Yesterday, Captain Richard Phillips talked about the movie and merchant marine at the National Press Club in DC. He was asked many questions about the piracy, but also about the Administration’s policy on Food Aid and the Merchant Marine. He defended the program and noted that 4 ships are likely to be cut. It will be interesting to see how the mainstream media pick up on how few US flagged ships there are left and that the Maersk Alabama was delivering grain on a MSP supported ship. You may or may not like the man, but the film is a mighty PR opportunity to get the US Shipping business into everyday discussions, lobby Congress and show your friends and family what you do. Of course, the Washington Post covered it in their gossip column, Reliable Source. http://wapo.st/19FBHyh.
Richard Phillips: “We are the truckdrivers of the ocean,” he said of his seafaring brethren before teeing off on his celebvocacy talking points: As many as four U.S. Merchant Marine vessels that haul military cargo or food to needy foreign lands could be drydocked with the loss of $12 million in subsidies.But he fielded a lot of pirate questions. “It’s the second oldest profession we deal with,” he said dryly. “They’re not dumb, they are imaginative, and they are capable.” Should he have heeded advisories to steer clear of Somalia? Heck, those are just advisories. “We fight [piracy] all over the globe. Nigeria’s probably worse these days than Somalia ever was.”
And Maritime Executive covered it well. http://bit.ly/16VEHXi but who reads that other than the “choir?” How are you going to use “Captain Phillips” to promote your livelihood? Or allow media to feel sorry for the poor Somalians and just send money rather than US grain?