15-Seconds logo

The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Deep Six Sarcasm on TV

    Sarcasm might be an effective tool in some debates but it can sink you in a TV news interview.

    Orange Cty Sherriff’s Dpt  

    Sloan Briles, a 35-year-old dad recently charged for throwing his 7-year-old son off a tourist boat in Newport Harbor, CA, provides the latest example of someone who should stay off TV when defending themselves.

    Briles, who is alleged to have been drunk when he chucked the lad overboard, now claims he was just rough housing.  Eyewitness said he was angry at the boy for crying and Briles helped the boy do an impromptu cannonball when he failed to stop.

    Briles’ bad judgment on Sunday was nearly matched yesterday when he granted an interview with KTLA-TV.  In response to the question: Were you trying to kill him? he responded  “Yeah, I trying to kill my son.”   Briles quickly added “No, of course I was not trying to kill him, we were playing in the- in the shallows.”

    Some of the blog and press accounts use the supposed admission — in their lead — only later adding the denial.  For example, Gawker’s headline reads:  “Boat Dad on Throwing Kid Overboard,  ‘Yes, I Was Trying To Kill Him.’

    Briles doubled down on stupid by responding to the reporter’s question that he “absolutely” would have done the same thing if he had not been drinking.  In one word he confirmed he was drinking and confirmed he is an idiot.

    When asked why he would throw a fully clothed boy in the drink, Briles asks: “What do you want me to do, strip him down?”

    .

  • Marshall Plan Exposed

    Marshall wishing to get hands on PR person?

    Sometimes news isn’t released — it escapes.

    We’re betting there is a job opening for a PR person in a Las Vegas congressional race because someone revealed more than they intended.

    Democrat Kate Marshall is running in a special election for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. 

    Her staff put out a press release yesterday touting her support for Israel.  Fair enough.

    Unfortunately — her staff left in the release a “background” note (apparently explaining  to the candidate) why she should sign off on the release. The goof was first reported in the Las Vegas Sun.  Here is the note:

    Background: Israel has been in the news lately, and will be even more in the news with Beck’s “Rally to Restore Courage” in Jerusalem. In an R district, it will be useful to express support for Israel and demonstrate some foreign policy prowess while it is a timely topic – especially for people who are likely paying attention to Beck’s event.

    Doh.  Someone mindlessly released the entire document in the form of a press release — highlighting the cynical, manipulative nature of politicians trying to make news.

    The gaffe is not really Marshall’s fault — unless she is handling her own press communications.  But she does get the blame for hiring a press person who didn’t bother to read the document before pressing “send.”

    We note that Marshall’s website no longer contains the pro-Israel statement (with or without the explanatory note.)  It does have a video which describes her as a “serious detail oriented” person.

  • Brevity is the Soul of What?

    The only thing Biden and brevity have in common is the letter “B.”

    CNSNEWS.com reports that the Vice President was making a public appearance at Sichuan University in China on Sunday and a student asked a question on the importance of public speaking.  That is like asking him if he likes trains.

    Biden launched into a lengthy answer which included what CNS called “an incoherent sentence of 68 words” on the importance of brevity.

    While we normally restrict ourselves to commenting on goofs, gaffes, and occasional successes in dealing with the media — we couldn’t resist sharing this public speaking “how not to” example.

    To the Chinese student who asked about the importance of public speaking — we would say: it is very important. 

    But it is also important to remember that in the history of oration — there is no record of any audience member complaining about a speech (or an answer to a question) being too short.

    .