What Should Television Interviewers/Producers Do and Not Do?

As I was just catching up on some celeb gossip on Perez Hilton, I stumbled upon this video of Jenna Jameson, who did a live television interview on Good Day New York this morning. This segment got cut short due to the odd behavior of Jameson, then leading to the suspicion of her having an issue with drug use. There were supposed to be two segments with Jameson, but producers just kept her for one. After watching this video, I had several concerns.

First off, the interviewers introduce her as, “She’s one of the biggest names in the adult film industry. She’s doing other things besides, you know, movies. She’s got a book out.” They even show an image of the book on screen, making the viewers think the interview will mainly be about the book. Yet, the first (of later on, many) question one of the interviewer’s ask her is not related to the book at all asking, “When did you retire from adult films?” They then ask her a few very quick questions (like three…) on her book, and then proceed to go back into her past career as a porn star. 

I just noticed that the interviewers really aren’t discussing the point of the segment at all. They continue to drift back to her past as being in the porn industry, and even delve into her marriage problems (which I thought was inappropriate, and as an obviously uncomfortable situation to put your subject in). Now this could be due to the fact that she obviously seems like she is on some sort of drugs, and that she wasn’t really giving lengthy, in depth answers on her book that they were most likely expecting. 

So it leaves me wondering a few things. What would you have done if you were one of the producers? Was it a good decision to cut this interview short, or was it biased to assume she was messed up (maybe that’s just how she acts…)? Also, was it poor skills on the interviewers part deferring the questions back to her porn industry days, or should they have just kept asking her questions pertaining to her new book? 

Another thought, do you think producers should converse with the subject before they put him/her on air? Maybe Jenna should have been checked out before the interview would be filmed, in order to prevent a lash of criticism, judgements, and comments that were immediately thrown her way once the segment had aired. Or is this done intentionally to get press?

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One Response to What Should Television Interviewers/Producers Do and Not Do?

  1. Carl Danoff says:

    First off, the two doing the interview with Jenna did a terrible job. They did cross lines at the end of the interview bringing up her past, basically putting a negative spin on what she did with her life etc.

    Now, this very well could have been a result of the awkwardness of the interview due to her inability to form a coherent sentence or communicate any educated thought. Whether it is alcohol or drug related is beside the point. The interview was probably planned to lightly touch on her and what the book is about. She said the book is about her but failed to communicate what exactly it was about. It very well could have a large amount to do with her adult film career which is why they went into the questions about the porn industry. They gave her an opportunity to make her sales pitch on the book and say why people should by it which is usually about a minute, minute and a half maybe and then they had some follow up questions planned out.

    Had she been in the right state of mind, that interview obviously goes as planned. Due to her state it did not and it came out awkward and offensive. It is the producers and interviews job to roll with the punches and attempt to make something out of nothing and whether they did a good job of that or not is up for debate, but they made the right choice to cut the interview short.

    Anyone who saw The Walking Dead show Talking Dead two Sunday’s ago knows exactly where I am going with this. They have two to three guests on at a time on Talking Dead with a host who asks them what they think and raises questions. Well this particular episode they had Marilyn Manson on the show and he was absolutely not in the right state of mind to be on live television for an hour. He came off as a blabbering idiot who at some times could not form a sentence, was all over the place with his thoughts and was inappropriate. However because they have three people on and it goes for an hour, they could not just kick him out mid show. It would be awkward, it would draw attention to it and it is not necessarily the best way to handle it. They would have had to come back from commercial break, go back to the same material and talk with the same people just missing him.

    If you have just one person to interview and you have more material and content on your show you have the opportunity to last until the break and then scrap it. In the Talking Dead case, they had to grind it out. They did so with humor and class. The host deflected many of the idiotic points he tried to make, calling out his idiocy at times and then joked about in the last episode. They made the episode work while dealing with Manson throughout the show.

    So it is not necessarily the interviewers fault or the producers fault. Sometimes they are dealt a bad hand and have to get through a difficult situation for a certain amount of time and there is only so much you can do and you have to handle it the best way you know how. So my thoughts, the interviewers with Jenna did not do a good job even though Jenna may have blew it because she never said what she was supposed to say and the producer made the right choice by cutting the second segment.

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