Media, Relations

, Posted on Jan 07

You’d think that a professional who makes a career out of trying to put interview subjects on the hot seat, subsequently using the power of the press to make them look bad in print, would understand what it means to be careful what you say when the mics are on. (The golden rule: Never say anything you’re not 100% comfortable seeing in print.)

You’d be wrong, of course. A Detroit newspaper reporter was basically forced to resign this week following insulting and inappropriate remarks he made about our beloved Detroit Lions’ football coach most recent head clown during a press conference:

Rob Parker’s post-game press conference question about the family nuptial preferences of Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli has led The Detroit News columnist to resign.

After the Lions lost 42-7 to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 21, Parker asked the coach: “On a light note, do you wish your daughter would have married a better defensive coordinator?”

The story was all over talk radio the following day, and even made it to the nationally televised pre-game show on Fox, during which the talking heads skewered the reporter for his lack of tact.

The comment was unprepared and off-the-cuff, in the heat of the moment, and I’m sure the reporter thought he was being clever at the time. But this unfortunate statement and the resultant fall-out illustrate how easy it is to say something in front of the cameras that you’d rather take back moments later. This case study further stresses the importance of strategic media training. It’s easy to insert foot to mouth when you’re not prepared and measured.

And even the trained professionals forget that.