October 2011: The Five Worst Video Media Disasters

Written by Brad Phillips @MrMediaTraining on October 31, 2011 – 6:23 am

Guy walks into a bar. He sees a birther, a civil rights activist, a country singer, and a cabinet secretary.

Wait a minute. That would never happen. Where else could all of those people be spotted in the same place? Right here, on the month-end disasters list!

Here are the five worst video media disasters of October 2011: 

Hank Williams Jr Committed One of October's Worst Disasters

5. Hillary Clinton Spikes The Football

I know a lot of readers will disagree with me for this choice, but I found U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s on-camera reaction to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s death distasteful. Was Gaddafi a bad man? You bet. Am I sad that he’s dead? Not particularly. But I do believe that it diminishes us to, in the words of President Obama, “spike the football” by celebrating the death. Let’s do what we have to do, do it professionally, and let the actions speak for themselves.



4. Rick Perry Yuks It Up By Joining The Birthers

Nothing spells funny more than questioning the legitimacy of a duly-elected American president by dredging up discredited rumors about his citizenship status. Gov. Perry quickly walked back his comments, but his comments that it’s “fun” to tweak the President about his nation of birth aren’t helping to resuscitate his under-performing campaign.


3. Lawrence O’Donnell Attacks Herman Cain’s Civil Rights Record

If you’re black and old enough to have lived through the Civil Rights era, should you be attacked if you decided not to march? MSNBC Host Lawrence O’Donnell sure thinks so, and went after GOP candidate Herman Cain for choosing not to actively participate as a Civil Rights activist. Which raises another question: Why hasn’t Mr. O’Donnell asked white candidates about their choices during that era? (Fast forward to the 6:00 mark to see the fireworks.)


2. Herman Cain Blames The Jobless and The Poor 

Herman Cain may have been the victim of bad media behavior this month, but he didn’t help his cause by uttering the sound bite below about the unemployed and the poor. His introduction to the clip, “I don’t have the facts to back this up,” became a fun Internet meme thanks to Jon Stewart. (Another Cain clip, in which he tried to explain his position on abortion, didn’t help either).

1. Hank Williams, Jr. Compares President Obama to Adolf Hitler

Country singer Hank Williams, Jr. was fired up during an appearance on Fox and Friends. When reflecting on a golf match between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, Mr. Williams quipped, “It would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.” The Fox hosts looked shocked and distanced themselves from his statement, and ESPN promptly dropped him as their Monday Night Football opening act. 


Bonus #1: Sean Penn Says Tea Party Wants to “Lynch” Obama 



Bonus #2: Herman Cain’s Awesome Ad

This is one of the nuttiest political ads I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure whether the best moment is the puff of smoke or the slow-mo smile – but either way, I can’t stop watching it.

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  • About Mr. Media Training

    The Mr. Media Training Blog offers daily tips to help readers become better media spokespersons and public speakers. It also examines how well (or poorly) public figures are communicating through the media.

    Brad Phillips is the Founder and Managing Editor of the Mr. Media Training Blog. He is the president of Phillips Media Relations, a media and presentation training firm with offices in NYC and DC.

    Brad Phillips

    Before founding Phillips Media Relations in 2004, Brad worked as a journalist with ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel and CNN's Reliable Sources and The Capital Gang.

    Brad tweets at @MrMediaTraining.

    Christina Mozaffari is the Senior Writer for the Mr. Media Training Blog. She is the Washington, D.C. vice president for Phillips Media Relations.

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    Before joining Phillips Media Relations in 2011, Christina worked as a journalist with NBC News, where she produced stories for MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show.

    Christina tweets at @PMRChristina.

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