Tag Archive: COVID-19


“Do you think there is blood on the president’s hands, considering the slow response?” — NBC’s “Meet The Press” anchor Chuck Todd to Vice President Joe Biden this morning.

“I think that is a little too harsh.” — Biden answer.

The late great Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert just turned over in his grave.

Russert (1950-2008) served as the much-respected and well-liked host of NBC’s Sunday morning interview show for a record 16 years.

Todd’s unrestrained arrogance, spawned his February suggestion that Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters amounted to a “digital brownshirt brigade.”

Sanders is Jewish. The reaction from the repeatedly persecuted Jewish community was swift and certain. Nazi imagery and comparisons do not belong in American political discourse.

Almost DailyBrett is not devoting this post to simply beating up Chuck Todd, but to contend that America needs balanced, objective journalism now more than ever. Instead, we are hearing open suggestions the president’s hands are soaked in blood and images of storm troopers.

Will NBC take well overdue disciplinary action against Todd, just as the network did against former MSNBC host Chris Matthews? Will Todd be forced to apologize to Bernie Sanders, let alone Donald Trump?

Forget about it.

Esteem for America Media? Downward to the Right

Even before the Corona virus (COVID-19) extracted its deadly toll on the USA and the world, the trust of the American public in mass media was rapidly losing altitude.

The steady decline in American approval in mass media, which began in the mid-1970s, is actually accelerating its continuous downward-to-the-right loss of trust trend.

If the media was publicly traded, even a dim-witted investor would have sold this “dog with fleas” (Gordon Gekko quote) years ago.

Worse, there seems to be no bottom in sight when it comes to the media. If an institution cannot reach its nadir point and keeps falling in terms of public esteem or to be more precise, lack of public esteem, how can the media demonstrate any recovery … even a dead-cat bounce?

According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, mass media recorded a -17 percent score when it comes to competence, and an additional -7 percent in terms of ethical behavior. Conversely, business scores +14 in competence and -2 percent when ethics is weighed.

Only government is worse, minus 40 percent in competence and minus 19 percent in ethics.

Cessation of Presidential Corona Virus Broadcasts?

“If Trump is going to keep lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we (collective media) should, all of us, stop broadcasting it (presidential corona task force briefings).” — MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow

If the media en-masse decides what we as great unwashed Americans are permitted to see or not see, isn’t that another word for censorship?

If the government attempted even for a nano-second or two to impose any type of limitation on media coverage, wouldn’t Mizz Maddow be the first screaming about a chilling impact on sacred First Amendment rights of free speech?

Maybe the president’s veracity is not the issue. Could the real catalyst for Maddow’s call for a “broadcasting stop” be President Trump’s improving approval ratings, particularly his handling of America’s corona virus response?

According to Gallup, the nation’s hospitals hold an 88 percent approval rating compared to a 10 percent disapprove score.

Vice President Mike Pence (e.g., Corona virus task force chairman) clocks in with a 61 percent to 32 percent approval/disapproval rating.

President Trump has drawn a 60 percent thumbs up and a 38 percent thumbs down result.

The media? The lowest score of them all … 44 percent approve, 55 percent disapprove.

Whattyathink Chuck “Blood on the President’s Hands” Todd? Any comment from “stop broadcasting” presidential pandemic briefings, Rachel Maddow?

Almost DailyBrett has zero doubt that many — certainly not all — in the media want America to fail in the face of this global pandemic, and with that crisis Trump is not re-elected.

Count how many times the media use the noun/verb fail in the coming days, weeks and months of reporting/interpreting with related commentary from unnamed sources.

If a Democrat was in the White House, the collective mass media swooning would remind one of the gushing coverage of a … New York Governor Andrew Cuomo briefing.

If there any doubt, spend some time with Pew Research’s results demonstrating a pronounced division by political preference when it comes to trust in the media. Democrats are mostly trustful; Republicans are distrustful.

The reason? The loss of integrity by the majority in the media, who fail the objectivity test and cannot hide their personal loathing of the president and for the most part, any and all Republicans.

If the mass media aids and abets the nation in failing in the face of the corona virus pandemic and as a result President Trump is not re-elected, will the arrogance in media centers subside? Not a chance.

