In the early aughts, it was probably around 2005. I get a call it's a producer from Comedy Central's The Daily Show. This was back when they did long form interviews, highly edited, typically to make somebody look like a hapless fool or idiot, and they were doing a special on media trainers now, I knew what I was getting in for. I was a big fan of The Daily Show. And at least in some quarters, it's considered an honor to be on. So I said, Sure.
They came to my TV studio in midtown Manhattan. And this was elaborate. I've seen major, major films, and their productions have fewer people. This seemed like there were 30 people they were in my studio for two days. This was all for about a five minute segment. They did everything from every single angle multiple times, true professionals.
And by the way, if you Google it, you may still find Get on line on YouTube as well. It's still a funny piece. But here's what happened. At some point the interviewer sees the items I have on my wall behind me and on a shelf. One of the items is a truck from a well known oil company, a toy truck happened to be one of my clients that I didn't do media training for I did presentation training for this company. So the reporters asked me during the interview, Hey, tell me about all the good things that that company and they pointed to the company and mentioned it by name, tell me all the good things they do for their environment and the environment in general.
And at that point, I thought, Oh, no, because this is a company where I had write all sorts of confidentiality agreements. I never mentioned their name. I'm not even mentioning their name. Now. This is a company where if anyone One of the companies does talk to the media, they're typically taken out back and well, you never see them again. So I instantly calculated that.
There's nothing I could say if it were quoted. That would be anything other than getting me fired from at that time, my biggest client. So he didn't say much. I'm sure I looked a little bit panicked. And I said something to the effect of great. So two full days of interviews, lots of material.
I didn't mind them making fun of me and they did. But after the shooting was over, but before the story went on the air, I called the producer and I just begged God on my hands and knees. Begging Look, I don't mind you making fun of me. I don't mind you making me look like it's full. I know you've got to do your job. But also I ask is, there's any way you could just not use the part where your correspondent asked me about the oil company?
Because if you do, they will just say no one in this company can ever use TJ again and you're gonna cost me a lot of money. And I know that your first job is going to be to put on a good comedy show, but you're not really out to have me lose a lot of money, some begging you. A call back a day later said, okay, we looked at it, you know, we don't need that part. Don't worry. And sure enough, it was not used. So, I teach you a lot of different methods in the media training courses I do, how to have messages how to answer questions strategically, how to package with sound bites, how to rehearse but there is one tactic that occasionally needs to be used and is also effective.
That tactic is good old fashioned. Begging shouldn't be your first choice second choice or third choice, but it's perfectly fine as a last choice.