Tag Archive: Sam Donaldson


How would you like to hold a thankless job in which your boss loathes the media, the media in turn hates your boss, and you’re stuck in between?

To top it off, the White House press secretary is never good enough to satisfy all of the internal and external critics. There is also one “critic,” who is the most equal of all and demonstrates all the signs of being insatiable.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer just did Sarah Huckabee Sanders and by extension the entire nation a huge favor. He quit.

Please don’t let the door hit you too hard on the backside, Sean. You were overmatched for the job from day one. The only one who is crying is Melissa McCarthy of SNL.

As a former press secretary, albeit for a mere state (California), the author of Almost DailyBrett understands the pressure associated with being a message developer and voice for the administration, simultaneously charged with the caring, comforting and nurturing of the Capital Press Corps.

One of the major surprises in your author’s three-decade career in public relations is the inconvenient fact the majority of communications practitioners – particularly at PR firms — never come in contact with a living, breathing reporter/editor/correspondent.

These august professionals may talk a great game, but they literally run for cover when it comes time for on-the-record, stakes-are-high dialogue. Gasp … they  actually may be quoted/misquoted.

Standing Behind the White House Media Podium

Still remember sitting in the White House media center watching Ronald Reagan’s deputy press secretary Larry Speakes conduct the morning briefing with elite media — Helen Thomas (UPI), Sam Donaldson (ABC), Lesley Stahl (CBS) and Chris Wallace (NBC) — all sitting in the first row.

Serving as press secretary for the nation’s chief executive with a target on his or her back is the pinnacle of public relations. You have to be offensive without being offensive. Humor is a huge plus. Institutional knowledge is vital. Most of all you must instinctively know when to punt (e.g., “I don’t know”), buy time, and come back with a winning answer, which separates the enduring press secretaries with those who hide in the bushes.

Presidential press secretaries used to be an old boys club: Pierre Salinger, Ron Ziegler, Jody Powell, Speakes, Marlin Fitzwater, George Stephanopoulos …

Huckabee Sanders is now the third woman to hold the title of White House Press Secretary, serving as a lead on message development and delivering the daily briefings to the carnivorous media. Dee Dee Myers (Clinton, 1993-1994) was the first, Dana Perino (W. Bush, 2007-2009) was the second, and now Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Perino in her open-advice-to-Sarah-Huckabee-Sanders column implored her to embrace and enjoy the job, actually being thankful for the opportunity to serve.

As a woman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 34, has already been viciously attacked for her appearance by Daily Beast columnist Ira Madison III. Madison tweeted that Sanders was a “butch queen first in drags at the ball.” Madison the Third later retracted the tweet and apologized, but his misogynist and homophobic digs have already left their mark.

To her credit, Huckabee Sanders has not overreacted to this insult. She knows more of the same, if not worse are in the offing. Think of it this way: she seems to be a natural for the job. After all she is the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and the contact sport of politics is not new to her.

Huckabee Sanders also understands that more heavy lifting is required for a Republican press secretary than those holding the same job for a Democratic incumbent. The media tilts heavily to the left, and appears in most cases to be incapable of being fair and objective to President Trump.

Life is not fair. Translated; the magnified challenges of this awesome responsibility under fire on an uneven playing field also provide tremendous opportunities for Sarah to distinguish herself as a good/great press secretary.

If Huckabee Sanders can turn the temperature down even just a hair, introduce a greater sense of professionalism to the White House briefings (e.g., turn the cameras back on) while at the same time, serving as an impassioned advocate for her boss and the administration, she will have done a great service to the nation.

More power to you, Sarah.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/07/26/dana-perino-advice-for-sarah-huckabee-sanders-from-one-female-press-secretary-to-another.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbpUcfpbnrs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Huckabee_Sanders

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/two-of-three-female-white-house-press-secretaries-worked-for-republican-presidents/article/2629496

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-long-can-the-trump-tumult-go-on-1501106914

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/has-the-media-reached-the-point-that-it-can-never-cover-trump-fairly/

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Read my lips: No new taxes.” – Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush

Taxes were raised.

Back in my early 30s, I accompanied my boss, Governor George Deukmejian, to the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.

The sweltering Big Easy is not the best place to be in August. And national political conventions are not just Thursday nights with all the falling balloons, chanting, cheering and sign waving, but rhetorical endurance contests.

