The worst video media disaster of July

A company mishap is made even worse after its chairman waits too long to speak out on the accident—and then says all the wrong things.

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The accident, Canada’s deadliest in almost 150 years, was horrific—some people sitting in a café, for example, reportedly burned alive after fleeing, while others jumped from a building’s third floor to escape the inferno.

Edward Burkhardt, the chairman of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railways (whose train was responsible for the damage), managed to make matters worse. He waited several days before showing up and giving a press conference—and when he did, he made an even bigger mess of things.

Burkhardt came across in this press conference with the analytical nature one might expect from someone in a more technical profession. In so doing, he demonstrated that there is a mile-wide chasm between intelligence and emotional intelligence—and while he might have a lot of the former, it’s clear that he has little of the latter.

This press conference is a good example of what not to do. It’s worth watching in its entirety.

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