Top Media Interview Blunders of 2018

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The Predictive Media Network presents its annual list of the best of the worst in media interviews. For 2018, Coach Nick Saban, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are among those making the list of the top media interview blunders of 2018. Media Trainer Russ Rhea has the countdown.

TRANSCRIPT

Russ Rhea:
As we move into 2019, now is a great time to look back on the worst of 2018. So here is the Predictive Media Network’s annual list of the worst media interview blunders of the year. Hi, I’m Russ Rhea coming to you from La Quinta, California in the beautiful southern California desert. Coming in at number five for the worst media blunders of 2018, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s high profile 60 Minutes interview, where she struggled to answer questions about charter schools and her work in Michigan.

Leslie Stahl, CBS:
Why take money away from that school that’s not working to bring them up to a level where that school is working?

Betsy DeVos:
Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school buildings.

Leslie Stahl, CBS:
Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they’re doing?

Betsy DeVos:
I have not, I have not, I have not intentionally visited schools that are under-performing.

Leslie Stahl, CBS:
Maybe you should.

Betsy DeVos:
Maybe I should.

Russ Rhea:
And at number four, maybe the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Maryland didn’t like a question at a press conference about whether or not he’s a Socialist, but you have to wonder what he was thinking by dropping an F-bomb in his response.

Reporter:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but do you identify with the term Socialist?

Ben Jealous:
Are you (Bleep) kidding me? Is that a fine enough point? Okay.

Russ Rhea:
And the third biggest media blunder of 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s multiple awkward responses in Congressional testimony.

Senator Durbin:
Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?

Zuckerberg:
Um,, uh, no.

Senator Graham:
You don’t think you have a monopoly?

Zuckerberg
It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me.

Russ Rhea:
Number two, few could argue Alabama’s Nick Saban is a great football coach, but he was universally criticized for this response to a question about his team’s quarterback competition.

ESPN reporter:
Alright, coach, everyone had questions about who was gonna start at quarterback when this game started, what answers did you have about your quarterbacks after watching both of them play tonight?

Coach Saban:
Well I still like both guys. I think both guys are good players. I think both guys can help our team. So why do you continually try to get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of ’em? I’m not going to, so quit asking.

ESPN reporter:
I hear you.

Russ Rhea:
And here at the top of the mountain, we give the prize for the number one media blunder of 2018. This year actually going out to a dual performance by brothers. While marijuana is now legal in California, where this podcast was recorded, Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn’t do himself any favors by taking a puff, and his brother Kimbal, who is a Tesla board member, did this interview about a charity event. But he knew he was going to get questions about Tesla, and he could’ve come up with a lot better response than this one.

Stuart Varney:
I know you are, look, you are on the board at Tesla. And you’ve got a new Chair, okay. Have you heard anything from her? Is she laying down the law?

Kimbal Musk:
I am so happy for the future of Tesla. On March 20, 2019, we’re gonna do a Plant a Seed Day. We’re gonna get a thousand families–

Stuart Varney:
Ah, come on, come on.Come on, come on, come on.

Stuart Varney:
What’s she saying, what’s she doing on the Board?

Kimbal Musk:
I am very happy for the future of Tesla. Let me tell you about a story–

Stuart Varney:
Okay, look, I’m sorry, look. I don’t need to know you’re very happy about the future of Tesla, I want to know what your new Chair is doing at Tesla on the Board.

Kimbal Musk:
What I’d like to share is, I am so happy about the future of Tesla, and Plant a Seed Day in 2019 will be a way for companies across America.

Stuart Varney:
Ah, come on.
.
Russ Rhea:
Sometimes it’s effective to take a look back at bad media interviews to highlight the biggest mistakes to avoid. The Predictive Media Network will be watching for the biggest media blunders of 2019, and how they can be prevented. Thanks for watching.

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