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CNN LIVE AT DAYBREAK

'Talk of CNN'

Aired February 20, 2003 - 05:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the Feds are getting the word out on how to deal with code orange. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has unveiled a nationwide campaign aimed at helping you and your family prepare for the possibility of a terrorist attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: The threat of terrorism forces us to make a choice. We can be afraid or we can be ready. And today America's families declare we will not be afraid and we will be ready.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: For tips, go to a new government Web site, ready.gov. You'll also be seeing print and TV ads very soon. And, by the way, that Get Ready campaign was designed by a Richmond, Virginia based advertising agency.

So, we want to talk about that with Jimmy Barrett at WRVA News Radio 1140 in Richmond, Virginia.

Jimmy is on the line with us right now -- good morning, Jimmy.

JIMMY BARRETT, WRVA RADIO CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Good morning, Carol.

Whoo, we just caught you in time. 5:38 in the morning our time at 1140 WRVA.

There, I did my maintenance.

Go ahead.

COSTELLO: Oh, good. Glad you got that out of the way.

Let's talk about this new ad that's coming out from the Homeland Security Department. And the ad agency, I understand, is located right in Virginia. Tell us about it.

BARRETT: Well, the Martin Agency is located here in Richmond, and actually, you know, a lot of fairly prestigious accounts at one time or another have actually come out of ad agencies here in Richmond. So we're not surprised that they called on the Martin Agency. I made them a winner of the day yesterday. Of course, the jury is still out on how effective these ads are and I guess when you get down to it, that will determine whether or not they were winners or not.

COSTELLO: Well, have you seen it?

BARRETT: You know, I've seen snippets of it. I know what it's designed to do. It's designed to make you think about being prepared without panicking you and my question would be, of course, this morning, is that what it does?

COSTELLO: Well, what do you think? Do you think it does cause panic, because it's pretty grim, actually.

BARRETT: Well, I think, you know, it may, it may very well create panic. But more importantly, you know, I think where the gov -- and we talked a little bit about this last week -- I think where homeland security has really shot themselves in the foot over this issue is this whole duct tape thing.

Did you hear the quote yesterday from Tom Ridge?

COSTELLO: He was trying to joke about it, I know.

BARRETT: Yes, dash it, don't trash it?

COSTELLO: Yes, well, if you go to ready.gov, the new Web site the government has to show people how to protect themselves, duct tape is mentioned in there. And have you gone to it, Jimmy, because you should if you haven't?

BARRETT: Yes, I've seen the ready.gov site, yes.

COSTELLO: Yes, and it tells you what to do in the case of a nuclear attack and basically what it says is run.

BARRETT: Well, and before you do that, then kiss your you know what good-bye. I mean, you're right. I don't understand why you would even dis -- what it reminds me of, fro those of us that are old enough to remember this, are the old civil defense drills that we used to get back in elementary school. Remember they used to herd us out into the hallways or get us under the school desk and put your hands up above your head and duck, as if that was going to do any good in the event of some sort of a nuclear explosion.

Yes, I understand that they want us to think about terrorism, but I think what they should have done is just said, you know what? We have a heightened sense of alert, you know, get your three days of water, get your three days of food, have flashlights, have battery operated radios or television sets and be done with it.

COSTELLO: Yes, yes. Maybe so. I don't know. I'm sure that many Americans will be talking about this for a long time.

Jimmy Barrett, always interesting. Thanks so much.

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