Friday, September 11, 2009

VERITAS: FUMBLE - LENO SPECULATES ABOUT FAILING


It’s always difficult to know with comedians when they’re being serious and when they’re going for a laugh, but something Jay Leno said this week provides a good communications lesson in the importance of not speculating about the future – no matter how hard the media tries. Leno was doing interviews for the launch of his new primetime TV show on Monday night. One resulted in a headline in the New York Post titled “What happens if Jay bombs?” The headline was brought on by Leno himself, who entertained speculation that, even though he’s the former king of late night talk, he may indeed fail in primetime. “You know, it’s like I always tell people, the reason that TV pays a lot of money is so that when you get screwed, you have something left over. I mean, eventually this will happen,” Leno said. The comment was unhelpful to Leno’s presumed objective in doing the interview: to increase anticipation and excitement about the debut of his show. To even entertain failing before the first episode airs is an example of speculating about a negative scenario. Media love this because it creates the “conflict” story and headline they sometimes seek. Leno could have simply answered by saying that he thinks the show is great and he hopes it will be a hit. That’s all he knew at that point in time he did the interview. He cannot predict the future. So why try?

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