Relations, which specializes in media and presentation training. He tweets @MrMediaTraining.