Apparently Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) found a new Business Mantra in Steve Jobs denial of iPhone 4 issues when he said, “We're not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy”. Scott calls it “High Ground Maneuver”. Good read.
…Jobs changed the entire argument with nineteen words. He was brief. He spoke indisputable truth. And later in his press conference, he offered clear fixes.
Did it work? Check out the media response. There's lots of talk about whether other smartphones are perfect or not. There's lots of talk about whether Jobs' response was the right one. But the central question that was in everyone's head before the press conference - "Is the iPhone 4 a dud" - has, well, evaporated. Part of the change in attitude is because the fixes Apple offered are adequate. But those fixes easily could have become part of the joke if handled in an apologetic "please kick me" way.
For example, if a military drone accidentally kills civilians, and there is a public outcry, it would be a mistake for the military to spend too much time talking about what went wrong with that particular mission. The High Ground Maneuver would go something like this: "War is messy. No one wants civilians to die. We will study this situation to see how we can better avoid it in the future."
Notice that the response is succinct, indisputably true, and that the context has been taken to a higher level, about war in general. That's what Jobs did. It's a powerful technique, and you can use it at home.