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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • A Sorry Apology

    If you are going to say you are sorry — you might as well say for what and to whom.

    Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman was recorded telling supporters at a fundraiser on May 12:

    “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”

    Shortly after a local TV station aired the tape (apparently recorded without the Congressman’s knowledge), Coffman issued a written statement saying he misspoke and apologized. But neither he nor his staff would elaborate — so a reporter from KUSA-TV ambushed him.

    No matter the question, Coffman robotically responded: I stand by my statement (repudiating he previous statement) and I have apologized.   Check out the video below.

    Clearly that tactic didn’t work — so yesterday a OPED in Coffman’s name was published in the Denver Post.

    In it he called his original remarks “boneheaded” (no argument there) but added that he has never been afraid to say he was wrong (a trait which probably has come in handy for him).  In the OPED he said: “I believe President Obama loves this country and wakes up every morning trying to do what is best for our nation, even if I disagree with his approach.”  Too bad he couldn’t come up with that line when he was ambushed by the television reporter a couple days earlier.


  • You Are Not That Charming

    Chances are if Comedy Central wants to interview you — it is not because of your good looks.

    On CNN’s Reliable Sources today Howard Kurtz interviewed Mike Rubens, a former producer for “The Daily Show.”

    Rubens recently wrote an article for Salon  in which he revealed that he was surprised to find that when facilitating interviews with people for the show to mock (mostly conservatives) he was surprised to find that while he “loathed” their politics and views, he liked them as people.

    In a remarkedly candid interview, Rubens told Kurtz that he felt badly about “sandbagging” some of these people.  The folks skewered by The Daily Show with Rubens’ help might feel good to know that he doesn’t think they are as evil as he once did — or as stupid as he helped portray them to be — but the real lesson is they still got lampooned and made to look like dolts.

    Too often people invited to be interviewed on TV shows are so thrilled to be given a platform for their views that they either fail to investigate what kind of program they are asked to be on — or they overestimate their powers to win over the interviewer with their charm and power of persuasion. 

    In Salon Rubens writes of one woman he helped set up: “I felt awful when it dawned on her mid-shoot that we weren’t actually her pals (really – there was a moment in the middle of the sit-down interview when you could see her finally catch on and sort of crumble.”

    It is not just conservatives making this mistake by blindly going on The Daily Show.  You see the same thing in reverse with liberals stumbling into Fox News studios thinking they can out-debate a right-leaning interviewer.

    We are not suggesting that political opposites avoid appearing on the other side’s programs — but only that they do so with their eyes wide open.  You need to thoroughly research the program and interviewer’s style and past interviews.  If you are going on programs like The Daily Show — ask who else is being interviewed.  If you can’t easily figure out which one of them is the butt of the joke — pretty good chance it is you.


  • Throw in Towel On Perp Walk

    Under arrest?  You can’t run and you can’t hide.  Frank Cairo (aka Ivan Valdes) is a Spanish-language TV host in Miami.

    He was arrested yesterday in a bizarre case after being accused of stealing his neighbor’s patio furniture.

    Although he is accustomed to being on camera, Cairo didn’t know his neighbor had surveillance video which caught him and another man apparently breaking in and absconding with lawn chairs.

    When cuffed by the cops, Cairo thanked reporters for coming and in Spanish told one female reporter:  “My love, I earn more than a half million dollars a year.  I don’t need to steal chairs from KMart.  I love KMart. Behind the video, there is a story.”

    But when he was released from jail on bond this morning, Cairo emerged with a towel covering his head.

    We don’t recommend committing burglary.  But should you find yourself arrested for that or anything else – skip the towel over your head thing.  The media won’t have any problem finding pictures of you — especially if your day job is TV host.

    h/t  TV Spy