Open Letter to the 45th President
Dear Mr. President:
Observing your first few months in office from out here in fly-over land, it seems like there ought to be a course called: Presidency 101. But first, I apologize for not seeing an episode of "The Apprentice." Except for sports, plus we used to watch our Grand Lake neighbor’s "Last Man Standing" on ABC-TV before the PC crowd cancelled it, we don’t watch the big broadcast networks.
Anyway, you now have what is, arguably, the world’s toughest job. But, even though you were a big TV star, it appears there are some things you need to know about dealing with the so-called mainstream media (MSM) and about dealing in-person with people in the world of domestic and international politics.
While it is swell that you can use social media to go around the MSM and communicate directly with folks in fly-over land, you would be well-advised to let someone on your side look over your Tweets in draft before hitting "send." Also, using a spell-checker is a good idea.
Like all US Presidents, you want to set the record straight. But, before you fire off a Tweet, please understand the MSM often get their initial reporting wrong. Apparently, the MSM would rather be first with a story than have the facts. So, do not respond to something that is going to turn out to be untrue. Also, do not trust stories that come from anonymous sources. Watch out for news organizations that, instead of doing their own on-scene reporting, quote other news organizations. That shoddy practice can give a story that has no basis in fact a life of its own.
Beware that The Washington Post is now owned by an American billionaire who does not like you. The New York Times is controlled by a Mexican billionaire who does not like you. Both papers have abandoned any vestige of Joe Friday’s "just-the-facts-ma’am" reporting. So, at the start of each day, give your staff the "message-of-the-day," get everyone singing off the same sheet of music, and hope for the best.
US Presidents, except for with their spouses, should never meet alone with anyone. Have your own note-taker present. If you want candid advice, do not record Oval Office conversations unless recording is agreed to in advance by those present. Although JFK and LBJ did some recording as well, President Nixon was foolish to try to record eight years of Oval Office chit-chat. As Dr. Kissinger asked "Who has eight years to listen?" Besides, human nature tells us that anyone who visits with you is going to head for their word-processor and write a Memorandum for Record (MFR). Have a trusted aide do that for you and stick it in a file of your presidential papers. We historians will thank you for that.
Finally, the folks who voted for you expect you to field a team devoted to "Making America Great Again." Apparently, there are some folks left over from the previous regime, both Democrat and Republican, who do not share your vision for America. Won’t hurt to add a "thank you" to their pink slips.
Good luck, Mr. President. If you need more advice, the NSA knows where to find me.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University. For more, see: www.central-view.com.
©2017. William Hamilton.
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