It is a motto in journalism that it’s always better to ask for forgiveness than permission because the only way you can find out what you can get away with is to really see how much you can get away with before you get push back.
You’d be surprised how much you can do without permission. Likewise, you’d be surprised how limited you are when you always ask for it.
“Oops! I’m sorry I did everything I wanted to do and you couldn’t do anything to stop me. I promise, PROMISE this will never happen again…until the next time.”
That’s what’s so great about asking forgiveness. You already have accomplished your goals.
It was in this context that I got a huge chuckle as I was listening to President Obama talk about the whole “let’s see how close we can get Air Force One to the Statue of Liberty” incident.
A very serious Obama got out in front of the camera and asked for forgiveness saying that he would “make certain that this wouldn’t happen again.”
Of course it won’t happen again. They already have all the photos of Air Force One flying over the New York skyline they’ll need for the rest of Obama’s presidency. You think their going to dump those photos just because they terrorized a bunch of New Yorkers?
In fact, I bet you see those beautiful photos featured in a fawning, glossy spread by a major media publication before the end of the year.
And if someone complains about the spread?
“Oh, so, so sorry. It definitely won’t happen again. I promise.”
I just hope that they airbrush out all those panicked people running through the streets of N.Y. in the background.