Gov. Palin Gets the SNL Treatment — Again

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Tina Fey was back in the role of Gov. Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live”, interviewed by Amy Poehler as Katie Couric. Another hilarious parody, that is of a real interview during “CBS Evening News” shown in three parts below. Warning: Answers with lots of fluff and confusion ahead.

Part 1: Katie Couric speaks with GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin about the nation’s economic concerns and the McCain campaign’s ties to lobbyists.

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Part 2: GOP V.P. candidate Sarah Palin talks to Katie Couric about the importance of bipartisanship during tough economic times.

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Part 3: Katie Couric speaks with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin about her various positions on foreign policy and diplomacy.

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[From and Los Angeles Times]

Lessons to Learn

Comedies make use of exaggerations to let us see an amplified version of a phenomenon. And it’s easier to identify problems when mistakes are being amplified.

If one is not prepared with an answer to a question, I think it’s alright to not answer the question immediately. Personally, I believe it’s wiser to pause for a moment, think through, and structure the answer before blurting everything out. Otherwise, repeating parts of the question sometimes makes one sound repetitive and it’s obvious that one are buying for time. Worse still, it’s embarrassing if you forget the question whilst multitasking and end up not answering the question at all.

But hey, the interviewer was sharp in noticing that Governor Palin didn’t answer her questions. I think I should keep the phrase “I’m just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point…” handy to handle some similar interviewees. Heh~

The reframe

I added this section initially thinking that Governor Palin might be employing this strategy like many other polished politicians. However on reviewing the interview clips again, I think she wasn’t. Oops…

There is a well known tactic to handle difficult interviewers/audience by not answering their questions head-on. Instead, one may answer the question partially and may run away from those difficult situations.

Case study:

Jeremy Paxman is a BBC interviewer with a take-no-prisoners style. Here is a fragment of a long interview with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, where Tony Blair reframes the question to his advantage…

PAXMAN: Prime Minister, the gap between rich and poor has widened while you have been in office.

BLAIR: The lowest income families in this country are benefiting from the government. Their incomes are rising.

The reframe is a commonly used technique and can be very successful unless of course your audience is determined that you stick to the point (like Couric).

[Parts of The reframe extracted from Presentation Skills Workshop]


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