If you haven't seen David Starkey and what Emily Maitliss described as "the moment" then here it is.
I don't think that my job is to wonder which is worse, racism or making light of rape, and I certainly don't think that the reaction will be the same when the dust has settled. Kenneth Clarke and David Starkey are different; one is a politician that has to be liked and the other makes a career of being stern and not caring what people think of him. Ken Clarke had to explain and chances are David Starkey won't.
I spoke to him on air a number of times after that and I always found him an intellectual challenge but very giving in the interview context.
What has surprised me about his faux pas (if such a delicate term can be used) is that it was an inelegant summing up of how he saw the situation. It seems that to full fill the needs of televisual brevity he missed out some very significant nuance; he gives us the answer without letting us see the working out. I bet he'd formed a pleasing sentence in the taxi to the studio and assumed that we'd certainly pick up the background.
In contrast Ken Clarkes 'Rape gaffe' was a product of him being hemmed into a corner by a sharp interviewer and a bad choice of words.
So what do you do if your organisation has said the wrong thing, either by design, omission, or idiocy? If it's by design and it all blows up in your face then you really need a strategic rethink, if it's by omission play the long game if your reputation is one of caring and sharing then explain immediately; if you're the industrial version of prickly David Starkey then sit back and curse the world for not understanding. The last one is easier to deal with, apologise hard and fast and then fire the idiot!