When bookers for MSNBC's show "Morning Joe" asked me to appear last Friday to talk about the banking crisis, I agreed — even though the show starts at 6 a.m. on the East Coast, which is 3 a.m. where I live.
Why do people on the East Coast assume that we on the West Coast operate on the same time schedule they do? I've learned (from a few embarrassing experiences) that I should never go on national television early in the morning when I'm half-asleep.
But I thought "Morning Joe" worth it. It's a good show that's widely watched by people interested in politics. Besides, the banking crisis isn't being covered as it should be (as you know if you've been reading this letter).
I went to bed as early as I could Thursday night and set my alarm clock, hoping to get enough shuteye to be sufficiently articulate seven hours later.
When I was younger, it was easy for me to sleep on nights before I had to get up early to do national television. But I'm now old, and the sleep fairies do not favor the elderly. I tossed and turned and woke up every hour or so to check the clock.
I finally settled into something resembling sleep, only to awaken just 15 minutes before I was supposed to appear. The damn alarm hadn't gone off. Yikes!
I sprang out of bed, switched on the lights, poured cold water on my face, pulled on some clothes, and ran into my home office. No time even for coffee. I turned on my laptop, clicked onto Zoom, and one minute later heard the "Morning Joe" producer ask if I was ready.
Within seconds I was on air. Hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough asked easy questions, but my responses were slow, long-winded, and meandering. (I've posted the segment below.) I can only hope a few people learned something from it.
Asleep at the switch, alarms didn't go off, slow and inadequate response. A fitting metaphor for how the Fed and bank regulators have dealt with the current crisis.
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