Last week the company that set up the website that "leaked" the NSW Government's transport blueprint, Bang the Table, found that by trying to save face, it lost something infinitely more precious.
When the Sydney Morning Herald got hold of NSW Transport's new blueprint for public transport, there would have been lots of questions. Concerns surfaced that the site might have been hacked to obtain the document.
I don't know if Bang the Table knew it had made a mistake and left a door wide open into the site at the time. Certainly it did not show it, instead telling the Transport Minister David Campbell that the media had to have "hacked" into the site to have seen the blueprint.
How Bang the Table thought that journalists were likely to be capable of hacking their way out of a paper bag was beyond me (geek media excluded, of course).
If I was Bang the Table at that point, I would have been quite frightened, and wondering why I hadn't looked into the issue before attacking a very loud media publication.
Perhaps it was. The company sidled in with an admission later that the site had been "temporarily" accessible via internal web page addresses, but was sticking to its guns that there had been a concerted barrage of unauthorised hits on the site. And police had been notified.
Of course, anyone with half a brain could see this was going to end in tears. On Wednesday, the minister clarified that he personally hadn't made any allegations against "any individual or specific media outlet".
He pointed to Bang the Table's admission that the site had been temporarily available and said the government had "lost confidence" in the company and would terminate the arrangement.
Do you think that would have happened if the company had admitted it had made a mistake in the first place before it became a media circus?
Certainly, this episode speaks volumes about making sure you don't tell your client fibs. Those little lies, even if they are genuine misunderstandings, can be like a gun with a bullet in one chamber — it might cause a lot of damage the next time some external event pulls the trigger.