How to Bridge
An incredible debut dominated the airwaves this past week, captivating media and audiences alike. After months of leaked information and tantalizing previews that tickled our collective fancy and whipped up a frenzy of anticipation, the moment finally arrived this week…how delicious to welcome back to our TV and computer screens one of the most efferescent, irrisisistible, endlessly fascinating cultural figures of our time…
Wait…you thought I was talking about her?
No, no, no. I’m talking about the return of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan who, you might have heard, just wrote this little book called “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.” I’ve been glued to his various media appearances as I’m sure many of my PR brethren were — regardless of your personal politics, how fascinating to watch one of the masters of spin defend himself in the glare of the public eye — again, and again, and again. I knew it would happen at the back-end of his appearance schedule but finally, McClellan made it to the set of the “Daily Show” last night — and oh, Jon Stewart didn’t disappoint. Fake news anchor or not, there’s nothing fake about Stewart’s interviewing skills. I will go on record as saying that he and Howard Stern are two of the great and most underrated interviewers of our time. (Yes, you heard me correctly. More on my Stern obsession later.)
I wouldn’t be surprised if the various McClellan clips become part of media training curricula everywhere — want to teach a client how to stay on message and bridge? Just watch how many times McClellan was able to bridge back to his core message (I’m assuming) of “the point of my book was that we need to change how things are done in Washington.” All this while enduring character attacks from past and present White House colleagues.
Now, if only he had remembered to powder down before the interviews…surely the former press secretary knows that sweating in hi-def isn’t pretty? Carrie Bradshaw would NEVER have made that mistake.