How does an organization get out from under a scandal involving an alleged sexual predator and months of covering up and lying about it, as well as allegations of grift? First, you get the problematic execs to flee, which has already happened at The Lincoln Project. Then you shut down fundraising, a solution which has more or less imposed itself on the group. Finally, to do proper crisis management, you hire an independent law firm to conduct a “comprehensive review” of your “culture,” as though you are an anthropologist in your own smallish org.
The key here, though, is calculating just how “independent” you want this to be. The Free Beacon found the Lincoln Project’s formula for independence, which is …
Paul Hastings, the law firm hired to conduct a “comprehensive review” of the Lincoln Project’s “operations and culture,” could be hard-pressed to deliver a credible result given several of its senior partners have donated to the scandal-plagued super PAC.
Greg Nitzkowski, the firm’s managing partner of more than two decades, donated $3,000 to the Lincoln Project in 2020, according to federal election records. Elena Baca, who chairs the firm’s employment law department, has donated almost $2,000 to the Lincoln Project. …
Three other Paul Hastings partners have donated money to the Lincoln Project: Sam Alavi, whose clients include the Qatar Investment Authority; Joseph Profaizer, who has defended Chinese firms against allegations of intellectual property theft from U.S. competitors; and Steven Marenberg, who previously represented Donald Trump and NBC Universal in a copyright case involving The Apprentice.
The attorney who represented Trump gave cash to the Lincoln Project? Talk about covering all your bases!
These aren’t large donations, but they’re still evidence of some personal investment by the law firm’s upper management. Independent it most certainly is not. Couldn’t the Lincoln Project find a law firm to do this work whose partners hadn’t made donations to the group? It seems more likely that the remnant of the Lincoln Project chose this law firm in particular not for a comprehensive review but to provide them cover with the media that used to fawn all over them in the good ol’ days of 2020.
Speaking of which, the Lincoln Project isn’t the only entity doing some damage control. MSNBC has been awfully quiet about the scandal, and now it’s stopped mentioning the group at all when its officials make appearances, Fox News gleefully points out:
MSNBC’s Brian Williams has quietly scaled back the number of Lincoln Project members to appear on his late-night program as scandals mount within the anti-Trump group, and what’s more, he no longer mentions one guest’s affiliation with it.
After having on Lincoln Project guests 13 times between December and late January, NewsBusters reported Tuesday that Williams has only had on Lincoln Project advisor Michael Steele since Jan. 27. Williams has also stopped referring to the organization when introducing him in his four appearances since that time. …
Like much of MSNBC’s programming over the past year, Williams’ show, “The 11th Hour,” has been a stomping ground for the Lincoln Project, the group of former and current Republicans steadfastly opposed to former President Donald Trump. Williams, as well as MSNBC’s Morning Joe, even marked the one-year anniversary of its founding in December.
Steele wasn’t part of the hierarchy at the Lincoln Project, so that’s barely even an exception. MSNBC’s credibility problem might be less with the Weaver scandal and more about where the money all went. Having repeatedly promoted the group to its progressive audience, its viewers might start demanding that MSNBC explain what happened to whatever money those people donated, especially when those guests make what used to be routine appearances on its air.
Maybe MSNBC needs to hire an outside law firm filled with its allies to do an anthropological dig into its culture, too. It might seem like a novel approach, but it’s really just another form of the oldest scandal response there is — covering your ass.