NEW YORK - DECEMBER 18:  New York 9th District...
 

Accepting that it's always dangerous to comment on things while they are happening, there seems to be a marked difference between how Lance Armstrong and Anthony Weiner have handled recent controversies.

Weiner Tweeting Lewd Pictures?

Somebody sent somebody else a lewd picture of congressman Anthony Weiner from Weiner's Twitter account.  Weiner says his account was hacked, engaged in some verbal sparring with the press on camera, couldn't say for certain if the picture was of him and generally gave multiple, confusing answers to questions being asked.

Lance Doping?

"Not only did Lance Armstrong use banned substances to boost his cycling performance, he helped lead a systematic doping program on his team by encouraging and promoting the deception along with managers and doctors, according to a 60 Minutes report."

Armstrong responded quickly and decisively with a Tweet: "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case"

The Difference

If Weiner or Armstrong did the things they are accused of doing, they deserve to be sanctioned.  If they did not, what's different is that Weiner will suffer because of the way he's responded to the accusations.  He has become the story.  Conversely, Armstrong's response has been consistent and decisive.  His response is not the story.

The Lessons

1) Don't do bad stuff.  (But you already knew that one.)

2) Pay attention to how you respond to false accusations.  Deal with false accusations quickly, decisively, and consistently so you can get back to talking about the important things.

(Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

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