Obama, Smerconish and the Book of Secrets

Posted on December 12, 2011


Appearing at last week’s Arbitron Client Conference, Dial Global syndicated talk host Michael Smerconish told a great story about interviewing President Barack Obama at the White House not long after the new president had been inaugurated.

The night before the interview Smerconish says his son suggested asking about The Book of Secrets, referencing the Jerry Bruckheimer/Nicholas Cage movie based around the idea that there is a book of documents only the president has access to with information about the country’s biggest mysteries such as Area 51, the JFK assassination and the Watergate tapes.

Though he chuckled at the time, the next day when the president arrived a few minutes early for the interview Smerconish had to make small talk and didn’t want to waste any of his good interview questions. So he asked if the president could tell him what’s in The Book of Secrets.

Without missing a beat President Obama said, “I could but then I’d have to kill you.”

The next day he discovered his interview had received national coverage by the Associated Press with the headline, “Obama Mum on Book of Secrets.”

Great story but a better reminder of how important it is to talk about topics the biggest chunk of your audience will be interested in.

Sure, some people care about the president’s policies but almost everyone wants to know about Area 51, JFK and the other bits of information that would be compiled in The Book of Secrets.