Wednesday, September 07, 2011


by Amy Fond / Cameron Communications Inc

The Clip below may be great TV – but it’s also a great lesson on just how important media training can be – especially if there are questions you don’t want to answer. 
Christine O'Donnell
Click here to watch

It’s a lesson former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell learned the hard way when her interview with Piers Morgan on CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ went from benign to belligerent, and ended with the Tea Party leader walking off the set mid-interview.

O’Donnell, a guest on the show to promote her new non-fiction book “Trouble Maker”, apparently didn’t want to talk about her views on abstinence and gay marriage.  But seems that’s the only thing Morgan wanted to ask.

When pressed the first time on abstinence, she deflects with a laugh, the second time with more bite, sniping, "Let’s not even go there.” Then when asked her views on gay marriage O'Donnell repeats, “I’m here to talk about my book.” Morgan, who’s blatantly amused, then cites these are topics in her book and are therefore fair game. O’Donnell tries to deflect prompting Morgan to ask the cringing question, “Why are you being so weird?” 

Suffice it to say she was backed into a tough corner with a tenacious reporter breathing down her neck.  Her problems, though,began before the interview even started. When you agree to do an interview with a journalist – you agree on a basic topic to be the focus. 

O’Donnell agreed to talk about and promote her book – so she should have been prepared for tough questions concerning what she writes about. Morgan’s correct – if it’s in the book, it’s a topic on the table. 
Later O'Donnell called Morgan’s questions “creepy” and said she never envisioned things ending the way it did. But she should have. If O'Donnell wanted to stick solely to her topics, than she should have done an infomercial, not an interview. 

But there's another lesson as well: – not all interviews are worth doing! If you feel the host is a wrong fit, or that you or your company may be painted poorly, then don’t do the interview. Would this have played out the same way if O’Donnell had appeared on Fox News Channel? Maybe not.

After Piers Morgan invited Christine O’Donnell to come back the next night,

the politician declined in a tweet calling him “a cheeky bugger.” Once her episode aired, CNN had a better name for Morgan - “Ratings King.” 


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