Letterman’s Sneak Attack on Lohan

 Lettermans Sneak Attack on Lohan

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) to Lindsay Lohan for keeping her cool.

LiLo, aka Lindsay Lohan, was on the stand again this week – only this time her interlocutor wasn’t a sour-faced judge but a late night TV host. In her first television interview in six months, the actress was ostensibly appearing on Late Night with David Letterman to promote her work in Scary Movie 5. From the moment she sat down, though, she was on the receiving end of a fusillade of questions about shoplifting, her addiction problems, and an impending stint in rehab.

A visibly uncomfortable Lohan tried gamely to avoid answering but was clearly at a loss when Letterman refused to abandon his line of questioning. At one point, she lightly chastised him, “We didn’t discuss this in the pre-interview,” and, at another, pleadingly asked that the conversation move on to discuss the movie (request not granted). In the end, Letterman appeared to get what he was after: Lohan was moved to tears and acknowledged she has career- and even life-threatening issues she needs to work on. She said accepts responsibility for her actions and sees the 90-day court remand as a “blessing.”

The attack-dog approach was out of character for Letterman, and it rubbed many observers the wrong way. That said, others felt the 65-year-old comedian came off as more of a stern and concerned parent than a heartless journo, which may be more of the truth: Lohan has appeared on Late Night since 1992, when she was seven years old.

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) to Lindsay Lohan for keeping her cool. Breaking down completely or walking off the set would have generated even more headlines.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Expect the unexpected. Every meeting with a media representative should be treated as one that might cover the gamut, whether the interview takes place in the executive dining room or on the set of a talk show. Journalism has changed so dramatically over the past decade that what came to be known as  “ground rules” can no longer be relied upon, even for sought-after subjects like LiLo. Nothing is off limits, so be prepared for anything, and everything.

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners and Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR Perfect) to Chris Christie. First, the governor of New Jersey decided to combat constant fat jokes made by David Letterman by showing up on the Late Show and noshing on a donut. “I didn’t know this was going to be this long,” Christie quipped. After Connie Mariano, physician to President Clinton, cast a shadow over speculation about a Christie White House run in 2016 by saying she feared the overweight politician would die in office (she has never examined him), he shot back in typical Joisey gov fashion: “She should shut up.” In both cases, Christie showed how to deftly turn negative media into positive PR.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (“Full Fiasco”) to North Korea. The government released a bizarre propaganda mini-film depicting a nuclear missile launch and New York City engulfed in flames. A dreamscape sequence set to “We Are The World,” the video was released on YouTube, a rather ironic platform given the dictatorship’s antipathy to freedom of information. If Kim Jong-un was going for intimidation, the video wasn’t a success. Bemusement and confusion seemed to be the primary reactions, at least outside North Korea. Maybe the response was different within the country itself – where, erm, no one has Internet access to watch it.

 

bfrankel 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersTHE “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” PR AWARD TO: celebrities and their pets. This week, People.com ran two stories about celebrities and their pet troubles. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton got her minute of questionable fame this week with the search for her lost dog. Bunton “took to Twitter” to announce that her chocolate labrador Phoebe went missing and has now come to an untimely end (no details given). Not be outdone, reality TV star Bethenny Frankel tweeted that her beloved dog Cookie is ill “which makes me sad & gives me anxiety.” The news? Cookie has been released from “hospital” following the insertion of a catheter. We can understand stars working social media to stay in the public eye, but there isn’t much to say here even when limited by 140 characters.