Reflecting back on those heady younger days, I relished the opportunity to defy the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) stronghold on the agenda and instead placed my governor on network television as much as possible. A photo of ABC’s Sam Donaldson interviewing The Duke with a beaming me behind them sits on display in my office.

Donald Trump protestors clash with officers during the California GOP Convention held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, California on April 29, 2016. (Joel Angel Juarez/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Donald Trump protestors clash with officers during the California GOP Convention held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, California on April 29, 2016. (Joel Angel Juarez/Special to S.F. Examiner)

One essential point: The author of Almost DailyBrett never worried for a nanosecond about personal safety in attending a national convention in 1988. Were there protesters outside the New Orleans Superdome despite the fact it was indeed, “Morning in America”?

Of course. Can’t remember what they were yammering about. Doesn’t matter now.

Two months later, yours truly attended the last presidential debate between Bush and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

“Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?” — CNN Bernard Shaw’s opening question of the debate

Robotically Dukakis swung-and-missed on this controversial question, and the debate and the election were over on the first question of the night.

Was there heavy security at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on October 13, 1988? The question seems silly. Certainly. Yet once again, there was never an issue of personal safety that evening even though the stakes are always high in a presidential election, especially with an open seat.

Fast forward to today: Would a parent think twice about her or his daughter or son attending a major political convention, rally or presidential debate?

Unfortunately, these questions need to be asked as the pages of American history have turned to darker chapters.

Distinguishing The “Lovers” From The “Haters”

Almost DailyBrett three years ago dared to take issue with Martin Scorsese and the record 506 four-letter F-Bombs, which were unloaded during the three-hour-plus cinematic orgy of nudes, ludes and coke, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Today, a new four-letter invective is being dropped on political opponents in order to intimidate and silence: The H-Bomb.lovetrumpshate

Certainly, it is clever to champion that “love trumps hate,” even putting all the words in lower case to keep people from wondering if the verb is a double-entendre (which it is, of course).

The intended divisive net-result is the “lovers” are on one side and the “haters” are marginalized on the other side.

And what happens if the “haters” hold a political rally or attend a political convention? Do the “lovers” come out en-masse?

Of course there are sinners among the “haters,” but are all the “lovers,” saints?

Watching the video from usually calm-and-bucolic Costa Mesa with police cars being shattered, rocks and other projectiles being thrown all in the name of love, Almost DailyBrett wonders whether the two opposite terms – love and hate — are rapidly becoming synonymous.

Or am I confusing this video with the raucous scene from Chicago a few weeks ago? How many more 1968 Windy City scenes will be digitally transmitted in the new few weeks and months? How much blood will be shed? Will the carnage mercifully stop on election day? Don’t count on it.

This still image taken from video shows a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a protest on Thursday, April 28, 2016 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Dozens of protesters were mostly peaceful Thursday as Trump gave his speech inside the Pacific Amphitheater. After the event, however, the demonstration grew rowdy late in the evening and spilled into the streets. (APTN via AP Photo)

This still image taken from video shows a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a protest on Thursday, April 28, 2016 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Dozens of protesters were mostly peaceful Thursday as Trump gave his speech inside the Pacific Amphitheater. After the event, however, the demonstration grew rowdy late in the evening and spilled into the streets. (APTN via AP Photo)

How far are we as a coarsening society from a daily display of torch-lights and pitch-forks all in the name of “love”?

Before Dropping the H-Bomb

Considering there are 323 million Americans, can we conclude they are all “lovers” as the term in being defined in some circles?

Alas, there are more than a few who are genuine haters based upon their targets being a different race, ethnicity, gender and/or orientation. But does everyone who does not fully subscribe to the definition of “love” by default become a “hater?”

Should the rhetorical H-bomb be dropped on these dissenting souls? Should they be forced to eternally wear a Scarlet “H”?

How about a little public relations instead? How about some friendly persuasion? How about the marketplace of ideas, where dissent is welcome and tolerated?

Sure beats the ugly pictures on television and mobile devices all in the name of “Love.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2007/04/questions-that-kill-candidates-careers-003617

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/506-f-bombs/

http://www.census.gov/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/29/politics/donald-trump-protests-republican-convention-california/

http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/386c25518f464186bf7a2ac026580ce7/Article_2016-04-29-US–Trump%20Rally-Protests/id-3d26c5d9dc7441b3b9e1ce8fc898e736

 

 

 

 

 

 

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