So This is How it Works...

Some of you may have seen me on Glenn Beck today.  If you are like me, and don't do stuff like that very often, you may be wondering just what being on such a show is like.

The process began with a call from one of Beck's assistants.  She spent over an hour with me in multiple calls to make sure she absolutely understood all the issues and could communicate them to Beck.  She also called the PIO at Arizona State Parks several times to get their perspective.  Then she had me come into the Fox local station in Phoenix.  This is where the process went a bit different than I expected.

First, I was still sitting in the green room about 9 minutes before I was supposed to go on the air, and thus was getting a bit nervous.  When they came to me, I expected to be taken to some tiny studio.  Instead, I was led out to the busy news floor, in the middle of all the desks with people working.   There, I found a camera and a stool.  They miked me and put on my earpiece.   Hearing the feed was a bit of a challenge, because people were on the phones at all the desks right near me.

Doing the interview is more like doing radio.  It may look on TV like we see each other, but I can't see Beck and can't pick up on his body language.  We end up talking on top of each other several times.  At one point, the lady at the desk next to me goes into a drawer for stapes or something and bangs my butt, ripping out my earphone and effectively disconnecting me from the show.

Anyway, it was fun and if given the chance, I expect to be better next time.  I will post a link to the video when I find it.


  1. Bull E. Vard:

    You did pretty good. You got a little shifty in your seat, but your energy was good.

  2. Addie:

    Were there any rules about publicizing your blog? It would have been cool to see a shameless plug for Coyote Blog.

  3. Amanda Barber:

    As someone who works in the campground membership business I would like to know what you will do with the information you recieve from the people staying at the state parks (such as addresses and phone numbers). Are you going to use this information as leads to try and sell them on your private membership camps?

  4. TC:

    So we can finally put a face to a name.

    UT has a similar item before it today as well. The public parks folks must have relatives in AZ because they say and act the same way.

    I can't help but think it's, as usual, about power and control! They just desire to get handed money to maintain their personal empire, which of course is owned by the public!

  5. A Friend:

    I think your point got across well. I hope that being on a show like Beck's, which is perceived as polarizing, doesn't actually hurt your chances at convincing the people and government of Arizona that giving you a chance to save the parks would be a good thing.

  6. Captain Obviousness:

    I thought you did a good job. Those live shots in front of news rooms are so bizarre - it was apparent you couldn't hear Beck but what do they expect when they put you there. You definitely need to work on the subtle plug, e.g. "As I have written extensively on Coyote Blog, blah blah blah blah"

    If you are trying to get more public exposure to private management of parks, get in touch with the John and Ken radio show in LA. I'm sure they have the biggest audience in the country besides nationally syndicated shows. They basically rant about how stupid government is for a couple hours every show, they're right up your alley (although you'll have to ignore their illegal immigrant hysteria). Anthony Watts was on there last week.

  7. Craig:

    I happened to be watching the show, and was surprised and excited when you came on. It was really short, though.

  8. admin:

    Amanda: Nope, never.

    This was not the result of any PR initiative on my part. I don't even have a PR effort. Blenn Beck's staff called me out of the blue - apparently someone is a Coyote Blog reader, or at least stumbled on it in Google.

  9. chembot:

    the you tube video linky. Seems sensible to me. But boy the comments on the video are depressing.

    I always wonder where the antipathy to private enterprise comes from. Especially if people stopped to compare their dealings with private enterprise vs gov't.

    Although occasionally I have had bad customer experiences from private businesses, there is usually a good dispute resolution processes and generally a lot of options if things go bad. Slow, unresponsive, and unhelpful typifies the usual gov't experience even if no problems occur (who doesn't complain about renewing drivers licences/passport, or obtaining any number of other permits?) If there are problems, prepare to be transported to the fourth circle of hell. Dispute resolution is cumbersome and generally not aided by small time bureaucrats endowed with just enough power to inconvenience and a passive-aggressive personality to match. If private business were to act like that they would quickly get a bad rep and lose customers.

    And as for commercialization, for all those people worried about a McDonalds lurking around every corner, I have to wonder what their thoughts are on various government entities grubbing cash by selling naming rights, corporate sponsorships, and preferential product placements of various kinds in all manner of government owned facilities and operations


    I've wondered about the talking over each other part - usually there's a several second delay at the start of an interview between when the host stops talking and the guest starts, but then they continue the conversation as if the delay didn't exist, frequently talking over each other. I didn't know if the delay goes away after the interview starts, or if they talked over each other because they didn't know the other guy had started talking. Plus, if you have just that tiny ear bud with which to hear the host, that's gotta be a difficult way to hold a conversation.

  11. Ron H.:

    Wow! I just finished reading the comments at the youtube link chembot provided. How depressing that so many people feel that way. they seem to think Coyote is up to some manner of evil. "How could he dare even think of making money off a government property!" "How could private enterprise possibly operate a park as efficiently and cheaply as a smooth running government agency?"

    Better to close the parks rather than let a greedy capitalist run them.

  12. Dianne:

    I saw you on Glenn Beck yesterday; watch him every day; never heard of your company before; you looked like you were enjoying yourself. Until I read your description of the interview I had no idea about the earpiece except that I thought it didn't fit right. I had to chuckle. You handled it well. I live in AZ and would love for some of my kids to come down and take a job like that; small businesses are dying because of our government. I wish you more success; keep up the good work!

  13. Jim:

    Nice job. I'm not a great fan of Beck, but it is excellent exposure for you and your proposal.

    There is a move to keep Riordon up here in Flagstaff open, using a bunch of public (City) and private money. I'm not sure that there is a commercial upside to Riordan (low attendance and not a real compelling reason to visit unless you are a local history buff)but it would be nice for you to get a shot at an overall package. Good luck!

  14. Ric:

    Good for you to get some national exposure. I agree with several folks that a subtle plug would have been great. I know that I plug you to everyone I know. You have become a litmus test for me. Self starters who take responsibility for themselves like you and what you have to say vs. those who want to be taken care of by (insert here): unions/government/grandparents/fairy godmother.

  15. Rob:

    Odd, about a week (?) ago, I emailed Beck about your presentation on climate change and recommended he bring you on as a brilliant "civilian" analyst.

    Perhaps you should develop and information package (pdf?) for such shows and seed Beck's show with the first copy. The details may not get on the air, but knowing them - having them in hand - makes for more complete interviews.

    I too was surprised by your appearance. When he started the intro, I thought, huh, he should be talking to Warren - and there you were.

    Congratulations! It did not look like you were particularly uncomfortable (any more than pros who struggle with those silly earpieces) and you did well. You were clear, direct and not dodgy.

    You should make an attempt to get John Stossel or Neil Cavuto to pick up your story on the Business channel- they speak your language. Beck is great, but he is about government(and less of it) and your story has two aspects government and business.

    You could also use some media (photos? video?) to show the massive non-change (except for the restoration you do) you bringto the parks. Images speak really loudly. You need to show the lack of McD's and such on your sites. Show the natural beauty which you have pointed out is the attraction that you maintain.

    The folks, as O'Rielly would say, need to understand that you are maintaining and improving that public lands - at no cost to the public AND at benefit to the public.

    Other than a bad case of NIH or some such, I fail to understand how any government group would not jump at the chance to maintain a park at a profit!

    Good on ya!