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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Speed Bump

    Dan Lungren learned the dangers of multitasking.  The California Congressman was driving to work yesterday while simultaneously giving a phone interview to KFBK radio.

    Lungren was pulled over by Virginia State Police for as he says “driving just a bit over the speed limit.”

    In the audio clip below the policeman can be heard asking Lungren to put the phone down….and the Congressman blithely sticking to his talking points.

    No matter how many interviews you have done — we recommend that you give it your complete focus when talking to a reporter. 

    It is probably a good idea to give your driving your complete focus as well.


  • Honest to a Fault

    New BP CEO Bob Dudley got carried away today differentiating himself from his predecessor.

    According to AP, Dudley told reporters today that he hopes to bring in an outside firm to handle damage claims in the Gulf — following complaints about BP’s handling of the matter.  Why?

    “It’s because of that lack of competence on our part … that we want to bring in a professional,” Dudley said.

    Hmmmm.  Dudley may be taking this honesty thing a bit too far.  Next time, Bob, we’d recommend you say  “Someone else can do this better than we can”  without the “I word.”


  • Back in My Day…

    If you once were very good at something the media might ask you about your former profession.

    The best way to look like a jerk is to diss the current practitioners of your former art and explain how things were better when you were center stage.

    Jim Bunning, the famously cranky Senator from Kentucky, was once a very good pitcher.  Good enough to earn election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He last pitched professionally 39 years ago, however — about the time some of the current players’ parents were born.

    Reporters yesterday asked Bunning for his reaction to the last-minute decision to scratch Washington Nationals rookie Steven Strasburg from the  line up on Tuesday.

    Bunning called the decision a “joke” and cast himself in a more heroic light. “Five hundred twenty starts, I never refused the ball,” the Senator bragged.

    Then he grabbed his shoulder and mocked “Oh, my arm!”

    Bunning apparently missed the reports that the National’s General Manager, Mike Rizzo, ordered Strasburg to skip his start (the phenom has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list).

    The Nationals probably have more money invested in Strasburg than Bunning and all his teammates combined earned during his 17-year career.

    Whether you are a former ballplayer, general, or captain of industry — if the media ask you for your views on current events — you should take care to speak knowledgeably and to avoid appearing like a grouchy old man.  There is a saying in baseball that describes people like Bunning.  “He has a million dollar arm — and a ten cent head.”

    h/t Politico