Are We Coming for Surnames Next?

I also worry about letting our sensitivities and concerns for “what if” drive our decisionmaking. We cannot embrace free speech or assembly if we believe it only applies to those with whom we agree. We cannot embrace a free press if we do not acknowledge that includes media with stark biases that may conflict with our personal beliefs. And we cannot embrace inclusiveness if we are afraid a surname will engender concern or outrage.

From my latest on LinkedIn Pulse, exploring ESPN’s head-scratching decision to remove a broadcaster from a U.Va. football game because of his “Robert Lee” name

Some Advice for Hope Hicks 

It’s in the best interests of all communications professionals – and the nation – for new White House Communications Director Hope Hicks to succeed in her new role for the Trump Administration.

Over at LinkedIn Pulse, dear ol’ Eduflack offers some unsolicited communications advice to Hope Hicks. Hicks can take it or leave it, but it would serve her and the office well to at least consider it. 

Give it a read here

Let’s Make Political Comms Professional Again 

To put it in West Wing speak, [White House Communications Director Anthony] Scaramucci accepted the position of Toby. But he clearly wants to do C.J.’s job. And in wanting to be the public voice, and wanting to be the news, he has quickly become the devil on the other shoulder, encouraging his boss’ negative traits and enflaming distrust and fear.

We’ve devolved from President Bartlet and the West Wing to Piggy and Lord of the Flies.

Eduflack’s latest on LinkedIn Pulse 

Choosing the Kardashians Over GoT

We’ve reached the point in our society when we want every micro-action we take to have deep socio-political meaning. As Eduflack writes at LinkedIn Pulse, sometimes we need to accept that television viewing is just entertainment, and shouldn’t be seen as anything more.

We are just as guilty of this in the education space, assuming we know what makes someone tick because of their opinions on an issue such as testing, standards, choice, or teachers unions. And we then ascribe that “tick” to everything they do, from raising their kids to voting.

As I write for Pulse:

In the past decade, I’ve watched more episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians than I have segments of 60 Minutes. After reading five newspapers – The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post – each morning, there just isn’t much more I’m going to get from television news magazines.

I’ve yet to make it through an entire Rachel Maddow show, but I’ve watched plenty of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And plenty of UFC Fight Night on Fox. In short, I’m the Neilsen Ratings’ worst demographic nightmare.

Why is this important? At a time when we should be looking for commonalities and ways to bring people together, we are using more and more – including our media consumption – as ways to divide and ascribe potentially mistaken personas.

Give it a read. And if you are up for it, come catch an episode of the Kardashians or a UFC match with me. It’ll be entertaining, I promise.

Does the Media Really Need a Listening Tour?

Since the November election, mainstream media outlets have made pilgrimages to “flyover” states to better understand those millions of people who voted for Trump. Using the book Hillbilly Elegy as their Frommer’s Guide to Red America, reporters have returned with tales of low incomes, opioid abuse, American flags, and Bible verses. They’ve written how those who voted for Trump will be most negatively impacted by his policy recommendations. And they’ve questioned how such voters can remain so loyal to such a President.

In its dogged pursuit of a President, the media has, both indirectly and directly, called into question the intelligence and motives of the voters who elected him. As a result, those same voters gravitate to the media outlets they are most comfortable with. Maddow or Hannity? New York Times or New York Post? NPR or Rush? HuffPo or Breitbart?

From Eduflack’s latest on LinkedIn Plus, Do Media Really Need a “Listen to America” Tour?

 

A “Chicken Little” Political Resistance 

The Resistance is based on a negative frame, standing up against all that it sees as wrong and immoral. But it does so without putting forward a positive vision or an alternate plan. And it does so by insulting those individuals who voted the other way, attacking the very intelligence and morality of the average red voter. The Resistance is a protest movement. It makes no bones about that. But If those issues it pounds away on don’t come to fruition, it appears as much ado about nothing to those not in the protest. It is merely a group of true believers providing comfort to other true believers.

From Eduflack’s latest US News & World Report commentary, The Sky Isn’t Falling

Chasing Social Media Squirrels 

The public can attack President Trump for Twitter behavior that is beneath the office, but it shouldn’t ignore that while we let an entire media cycle get dominated by a Tweet about a morning show host on a cable network, the Trump Administration put into place new regulations regarding the profiles of people who can enter the United States from certain countries and what they are allowed to bring with them when they enter our borders. And we might want to question what really deserves our limited, ADHD attentions.

From Eduflack’s latest on President Trump and the public responses to his social media activities