Two Words – Un Believable!
Forget about the fact that I am professionally engrossed in the world of communications – the fact that I am a U.S. citizen and resident of Ft. Lauderdale – makes today’s article entitled “Obama Speechwriters Unsure How They’d Praise Fort Lauderdale In Event Of Tragedy” published in The Onion completely unsettling.
The article starts off with: “Claiming that nothing about the city really evokes the strong sense of pride and endurance that typically serves as a source of strength in a time of need, members of President Barack Obama’s speech writing team admitted Thursday they were “pretty much at a loss” for how they would go about praising Ft. Lauderdale, FL should a tragedy strike the city.”
Oh boy, where to start. First off as a speechwriter for the President of the United States – Cody Keenan, you should be ashamed of yourself that you don’t value the power of your own spoken word and the negative affect it has on those you serve, in this case the 180,000 residents of Ft. Lauderdale.
The article continues with this gem: “As presidential speechwriters, whenever a catastrophe occurs, it’s our responsibility to come up with a reassuring address that draws on the positive character of the afflicted region, but with Ft. Lauderdale, that might be a little tough,” said head speechwriter Cody Keenan.
Talk about needing a lesson in public relations – first off if you, Cody Keenan, don’t have the skill set to empathize with a city, any U.S. city that has just experienced a catastrophe then you need to be removed from your position as a top speechwriter for the President. Secondly, I think we all know that regardless of where terror strikes in the U.S. the American public does not look to speechwriters to validate the city or state but rather project an image of strength and unity in a time of need and disparity.
Next up in the article: “I mean, we’re talking about Ft. Lauderdale here,” Keenan continued. “You know what it’s like.”
Uhhh no Cody, we don’t know what it is like and apparently neither do you as you go on to state that none of what most people associate with the city—warm weather and a large elderly population—would be in any way helpful when attempting to compose a speech designed to reassure and embolden a country reeling from a recent devastating event.
According to Keenan, were Ft. Lauderdale to suffer a mass shooting, terrorist attack, or other unexpected tragedy, he and his team of writers would be hard-pressed to channel the city’s sandy beaches, wide streets, and abundance of strip malls into a resounding testament to the triumph of the human spirit.
Sounds to me as though Cody Keenan needs to be “re-assigned” as he is clearly a PR nightmare with a laptop and the President’s microphone.
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