Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This explains a lot of interviews...

While we are all nattering on about ethanol, the powers that be and wanna be are gathering at Davos, Switzerland to ponder deep ponderings and communicate (?):

A Fortune 50 chief executive — I won’t tell you his name because he didn’t realize I was listening to his conversation — was sitting at a fast-food restaurant with a woman who was coaching him on how to talk to the media. “You’ve got to stay on message,’” she snapped when he would forget his lines. He sheepishly apologized and then managed to mangle his line again.

“Don’t answer the question being asked,” the woman said. “Get to your message,” she said, explaining that he should use “bridge phrases” such as “meanwhile” or “what we know is” to avoid the question being asked and change the context of the answer.

“Like the politicians do,” the chief executive exclaimed.

She also emphasized what she called “flagging,” telling the C.E.O. to insert phrases such as, “the most important thing is…” and “the main idea is…”

“Journalists are looking for complete sentences,” she instructed. “Especially on TV. You want to give them full messages.”

Before they got up, she told the executive, “Tell them what you do.”

He looked at her, slightly befuddled, and replied, “What do we do?”

I don't like to excerpt so completely but this was a short post on a wonderful blog, Davos Diary in the NYT

This is more than a casual get-together in a lumpy country. Deals are made and ideas are considered. The World Economic Forum, by virtue of its elitist image (deserved or not) attracts some very bright minds and features debate that should but does not occur in government circles.


brian said...


The quote below was in my inbox this morning. Maybe this would have tempered the bull-on-steroids atmosphere at the Top Producer meeting last week? ... Nahh.


"US Energy Secretary Bodman in Davos, Switzerland suggested that the US ethanol industry would have to “stand the test of the free market” when the current
import tariff ends in 2008 - and the blenders credit of 51 cents/gallon expires
in 2010."

John Phipps said...


I think the expectation in agriculture is those cutoffs will be extended with or without administration help. I mean let's face it, however good Sec. Bodman is at his job, he doesn't carry much weight in Congress, and the administration will be an even lamer duck in 2008.

Still, I would like to see both breaks ended to prove this industry is for real. It would also stop corn farmers from over their shoulder ever so often to see if their subsidy is still there.

Thanks for the pointer.