Ken Starr: Don’t Do Your Media Training During The Actual Interview!

I’ve written about hundreds of media disasters over the past decade, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

The subject of this interview is Ken Starr, whose work as independent counsel in the 1990s led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In later years (and until this week) he was president and chancellor of Baylor University — where he was forced out due to his poor handling of rape allegations at his school.

I’ve rarely seen someone do their media training during an actual interview — but that’s essentially what happened here.


Classic Clip: When You’re The Wrong Guest On Live Television

What should you do when you show up for a job interview at a network, get confused for an expert who was booked as a television guest, and get thrust without warning onto the set for a live on-camera interview?

That’s the exact question that faced a job applicant named Guy Goma 10 years ago this month. His answer was to proceed with the interview as if he was the actual guest.

He looked panicked at first, but bluffed his way through rather impressively.


What It Feels Like To Freeze On National Television

Earlier this month, an Australian lecturer named Benjamin Habib of Melbourne’s Latrobe University appeared on live television to discuss North Korea’s recent rocket launch.

When the camera’s light came on, Habib froze—and despite the best effort of the anchors, he couldn’t get back on track.

What makes this interview interesting is what happened afterward. Dr. Habib wrote an essay for his blog, in which he described the humiliating experience and his battle with mental illness which, he says, contributed to his on-air performance.


Marco Rubio’s Disastrous Debate: A Case Study In Bad Bridging

I’ve long admired Marco Rubio’s communications skills. Even back in 2010, I gave him an “A” in my communications scorecard. But his performance in Saturday night’s debate was one of the worst I’ve seen.

Senator Rubio came into the debate with a clear talking point he wanted to repeat numerous times: that President Obama knew exactly what he was doing in reshaping the country—and that Obama’s vision needed to be reversed by the next president.

The problem is that Rubio repeated that same point almost verbatim four times—and even after being called out for doing so, he persisted.


I’m Not Naming A Worst Video Media Disaster Of 2015. Here’s Why.

Since beginning this blog in 2010, I’ve named the worst video media disaster at the end of every year.

In 2010, the award went to British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward. In 2011, Anthony Weiner nabbed the prize. In 2012, Senate candidate Todd Akin became notorious for his claim about rape. In 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford earned it for making a vulgar comment. In 2014, LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling received the prize for making racist comments.

But for the first time since starting the blog, I’ve decided against naming a worst video media disaster this year. Here’s why.


Save Your Indignation, Rahm. This One’s On You.

(December 2, 2015) Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was interviewed at a live event this morning by Politico reporter Mike Allen.

Mr. Emanuel—who is facing one the biggest crises of his political career over his handling of a high-profile police misconduct case—lashed out at Allen for asking a question he didn’t like.

But the question wasn’t exactly a hard-hitting one. It was about his winter vacation plans. Watch the angry exchange that followed.

Cara Delevingne

Who’s To Blame For This Awkward Interview?

Last week, model and actress Cara Delevingne appeared on “Good Morning Sacramento” to plug her new film, Paper Towns. The interview didn’t go well. The anchors asked lazy and condescending questions, including this gem about the movie’s source material:

Host #1: “Did you have a chance to read [the book]?”

Delevingne (sarcastically): “No, I never read the book or the script, actually, I kind of winged it.”

Things only got worse from there.


Athlete Fails To “Execute” During Train Wreck Interview

Russell Westbrook, an All-Star point guard with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, recently gave an interview that didn’t go so well.

As you’ll see in the clip below, he gave the same defiant answer repeatedly: “Good execution.” He gave that answer even when it didn’t answer the question. And, in a moment of candor that spokespersons

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