Will the sense of unrestrained power and importance grow and mutate in news rooms and political bureaus?

Will they claim another Nixonian scalp, this one with blood on his hands?

Conversely, will America applaud its oppositional media or will the public eventually become even more fearful and distrustful of the networks and/or major mastheads?

Will we have created an even bigger monster?

Will the American people ask, ‘who is going to watch, the watchers’?

Sure hope we don’t have to answer these questions.

https://www.edelman.com/trustbarometer

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/03/29/chuck_todd_to_joe_biden_does_the_president_have_blood_on_his_hands.html

https://news.gallup.com/poll/300680/coronavirus-response-hospitals-rated-best-news-media-worst.aspx

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2020/01/12/has-all-media-become-partisan-media/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2020/02/09/elite-media-psychologists-psychiatrists/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/lets-take-hitler-out-of-american-politics/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/what-happened-to-bernie-shaws-cnn/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/oppositional-journalism/

https://www.salon.com/2020/02/12/msnbcs-chuck-todd-under-fire-for-reciting-quote-comparing-sanders-supporters-to-nazis_partner/

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/488777-maddow-hits-trumps-happy-talk-on-virus-i-would-stop-putting-those-briefings-on

U.S. Media Polarization and the 2020 Election: A Nation Divided

From a public relations and mass communications standpoint, we need to leave the past — most of all recriminations — to the mass media. Let them focus on the fact that we again slept at dawn.

Hint: They were sleeping as well.

We need to envision and more importantly, credibly and practically project better times in the future. We need to balance our justified health concerns with our economic hopes.

Will we have a national resurrection by Easter Sunday, April 12? Maybe? Most likely, not?

If not, the media will happily tell us how our loving optimist-in-chief somehow failed in the face of continued darkness.

And yet his approval rating continues to rise, and his score for handling the corona virus reaches 60 percent thumbs up against 38 percent thumbs down.

As Teddy Roosevelt (pardon the paraphrase from heaven, POTUS #26) told us in his famous 1910 speech to the students at Paris’ Sorbonne, it’s not Gloomy Gus or Negative Nancy who counts, or how the strong man or woman stumbles or how she or he could have done better.

The credit belongs to those who are in the arena.

We need more of those, who dare to suggest with credibility that yes life will get better. We are not eternally condemned to the boredom of our living rooms.

Some day we will standing in line for the barista, waiting for our beer or wine, actually ordering our food to a table in a restaurant … our hearts thumping with thousands of others, anticipating the first guitar riff or standing up for the kickoff.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News “virtual town hall” event on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak with members of the coronavirus task force in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

It takes courage to stand up in front of this wall of negativity and suggest that life may be better sooner … much sooner … as opposed to later.

It takes moxy to purchase shares of best-in-breed stocks (i.e., Apple, Microsoft, Nike, NVIDIA, McDonalds, Starbucks …) as the markets refuse for weeks to stretch two or more positive trading days in a row. Volatility will eventually be tamed, most likely not now.

It takes compassion to swipe our credit card at our local coffee place, order books online from our regional bookseller, call for take out at our favorite Italian place. With our economic freedom maintained, we can choose who and how much to support.

They have been there for us. Isn’t time for us to be there for them?

It’s so easy to hunker down and to shut down for the “common good.” It’s harder to dream again, and to express hope.

We Need Good News

“Hope is believing good will come, even in bad times. 

“Hope is knowing that this too shall pass.

“Hope is knowing no matter how afraid we are, our higher power will be with us.

“Hope is knowing that we never have to be alone again. It’s knowing that “Time Is On Our Side.’

“Hope is giving up control. Hope is knowing we didn’t have control in the first place.” — Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ronnie Wood.

Almost DailyBrett believes there are more than a few, who have major problems with the United States and its world’s largest gross domestic product (GDP) at $21.99 trillion (prior to the impact of the Corona virus, COVID-19).

To them the USA needs to redistribute the pie, not expand it to offer more pieces for everyone.

The word “balance” seemingly does not exist in ivory towers on campuses, the deep state or in some media empires.

Until recently, climate change dominated. “How dare” anyone suggest thoughtful consideration of those who work and thrive in our world-best economy?

