Saying goodbye to a crazy June....

Welcome back!
Just before we wrap up this crazy month of June and, as we get ready for the national celebrations, and, of course Will and Kate's whirlwind honeymoon tour - along with 1600 accredited journalists - about to descend - first in Canada, and then in the United States, let's pause to consider for a few minutes what has transpired since my last missive some two weeks ago.
Anthony Weiner - gone, mercifully. Well at least until he tries a comeback - most likely I predict he will still try to run for New York's mayoralty in 2013. Why not? He's phenomenally more famous due to his tweeting and lying, right?
Conrad Black is going back to jail - thus satisfying those who can never get enough of punishing him. Proportionality went out the window on his case a long time ago, so, even after setting aside another conviction for what he has already been punished for, Judge Amy St. Eve sent him back to jail for up to another 13 months.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich - in the same courthouse, no less....  was found guilty on 17 of 20 counts of criminal conduct and even he seemed subdued by the jury's decision. Even at that, there is no cause for schadenfreude or the usual gloating that goes on when the mighty and powerful are brought down. It's more sad than anything. 
Settling Strikes
Two strikes were settled in Canada in recent weeks - one at Air Canada, in which even the whiff of back-to-work legislations by the Harper government led to a quick settlement. The Canada Post strike required a full throttle Parliamentary debate that pitted the NDP Opposition against the Harper government's legislation. Although it didn't satisfy the underlying issues, a majority of the public (two-thirds) felt that it was the right thing to do. Word is that even the union didn't want the strike to continue, as it would cost the workers more than they would have gained. Both the NDP and the Conservative government came out of the Parliamentary battle reinforcing their values to their core supporters. The Liberals, led by Bob Rae, tried to find a middle ground, and got run over. Is that a harbinger for the future, as they try to rebuild their brand?
Expedience is its own reward
What both strikes have brought to the fore is that the under-funded pensions negotiated in past agreements, are coming back to haunt public and private sector corporations alike. The US Postal Service has announced that they are suspending their pension scheme as they cannot afford to keep it going. Although one does not like to see any corporation renege on their longstanding commitments, it comes down to trying to get 'blood out of a stone'. Taxpayers and customers won't help bail them out, so where would the money come from? Expedience is its own reward.
Will and Kate's Excellent Adventure - with no media interviews.....
Following their spectacular wedding, HRH William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will be gracing Canada and the United States, beginning tomorrow. One suggestion I would have had from a media consulting perspective, is for them to do a few media interviews in each country. It's an ideal opportunity to show the public that they are open and responsive - especially in Canada - where one day he will actually be the King of Canada. Just doing a BBC interview does little to connect with those living in Commonwealth countries. Besides, they might be very pleasantly surprised at how well the media will treat them on this side of the ocean! Maybe next time.....
Note our change of address:
On June 30th, our Canadian office is moving to: World Exchange Plaza, 45 O'Connor St. Suite 1150, Ottawa ON, Canada K1P 1A4. Our phone numbers and emails stay the same.

Happy Canada Day! Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a great summer! Stay safe and I hope your 'down time' is a good time.
Until next time.....


Adventures in Television Land

Welcome back!
Another crazy week or two has gone by and there's much to catch up on.
Adventures in Television Land
First, file this under 'be ready for anything when it comes to Television Land'. Laura and I were in Toronto yesterday doing a seminar when the call came to appear on CTV's Power Play with Don Martin to discuss the Conservative government's relations with the media. A one hour drive across rush hour traffic later, we arrived at CTV Toronto to do a double-ender interview with Don Martin who was in the foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa. So far, so good. We arrive a whole 15 minutes prior to my 5:28 scheduled airtime and was whisked into makeup right away (desperately needed and cheaper than surgery!). Then I wait in the green room for the call to go in. I start looking at my watch and it's already 5:27!! The able young producer pops in and asks me to follow him into the CTV newsroom/set and up a winding stairway we go to the mezzanine overlooking the news room, facing what the sign says is the "Mezz Cam". I am being fitted up by the camera man - with earpiece and microphone. So far so good. Although as soon as the earpiece is in I can hear that the interview is already underway with Don Martin and the Vice President of the Press Gallery, Malorie Beauchemin!

Stifling a mild sense of panic, I join the interview in progress, just as Don Martin asks me the question. Anyway the interview went off without a hitch, but see if you can detect if any of this was going on. A few hints ...my hair over my ear sticking out; Don's intro mentions that I am a guest in the segment but I don't actually come in until later..... That's live TV folks!
Live from the CTV Mezz Cam

Meanwhile...Anthony Weiner always tell the truth......eventually!

Anthony Weiner....'please leave, and don't let the door hit you on the way out of sex rehab'. Your President has broadly hinted that you should  leave... your leader, Nancy Pelosi, has said 'resign'. You didn't just humiliate your wife, you embarrassed your own Party - and, - the ultimate political sin - the public is not listening to your party while the media are stuck on this pathetic little story.

