Eric Schmidt is a thoughtful speaker with impeccable educational credentials. But the Google CEO's been a creepy, arrogant-sounding disaster in the press lately, especially on television. Today he issued a retraction. Here are the lowlights of how this came about.
Today, Google media relations disseminated a press release in which Schmidt said "I clearly misspoke" on CNN when he told the hosts of Parker Spitzer that they could "just move" to evade Google's Street View cameras, a statement that caused no small uproar in the press. Schmidt's retraction:
As you can see from the unedited interview, my comments were made during a fairly long back and forth on privacy. I clearly misspoke. If you are worried about Street View and want your house removed please contact Google and we will remove it.
In actuality, Google is now reminding everyone, people who don't like the home being in Street View can opt out of the service. So Schmidt took a situation where Google has provided a commendable privacy option that goes above and beyond the law and even common sense — the front of your home is a public facade, after all, visible to anyone who cares to pass by — and somehow managed to turn it into something chilling and weird.
Oh, Eric. You're a very smart guy. How do you manage to snatch PR defeat from the jaws of Google's monster business victory, time and time and time again? In the manner shown in the video montage above, that's how. Perhaps a bit of media training is called for; Google can certainly afford it.
In the meantime, you can watch the full videos from the montage via the links below to get the full context of how these media trainwrecks unfolded.