Thursday, 15 November 2012

This Hour Has 22 Minutes

What would you do if you were suddenly confronted by a comedian with a television camera and microphone? Toronto mayor Rob Ford recently provided a perfect example of what not to do. When confronted outside his home by well-known comedian Mary Walsh, he beat a hasty retreat back into his house and called the police!

Now I suppose it's possible that Ford didn't recognize Mary Walsh from her popular TV show, This Hour Has 22 Minutes (possible - but highly unlikely.) But Walsh, in the guise of her comedic character Marg Delahunty, has surprised many Canadian public figures with a sneak ambush. Others, like filmmaker/activist Michael Moore, have made a career of trying to embarass public figures with on the spot interviews. Almost all of them - the smarter ones (this excludes Mayor Ford) - have just played along and enjoyed the moment. This approach BTW, is what I would recommend to my clients if they ever find themselves in that situation. Nothing looks worse than hiding from the camera or giving the impression that you can't take a joke. Just suck it up, folks.

A final note - I may have to take issue with Mary Walsh/CBC for confronting Rob Ford at his home. Public officials - even Rob Ford - have a right to a reasonable amount of privacy when at home. But had they buttonholed Ford outside his office that would be totally fair game. You've been warned!

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