I'm curious where your line is with this. After all, "characters are just functions" was arguably ComboFiend saying some crap--at least in the sense that it probably wasn't a rehearsed statement or sanctioned by Capcom. But that doesn't mean it wasn't dumb. After all, the big issue overall in video game PR is that all these insiders jabber on about things in their games in a way that blurs the line between their role as an official representative and just some guy shooting the s*** with us over a beer. Plus Twitter is as much of a place to make public statements as an interview, even if most tweets in the grand scheme are vapid.
I would say the key difference is that while Twitter is sometimes used as a medium to say useless nonsense as well as make formal announcements, (which it would be good for if the circumstances were clearly delineated since short phrases make good ads) a formal interview is traditionally a situation where you measure your words a bit more carefully. Combined with the fact that "these characters are just functions when you think about it" doesn't read like two people just talking; it reads like a rehearsed response. Add to that the fact that it was a touchy subject about existing decisions made for an existing product and I'd say the circumstances aren't really 1:1. Haradasanz was jabbering over some hypotheticals. It didn't sound like he was making any formal decisions on the fly. Combofiend was explaining away something that had come to pass. Had the question been "Haradasanz, why did you guys cancel the Viking character?" and he gave the same response I'd be right there with you even though I would still respect people's concerns about the mob.
Which is why I'm arguing the point that it's the people who aren't directly affected who need to be the reasonable ones. It's why judges recuse themselves if they're too close to a case to preside over it without the air of bias or some other conflict of interest. In the end we're all vulnerable to someone at sometime. The players change depending on the circumstances but the reality is that if someone really wants to f*** you over they probably can. A disgruntled driver who thinks you stole his parking space decides to key your car? You might win a lawsuit but you're only getting your money back, not your time. A cop having a bad day can probably find something wrong with your driving if he looks closely enough. Your boss can find some reason to b**** at you if he so pleases. But the warning signs for that kind of personality trait should be taken seriously when deciding who to put in a position of authority in the first place. After all, someone who would both know an employee was innocent but also mark them as a problem for being mad about the initial accusation is probably a s***ty boss in general.
It's touch to articulate in my brain but I get what you're getting at here in regards to being paralyzed by things that are outside your control. I heard something today that said it's a good idea to list out the things you agree on first so that you don't end up proxy debating elements of a position you don't disagree with.
I think one key thing to consider is that, while often times people are just thrown to the wolves so others can feel good about themselves, there is another common form of mob justice that is focused on giving people a faux form of control over their fate and I can understand why people take it. The public apology being a perfect example. A lot of calls for such capitulation are designed very specifically to give the person on the hot seat the feeling that they are making their own bed because "all you have to do is this thing to undo it." It obscures the whole "this is going to happen to someone anyway" angle.