You can’t really blame Baltimore Sun writer Julie Bykowicz for writing nonsense – after all she’s a journalist and, by definition an expert at nothing except the high art of avoiding ending sentences with prepositions and the like. And you can’t blame the San Francisco Chronicle for publishing her story – after all it was critical of Newt Gingrich and the knee-jerk lefties at the Chronicle are not capable of objective thinking. It is deep in their DNA to agree with anything critical of a guy like Gingrich. But Bloomberg-Business Week? They have no excuse.
Ms. Bykowicz wrote a piece for B-BW titled “Gingrich Names-Drops Business Idea Touted by Super-PAC Supporter“. The business idea Gingrich is so insidiously touring? Lean Six Sigma. Wrote Julie with all the keen insight of sea slug:
“Gingrich has uttered the term “Lean Six Sigma” at least 28 times since August in campaign appearances, debates and media interviews, a review of transcripts and news accounts shows. At the same time, Mike George, the investor who has written six books on Lean Six Sigma, paid for mailings, handouts and automated phone calls backing Gingrich in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primary last month.
George’s financial support comes through a political action committee, Strong America Now, which he created and solely funds. The dynamic illustrates a new way for wealthy individuals to leverage the high visibility of a presidential election as a public-relations tool for a specific company, product or message.”
Did Julie call any of you, me, Jim Womack, Norman Bodek, even the local community college professor to ask the first thing about lean or Six Sigma? Of course not, or she would have learned that (1) Mike George is not the originator of the idea and (2) is probably so far down the list of consultants and authors who might benefit from a national commitment to the idea as to be irrelevant.
Instead, she talked to a crank from Public Citizen – a Washington outfit dedicated to the proposition that, if business does something – anything – it must be evil. Said the Public Citizen expert on lean Six Sigma, “This goes beyond the concern about coordination, and smack dab into the concern of having a mutually profitable business relationship between a super-PAC and a presidential candidate. There’s Gingrich out there selling Mike George’s book while Mike George helps to promote Gingrich’s candidacy. That’s kind of amazing.”
What is amazing is that Gingrich is promoting an idea aimed at rooting waste out of government and heightening the value of government efforts for the benefit of its customers – us – and Julie, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg-Business Week, Washington liberal think tanks, and just about every left leaning blogger on the Internet line up against the idea without bothering to learn the first thing about it.
The fact that the Army, Navy and the Air Force are all pursuing lean, Six Sigma and the blend of the two – and are paying someone other than Mike George to help them – is a fact that a cursory Google search would uncover. But that effort would make too much sense and, even worse, would kill an opportunity for Julie to peddle a hot story and for those who publish her work, to demonize Gingrich.