Need help now? Call 216.321.7774

Experiencing a Media Smear

We often counsel clients who have been wrongly accused to tell their side and do everything possible to get ahead of the story.  But sometimes, there aren’t any good choices, especially if the client’s most prized possession is his or her integrity.  While we can’t vouch for this man’s integrity, we thought this story was worth a read.  We hope you agree.


Former Trump White House Official Rob Porter, who resigned from his job amid a dubious “MeToo” case, said he waited years to tell his side of the story because he refused to take an expedient path to doing so.

Friends familiar with Porter’s marriages wanted him to immediately counter the claims and try to correct the egregious reporting.  He said that a crisis communications specialist told him to fight back as if his life depended on it. But the coverage was so intense and one-sided, Porter saw little upside to engaging with the media mob. “Mobs don’t care about facts or context or even the truth,” he explained. “You can’t reason with people holding torches and pitchforks, all they want is destruction.”

He said he was also approached by an agent to write a book, which in a moment of extraordinary demand for Trump tell-alls could have garnered a seven-figure advance. A longtime Washington veteran suggested doing so would provide a well-trod path to political redemption, but Porter said publishing a gossipy memoir of his time in the White House was incongruous with his view of public service.

Others suggested defamation lawsuits to seek damages for false reporting, but the legal standard for proving “actual malice” toward public figures typically makes such cases extremely difficult, and it would have involved friends and family in years of litigation and continuing media attention. Even victors — like the actor Geoffrey Rush, who ultimately won a defamation suit over dubious #MeToo allegations — insisted there are “no winners” in such cases and that the proceedings are “extremely distressing for everyone involved.”  For the rest, click here.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Contact Us

Your name Organization name Describe your situation Your phone number Your email address
Leave this as it is