max tAlbot-minkin / flickr (creative commons)
Jeremy Blachman
Aug 1, 2013 · 5 min read

Did you do something stupid?

Don’t worry, we can help — in just ten easy steps.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Keep doing it. Whatever it is, there’s no point in stopping. You already did it, so you may as well do it again. If you told people you’d stop, it’s okay, keep doing it anyway. There’s obviously a reason you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing, so it’s okay to keep doing it, for however long you want. Leaders don’t succumb to the pressure of stopping whatever stupid thing they’re doing. No, leaders lead, even in the face of disapproval. Doing your stupid thing even after you got caught shows strength of character. Go, you!
  2. Hire an investigator. Yes, even though you know what you did, and by this point everyone else knows what you did, it’s important to pretend that whatever you’re doing is someone else’s fault, even if that means wasting people’s money on an investigation that can’t possibly lead anywhere but right back to you. Here at the firm, we have a list of recommended investigators. It’s in the file cabinet. No, not the file cabinet with the pictures. The other file cabinet. Sorry you had to see those pictures — we meant to throw them out. Or you can take some pictures home if you want. You want some pictures? No? You sure?
  3. Hold a press conference. People love press conferences. There’s no such thing as bad press, only press that makes people think you have a mental problem. Mental problems are okay these days, because we live in a tolerant society. Invite everyone you know to come listen to you talk about the stupid thing you’re doing, and act like it’s a totally normal, sensible thing to be talking about at a press conference. End the press conference abruptly by accusing people of being far too interested in you and the stupid thing you’re doing. Even though you called the press conference in the first place. Yes, it’s confusing, but confusing people is part of the fun.
  4. Have you done your stupid thing lately? No? You should probably do it again, so people don’t forget about you. Even worse than whatever it is you’re doing is if people stop thinking about you. There’s no such thing as being thought of in a negative context. Impossible. Hey, we’re trying to get a list of everyone’s Twitter accounts — would you mind writing yours down? Thanks, we’ll send you a confirmation tweet in a bit. It may not look like a normal one, but that’s what it is.
  5. Find the most sympathetic, trustworthy person in your circle of influence. Make her defend you with crazy justifications for whatever it is you did. The more ridiculous you can make her seem, the better it will be for you. You don’t want anyone close to you to retain any credibility, because then they can leave you for something better. This way, if you make them seem like they’re just as crazy as you are, they’re stuck with you.
  6. Are we up to number six already? Sorry, I lost count — I was distracted by something on my phone. Yes, that was a flash. They come out better with a flash. You wish I’d put my pants back on? No, here at the firm, we conduct all of our introductory meetings with our pants off. Sorry, that’s just the way things are. And shame on you for asking about it. See, get defensive — that’s step six. Act like whomever is attacking you has some nerve continuing to harp on what is obviously old news. Do you like the photos we sent as part of our introductory package? We’re big into the multimedia over here. We can show you more. Here’s a lot more. Yes, that’s the same picture, just a different angle.
  7. Is the story going away? How about hiring a communications director to give an obscenity-filled tirade to the media? See, if they’re going to say you’re crazy, you have to surround yourself with even crazier people to make you seem normal by comparison. Or maybe the whole thing makes you seem crazier. It doesn’t really matter, because there’s no accountability anymore in this world. Whatever stupid thing you do, people forget, no matter how much you keep reminding them.
  8. Run for mayor. Heck, anyone can. It really doesn’t matter what stupid thing you’ve done. We here at the firm assure you that the mayoral race is entirely up for grabs, and the office can be yours. Though you probably want to avoid the carpet in there — it’s a little sticky. Did you know the mayor gets a brand-new phone, with a high-definition camera, as part of the job? And a Twitter account with millions of followers already signed up? Those are pretty much the only reasons to run, if you ask us. Who wants to actually govern? It’s much easier to spend the day lounging around in your underwear, talking to strangers.
  9. Adopt a pseudonym. Yeah, that probably should have been one of the earlier steps, but the key to a good pseudonym is waiting to use it until everyone already knows who you are and what stupid thing you’re doing. Pick the silliest pseudonym you can, because you want to help bring the story to life for the writers of all the late-night talk shows. Maybe make it vaguely ethnic, because that’s always more fun. And definitely don’t pick something that sounds even remotely professional. The last thing you ever want to seem is professional. That’s the key to success these days: seeming like you have the maturity of a twelve-year-old boy.
  10. Bask in the glory of your victory over whatever stupid thing it is that you did. You’ve completed all ten steps, so it’s time to celebrate. Maybe take a few pictures. Tweet them to all of your friends — even to some strangers. And the press. Don’t let anyone keep you down. You’ve worked hard. Now enjoy it.

Free initial consultation. Money-back guarantee. Check out our Twitter account. Please. The Anthony Weiner Crisis Management Consulting Firm. Emphasis on firm.

Thanks to Kate Lee

    Jeremy Blachman

    Written by

    Author of Anonymous Lawyer and co-author of The Curve ( for even more.

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade