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Damage Control 101: A Crisis Consultant Offers America's Dumbest Billionaire a Crash Course 

Wednesday, Feb 5 2014

How could it have gone worse for Tom Perkins? The buffoonish San Francisco tech billionaire rendered himself the object of worldwide derision last month after likening the plight of America's very richest inhabitants to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. Public sniping regarding his ex-wife Danielle Steel's topiary, it seems, was a major factor in Perkins' prediction of a "progressive Kristallnacht."

Perkins did not, however, vault from his enclosure, kill a child with his teeth, and rampage through the zoo until dying in a barrage of police gunfire.

Sam Singer, then, has dealt with worse. He can work with this.

It ain't well and truly a calamity until someone hires Singer, aka the Master of Disaster, a public relations maven whose specialty is representing people who've thoroughly fouled up. In case of emergency, break glass — and allow Singer to "reframe the issue." His recent clientele includes: Oakland Children's Hospital in the wake of 13-year-old Jahi McMath being left brain-dead following a routine tonsillectomy; an East Bay Assemblywoman who compounded her shoplifting arrest at Neiman Marcus by scowling in her mug shot like an unmasked Scooby-Doo villain; and, of course, the San Francisco Zoo in the days after Tatiana the tiger's lethal escape.

Perkins, in his infinite wisdom, hasn't contacted Singer yet. But, if he did, the Master of Disaster says he would implore Perkins do something Tatiana could not — for so many reasons. Singer suggests the venture capitalist pen a heartfelt apology. When asked to whom Perkins should address this missive, Singer replies, "all humanity."

Apologize to the human race, the Jews, the myriad victims of the Holocaust, poor people, middle-class people, and fellow wealthy people he embarrassed through association. That's a start.

Send that letter to The Wall Street Journal, and, for good measure, purchase contrite, full-page ads in any newspaper that will have them. "His money is green. I'd encourage the publishers to take it."

That, however, is just "the Band-Aid." Following deep contrition, Singer urges Perkins to reach out to the groups he maligned. Start a dialogue. He may learn something. And they may learn how "the ungodly rich and romance novelists have made the world a better place."

If you will it, it is no dream.

But even if Perkins doesn't seek help in walking backwards out of this minefield of his own creation, Singer is keeping plenty busy. One man's disaster is another's opportunity, and Singer cackles mischievously when asked who, other than Perkins, is screwing up these days.

"Oh, so many people! I wouldn't know where to begin."

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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