Hungry? Here…have a Crisis.

My heart goes out to the victims of the Las Vegas Massacre.

I was tracking the Las Vegas Massacre story since the story broke out and had difficulties visualizing many things as they emerged. And I wasn’t alone…news anchors, on field reporters, guests on the phone were all experiencing similar difficulties and disbelief. Video footage began circulating and they didn’t help much either.

Day progressed and it was time for the much awaited Presidential Address from the White House media room. As the live video of the empty podium waiting for President Trump to walk in any moment started to show up, I was visualizing how the President would walk up and take stage and commence his address. I could hear him and see him in my mind’s eyes. This one was easy!

Once again… I wasn’t alone… news anchors and reporters were all with me and none of us had difficulties visualizing what was going to happen. The producers at the newsroom directed the hosts to discuss with their guests and political analysts on what would the President say. Many were confidently crystal gazing the address. Social media gurus were probably already drafting their tweets and posts and hashtags to go out immediately after “God Bless America”.

A smart journo like John King did his bit by saying what seemed like a well rehearsed phrase – “Many people have lost the ability to set politics aside” and the rest joined in chorus on that thereafter. Neil Macdonald from CBCNews later went on to term it a particularly imbecilic TV moment in his blatantly political column about the massacre. Everyone including me were chewing away at the crisis for different needs. After all we’ve been told to Never let a crisis go to waste. The President’s address lived up to all critique’s and rivals expectations and has given enough fodder to keep us busy for a few days. If there was one man who probably let the crisis go to waste it was Mr.President himself.

On a different yet connected note… I was recently witness to a social media crisis wherein someone in my 2nd degree network had posted a business advert with wrongly phrased and inappropriately placed string of words. Competitors were quick to post and share screenshots of that ad with what seemed diabolic plans… and then came the comments from those who saw the post and their friends and friends of friends joined in. What was probably a poorly reviewed posting by an individual had suddenly become an organization’s crisis that they couldn’t distance themselves from. The person had released a personal apology and removed the posting… the Company released a public statement of apology and a clarification. What more could they do with competitors, ex-employees and clients chewing away at the situation to their delight. Last I read…the apologies were being rejected (!!) by the masses and there were talks about ostracizing the organization on all commercial engagements.

Crisis by design and crisis by accident are both common…however the way we consume and exploit it has changed into unusual and alarming format. Maybe its time to pause and actually let some crisis go to waste.

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