Category Archives: The Nose Knows

Reality TV – Trump’s Secret Weapon!

Presidential primary politics are the ultimate in reality TV

Reality TV is all about getting to know the characters. The camera makes you feel like you build a relationship with this person…

…whether they are a star already – think Dancing with the Stars or Celebrity Apprentice

…or because the reality TV makes them famous – think American idol or Jersey Shore

There are three key elements that make reality TV work

– Controversy/ Conflict / dirty tricks

– Uncertainty of what will happen next

– Sex scandals

Primary politics have all 3!

In fact, primary politics have the best elements of Survivor and the Biggest Loser (or the Amazing Race?):

– which candidate will the voters throw off the island?

– which candidate has the will power, endurance and self sacrifice required to make it to the end?

Primary season lasts so long that it actually turns into its own form of reality TV:

Isn’t the 24/7 cable news cycles just as intimate, invasive and voyeuristic as MTV’s the Real World or Jersey Shore?

Through the lens of reality TV, it is no coincidence that Donald Trump has raced up the polls among Republican primary voters. He has the all the elements of controversy, uncertainty and sex – and is a veteran at handling the challenges and surprises of the format.

Trump knows how to find provocative issues that will stir up the electorate and he has the Republicans wondering what his next move will be.

Trump knows a thing about reality TV – after 8 years “the apprentice” still tops ratings week after week.

Don’t discount Trump’s impact on the 2012 primaries. This is his specialty!

Parade Magazine: What’s Your Money Personality?, a new survey by Michael Berland

What’s Your Money Personality?
By Michael J. Berland
Published: August 29, 2010

When it comes to personal finances, most of us belong to one of five types, according to a recent PARADE survey by public-opinion expert Michael Berland.

Where do you fit in?

Do-Rights keep budgets, avoid debt, and save for the future. When they need advice about money, they tend to ask experts.

About 75% of these middle-aged Americans live paycheck to paycheck. They’ve made major cutbacks since the financial crisis and want to start saving, but they find it difficult to stick to the budgets they’ve set for themselves.

Most of these single women earn less than $40,000 a year, and two-thirds say they’d quickly be in serious financial trouble if they lost their current source of income. Many say they feel embarrassed about their personal finances.

These young singles are optimistic about the future. They know they should pay more attention to their finances but say they’re too busy pursuing other goals.

These married homeowners make higher-than-average salaries but say they save less than they should and make too many impulse purchases. Nearly two-thirds of this group would rather let their romantic partners handle the finances.

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Parade Magazine: Compassion Counts More Than Ever, a new study by Michael Berland

Compassion Counts More Than Ever
By Michael J. Berland
Published: March 7, 2010

America is in the midst of a boom–and one that is benefiting and bonding us all. “During past tough economic times, there was a decrease in volunteering,” says Patrick Corvington, CEO of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. “But today there’s a ‘compassion boom’ of people helping others.” An exclusive new PARADE poll shows how and why so many Americans are working to improve our communities and the world.

“Public service” has become more than a phrase or a school requirement in our country–it’s now a way of life for Americans of all ages. “People who are out of work are volunteering to stay connected to their communities and to hone their job skills,” Corvington explains. “But I think part of what is driving the overall increase is the growing understanding that service is an essential tool to achieve community and national goals.”

The findings of the new PARADE poll confirm Corvington’s observations: Respondents were almost unanimous in the belief that it is “important to be personally involved in supporting a cause we believe in” in our communities (94%) and in the world at large (91%). More than three out of four (78%) think that the actions of one person can improve the world, and 78% also believe they’re more involved in making a difference than their parents were.

The Americans surveyed by PARADE are particularly proud of one very personal way that they’re contributing to the greater good: Ninety percent said that they are working hard to teach their children the importance of activism. They’re imparting these lessons in a variety of ways, including leading by example (64%); talking to their kids about important issues and causes (51%); discussing their own charitable contributions or efforts with their children (35%); taking them to meetings or when they volunteer (32%); urging them to follow role models who are working for positive change (31%); and encouraging them to donate their own money to causes (25%).

Jack Brannelly, 45, an attorney in Draper, Utah, brings his 9-year-old daughter when he volunteers at an elder-care facility. “To put her hand in the hand of a 95-year-old at the end of her life teaches my daughter about the people out of the public view who still need affection,” he says. “This heart-to-heart contact teaches her one of the most important things we can do despite our busy lives. ”

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Parade Magazine: How the Economic Crisis Changed Us, a new study by Michael Berland

How the Economic Crisis Changed Us
By Michael J. Berland and Douglas E. Schoen
Published: November 1, 2009

The changes in the economy over the past 18 months have had profound effects on the lives of people across the country. Now, for the first time, a new PARADE survey shows just how dramatically Americans’ goals, hopes, spending habits, relationships, and even their attitudes toward trusted institutions have been transformed by the recession.

Nearly four out of five respondents (79%) say that they’ve felt the impact of the financial downturn, with one-third saying that the turmoil has had a big impact on their lives. Most respondents haven’t had to turn on the TV to appreciate the scope of the declining economy—they’ve registered its toll in their own faces or those of friends, family members, and neighbors. Sixty-nine percent have lost a job, suffered a reduction in pay, or know someone who has experienced one of these. Close to half have had difficulty making their mortgage or rent payments or know someone who has.

As a result, many Americans have made significant financial adjustments in their daily lives. Eighty percent say that they’ve been “forced to do more with less,” 73% have had to make unexpected changes, and 19% have sought some form of government assistance. Necessity has led 27% of respondents to pursue extra work.

Most people have also cut back on their families’ spending. Common money-saving measures include delaying or canceling vacations (42%), putting off major appliance purchases (34%), postponing or forgoing home renovations (29%), and choosing not to buy a new car this year (28%).

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