The Media’s Insistence on “Fire, Aim, Ready”


Donald Trump is just the latest victim.

Donald Trump took a lot of heat this week regarding his comments on abortion and nuclear weapons. He has since, refined his answers, but the press isn’t interested in covering it. They want to promote his original comments. Frankly, I cannot think of a politician who hasn’t committed a gaffe during an election, and I’m going back a long time. President Obama, Sec. Clinton, Senators Cruz and Sanders, et al, have made more than their fair share of screw-ups, and let us not forget VP Joe Biden, aka Mr. “Foot-in-the-Mouth.”

Business people like to ponder a question or issue before formulating an answer. They use such things as Feasibility Studies to analyze a problem and formulate the best solution (something I wish we did more of in Washington, DC). In other words, they believe in the concept of “Ready, Aim, Fire.” Not so for politicians; it’s different for them. Due to the media’s insistence for an answer, it’s “Fire, Aim, Ready.”

Because of the need for instantaneous answers to questions, politicians devise “canned” responses which they rattle off like a tape recorder. Being perceived as robotic can hurt a politician, just ask Sen. Marco Rubio.

Smaller problems can be answered easily but tougher questions require some thought.  Unfortunately, the politicians have to answer right away.

In business, if I do not have a proper answer to a customer’s question, the worst thing to do is fabricate an answer. Instead, I’ll say something like, “Sorry, I don’t know, but let me research it and get back to you.” This simply will not suffice in today’s media world who would accuse you of “Not having a clue” as to what you are doing. Nonetheless, I’m not going to make something up that may ultimately hurt the customer or myself.

The press asks these questions to judge the candidate’s ability to think fast on his/her feet, as a president may need to do. Maybe, but I cannot remember the last time a president didn’t take the time to formulate a premeditated response. Even during 9/11, President Bush was whisked away by plane for security purposes, but was in touch with VP Cheney and his national security team to determine options.

Instead of some of the questions the media asks, I would like to see the candidates complete a questionnaire to describe their sense of morality; e.g., do they support euthanasia, abortion, use of finances, the rule of law, patriotism, etc.  All of this would be helpful for people to understand a person’s compassion, loyalty, sense of fairness and citizenship, their fiduciary responsibilities, and the value of life.

Frankly, the press isn’t interested in such questions. Instead, they want to trip the candidates, create a gaffe, sell a lot of newspapers or advertising, and make a lot of money.

This is why I put more faith in candidate’s speeches as opposed to the debates or interviews with the press.

Just remember, it’s “Ready, Aim, File”; any other sequence is counterproductive.

Keep the Faith!