Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Tim Geithner Delivers a Speech "to NYU"

New York University has a student body of over 50,000 students. The Stern School of Business, alone, has over 5,000 students. So when Treasury Secretary Geithner's advance team picked a room at NYU for the Treasury Secretary to give a speech Monday, they picked a room that holds 150 people.

Of the 150 people in attendance, 40 were media. I am aware of one Stern School MBA student who was turned down from attending because he was told that "only a select few faculty and administration were invited to attend."  I don't want to bore you with the math as to how many NYU students were likely there. I spoke to Joanne Hvala, Associate Dean, Marketing and External Relations at NYU, who told me that invitations were sent out to "Summer Start" students (sounds like pre-freshman) and international students who were on the premises. But obviously this was not about enlightening the NYU student body, or even NYU's business students. It was designed to give the impression that this what was going on. It was designed to give the impression that the Treasury Secretary was in engagement with the NYU business school student body, about the financial "reform" bill. Pfft.

When Geithner's advance team visited NYU, Hvala told me that the team was most interested in not how many the room could hold, but what room would provide the best sight lines for television crews and what room would be most convenient for television crews to get to. 

The sightline propaganda worked out fine:

Not so well for at least one NYU student who wanted to get in to hear the speech, and perhaps ask a question.

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