Brian Fitzpatrick

Jon Meacham’s interview was impressive in places, with open-ended questions that allowed Us to deliver any message We pleased to the voters. 

  • “The line in your victory speech in New Hampshire that jumped out at me was ‘I listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice.’  What did you mean?”
  • “So your voice now, as you describe it, is telling people not only what you want to do, but who you are, and you are going to be telling that story more.”

However, your cover portrait of Us missed the mark completely.  What were your photoshoppers thinking when they made Our eyes so piercing? Note this well: We do not want visionary, We want warm, likeable, and down-to-earth.  You should have given Our eyes a twinkle, not a glint. This portrait reminds Us of the 1932 Pravda front page photos of Joseph Stalin when he was crushing the kulaks and collectivizing the farms, and had to present himself as the Strong, Resolute Leader nobody dare cross.  We will need such covers later when We nationalize industrial production, ban SUVs, imprison Limbaugh and shut down regressive churches, but that part of the agenda is not scheduled for implementation for another two years. 

Eleanor Roosevelt just told Us you should consult Comrade Stalin’s 1942 Pravda photos (attached).  Pravda was very effective in portraying him as kindly, benign “Uncle Joe” when he needed U.S. assistance during the Great Patriotic War.

Just imagine how Comrade Stalin would have dealt with such incompetence.  

NBC Nightly News, January 16.

Frankly, We expected more from the anchor of a major network evening news program.  Brian Williams was more collegial than deferential.  Tell him to watch his ass.  While Williams wisely avoided the Forbidden Subjects – Our so-called scandals and abuses of power, Our future policy plans and the like – some of his questions were too narrowly political for Us to promote Our likeability. 

  • “How do you explain the energy of a rope line to a rookie?”
  • “What was it that you felt turning in New Hampshire?”

These were better:

  • “You told Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, that you thought the question that caused a brief emotional moment on your part was a moment of grace….How did that question convert itself in your mind into a moment of grace?”
  • “How would this holding room be different if your husband, and entourage, were here?”
  • “At least the food on the road makes it all worthwhile.”

Your worst mistake was failing to put Williams’s best question on the evening news broadcast.  It only appears on your Web site.

  • “I guess I should ask you to look back on the campaign so far.  Akin to the questioning in New Hampshire, it has gotten personal quite early.  How have you kept going?”

Don’t you realize Our core supporters are poorly educated, easily commanded older women who rely on television news for their information, and don’t even know how to get on line?

The Tyra Banks Show/WB, January 18.

The “Hillary Clinton’s Photo Album” feature on your Web site is wonderfully humanizing.  Ms. Banks’s choice of topic – the Turd’s infidelity – was cunningly calculated to elicit sympathy for Us. 

  • “How did you persevere during the darkest moment in your life?”
  • “Were you embarrassed?”
  • “Do women come up to you and ask for advice? ‘My husband stepped out on me. I’m going through hell right now. What do I do?’ Do they do that?”

Well done so far, but once again the camera work was unacceptable. Your cameraman focused for interminable stretches on Our face, revealing that We were looking down at the floor and avoiding eye contact during Our responses.  Such body language conveys deception, as you ought to know.  Deception is not likeable.  Why did your editors fail to splice in more footage of the carefully selected, adoring studio audience?

As you all can see, your work is falling far short of Our expectations.  In consequence, your invitations to the Lincoln Bedroom are now forfeit and your eligibility for White House social lists and mess privileges is in jeopardy.  If your future work improves, however, you will be reinstated on the cattle futures tips list, and We promise to look favorably on your applications for broadcast license renewals.  We suggest you use female interviewers, film editors and camerapersons.

Do not disappoint Us again. Did We mention We intend to employ Our old friend, Craig Livingstone, as Supervisor of IRS Auditing after We are coronated inaugurated?  Also, We have decided to retain those FBI files.

                                                            Your future leader,

H-----------

* On January 11, U.S. News and World Report’s Kenneth T. Walsh reported that “Clinton now plans to take a three-pronged approach into the next series of contests…Last, her strategists say, Clinton will reveal more of her personal side and speak ‘from the heart’ to improve her likeability.”  


Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick, a writer, editor, and commentator on political and cultural issues, is the Senior Editor at Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute.

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