So here is the secret - one more time - for dealing with such 'scandals'. Own up right, away, apologize and take appropriate action (in this case it's resign.) Not too difficult but for some reason people like Mr. Weiner need to keep learning it - over and over again.

The Republican Debate on Radio
Listening to the Republican New Hampshire debate on the car radio was an experience which hearkens back to another era in political debate - the Kennedy/Nixon debates when a significant percentage of people listened to it on radio - and actually thought that Nixon had won. I found it a very different experience from television. Listening more closely to what is said - rather than how they look when they are saying it, for one. Also, as radio is a more active engagement than the passive medium of television, it forces the listener to engage the candidates more. The conventional wisdom was that the three winners were Mitt Romney, Michele Bachman and (surprise! Newt Gingrich). Although CNN's John King did a solid job of keeping them on track, it was a tad annoying to hear him continually say, "Mr. Speaker". I know it's protocol but it's a bit much after all this time and on radio, one is left wondering 'who?' each time he said it.

Romney was strong and unshakeable - and his experience clearly showed. He didn't get ruffled and at least, sounded Presidential. Although one thing he said which didn't get much comment was that - unlike President Obama - he wouldn't have bailed out the big three automakers, he would have let them go bankrupt. In a real debate (and not just a series of 30 second speeches) the follow-up question would be, "so you would let the supplier companies take the hit, with laid-off workers and possibly more bankruptcies - rather than, say, a loan guarantee?" He'll need to think that one through.

Michele Bachman gained the most - announcing her formal candidacy on air; connecting with her Tea Party base; eroding the potential impact of a possible entry by Sarah Palin and outshining Herman Cain, who had been generating a lot of buzz prior to the debate. The miracle of Gingrich was that he seemed coherent  at all...given the exit of his entire staff, and his gaffe-strewn campaign-to-date.

Former Minnesota  Gov. Tim Pawlenty was expected to do better than he did - especially as the alternative to Mitt Romney, but he ducked noticeably when he refused to repeat his 'Obamneycare' line which he had previously used. [Probably wise, but it contributed to a perception of lack of courage - awkward, considering his book is titled, "Courage to Stand"!]

There was certainly no Ronald Reagan defining moment of his 1980 New Hampshire debate against George Bush when Reagan refused to give over the microphone and said, "I am paying for this microphone!"[Reagan later would say that he felt that moment catapulted him into the nomination and, ultimately, the Presidency.] I was left with the feeling that in their zest to capture the Tea Party base, they were sowing the seeds for a general election drubbing at the hands of Obama.

Anyway, debate season is always fun - no matter where one stands politically. Almost on a par with the Stanley Cup playoffs. Go Canucks!

Until next time....


From the Capitol to the Capital

Welcome back!
It's been a busy week or so in the McLoughlin Media biz, with business split between Ottawa and Washington DC....
where Laura and I attended the Nelson Mullins law firm's annual reception - as guests of former American Ambassador David Wilkins on the rooftop overlooking the beautiful U.S. Capitol. Politicos included Sen. Lindsay Graham (R. SC) and Rep. Edward Markey (D. MA) and a great time was had by all.
Presidential Speculation
Although we missed the launch of Sarah Palin's (surprise) bus tour, much discussion over the electoral landscape ensued. My prediction is that Ms. Palin will indeed enter, as she has been watching her 'Tea Party' base being wooed and captured by a number of Republican candidates who hope to capture their wind in their sails without capsizing their boats.

As of now, President Obama's election is the safe bet, particularly after the vanquishing of Osama bin Laden. Although with the debt out of control and unemployment stubbornly high, he would be vulnerable if someone came along and put forward a forthright plan to fix the economy, provide a solid health care policy and shows a galvanizing vision for the future. That almost begs for an independent candidate who isn't captured by Republican and Democrat party stalwarts who are going to ensure their leaders stay in their respective 'boxes'. Who is that? Probably the only one who would have a chance is New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg who has the money and the credibility to mount a third party candidacy. Is he interested? Never say never. It would only take about half a billion dollars, or as Bloomberg might call it, 'chump change'.  Here is Bloomberg the other day on BBC: Bloomberg on Climate Change What do you think?

Rep. Anthony Weiner [D.NY] and his Near Death Twitter Experience
Okay let me get this straight. His Twitter account was hacked. It may or may not be a picture of his genitals. He didn't send it. It looks like a prank. He won't call in the authorities ("it's not a federal case"), but he and his staff are conducting an investigation into it. it all makes sense to me! Take a look at this:
If you believe Rep. Weiner, I have an excellent piece of real estate for you...

Meanwhile back in Canada's Capital, Parliament Resumes...
With the election of  a majority government combined with the ascension of the NDP to official opposition status, Parliament re-opens with a 32 year old Speaker, Andrew Scheer CPC, Regina Qu'Appelle) and today's Speech from the Throne. Although often kiddingly referred to as the 'Throne Drone' nevertheless, it will be an important indicator of the focus and priorities of the Harper government. I will be on CTV's PowerPlay with Don Martin today (Friday) at 5:12 pm ET [http://www.ctv.ca/powerplay]

Until next time.....