Weeks after Vice President Joe Biden was caught on live TV whispering to President Obama that the signing of the health care bill was a “Big f**king deal,” its video appears on Google as the third link related to his name. Biden is a grown man and he is allowed to conduct himself how he wants, but traditionally this type of slip has always drawn media attention and caused much embarrassment. Ultimately this negative publicity tends to soak up all of the attention from the real political issues at hand.
Over a million people viewed this 14-second clip on YouTube and I would not be surprised if only a few thousand went on to watch the entire speech or research the health care bill in its entirety. Issue management in the public relations field often deals with preventing and managing this type of publicity. The hours of media training that many big political figures undergo in preparation for these types of speeches almost becomes worthless when Biden draws major media attention from these expletive slips.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted “And…yes Mr. Vice President… you’re right” shortly after the incident. This helped to alleviate the seriousness of the situation. In its own way, the comment downplayed the responsibility of the entire administration, making it known that Biden’s’ choice of words are his own, even if there may be a shared point of view.
Someone who did not take the issue so lightheartedly was 17 year old McKay Hatch who went on to form the “The No-Cussing Club”. His campaign is aimed at trying to get Americans back to using good language.