Whether it’s the success of trashy daytime talk shows where “real” (I have to have my doubts) people expose their every thought or the expanse of news programming where we are privy to the words of so many talking heads, there’s something in the American psyche these days that demands we speak. Talking — a lot — is the only form of true communication, we seem to think. Politicos, marketers, journalists, joe citizens — we all want to get our messages out there. Hence, the rise of blogs and social media.
But this week, I am reminded that sometimes, it can be beneficial to just shut up. Check out this Mark Morford column about Judy Blume’s fundraising letter for Planned Parenthood:
Set aside your views of abortion for the moment. The thing to note here is that Planned Parenthood was able to generate free media, good PR — AND raise money for its cause. Why? Because the opposition just had to open its mouth and say something. Of course, they could’ve been more productive in their method, but regardless, many of us might not have ever heard this story if they had just zipped it just this once.
Another example just this week? Roger Clemens. For me, his ESPN interview only served as a reminder that he’s guilty. I can’t help but wonder if he would’ve been better off keeping his mouth shut and just letting the story die? Now, the story — and the polls that show that 90 percent think he’s lying — get more play. If Clemens’ story is one you just can’t get enough of, you might enjoy this column by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tim Sullivan:
And if you’re like most of us and feel the need to communicate with words, leave a comment.