Monday, January 26, 2009

The Daily Show: Jason Jones goes to Pundit School

The Daily Show featured a recent segment that echoes the sentiment of my wrestling analogy to Punditry:
A letter from the Commissioner
Success in wrestling is not measured by how much the audience loves you or hates you. Its how much they care. If the audience cheers for you then you are a crowd favorite, if they boo you it means you make a compelling villain. If the crowd are apathetic they’ll chant ‘booooring, boooring”, you won’t sell merchandise, you’ll be relegated to the bottom of the card and possibly out of a job.

In the world of punditry , its great if the audience agrees with you and they see a champion of their ideals. But often controversy can be just as compelling. The advantages of getting a reaction for or against you is negligible, any reaction at all is favorable to your career. It means people pay attention when you speak, it shows that you’re relevant, it guarantees that you’ll be discussed in the blogosphere, the nightly news and on the radio.

Jon Stewart introducing the Daily Show's look into the world of punditry
JON STEWART: Often we as viewers, news consumers rely on talking heads of Cable news networks. Not only to inform us but to entertain us as well. How do they get so darn good? Jason Jones reports
JASON JONES: Pundits - we rely on their expertise to turn complex issues into common wisdom, from former Generals to Party insiders and countless schmucks no one has ever heard of. Almost anyone can be a pundit...

The most interesting segment was when Jason Jones consulted Jess Todtfeld of Media Training Worldwide. Jess without a hint of irony expressed the things that make for an effective Pundit - confrontation, controversy and emotion.
JESS TODTFELD: One of the most important things to realise is that body language counts... he had energy, he had enthusiasm. He's got it.
JASON JONES: but he doesn't know anything
TODTFELD: Right, but he is getting name recognition and he's a big YouTube star... emotion, extreme emotion that was very effective...
JONES: When the cameras roll don't be afraid to be personally horrific
TODTFELD: "Dangerously psychotic, most astonishingly" Great! Bold action words...
JONES: and most important of all, act like a child.
TODTFELD: Attacks! Attack the other guy. Attack a way of thought. This is good stuff for pundits.
If you would like to enlist the services of Media Training Worldwide go here
Media Training Worlwide appearance on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"
All joking aside, looking better, sounding better, and having more control in front of the media is serious business. If you would like to know the real ways of leveraging media coverage, reach out to Media Training Worldwide. We are happy to chat with you, give you a quick quote, or put together a customized proposal.
Watch conservative talker, Kevin James' smackdown with Chris Matthews in full (May 15, 2008)

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