|The quote doctor|
|The Doctor dissects this month's best and worst quote||June 2003|
Best quote of the month
‘It comes down to this: Hef [Hugh Hefner] thinks he is publishing Time or Newsweek. He has never been able to come to grips with the fact that he is a pornographer.’
- Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, New York Times, April 21
In an era of CEOs afraid of offending politically correct sensibilities, it is refreshing to see Larry Flynt dish out some old style invective. Flynt was able to work himself into a story that was exclusively about Playboy, a feat that surely brought joy to the office of Hustler and disdain from Hefner. It rarely makes sense for one captain of industry to chastise another, but Flynt has a long and successful career of going against the grain. In this case, he furthers his reputation as an outspoken truth revealer.
Flynt is quotable because one, ‘comes down to this’ is a cliché. Two, he attacks Hefner as delusional. Three, Time and Newsweek are specific, concrete references to pop culture icons. Four, ‘never come to grips’ is an attack with, five, an emotional component. Six, ‘pornographer’ is a bold, action word and seven, it is also attacking.
Worst quote of the month
‘We did nothing illegal; my conscience is clear about that...[the cases against me were a] misrepresentation, a big PR effort on the part of the outside directors and their lawyers to shift responsibility.’
-John Rigas, former CEO of Adelphia Communications, New York Times, April 7
Rigas seemingly goes out of his was to evoke Richard ‘I am not a crook’ Nixon. This a horrible quote because it is purely defensive, advances no positive agenda and evokes paranoia.
Rigas is quotable because one, ‘did nothing illegal’ is an absolute, and two, attacking. ‘Conscience is clear’ is, three, emotional, and four, a cliché. Five, ‘misrepresentation’ is attacking. Six, ‘shift responsibility’ is action oriented, and seven, a final attack.
TJ Walker is president of Media Training Worldwide, a New York city-based media/speech training firm that coaches senior executives for media and speaking appearances. See www.mediatrainingworldwide.com
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