Last month, news broke of a rumored affair between Michael Wolff and a younger employee. A week later, rumors came out about CNN's Jeff Toobin having an affair. Now, all is quiet. Technique is everything:
- Size up your enemies: News Corp. had about three different reasons to hate Michael Wolff, so he knew damn well that the New York Post was going to milk his scandal for everything it was worth, and probably more. Toobin's not as controversial as Wolff, but he's famous enough to make gossip about him worthwhile. Ask yourself: who would enjoy tearing me apart? This will be useful information.
- Don't feed the machine: The primary reason that Wolff's and Toobin's scandals have fallen out of the news is that they both staunchly refuse to address it. Wolff carried on like nothing had happened, sending out his daily email blasts with his media columns and generally being the big yakker that he always is. Toobin seemed to go silent for a while (though he did make the mistake of updating his Facebook page). What neither of them did was to get into outraged arguments with reporters covering the story. Every new statement can mean another day of life for a scandal. So don't talk too much.
- Bide your time patiently: Even though their scandals are not being actively written up at the moment, they're both still recent enough that any bit of new information could revive them in a second. Do not raise your head from the bunker too soon, lest you catch a sniper's bullet; nay, you must wait quietly, calmly, silently, until bigger and more sensational events have pushed your small problems to the bottom of the list of interesting occurrences. Make yourself small and boring. Stay home and eat your Stouffer's French Bread Pizza, plotting, so that you may....
- Exact your revenge: Did you know that revenge is best served cold? It is. You have taken the measure of your enemies, stayed quiet, and let public interest in your scandal die out. You should have also had time to figure out who sold you out. Now, months or years later, you may start plotting how to get them back. If you are a wise person, you may choose to simply cut them out of your life, accepting the whole mess as a valuable life lesson. But if you are, at heart, a petty and vindictive person—which is a job requirement for famous members of the media—you will search for some elaborate revenge designed to inflict twice as much pain upon the snitch as they inflicted upon you. This will often generate a new scandal of its own. See step one.