Questions Not to Ask at a Press Conference
Michael Jordan had many press conferences
This is your day to shine
you have "paid your dues," and you are on your way to the top of your company. Aren't you excited?
The publisher of the newspaper you work for, asked the managing editor to send you, the newly-promoted reporter, to cover a major news conference where an important United States Congressman is going to speak about a recent controversy that has a few employees in some obscure agency in the government "moonlighting," for extra bucks, which goes against "that" agency's policies.
But still, your blood pressure is up three points as you drive up and park where members of the press are to park. You are still excited to have this opportunity as you grab your digital camera and compact voice recorder to be sure that you get all of the information to write a front-page story.
Press conferences vary in size
The Events in This Story
have been known to happen. A new guy on the job for some reason or another, panics and then goes haywire and strays from what he is supposed to do.
This story is just an example. No hint or implication is made to or about anyone living or deceased.
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You are ready
so are the many hundreds of other reporters who represent all major news services in the United States. Organizations like: Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC, TNT, Time Warner and so many that it is not possible to list them.
What was that? You actually caught a glimpse of the female White House spokeswoman who was talking to her aides behind the thick curtains behind the stage.
You whisper to a reporter sitting next to you, "This is big, man. Really big."
He nods and laughs to himself. He knows you are a "rookie." And that this is a routine press conference that President Obama scheduled weeks ago, but somehow your publisher obviously didn't get the memo.
Time passes slowly. You pat your feet and tap your fingers on your digital camera.
By now you are near-panic mode for you have been waiting for years for just this moment to prove to your managing editor that you are the right man for this job.
This important woman is being interviewed in a press conference
A look at other press conferences
You grow more-impatient
and the veteran reporter sitting next to you decides to prank you by saying, "Maybe this thing was cancelled. What do you think?"
Your look at him could kill a gang of meth-dealers. You settle down and try to contain your impatience.
Huh, did you see that? "It was a glimpse of "Janie St. Helms," a noted White House spokesperson. She was back behind those thick curtains," you cry with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning.
Suddenly, "Janie St. Helms," walks briskly to the speaker's podium and delivers a brief statement about some obscure Federal agency whose five employees had to resort to "moon-lighting," just to make ends meet.
Then, with a methodical-precision, she says it. Those famous, or in your case, fatal words,
"Anyone got any questions?"
Then, for some mysterious reason
you start asking a series of totally-asinine questions:
- "Ms. Helms, are you wearing pantyhose?"
- "Is President Obama going to shut down our nation's hospitals?"
- "Mrs. Helms, are you wearing a bra?"
- "If so, what color is it?"
- "Do you think I look hot?"
- "Is the I.R.S. really running our country?"
- "Why is Obama so soft on terrorists?"
- "Ms. Helms, may I give you a foot massage?"
- "Can you tell that I am not gay?"
- "Do you think I favor Jon Bon Jovi?"
- "Can you do the Limbo in a skirt?"
- "How many men have you been with?"
- "Is our Congress and Senate just out for themselves?"
- "DId Joe Biden call Obama a 'panty-waist,' for not going to war with Iran?"
- "Do you think I am in good shape, Ms. Helms?"
- "Do you think I have mental issues?"
- "Is Vermont one of your favorite places to live?"
- "Is Michelle happy with Barack?"
- "Would Michelle go out with me?"
- "Are you into men or women?"
The reporters in the room stopped being angry at you and started weeping tears of pity for you.
But all isn't bad.
I hear that you get a monthly-visit from "Ms. Helms," once a month on Visitor's Day.