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Smart Women

By Suzanne Spurgeon  January 15, 2009

Do you yell at your TV every now and then?  I do.   As a media consultant and long-time television news producer, I do a lot of armchair producing from my living room.  I also find myself critiquing not just what the newsmakers are saying but how they say it.  Of course you don't have to be a media consultant to know Caroline Kennedy needs "um" media training, "you know?".  I don't know Kennedy but I sense she's very smart and those who underestimate her are making a mistake.  But I can't help but wonder if her apparent camera shyness is hurting her bid to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. 

Sarah Palin is another smart woman.  I won't debate whether she is qualified for national office. But Governor of Alaska is a pretty good day job, not to mention her other full time job, mother.   I will weigh in on her recent remarks about Katie Couric and other journalists.  My advice, "get over it".  Sure, she got beat up a bit during the campaign.  But, I for one, do not think Couric's question about Palin's reading list was unfair. Picking on any candidate's children is another matter and there are some journalists who cross that line.  Palin  certainly appears more at ease in her post-election interviews.  So was she mismanaged during the campaign?  Did she ignore advice on how to deal with the media?  Who really knows?  One thing is sure, the media loves a good fight.  It may be time to turn the other cheek.

Now, on to the woman who makes a lot of people yell at their TVs.  I speak of Ann Coulter.  She must be smart.  Her books sell and no matter how nasty she comes off,  TV producers keep booking her.  But there is a difference between a spirited debate and just plain rude.  If you missed her recent appearance on "The View", this was one for the books.  I applaud Whoopi for saying it like it is, "You can dish it out, but you can't take it".  There was a bit of a dust up when Coulter got bumped from a scheduled appearance on NBC.  I bumped many a guest during my days as a producer at CNN.  There was no evil conspiracy, just breaking news.  I don't know what happened at NBC.  I do know, as a regular viewer of "The View", it was uncomfortable to watch. 

At Women Media Pros we have the good fortune to work with a lot of smart women, preparing them for media appearances.  Some are natural communicators.  Others are so smart they know they need professional coaching before they face the media.  I know I need help with a lot of things.  I like to think I am smart enough to ask for help and thick-skinned enough to to accept constructive criticism. 

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