I was pretty excited this morning.
For the first time as an author, I had been offered a coveted national TV spot, doing a segment on MSNBC’s News Nation with Tamron Hall. Those kinds of interviews are not easy to come by, and they can be game-changing for someone who writes business and marketing books.
So I flew to New York last night on a $400 plane ticket that I paid for. I stayed at a decent hotel in midtown Manhattan, which came to $329. I bought myself a few meals, took cabs to and from the airport, easily racking up another $200 in expenses. All in, the trip cost me about $1000.
But for a spot on national TV, beaming into 94 million homes across America? Worth every penny.
I woke up ready to go, pressed a shirt, put on my suit, and hopped into the NBC limo that was waiting outside my hotel. At 30 Rock, they checked my security credentials and escorted me up to the third floor to the MSNBC studios.
An intern brought me into the green room, where I waited for a few minutes until a producer came in to explain the process. Everything was very cool and the people were awesome. They told me that after I went into make-up, they would bring me into the studio to be mic’d up around 11:40. My segment would start precisely at 11:51am.
I was hustled into make-up around 11. After a few minutes, I was back in the green room excited and ready to go.
And then Barack Obama wrecked it all.
He called an emergency press conference about the veteran’s affairs controversy for 11:15am, and being a news network. MSNBC was going to cover it live.
The intern who brought me into the green room 45 minutes earlier returned, and politely explained that my segment was being “bumped” because of breaking news.
I was done.
Before any cameras rolled, I was told to pack up and go home. I watched $1000 flash before my eyes.
At first I was really pissed off, and kinda hurt. It was an ego blow as much as a financial one. It was embarrassing to walk out of 30 Rockefeller Center with my TV make-up still fresh.
But then I decided to make the best of the day.
I did what any self-respecting man does when he is feeling down and depressed.
I washed off my make-up and went shopping.
I walked from my hotel at East 50th and Lexington over to Herald Square, then down 6th Avenue through Greenwich Village and into Soho. The crowds thinned and the tall skyscrapers and chain stores gave way to smaller buildings and boutiques. I really felt the character of the neighborhoods shift as I walked, in no particular rush, for miles. With each block, the architecture changed. The look of the people changed. The pace of the city changed.
Today wasn’t the day I planned, and it isn’t the day I would have chosen. But it was still a pretty cool day.
It sucks to get bumped from a national TV segment. It sucks to spend a lot of money and see no real return on it.
But if you’re going to get bumped by someone, the president isn’t a bad option.
Today I was bumped by the most powerful man in the free world.
Nobody can ever take that away from me.