« Lessons from the Cluetrain: Imperatives for presenters | Main | Presentation documents and writing for non-writers »

February 12, 2006


Joe Weaks

I didn't know who Torie Clarke was, but I am a faithful Daily Show watcher, and it's a nice affirmation to see you post on the interview, because while I was watching it last week, I had similar thoughts--she was embarassingly off-kilt and weird and incoherent.
It looked to me like she had determined this was the largest position she was going to have to publish a book, so she went for it--but I found nothing that would make me interested in whatever her points were. I would never waste time on pages of her book after the interview.


"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." (Keyser Soze/Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects)

The corollary to this is that the greatest act of spin is to convince the world that spin doesn't exist.

According to Clarke's own words spin is pervasive in this no-spin era. Welcome to the wonderful world of PR.


I love this blog! Garr, I use your great ideas and observations every day. I respect you as a clear communicator and value the advice you share. That said...I think you're missing the point here. The reason you and others thought the interview was akward and indirect was because it was an ACTUAL INTERVIEW, unscripted, with a host who commonly rejects (and usually mocks) the day's talking points. Where other TV journalists ask the question, accept the pat answer, and move to the next question, Stewart actually *listens* and adjusts his next question accordingly.

When he felt Clarke was spinning her concept, he simply let her hypocracy embarrass her. It was awkward because he dared to challenger her ridiculous thesis, and she didn't have an answer for it. Stewart would be the first person to admit it's very, very sad that a comedian with a fake news show, in segments no longer than a couple minutes, tends to conduct more intelligent, respectful, and informative studio interviews than virtually anyone on the major network news shows.

It was a brilliant moment. A PR person unable to defend her own book. How could she not know what was coming? I love your point about her spinning the appearance on her own blog (probably fake). But that's they only way she can hope to salvage her reputation after the appearance.

Shawn Lea

I think she recovered a little in the end, but her the big mistake (which led to the other smaller ones) was saying that we live in a no-spin era and getting Stewart's shackles up. But after you listen to her talk for a while, you see that what she means is that we live in an era when a no-spin rule is the only valid one. With information everywhere, your "spin" will just be ridiculed and picked apart and laughed at. And she's right about that. (Disclaimer: I have not read the book at all. I am commenting solely on her Daily Show interview.)

Kare Anderson

Torie was part of a panel at a conference at which I spoke so it was synchronistic to search and find your pithy commentary and your fascinating blog. As a panelist, she did not answer several questions directly, made five references to her book by name (the other panelists/authors did not) and told one questioner that his question was off the point of the panel topic. I was startled. Am going to refer to your blog in my Say it Better ezine
- another new fan of PZ

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Search this blog

Get the books

TEDx Talks

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

    • Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
      Amazon Affiliate Disclosure This website contains Amazon affiliate links to products I use and recommend, which means that I receive a small commission on the sale of books and other products featured on the site. I only recommend books or other products which I have personally used unless otherwise noted. The purpose of this website is not to make money, but the small commissions do help to pay for the support of this website.