17 Sep Great lesson from President’s comment that Kanye …is a jack***
In case you missed it, ABC’s Terry Moran twittered a couple days ago that President Obama called Kanye West a “jack***” when asked how he felt about the VMA incident. (An audio of Obama’s comments are on TMZ ) Since then of course we learned that it was an off-the-record comment, the tweet’s been deleted, blah blah blah. There’s a good lesson to be learned from this.
PUBLICISTS AND HANDLERS ARE DE-HUMANIZING THEIR CLIENTS – I feel really strongly about this. When I heard about the Obama comment I thought to myself “there’s the guy I liked”. Publicists and managers try to control the message (and their clients) so much that we often lose our ability to be fans of those same people. Why do you think we all follow our stars on Twitter? Most likely we’re hearing from THEM. They are humans with whom we can relate. And that creates a bond. I’m not saying that our President should walk around calling people bad names. But a small glimpse into his personality like this is such a breath of fresh air – I think we needed it. (If you listen to the full audio, you’ll hear him talking about the fly incident too) He’s simply too over-controlled right now and we’re losing the guy we thought we voted in.
For example, I always throw up a little in my mouth when I read the latest “what a star eats” article in People or US Weekly. I doubt every single starlet is having oatmeal with yogurt and strawberries for breakfast every day. “And for a snack – almonds!” It’s obvious that publicists and handlers are writing this stuff for print. It’s the same old crap, meant to paint that celebrity in the best light possible.
Well guess what? I don’t want a lily-livered President who doesn’t speak his mind. I want to hear that he thinks some guy is a jerk, even if it might cost him a couple votes. I may not agree with him but at least I know he has an opinion like any regular guy. If we knew this, we wouldn’t be so hungry to hear his off the cuff comments – they wouldn’t nearly be so interesting if they weren’t so hidden by whitewashed political mumbo jumbo.
I’ve said this before – the BEST interviews come when you let the subject and the interviewer bond. Publicists, prep your clients thoroughly and then get out of the way. There is nothing more you can do. Interfering with comments like “you can’t ask that” or “she’s not going there” only make your client look like a total wimp. For a great example, check out this LA Times blog and video of the latest Tyra Banks interview. Now SHE looks like a jackass.
Next post – second lesson we can learn from this!