Tuesday, November 30, 2021


A Federal Judge in Missouri has temporarily blocked a COVID vaccine mandate from the Biden administration targeted at healthcare workers.  It is another example of the frustrating job of persuading resisters to get the jab.  There is little left undone in communications from health authorities, regulators, government officials, doctors, celebrities and many others.  Some people just won't get vaccinated even at the cost of their jobs.  The irrationality is shocking and a harm to the nation.  They don't accept the idea of the common good taking precedence over personal freedom even at the cost of death to loved ones.  Now that the government can't force them to get vaccinated -- at least not yet --, it might be time to admit defeat even with the new Omicron variant spreading quickly through the world.  Letting millions go, however, jeopardizes the hundreds of millions who have been vaccinated and are at risk from the mutating virus.  It is a decision and job for the nation's leaders that no one envies.  

Monday, November 29, 2021

Trying A Case In Public 

Steve Bannon, the former Trump aide, is trying his court case in public.  Or so says a Justice Department complaint. Bannon, who refused to testify before the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 revolt, has said he is going on offense and will use his time in the public eye to attack  President Biden and the attorney general.  He is entitled to do that under the First Amendment and the publicity he generates will be meat to those who refuse to believe Trump lost the election.  It is a reminder that publicity can be used by anyone, good or bad.  It is a tool to gain attention and when one is in the media's glare, the opportunity to exploit is always there.  Bannon is a publicity machine and thrives on controversy.  He has lessons for those seeking the public's attention.  Project outrage.  Use colorful language.  Take an unbending position.  Seek the media. All this will work for him even if he should be convicted.  

Friday, November 26, 2021


 A new COVID variant has emerged and Wall Street is hitting the panic selling button at this hour.  There are fears of worldwide shutdowns, useless vaccines to stem the spread of the mutated virus and economies once more going into the toilet.  Authorities are deeply concerned and the rush to examine the new disease has begun.  The situation is a reminder once again that it is impossible to predict the future and one of the key qualities of a leader is to remain humble.  There are events that are out of one's control.  One can only back and fill and attempt to get ahead of the situations.  Limiting damage is the best one can do.  As communicators, we should never advise CEOs to make bold predictions.  We don't know nor do they what is going to happen.  The future remains unknown.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


JPMorgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, is the latest businessman to kowtow to China's communist party.  He did it because he wants the bank to operate in the country and its authorities are notoriously sensitive to perceived slights.  In this case, Dimon's remarks were that JPMorgan would last longer than China's communist party.  He knew better when he made the comment but he did it anyway.  Now he is bowing and scraping and apologetic.  Dimon, of all CEOs, should understand the lack of free speech in China.  The government shut down Hong Kong because it was too open in its criticisms.  It has imprisoned activists.  It tolerates no public demonstrations against the government.  Outsiders are subject to the same restrictions.  PR in China is targeted toward bureaucrats who have the power to end one's presence in the country at any time.  It is not fair nor liberal but that's the way it is.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Corporate Greed?  

There is a school of thought that US corporations are using inflation to boost prices and earn more than they historically have. In other words, much of the inflation that Americans are enduring is due to corporate greed.  If true, big business will have its reputation dinged again and progressives will seek to rein them in.  In a capitalist society, profit maximization is an imperative.  Business has no responsibility to pay attention to the needs of citizens other than how it affects their bottom line.  This is the University of Chicago School of thought.  CEOs have been edging away from that philosophy in light of global warming and corporate governance concerns, but it is still in the back of their minds.  They must satisfy investors to keep their jobs.  This sets up a clash between corporate and societal needs.  It is no wonder CEOs are taking the opportunity to earn as much as they can. The future will be a more difficult environment in which to operate.

Monday, November 22, 2021


Two conservative contributors to Fox News have resigned over its relentless support of former President Trump and his lie that he won the 2020 election but for fraud.  They are being celebrated by liberals and some right-wing commentators for their honesty, but it won't make a difference at Fox, which continues to pound its false messages.  Fox understands that if one broadcasts a consistent theme over and over that people will come to believe it.  Viewers will accept its lies and propaganda as truth.  George Orwell wrote about this in Animal Farm and 1984.  It is hard to believe that such miscommunication exists in the US in 2021, but it does.  The two conservatives did the right thing but it won't stop Fox which is hiding behind the First Amendment.  One wonders if Fox is a clear and present danger. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

About Time 

The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee has finally admitted that Biden won the presidential election. It took a year for her to state publicly that Trump lost.  But, she hasn't gone far from the Republican line that the election was tainted by fraud and Democratic finagling.  Still, it's a crack in the wall of accusations spouted by former President Trump himself.  From a PR perspective, the evidence has been overwhelming since election day, and Republicans looked foolish supporting Trump's claims.  They have tried mightily to bend reality to fit their vision of the 2020 elections.  It hasn't worked and the party has come off as dangerous to democracy in light of the Jan. 6 uprising.  Now they are looking forward to the 2022 elections.  With Biden's approval rating so low, they see it as a referendum on his leadership.  It's about time.   

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