(Published in January 2021, Cincinnati Enquirer)

Today’s examples of real actual censorship — Twitter blocking accounts, Facebook suspending pages, or Amazon removing an entire platform, Parler, from its cloud hosting servers — portends grave danger on our societal horizon.

That people applaud these constrictions of speech in the name of their personal political ideology is head-shakingly disappointing in its ignorance and short-sightedness.

The First Amendment protects citizens from government infringement upon their free speech rights. It’s up to the rest of us to stand up and call out other breaches of free speech, so let me do just that: Limiting…


Fritz Koenig is an unlikely name with which to start a 20th anniversary September 11th remembrance. He didn’t die aboard an airplane or in a Tower. In 2001, Koenig was a 77-year-old German Sculptor still winning prizes for his art. He was known for his use of basic geometric shapes to tell a story in sculpture. His involvement in the September 11th story started over 30 years earlier when he won a commission for a sculpture in fountain square, between the still-under-construction World Trade Center’s twin towers.

The day the 25-ton bronze statue was installed was sunny and calm. The…


By Matt Dole

Aug 18, 2021

Back then, in 1979, it was inflation, high gas prices, and embarrassing diplomatic defeats.

Now, in 2021, it’s… huh — inflation, high gas prices, and embarrassing diplomatic defeats.

What’s old is new again.

Back then, Jimmy Carter gave a speech that defined an era of low morale and American dis-spirit. It was officially the “crisis of confidence” speech, but people remember it for a phrase that didn’t even appear in the script. It was Carter’s “malaise” speech. Presidents ever since have refused to even get close to Carter’s tone in a speech.

Joe Biden…


I wrote this a couple years ago. At the time, Colin Kaepernick had convinced Nike to cancel a shoe featuring the “Betsy Ross” flag. That was 2019. Surely you’d thin that Kaepernick smartened up, but he doubled down in 2020 calling July 4th a celebration of White Supremacy. Outrageous. So outrageous it requires our attention and the popping off a few fireworks to drown out the noise of those who seek only to tear down our nation and its values.

July Fourth — Independence Day — is a day when we can celebrate everything great about our country. We can…


For me “September 11” is a season rather than just a day. Here’s what that time looked like for me.

I had seen my parents off on their way back to Vermont after a visit to Marietta for the Sternwheel festival on 9/10. It’s hard to imagine now, but they had no cellphone so there was no way to connect with them as they drove across NY on September 11. As the events unfolded, I never really felt they were in danger, but certainly wanted to confirm they were home safe.

I had a couple friends in NY and…


Part of an on-going effort to encourage those speaking with reporters to avoid the dreaded “no comment”

This is going to be a bit of an off shoot of This Week in “no comment.” Let’s talk about NOT saying something.

We do a few dozen training sessions a year on crisis communications and we start by establishing that the session will push participants to be proactive, but that it’s also possible to be TOO proactive. We use a funny video about over-sharing as an ice breaker and to reinforce the point.

As a communicator in a crisis, you’ll have to…


Part of an on-going effort to encourage those speaking with reporters to avoid the dreaded “no comment”

COVID-19, the specific strain of coronavirus causing global concern and as the disease hit Florida the response was bumpy, to say the least.

Here’s the timeline:

February 28 — Friday: A man is tested at Doctor’s Hospital in Sarasota, FL. He was believed to have pneumonia.

February 29 — Saturday: The test came back positive as COVID-19.

March 1 — Sunday: A letter from Doctors Hospital detailing the positive test goes viral on social media — this was the first confirmed case in…


Part of an on-going effort to encourage those speaking with reporters to avoid the dreaded “no comment”

Here’s a classically bad scenario for “no comment”: You’re talking to a reporter and answering their questions, then, when you get a question you don’t like, out comes the “no comment.”

No comment is bad enough. People think you’re hiding something or assume the worst. Answer-answer-answer-no comment is even worse. How bad does the situation have to be to ice up in the middle of the interview?

Such was the scenario with Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso this week.


Part of an on-going effort to encourage those speaking with reporters to avoid the dreaded “no comment”

This week we visit Lansing, Michigan were a government official was placed on paid leave a month ago after an investigation suggested she had given taxpayer money to non profit groups with whom she was associated. This is a clear conflict of interest (on both sides). Last week she resigned abruptly and the news media went out in search of council member comment.


Photo by Richard Ricciardi under license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

It’s mass hysteria. Pundits wringing their hands about the national impact. We must be careful. We have to take precautions. There’s real danger. It could mean Armageddon — total societal destruction.

Coronavirus?

No… the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump. Don’t believe me? Look at the people claiming that the future of democracy itself hung in the balance of the Senate impeachment vote.

Against the backdrop of a possible actual global pandemic, impeachment rhetoric is put in its proper, absurd, context. Impeachment fever certainly seems like a symptom of a virus — the societal kind rather than the biological…

Matt Dole

Ohio-based Communications consultant. I track digital strategy, politics, sports, history and books. We ain't one-at-a-timing here, we're MASS communicating.

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