Lifestyle & Culture

Tale of the Federal Government

January 25, 2016


ALL HEARTS were clearly in the right place. (And we promise, the red ribbon you see in our pizza image is NOT bureaucratic red tape.)Sit! Pizza box heavy-duty-cardboard stool, $35 at Chocolate Moose, 1743 L St. NW, 202--463-0992.

A couple of minutes past 9 this morning (Monday, January 25), the CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America, in addition to other media services, sent the following lovely memo:

Subject: . . . Thank you!

I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all of you who have camped out, slept on cots, or lived in a local hotel throughout the blizzard this weekend. As a former journalist myself, I understand the sacrifice you made to get VOA programs on the air.
Your hard work and professionalism [have] not gone unnoticed.
I’d like to thank you for your dedication. As a small token of my appreciation, pizza will be available for you in the [International Broadcasting Bureau] conference room at 11:30 a.m.
Thank you for all you do every day to support U.S. international media.

John F. Lansing
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Broadcasting Board of Governors

At about noon, or half an hour after the pizza was supposed to have been served, the following memo arrived:

Subject: Pizza Postponed

Unfortunately, we have to postpone the pizza until tomorrow—it turns out that the pizza chefs couldn’t make it in to work to make the pizzas!
My apologies for the confusion and the delay.  We’ll provide an update tomorrow morning.

John F. Lansing
CEO and Director
Broadcasting Board of Governors

Takeaway: Consider it a rare example of government apologizing for not keeping a promise.

–Nancy McKeon

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