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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • See You On the Radio

    Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R-Ex-Witch) was in a huff.  She was unhappy to learn that WDEL-AM videotaped her live radio interview on Tuesday talking about the Delaware senate race.

    The video shows O’Donnell unhappily being grilled by radio host Rick Jensen. At one point O’Donnell snaps her fingers to call an aide to her side and then appears to push him toward Jensen as if she expected him to wrestle the interviewer to the ground.

    After the interview, O’Donnell’s campaign reportedly demanded that the radio station turn over the video to them. What’s worse –her campaign manager Matt Moran is said to have threatened that they would “crush” the station with a lawsuit if they did not give in.

    Camp O’Donnell said that they were unaware that videotaping would occur. WDEL responded by releasing video showing a technician adjusting cameras and microphones in plain sight of the candidate prior to the program.

    Eventually campaign aides apologized and withdrew the threat of a lawsuit — a lawsuit which had zero chance of success.

    The lesson here for all public figures — politicians, actors, athletes virtually anyone with a public profile.  Any time you are outside your own house — you should assume that you MIGHT be on camera and act accordingly.  If that is too much of a burden on you — the solution is easy: don’t be a politician, actor, athlete or anyone in public life.

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  • British Airways’ Unfriendly Skies

    Martin Broughton, of BA, must be getting diplomacy lessons from BP.

    Speaking at a conference of UK Airport Operators, the airline’s chairman railed against security regulations laid down by the United States.

    According to the Financial Times, Broughton said there was no need to “kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done” to enhance security on flights headed to the U.S.

    This may be an example of a senior official thinking he can address only one audience.  Getting your knickers in a knot on this subject may play well if you are talking to the narrow audience of British airport executives.  And played right, you could probably get most of the traveling public to agree that security restrictions are somewhat arbitrary and spottily enforced.  But nowadays no story is safe from spilling over to a broader audience.

    Broughton bungled by using overheated rhetoric. Actually, Old Boy, you DO have to kowtow if you want your airplanes to be allowed to fly into U.S. airspace.  He could have achieved much more by keeping a stiff upper lip and adopting a more cooperative tone.

    It is particularly odd the BA would pick a fight on this issue.  It was discovered in June that a cover story in an in house British Airways magazine, called LHR, featured a photo of a mock boarding pass made out in the name of   “Bin Laden/Osama.”  

    Coincidentally (at least we THINK it was a coincidence) the mock pass shown below was for a first class seat from London to Washington and the date of the planned flight was October 26, 2010 — the same day Broughton launched his kowtow attack on the U.S.

    Via ABCNEWS.com

    We’ll know the BA Chief is getting his PR tips from ousted BP  supremo Tony Hayward if he starts asking for “his life back.”

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  • Walk at Your Own Risk

    Pulling the plug on an interview can be hazardous.  Wilileaks founder Julian Assange was interviewed on CNN yesterday.  The   controversial activist was more than happy to talk about his organization’s release of 400,000 classified documents which the Department of Defense says was “shameful.”

    But Mr. Openness clammed up when the correspondent began to ask him about reports that he was under investigation for  sexual abuse in Sweden.  Assange warned his interrogator that he would walk if she persisted — she did — and he did.

    Assange fell victim to the same problem that befalls almost every irate interviewee who stalks away — he forgot he was wired up and fumbled to get rid of this mic and other equipment.  The struggle never makes for a graceful exit.

     

    We teach people that once they have agreed to do an interview — it is almost NEVER wise to stalk away.  That doesn’t mean you have to answer all the questions — but Assange would have been better served by staying put and simply saying — “I am not going to get into that issue at this time — do you have any questions on the issue we agreed to talk about?”  No matter how many times other questions are asked — the same answer would apply.  The questioner would soon take the hint.

    Instead, Assange makes himself look like a jerk — which, we suspect, may be an accurate picture.

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