Friday, May 17, 2013
The attorney general of the US is the latest boss to say he didn't know what was happening in his own department. Maybe he didn't but it is a poor excuse. A boss is supposed to know what is happening, and if he is surprised, he is also supposed to take responsibility rather than ducking. Courts take a dim view of executives in the docket who plead ignorance. Inevitably there is a smoking e-mail or memo somewhere that shows the boss he was informed. He failed to grasp the significance of what was written. My guess is that the same holds true for Eric Holder, Jr., but he is trying to lawyer his way out of the spotlight and fire. It is understandable that he doesn't want to stand up. The media are furious that the government would snoop into their phone records. Holder's defense of those who took the action doesn't make it any less of a PR gaffe. The media believe they are set apart and they react badly whenever they learn they aren't.