Arrogance Row eventually brought to earth in crisis

Tiger Woods. Greg Williams. Rush Limbaugh. Rupert Murdoch. Herman Cain. Bill Clinton.

They share so much in common.

Yes, they are all men.

Yes, they are all arrogant — or at least project that.

Yes, they made stupid decisions.

But mostly they self-imposed a crisis that damaged or destroyed their reputations.


Some still fight — Limbaugh, as sponsors defect and radio stations drop him; Murdoch, as his stock price rallies and his son takes the fall for his British newspapers’ wiretapping scandal. Williams because the NFL can’t decide how hard to punish him.

Others remain tainted, yet back on top — Clinton commands huge speaking fees despite the Lewinsky mess; Woods again challenged for a PGA win in a Sunday final round, something he’d not done much since he revealed multiple extra-marital affairs.

Cain’s punishment was a return to anonymity.

Williams’ crisis is less than a week old, yet threatens his career. The former Buffalo Bills head coach apparently paid his defensive players bonuses for knocking out key opposing stars.

Limbaugh’s decision to call a Georgetown University law student a slut for seeking free birth control exemplifies how so many of these men, and thousands others like them, think they’re immune to the rules of common decency and public behavior.

Leave it to a brilliant woman, Maureen Dowd, to offer perspective:

These guys keep crisis managers busy. But these same guys suffer, as they should, for their arrogance and stupidity.

Their stories are as old as angels banished from heaven; as old as demigods booted from Olympus; as old as the first person to list the seven deadly sins — none of which are really deadly — wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.. They do make you bleed, however.

The Arrogance Row above is a collection of brilliant and talented men who instead of playing by the rules, embraced and championed immunity, self-aggrandizement, uniqueness, ego, superiority, self-destruction and stupidity.

An inevitable crisis brought each one down.


About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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