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  • Thou Shalt Not Whine

    If you don’t know things are looking up — it is the media’s fault.  That seemed to be one of the messages President Obama delivered to graduating seniors at Barnard College today.

    “Faith in our institutions has never been lower,” the President said. “Particularly when good news doesn’t get the same kinds of ratings as bad news anymore.”

    Here is a bulletin for the White House: Good news NEVER got as good ratings as bad news.  That’s why they call it news.  The planes that don’t crash, the dogs that don’t bite and the banks that don’t get robbed (or which don’t rob their customers) rarely get ink.

    Every administration — Democrat and Republican — ends up thinking they don’t get enough credit for positive developments. Usually, the worse their approval ratings the higher their disapproval of the job the media are doing.

    This is NOT to suggest that criticism of the media’s penchant for seeking the dark lining to every silver cloud isn’t valid. It IS to suggest that whining about negative news coverage is not effective.

    You want better coverage? Do a better job presenting the facts and packaging the data in a way that makes people stop and say: “Wow.  I did not know that.”

    Clip below via Mediaite

  • Acid Test for Spokesmen

    Don’t you hate it when one of your employees falls into a vat of acid?

    AP today brings us a story  of Martin Davis, a New Jersey worker who fell through  a building’s roof, plunged 40 feet and ended up submerged in a tank containing “a 40 to 70 percent nitric acid solution used for cleaning metal tubing.”

    Rob Nuckols, a quick thinking (and very courageous) co-worker jumped into the vat and helped pull  the roofer out.  Both men survived.

    It was a very New Jersey sounding industrial accident.  But why do we at 15-Seconds Blog tell you about it?  Because employees at Swepco, the company which owned the building with the flimsy roof and the tank of toxic stuff beneath it, refused to comment.

    We can imagine why. Someone probably suggested that they are going to get sued and it was best to clam up.  If so, they were half right. They almost certainly ARE going to get sued — but nothing is gained by trying to make the accident look more mysterious than it was.

    At a minimum, someone from the company should have expressed their gratitude to Nuckols for getting Davis out of his scrape.  They could have thanked the local first responders who also arrived and hosed down the men and took them to the hospital.  They could have announced their relief that it appears no life-threatening injuries were sustained and they could announce an investigation to see what happened.  None of that would have any impact on a potential lawsuit — excerpt perhaps to have etched in the public’s mind a more favorable impression about the company.

    But no — Swepco took the fifth on the vat. And that’s a mistake.