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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Don’t Pick FIghts You Can’t Win

    The Obama White House press shop has demonstrated (once again) that previous promises about being open and transparent — are transparently false.

    The latest dust up came when a pool reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle was threatened with banishment for having the temerity to shoot video with a small hand held camera in addition to scribbling notes.  The video, notably, was of  protestor at an Obama fund raiser — raising the specter that the press shop’s ire was sparked not so much by a violation of the “print only” pool arrangement — but disgruntlement that a negative blip on the media screen might be highlighted too much.

    The Chronicle reporter says that private citizens in the room were using cell phone cameras to record the incident — and she felt obligated to do the same.

    It is rarely wise to get overly bureaucratic when dealing with the press.  They are not a group that generally cottons to strict imposition of rules and regulations.  But it is never wise to dissemble about it — which allegedly is what the White House did.  If the latest report in the Chronicle is to be believed — the White House threatened to pull the pool pass for the offending Chronicle reporter — and then when pressed on the action denied it.

    Advice to the White House press office.  Lighten up.  There will be lots more serious situations down the road and overreacting to them only makes you look like you are getting your PR advice from the Syrians.

    Can’t we all get along?  Answer:  Yes We Can.

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  • Punctuation Without Percussion

    Disney’s Thumper

    It’s important to be animated when you are on TV. We teach clients to practice their hand and arm gestures to punctuate their messages.

    But while gestures are necessary to do a bang up job, you have to be careful not flail the furniture while pounding home your points or you will look like an amateur.

    Which is why it is so surprising to see an experienced ESPN anchor, Josh Elliott, repeatedly thump the table in the clip below.

    Elliott was obviously emotional about saying goodbye as he heads off to Good Morning America but we hope he remembers this simple lesson:
    Animation: good.  Thumper: no so much.

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  • Hare Brained Idea on How to Hide From The Media

    We recycle this classic in honor of Easter.

    A Providence, Rhode Island reporter confronts Ann Bruno, a woman who had recently been accused of “cyber stalking.” Bruno uses a unique method to avoid answering questions — literally putting on a happy face. We don’t recommend this method — but it is fun to watch.

    Despite the impression given in the video — charges against Bruno were subsequently dropped.