(posted from Washington, D.C., 11:34 a.m. eastern time)
UPDATE: Robert Redford's speech at TBA.
|Okay, so better late than never. I took this earlier, but had to come back to my hotel to load it. Frankly, the Hilton's connection for bloggers row sucks. Oh, and by the way, as to Redford's first line; everyone needed a brush, as it was raining cats and canaries this morning!
“Sorry 'bout that,” Redford said to me when our bags got tangled. All I could do was laugh.
“Anybody have a brush?”
That's the first thing I heard when Redford walked into the room. It was a little after 10:00 a.m. when he and Jerome Ringo, president of the Apollo Alliance showed up. It was supposed to start at 9:30 a.m., but these types of things rarely if ever come off as planned.
I've been trying to blog it since then, but on bloggers row there's a lot of interruptions and distractions, because people actually are interested in what we do.
The Fox “News” crowd just hate when big celebs lend their name, reputation and passion to issues that matter. But when they do, especially when you're Robert Redford, it can make all the difference. After all, it's not like they need this aggravation, now is it?
They wanted all the bloggers up front during the Redford meeting, especially those with computers, because this meeting was schedule for us. How refreshing is that? Redford continued the welcome, because it was very obvious – he made a point of saying it – that he's a big fan of the blogs.
When Redford started off he didn't go to the podium. He and Jerome sat side by side, with Redford making a very brief opening statement. I live blogged it for content, just now getting it online, but this is how it went down. I don't use quotes, but Redford's statements are close to verbatim, the content
and tone exact.
|Robert Redford and Jerome Ringo, president of the Apollo Alliance. (Taken during Bloggers Meeting)|
It's like the old west, the blogs. Taking something and running with it, said Robert Redford. Out of the gate he made it clear that he feels the blogs have a big part to play in getting the message on the environment out.
When I met him after the session, he looked in my eyes and shook my hand, strongly and very enthusiastically. In fact, he made an effort to turn and talk with me, however briefly. (Just to add, I'm drawing this picture, not because I saw into his soul, but because his sincerity to connect with me, one blogger, was real. It went to the whole reason he asked for the meeting with us.) I thanked him for what he was intending to manifest through his involvement in the Apollo Alliance, and he said, “No, thank you.” The picture we took together was a generous move on his part, because he wasn't taking pictures with people.
(I keep getting disconnected, so I'll upload the shots of Redford when I can.) As it was taken our bags got tangled
and he apologized, which caught him talking and me smiling. We untangled and his handler moved him on a tight schedule doesn't begin to cover it.
In case you don't know what the Apollo Alliance is all about, this should give you a clue.
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
–President John F. Kennedy
Obviously, with all the work I've done on John F. Kennedy, this organization
has simpatico sensibilities with what I'm doing.
Talking about the Apollo Alliance, Redford was passionate, but soft spoken, mentioning their 10-point solution. An announcement is coming later today on action, evidently. After opening statements, Redford and Ringo took questions.
Regarding the environment and how it was ignored in the 2004 elections:
“It was criminal what happened in the last election … It was pretty rough to sit there in the last election, seeing the issue ignored or shunned.” – Robert Redford
Continuing on, he was asked a question about the media and their coverage on the environment during 2006. The coverage was “down low” … “I'm hopeful,” he said about the next elections going forward.
In one comment that will delight many, Redford said bloggers play a part that the “mainstream media” does not. That's for sure. It's obvious he thought traditional media just doesn't get it.
There was no doubt that Redford believes that bloggers can, should and must play a critical part on the environmental front going global.
Jerome Ringo also announced that the Apollo Alliance met regarding independence meeting with Senators Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, as well as Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Needless to say, former Vice President Al Gore was mentioned in a big way, as Redford talked about him addressing the issue and the solutions, all revolving around his new movie.
Redford had “some involvement” in Gore's movie, which he believes will have a “positive effect.” Then Redford launched into a brief summation of his involvement in the issue way back in the late 1980s global warming conference with the Soviets. The “solutions were the same back then. No vehicle back then to get the language out,” said Redford.
“As long as the public can see it's bad… here 's why it's bad,” and “here's what you can do.” You need to go the part of the solutions, because the evidence is “in their face.” “Solutions,” is where Redford wants to focus, not just scaring the public to death. The “Al Gore film has ended the debate,” according to Apollo Alliance president with Redford. Al Gore's film was an end and a beginning. It addresses the solutions. We must alternatives to fossil fuel and getting oil from foreign countries. – Robert Redford at Special New Media Meeting
Wind power, solar power and other energy solutions are obviously critical
Ironically, Redford worked in the fields for Standard Oil in El Segundo, California many years ago, as did Jerome Ringo, who is from Louisiana. That's their mutual connection to the passion to become energy independent. So, obviously when asked about Katrina, Ringo said the bottom line was “accountability.”
Of course, what would all this be without mention of impeachment? It was broached over Katrina.
That's when Robert Redford became very animated and leaned out to see who exactly answered the question. Then he smiled broadly and let go with a chuckle.
Check out the Apollo Alliance. We need to back this project.