In the media: the good, the bad and Slick Willy
It’s not every day I make a woman scream with delight without the involvement of either a very expensive sports car or private behaviour which I won’t detail, but today Lucire gave away a $17,700 necklace by Robinson Designer Goldsmith to a subscriber living in Kerikeri, in rural New Zealand. Took me over a week to get hold of her, and I wanted to do it during ofﬁce hours so my staff could overhear. Eventually, we spoke at 6 p.m., after everyone had gone.
Still, some days, I love being involved in media.
And since TV One, one of the local networks, has not gone ahead to do the announcement, I may as well: watch me live on March 10 on Breakfast, 8.20 a.m. This is one of ﬁve network conﬁrmed appearances this coming month. I’m not sure if the other four are covered by conﬁdentiality, so better safe than sorry till I ﬁnd out for sure, but the ﬁrst is March 3. If I don’t blog at the end of next week, you’ll know why: I’ll be trying to ﬁnish my work before I lose a morning to TV.
Meanwhile, former President Clinton has beaten me on the number of televised minutes in New Zealand this month, and that was just from a single day walking around shopping for pieces at Höglund Art Glass (disclaimer: a Lucire client). Those listening to him speak at the Global Business Forum paid c. NZ$2,000 each—which is a bit more than my fee for an hour. Seven of those people could have collectively bought the necklace I gave away today and probably downloaded the 42nd President’s speech for a bit less. Or, we could have just donated the money to charity directly. I am sure Mr Clinton would not have minded.
None of that particularly disturbs me (much) since I have a bias—I make money from public speaking, and I am not important enough to need security staff. I do know how much time is spent on preparation. What does worry me are the conditions given to the media, according to TVNZ: ‘Media were locked into the event for three hours and not permitted to leave even to use the bathroom. Cameramen were instructed to ﬁlm in one direction only and journalists were forbidden from asking anyone at the forum what they thought of Clinton’s speech’ (my emphasis).
In a month where press freedoms were heavily debated, the rationale given was lame. Said New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Helen Clark, ‘It’s not in New Zealand’s interests for Mr Clinton to be harmed in any way while he’s here on our watch, so the security will be tight.’
I think the Hon Mr Clinton would have appreciated the opinions of others. Not criticizing would be more harmful—something that he himself lives by when criticizing his successor’s strategy in Iraq. Or indeed, any member of the anti-war movement, including Miss Clark herself. It would have been worth asking others just what they thought of the former President’s words. I doubt that someone paying $2,000–$2,500 ($5,000 if you wanted a handshake and pic with the man) would do so to listen to something or someone they disliked. To forbid a journalist from asking questions is like asking an Olympic sprinter to perform with shackled feet.
And, even though I criticized him for policies in ofﬁce (which I do with the current President, too), the majority of former President Clinton’s speeches since he became an elder statesman have all been positive, inspiring and motivational. They have led me to say, ‘Why didn’t he talk like this between 1992 and 2000, cutting through the political BS of Capitol Hill?’ (Yes, I know: a naïve question.)
I have to say that this term, I am not sure what our Prime Minister is talking about. She seems to have replaced her straight-shooting demeanour of her ﬁrst two terms with Applebyspeak. I might have to ask her to see if her quotation was not taken out of context. I hope so.
Apparently, some guy called Michael Eisner spoke, too. Guess we know who was the man of the moment. Posted by Jack Yan, 10:00
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