Monday, July 27, 2009

Teachable Moments

Over the past several days we have been reminded that the White House is hoping the hubbub surrounding the Gates/Crowley incident in Cambridge can become a  "teachable moment" for America. While we no doubt need to encourage more open dialog on race issues and racial profiling, perhaps the real "teachable moment" needs to be directed at the Administration -- which let a single off-topic question become the dominant news cycle headline for several days; derailing an otherwise well-crafted and desperately-needed message on the need to work together for healthcare reform.

Failure to Teach
The Administration -- and the President -- should know better. The media today crowdsources its headline stories, reaching for ratings rather than providing reasoned context and interpretation. And in the last two minutes, the intended message of the press conference was drowned out -- lost in the background noise.

Failure to Listen
But the message was also missed because we as a population are losing the ability to listen and pay attention -- to sort out the bigger message. Even when the topic is something that affects us all, as healthcare certainly does, we cannot seem to stay focused... instead showing increasing signs that we have all succumbed to ADOS -- Attention Deficit... Oooh, Shiny!

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