No matter how many times we tell our clients “Off the Record” does not exist, it seems to go in one ear and out the other. It doesn’t matter if your client is a mom and pop shop, the White House or everything in between. Remember, journalists need to attract and retain a large audience through interesting and informative stories, and when we forget who we are talking to we unintentionally give those more than intended.
“Off-air moments during the taping of a television show almost always produce more candid and newsworthy exchanges than those that take place on air. And increasingly, TV personalities, politicians and pundits have found themselves in compromising positions when they’ve been unaware, say, that their microphone is still on.”~ Huffington Post
Here are a few unforgettable reminders of what can happen whether you are a guest or the journalist.
- March 13, 2012 – Yahoo! News / The Cutline’s Dylan Stableford reported ‘AP names administration officials White House did not want quoted.’ According to the story, “The White House organized a conference call with two senior administration officials on Tuesday to “preview an announcement by President Barack Obama about an important China trade issue,” but told reporters on the call not to quote them by name.” And now we all know “The officials were U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, Michael Froman.”
- September 11, 2011 Fox News anchors in Philadelphia mock Kourtney and Kim Kardashian after an interview about their new clothing line.
- November 18, 2010 Huffington Post reported ‘Fox News Commentators Caught On Camera Mocking Sarah Palin’s (reality) Show’ that lasted one season.
- September 15, 2009 – Just about every news outlet reported on President Obama’s recording calling Kanye West a “jackass” for jumping on stage during the 2009 VMAs during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech while waiting to go live on CNBC.
- July 6, 2008 – Rev. Jesse Jackson, while mic’ed and waiting to go live on Fox News “Fox & Friends” made rude and personal remarks about presidential candidate Barrack Obama on how he addresses black people and changing his male anatomy.
- September 4, 2000 – George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney’s comments about Adam Clymer, a New York Times reporter were less than favorable. GWB: “major league asshole.” VP DC: “big time.”
Microphones are always on. Don’t speak. Dead air is a way to get you to say something, anything.
If you would like more information on in-depth training send an email to Adrienne@2girlsconsulting.com.