Welcome to Mac’s Masterclass in UberSpinning. What’s the best weapon in the spin doctor’s arsenal? Anyone? Anyone? Yes, you in the blue shirt.
That’s right. The “I was taken out of context” excuse. If we break up the word, we get “con” and “text” – that’s some spin doctor’s humour.
The “I was misquoted” defence was all the rage but it has become difficult to use now that everybody has a cellphone they can use to send clips to YouTube.
Did you see how skilfully I navigated the Prez’s latest “We can’t think like Africans” blaps? That’s right. Pure genius. Remember when he said owning dogs was unAfrican? After my spintervention the SPCA wanted to give him the Dog Lover of the Year Award.
There’s no sin I can’t spin, no blunder I can’t put under, no mistake I can’t forsake and no skande I can’t rent asunder.
Let’s move on to an actual case study. Competition Commissioner Shan Ramburuth resigned because he was caught visiting a porn website and spent R120 000 of taxpayers’ wonga on data roaming.
What the hell was Ramburuth thinking? He shouldn’t have resigned. If I’d been his spin doctor, he would have received a promotion. You see, with a little bit of spin we can show how his porn surfing was taken completely… Anyone? Anyone? Yes, that’s right: Out! Of! Context!
Mr Ramburuth was actually in his hotel room doing work. He decided to research the stiff competition among pawn shops and was conducting a study about how collusion in the industry has led to members of the public being screwed – no porn intended.
Speaking of the public’s members, Ramburuth’s next move was to try to get his head around policy debates about the general welfare of society. So he typed “Show me what’s in the public interest” into Google. Unfortunately, he left the “l” out of public. It could happen to anyone.
Ramburuth decided to do some work on the commission’s tribunal into construction companies’ collusion and typed “Hit me with some big erections” into the search engine.
After seeing things that cannot be unseen he turned to religion for help.
An innocent typo had him on the “Porn-Again Christian” website. He decided to turn off his computer and eat food his chef had prepared for him. It was awful. So once again he turned to Google for help. “How do I get somebody to sack my cook?” he typed, but he wasn’t seeing straight and some letters got jumbled.
Ramburuth decided to play chess on his computer to calm his nerves. It was going well until he typed “porn to mate queen”. It was horrible.
Then he did an online search for places to stay in Hermanus. Should a man be crucified just because his keyboard is missing the letter M?
The stress of what he saw gave him chest pains. Yet again he thought he could rely on Google to get him out of this sticky situation. Unfortunately, when he typed in “what does a cute angina feel like”… well, let’s just say, damn auto erect. I mean correct. Damn auto correct.
As you can see, these issues are not black or white – they are grey; many, many shades of grey, at least 50 shades of grey.
It’s not Ramburuth’s fault that Google’s mind is in the gutter. He’ll be suing the search engine giant for millions for causing him severe emotional distress.
In tomorrow’s Mac Masterclass we look at Spinstraction – the art of spinning by distraction. Your homework is to solve this clue: It doesn’t take a miserable cent to outfox the public using this Spintervention (3, 2, 7).*
*OUT OF CONTEXT: An anagram of “cent to outfox” (“horrible” is the anagram indicator).