I just learned a valuable lesson from a distant colleague: In the face of unrelenting criticism for a specific deed (or lack thereof), just confess and get on with things.
We were on our way to spending approximately forever, with 50+ people on the call, on the reasons why something wasn’t done. Then E (let’s call her E) said “Hey – that’s on my list and I haven’t done it yet. My bad. I’ll get to it as soon as I can” and the discussion was OVER. The reasons really didn’t matter. And on to other things.