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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Never Walk Off A Live TV Interview…

    …unless the studio is on fire.  You will look like a whining crybaby and your opponent gets free airtime to trash you.

    The latest to learn this lesson is Simon Rosenberg, a former aide to President Clinton, who was paired with radio talk show host Ben Ferguson on Fox News today.

    Fox anchor Shannon Bream did little to prevent her two guests from mugging each other in a conversation about Medicare.  When Ferguson serially interrupted him, the frustrated Rosenberg shouted “Ben, shut up!”

    The interview went down hill after that.  At about the 1.30 minute mark in the clip below, Rosenberg decided to bail out — leaving the field free for his antagonist to mock him for running away when encountering someone who disagreed with him.

    No matter how unpleasant an interview situation might be — if you are on live — stick it out.  Smile, shake your head, make it clear that you are the lone adult in the conversation.  But whatever you do don’t walk away.


  • WH: We Decide On Who Reports

    The White House has a new communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, but the same old attitude when it comes to Fox News.

    Pfeiffer’s predecessor, Anita Dunn, performed a near miracle by inspiring Fox News’ competitors to come to the network’s defense with her ham handed attacks.

    Now Dan doubles down on stupid by giving a video interview to a New York Times blog in which he tells us how enlightened he is because he blogs and tries to find innovative ways to communicate — and then makes the same rookie mistake that did Dunn — by singling out Fox News because the have a point of view.

    Pfeiffer fumes:

    “I have the same view of Fox that Anita had, which is that Fox is not a traditional news organization. They have a point of view. That point of view pervades the entire network both the opinion shows, like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, but also through the newscasts during the day.”

    “We don’t feel an obligation to treat them like we treat a CNN or an ABC or an NBC,” Pfeiffer explains.

    Communicators need to know that not every news organization is going to agree with them. You don’t win public debates by only talking to your friends.

    And even if you think one network has it out for you — it is just plain dumb to announce that you are going to treat them differently than their competitors.


  • Passing the Buckner

    Via The Huffington Post…we offer video evidence of the dangers of being too stiff when doing a live television interview. David Buckner, a professor from Columbia University, passed out while doing a live shot with Fox News’ Glen Beck. (BTW, when the camera pulls back note one of TV’s little secrets. Expecting tight shots only — Beck is wearing jeans and sneakers below his suit jacket.)