Most often I ad lib on radio and TV or in newspaper interviews. But, in the back of my mind is former CBS TV anchor Walter Cronkite’s old quote that there’s no such thing as an ad lib. There might be a turn of a phrase you’ve never made in that exact way, but you have entertained that thought or thought process before. Then there’s the time Tom Brokaw was asked what he was doing just before an election broadcast. “Writing out my ad libs” was his response.
Sometimes to rehearse I’ll write out an Op Ed and sell it to
a newspaper. Or I’ll just natter away at my wife or friends on the phone to
rehearse. Sometimes I’ll spend a dozen
hours with academic studies to prepare for a series cable talk show.
On this occasion I’m referencing books about the pandemic
and the Trump years. I want to say
something substantial and specific about the books, amongst my personal
observations. So I made notes.
I hope they reveal a little about the media relations
process for you.
COVID The Politics of Fear and the Power of Science by Marc Siegel, MD
This may have been a book about fear and risk, and the
history of pandemics, quickly repurposed to be about this particular
pandemic. Regardless, there’s good
information, even while the pandemic is still raging.
Flight or fight response…fear…risk perception…risk taking vs
Ghoulish note that we didn’t have the survivors to fill
hospital beds to overflowing.
History NY quarantine allowed him to fly in and out within
Yellow Fever in 18th Century … Hong Kong,
Spanish, 1957, SARS, MERS, Ebola
Hospitals are normally about 80% filled and thus not ready
How you make a vaccine (in chicken vs mammalian eggs or
cultures). We didn’t upgrade to the faster way
Smallpox vaccine used 1000 years ago in India and by George
Washington on his troops
Meanwhile other huge risks are not being addressed
adequately…33 million people with HIV and 3 million deaths per year…3-500
million cases of malaria a year with about 2 million deaths…1/3 of the world is
starving…15 million children die of hunger each year. Chemical plants not adequately protected…Neither
are laboratories studying potential weapons, and we are not protected from
People with severe injuries were ignored in emergency rooms
in favour of COVID cases
The old librarian interested in children’s development and
the pharmacist who knew your family are gone and replaced by Google
American Crisis Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic Andrew Cuomo
It’s hard to ignore the accusations about the governor which
have surfaced since this book was published.
It’s also ironic how he deals with deaths in nursing homes. But there is still something to learn from
the governor who was so active and communicative during the crisis.
Nursing home cover story…did he…did he have to…did
Florida…was Florida required to?
Odd news conference style which worked
Cleaning the MTC daily
Live in care givers in hospitals and nursing
homes in France
1% of New Yorkers pay about 50% of taxes—hope
they come back
Calling up retired health care workers and newly
arrived foreign workers
Fast provision of day care facilities managed by
teachers and day care providers to look after essential workers’ kids
Fog of War – Fog of Covid
Hard to find a person who can come up with good
ideas and hard to find a person who can implement good ideas. But it’s impossible to find a person who can
Making hand sanitizer in prisons, but in smaller
Chapter headings Date…Number of
cases…hospitalizations…number of deaths
he get credit and Trump get blame when NY had among the highest cases?
Why didn’t the Premier of Quebec or Just Trudeau
get blamed for high cases in Quebec?
“Almost all major (New York City) actions
require state approval”
Not enough mutual aid agreements among states
Ventilators should not have been a mystery
Bag ventilators should not have been tried
Blaming federal government for not helping with
Turn of a phrase
Too many opinions
are “tweet deep”
Hoax Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter
Many of these books are what
journalists call history on the run. We’re not through the pandemic yet, but
the first books are out on it and related topics. Historians will likely link the tenure of
President Trump with the pandemic. Or
will they? We don’t think of President
Wilson when we think of the Spanish flu, Eisenhower when we think of the 1957
pandemic, or Johnson or Nixon when the Hong Kong flu comes up. Perhaps we do think of President Ford and the
Swine Flu because he rushed a vaccine and some got sick from it.
relationship between Fox News, Republicans, & Trump
Trump didn’t think he was going to win
Relationship between Hannity & Trump
Hannity makes $30 million a year from his home
TV studio on Long Island
Originally Trump & Rupert Murdoch were at
Ailes, Megan Kelly, Bill O’Reilly
Fox and Friends and Monday Mornings with Trump
made him more than the apprentice
People who watch Fox think it’s the Home Team
MSNBC & CNN viewers switch back 7 forth but
Fox viewers stay with Fox