The recent brouhaha over AIG’s bonus compensation illustrates two issues pertinent to all organizations:
(1) If you accept (or are forced to accept) funds from the government, be prepared to kowtow to conflicting demands and face intensive grillings by ill-prepared politicians.
(2) If you want to maintain your legitimacy as an organization, be prepared to deal with the media. The media plays a crucial role in framing issues and making issues more or less salient. For instance, why has recent media coverage focused on the $165 million in bonuses that AIG paid out, as opposed to other alternative stories about how our taxes are allocated, such as the $515 BILLION used for military spending? Or how an estimated $1 BILLION in governmental subsidies help ensure that Wal-Mart earns $12.8 BILLION in profit while its workers do not have a living wage or health care?