George HW Bush
George Bush I

George Bush I was mocked and ridiculed for his 1988 presidential campaign stop at a flag factory in Bloomfield, NJ, a move that somehow was supposed to demonstrate his patriotism.

As if his service as a Navy pilot flying about 60 missions in the Pacific during WWII, and earning the distinguished flying cross after being shot down wasn’t enough for voters.

Bush gushed about how inspiring its must be to sew pieces of red, white and blue cloth into flags each day from 9 to 5.

Workers at the Annin & Co. factory, who were paid piece rates, didn’t exactly share Bush’s enthusiasm about their jobs, according to a report in the Washington Post.

While Bush wrapped himself in the American flag, Donald Trump, who triggered the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol, visited a gun shop in South Carolina on Sept. 25.

He told the owner that he would like to buy the special edition Glock pistol that has his image on it.

That sends a powerful endorsement of violence to MAGA world: next time when you storm DC come “locked and loaded.”

The flag factory and gun shop visits clearly show the unraveling of the Republican Party. Bush used the flag to showcase "the new pride in America" and "our renewed strength.” Trump wants to tear the government down and set himself up as the “retribution” president.

Bush talked about the “thousand points of light,” while Trump plots and stews in a world of darkness.

The GOP used to pride itself on being the party of ideas. It has devolved into nothing more than a vassal of Trump.

$1B reputational "hit." McKinsey & Co. agreed on Sept. 26 to shell out $230M to cities, counties, school districts and Native American tribes for its alleged role in the US opioid epidemic.

That settlement puts the opioid-related amount paid out by the management consultant at $870M.

McKinsey admitted no wrongdoing. “As we have stated previously, we continue to believe that our past work was lawful and deny allegations to the contrary,” it said.

The firm had advised Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and ground zero of the opioid crisis.

McKinsey watchers will keep a close eye on the firm to made sure it adheres to its 2019 promise to get out of the opioid consulting business.

It certainly wants to close the books on the opioid PR disaster.

Sign of the times. The Public Relations Society of America’s annual conference set Oct. 15-17 will have many professional development sessions on the Metaverse, AI and ethics.

But there will only be one “Preparing for Active Shooter Crisis Communications” session, and it shouldn’t be missed.

It deals with the July 17 mass shooting at the Greenwood Park Mall in Indiana, where a lone gunman killed three people and was shot dead 15 seconds later by a shopper.

Greenwood mayor Mark Myers and Deana Haworth, CEO of Hirons full-service shop in Indianapolis, are speakers at the active shooter meeting.

Hirons worked with Greenwood’s PR team, police department and the FBI to communicate events of that tragic day to residents and the nation at large.

Haworth on Sept. 22 spoke at the second annual National Trauma Journalism Symposium held at Indiana’s Franklin College.

Let’s hope there’s no need for an active shooter session at PRSA’s 2024 confab.