TO: Imperial Advisers and Ministers of State
FROM: Imperial Prime Minister
RE: Damage control in the incident of the “new clothes”

First, thanks to everyone for your support at the recent emergency meeting of the Privy Council. Using the input of our diverse knowledge partners in helping to brainstorm ways to centralize the administration’s “no-spin” message, the Office of the Prime Minister has laid out the following plan for establishing positive reputation management in the aftermath of the “new clothes” incident:

Imperial advisers have developed a twofold strategy. First, we will confront, head-on, problems such as the rash of “naked emperor” jokes and songs currently becoming popular among the citizenry, while simultaneously shifting attention to other areas such as conservative economic policies and favorable trade regulations. This strategy will unfold over the next several days, starting with today’s announcement of the creation of the Office of the Sheriff of the Imperial Wardrobe, and continuing Sunday with a sermon by the high pontiff on nudity and the Garden of Paradise. Anticipating criticism of the emperor on moral grounds, the pontiff will try to put the incident in perspective by portraying nakedness as a natural state, symbolic of those who are innocent of any wrongdoing. The minister of trade will then work to focus attention on the emperor’s broad future goals, such as spreading the exploitation of foreign peoples, importing more exotic animals for spectacle entertainments, and enriching the imperial coffers with new “temporary” taxes.

Overall, when dealing with the media, it is important for all imperial advisers to stay on message with our key talking points:

  • We are a “no-spin” administration. We remain focused on the task of running the empire instead of being absorbed in the background noise of irrelevant scandals.

  • We freely admit that we were overly dismissive of early reports that the new clothes might not actually exist. But the initial information that we had about the clothes was the best information available at the time.

  • Knowing all that we now know, we might have done it differently. But it’s very easy to pick on one little flaw here or there and overlook the bigger picture.

  • The ersatz-tailor scoundrels certainly, we believe, had the capability to make the new clothes, and might have eventually made them if events had not intervened.

  • All possible steps—including, but not limited to, various drawings, quarterings, dunkings, and rack stretchings—have been taken to prevent the situation from occurring again.

  • The emperor has come forward and admitted the mistake, and that’s all you can expect from a regular guy who was, himself, victimized by the same misinformation as the townspeople.

  • In dealing with the media, we would do well to remember the previous administration’s fiasco over the incident of the nightingale. We certainly do not want to be put in the position of being criticized by the media again for sending our young princes out to search far and wide for talking birds, crystal eggs, or enchanted feathers. However, the Office of the Prime Minister feels confident that if we toe the line and stay on message, we can weather this crisis and all pull through together.

    Yours sincerely,
    Imperial Prime Minister