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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • The Arrest of the Story

    A Mississippi man wanted by police surrendered on Friday to a local TV crew. Seems like an odd choice. Apparently the law thought so too. The Sheriff’s department cuffed him on camera.

    As odd as that may seem — we’ve seen an incident even more strange. Take a look at this clip from a San Diego NBC affiliate where a murder suspect walks into a live shot.

    Rounding out our CSI News Crew edition…take a look at this video from WXYZ in Detroit where one of the station’s camera tripods gets a little too close to the action.

  • Down for the Count – On Live TV

    Don’t enter the ring for a title match without having done a lot of sparing first.

    Former fight judge Chuck Giampa had an unforgettable debut on Friday as a commentator on Showtime.

    Just after being introduced by host Al Bernstein and invited to explain what he would be contributing to the broadcast Giampa says: “Thanks Al, tonight I will be taking you inside the mind of a judge…” and then his mind goes blank.  After a standing eight count Chuck repeats “Tonight I will be taking you inside the mind of a judge..” followed by another pause and a mournful expletive.

    Giampa needs to know that there is a world of difference between appearing live on TV and on tape.  You have to have gone a few rounds in rehearshal to cut down the likelihood of brain-lock on live TV. Throwing in the towel on air is not good for your career.  Perhaps Giampa needed a ring girl standing by with a few words scribbled on cards to hold up off camera.

    We tell our clients that you play like you practice. Giampa probably thought he could rattle off some things off the top of his head.   Instead he looked like he just walked into a haymaker.

    h/t Awful Announcing

  • Mass Pol’s Slippery Excuses

    In trouble?  One good explanation is helpful.  Three or four different ones — not so good.
    Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray wrecked his state-owned Crown Victoria sedan on November 2nd.
    Mass. State Police
    Initially Murray said he was driving within the speed limit and wearing a seat belt when he hit some black ice. 
    According to the Boston Globe Murray said he was out surveying damage from a snow storm.  After someone noted that at 5:26 AM, the time of the crash, its kind of dark and not the best time for snow damage assessment — Murray’s story evolved.
    He subsequently said he was looking for coffee and a newspaper, although the crash site was reportedly 18 miles from his home.  Then he said he couldn’t sleep and went for a spin to “clear his head.” 
    State Police speculated that he had fallen asleep at the wheel just prior to the vehicle hitting a rock ledge and twice rolling  over.  They said his car reached speeds estimated to be over 80 MPH.  The LT Gov said — yeah, maybe that’s it — although he couldn’t remember falling asleep.

    Mass. State Police
    But cars these days have little “black boxes” which remember things that drivers don’t.  The Boston Globe hired an outside expert to examine the one in Murray’s mangled Crown Vic.  That expert says the box shows Murray maneuvered  twice during the 14-second crash and that the vehicle sped up to 108 MPH suggesting that he might indeed have hit an icy patch just as his first story indicated.
    Despite careening around the Crown Vic as it ricocheted off of rocks (turns out Murray wasn’t wearing a seat belt after all) – the Lieutenant Governor escaped with just a couple scratches.

    We know what you are thinking — we thought that too — but the Globe says Murray immediately demanded a sobriety test after the crash. The newspaper’s story today fails to report how he did on it — but one has to presume anything short of flying colors would have made it into the article.

     So why are we, a blog about dealing with the media, telling you all this?

    Because the Globe reports that the Lieutenant Governor hired a crisis communications firm LAST WEEK to help address his November 2nd crash.

    Most people in car wrecks don’t need crisis communications consultants. Of course some do (see: T. Woods)   And if YOU do — we’re here to help.

    But if you are the slippery type who keeps coming up with new stories — we recommend you reach out for professional advice quickly and preferably long before you have invented multiple explanations for your mishap.