And now the little corona virus bugger has replaced the planet — at least for now — as the single most priority. Forget about producing products we use or compensating our employees. Allocating $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC is just so vital to beating this global epidemic.

As we debate looking for the positive versus being Gloomy Gus or Debbie Downer, we know two things for certain:

Teddy Roosevelt is forever enshrined on Mt. Rushmore.

No one will ever build statues to critics, including Negative Nancy.

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/id-love-to-have-it-open-by-easter-trump-hopeful-economy-will-be-revived-in-coming-weeks/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=breaking&utm_campaign=newstrack&utm_term=19820067

http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

https://news.gallup.com/poll/298313/president-trump-job-approval-rating.aspx

 

Even before the little bugger, Coronavirus  (COVID-19), started reeking its pandemic havoc, the nation was earlier appalled that Iowa couldn’t simply count the results of its Democratic caucus last February.

A few weeks later California couldn’t tally its votes until literally one month after its March 3 Super Tuesday primary. The final results are mandated no later than … April 3 and certified by April 10 … maybe.

How many times have courts around the country extended voting hours (e.g., Illinois yesterday) because of lines of people, who could have, should have, but didn’t vote early?

And let’s not forget the infamous 2000 hanging chads of Florida.

Finally, did Almost DailyBrett readers note how quickly the State of Washington completed its March 10 primary count?

Wonder why?

Every voter in the Evergreen State has been voting by mail for nearly a decade, including last week’s State of Washington primary. Yep, everyone in the Pacific Northwest is an absentee voter.

Voting by mail works. Federalism works. Local control works. Can we learn from these Western state success stories?

Oregon Sets The Pace For The Nation

Oregon set the pace for the nation opting for all state’s elections to be — vote by mail — starting with the commencement of the new millennium in 2000.

Ballot Measure 60 was placed before Oregon’s electorate in 1998 calling for exclusive voting by mail in all of the state’s 36 counties, winning by a landslide 69.4 percent to 30.6 percent.

The chances of fraud are greatly reduced as the Oregon Secretary of State needs to be concerned only with polling locations in 36 counties with a main server in Salem, and a redundant system in Baker City.

Here is a key differentiator: All Oregon ballots must be received — not just postmarked — by the official close of voting, typically 8 pm local time on election day. If your ballot is received after that time … oh well.

California’s permissive practice, allowing for ballots to be postmarked as late as election night and received during the next three days, only delays results and frustrates the ease of voting, which Oregon’s vote-by-mail system pioneered.

Some argue romantically about voting in the neighbor’s garage, the school gymnasium, the church hall, wishing for the return of a time that has passed.

Ohio officially postponed its Tuesday Democratic primary because its polling places brought people together, exactly the wrong practice at this pandemic point of time.

Others say voting by mail negatively impacts the economically disadvantaged. Why’s that?

Each Oregon county has designated secure voting drop-offs, a stamp is not required. One can even vote on a non-mail delivery day (i.e., holidays or Sundays). Just drop your signed ballot into the secure ballot box before the magic closing hour on election day.

What about changing your mind? You can revise your ballot right up until the close of voting at 8 pm. What’s the difference between mail-in voting or standing in line at polling places with the deadline being … the deadline? Zero.

Voting By Mail Makes Us Better Voters

In Oregon, the voting pamphlet from the county registrar-recorder arrives about five weeks before election day. The ballot comes about a week later.

In reality, voting starts about four weeks before election day. Campaigns need to calibrate this change and get their messages out to the voters earlier to coincide with the commencement of mail-in voting.

And who tends to vote early? High propensity voters (e.g., senior citizens).

Almost DailyBrett is convinced that voting by mail fosters more intelligent voting. The reason, the voter has the time to read the pamphlet and secure more information about down ballot races (i.e., initiatives, bond issues, city councils, boards of supervisors,  school boards, judges etc.,).

In practice, voting by mail is far more relaxed as opposed to fighting traffic after work in foul November weather to reach a crowded polling place before the voting time elapses.

Instead, the mail-in voter has done her or his civic duty and can head on home to watch the electoral results all within a few hours of the time for the final submittal of mail-in votes (e.g., Washington Democratic Primary, March 10).

There are no hanging chads in Oregon, and never will be.

