Roger L. Simon

Port Snort

For people who spend most of their lives in the public eye, I am frequently astonished at how little basic knowledge of public relations is displayed by many government officials and politicians. A perfect example is what Drudge wittily calls the Port Storm. You would think that all those government agencies, including Homeland Security (talk about PR deficit – how about Michael Chertoff?), who came to make the decision to award such a contract to a UAE company would have anticipated this “perfect storm.” The perception alone of giving partial control of our ports to an entity from a country whose citizens were involved, at least in part, with 9/11 is a real head scratcher. (I’m leaving aside the propriety of the actual decision, which I doubt to begin with.) Perhaps these yahoos should be given a short course in the life of Edward Bernays, “the father of public relations,” who interestingly was a nephew-in-law to Sigmund Freud.