Pat O’Brien on Recovering From Scandal: ‘Own Up to it Like I Did’

By Merrill Knox 

“Fox Sports Primetime” host Pat O’Brien is the subject of Mediabistro’s latest “So What Do You Do?” interview. O’Brien — who has worked at stations in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as at CBS Sports, “Access Hollywood” and “The Insider” — recalls his battle with alcoholism as he advises broadcasters how to handle scandal:

If a reporter gets caught up in some sort of public scandal, what would your advice be about the best way to handle it and take responsibility?

I say this all the time: the best way to handle if you did something is to admit it. Cover-ups always worsen the crime. And we’re talking about low-level scandals here, obviously, not murder or anything. I always say the three A’s: admit, apologize, advance.


In other words, if you did something wrong, own up to it like I did. Be a man about it. I really didn’t need to apologize to anyone but my family, but I did. And it worked out in a really great way. I took a couple of years off, got myself together. I’ve never felt better; my career is completely on track. I never really lost much career-wise and I’m still here. I talk to a lot of people in trouble — politicians, celebrities — they will call me and ask what to do. And that’s what I tell them. Get in front of the first camera you can find and admit it if you did it. And apologize to somebody and move on.