There are zero lines at polling places simply because … there are no polling places.

All the ballots are submitted by the time the election closes; results are quicker.

There are zero apps to hack.

The county registrar-recorder offices safeguard the sanctity of voting.

And if the backside of the ballot is not signed by the voter, the vote is simply not counted.

As a libertarian, Almost DailyBrett prefers for each individual state to decide whether or not to follow Oregon’s lead as is usually the case with the State of Washington.

If a critical mass of states opt for vote by mail, maybe the nation as a whole can vote by mail with a uniform poll closing time?

What’s not to like when it comes to Oregon’s pioneering voting by mail?

https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/02/oregon-vote-by-mail-draws-increasing-interest-from-other-states.html

https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/all-mail-elections.aspx

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/10/mail-voting-coronavirus-bill/

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article240828386.html

https://electionresults.sos.ca.gov/returns/president/party/democratic

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs, and blaming it on you.” — Poet Rudyard Kipling’s, “If” (1865-1936)

One thing is certain when it comes to any crisis — earthquake, floods, fires, pandemics — the media will hyperventilate and will be totally out of control.

Another is that no good deed goes unpunished.

And an absolute truth in politics: You have a finite number of friends and the same is true for your enemies. Your enemies will never change; your friends can change.

Finally, the public wants and needs to see its president, governor, mayor, CEO … whoever is the elected/designated leader … that individual must be there repeatedly, visible on the front lines.

The images of President George W. Bush with the bullhorn at Ground Zero, Rudy Giuliani being designated as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in response to the brutal attacks on 9/11 are illustrative of leaders immediately present and active in response.

President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina is less of a text book example. The failure of Exxon Valdez CEO Lawrence Rawl to visit the 1989 Prince William Sound spill site for three weeks or maybe worse, BP’s former chief executive Tony Hayward lamenting about the impact of his company’s 2010 Gulf Spill … on his personal life.

“I’m sorry. We’re sorry for the massive disruption its (Gulf Spill) caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I’d like my life back.”

Sorry to say Tony, this song was not about you.

Crises present opportunities and perils. Some succeed in the face of unprecedented challenges, others fail miserably. There are few who just for lack of better words, screw up.

When asked at an emergency site to characterize what he was seeing with his very eyes, former California Governor Pat Brown didn’t realize what he was saying until he said it: “This is the worse disaster since my election.”

During the course of any political lifetime, there will be crises. You are not judged when all is well, but defined when all are losing their heads.

And besides keeping your head, a public sector team should always operate under the philosophy that good government always takes precedence over good politics.

Almost DailyBrett believes for any incumbent, regardless of whether it’s an election year (it is) or not, the “What is the good government response?” question should always be answered first.

If the answer is good government, then the question of good politics should address itself.

Invoking The Wrath Of The NRA

“There’s no logical reason for anybody to own an assault weapon.” — California Governor George Deukmejian (1928-2018)

As a Republican governor in a blue state, Governor Deukmejian recognized immediately the political landscape changed when troubled Vietnam vet Patrick Purdy took an AK-47 onto a Stockton schoolyard, filled with happy playing Korean children, in 1989.

The good government response immediately following this senseless massacre intended for the protection of innocent children and the public at large was to ban assault weapons in California. This responsible action predictably triggered (pardon the pun) an immediate vitriolic response from the NRA.

Good government, won. Good politics came along for the ride.

As President Donald Trump directs the nation’s emergency response to the global Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, he and his team must be mindful that anything and everything will be viewed in terms of the electoral season.

No action taken by the administration (i.e., blocking flights from China and Europe, teaming with private sector on mobile testing, relaxing and suspending burdensome federal regulations) will meet with universal approval, not this year in particular. There are those who cannot and will not be positive. So be it.

The nation needs to see its leader. The leader of the free world cannot be perfect (impossible standard to uphold), but he must be confident. Some have said we need more teleprompter Trump and less tweeting Trump. Politics needs to be left to others, particularly those out of power.

Instead, good government must rule … good government must take precedence. This is a time for message and political discipline. Can Trump and his team do it?

Let’s give them a chance.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if—

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-05-19-mn-112-story.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/the-governor-who-changed-my-life/

 

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