Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oratoribus interruptus

As I've said in earlier posts, I think the best way for a speaker to handle interruptions from the audience is to do nothing.

Barack Obama essentially followed my advice during his health care address last week when Representative Joe Wilson (R-S. Car.) shouted "You lie." "Not true," the President replied almost as an aside before resuming his presentation serenely.

However, Serena Williams was anything but - serene, that is - in her US Open match against Kim Clijsters. She may have even coined a new sports definition for the term "upset" - as in "upset defeat."

Finally, when Kanye West disrupted the dignity (?) of MTV's Video Music Awards, he demonstrated how even the best advice - mine - doesn't work every time. It was fairly impossible for Taylor Swift to ignore West when he sprang to the stage and tore the mic out of her hand.

Anyway, the next time Oprah has one of her pop psychologists on her show to discuss anger management, I can think of three celebrity guests she might invite.


John Ettorre said...

Obama did show some presence of mind during that outburst. But then, unflappability has long since become his signature.

Mike Q said...

Even so, most of the comment on the speech has focussed not on the content but on Wilson's outburst.

Bridget O'Malley said...

Sigh... Dad, it's Kanye... I'm so embarrassed.

Mike Q said...

Why are you embarrassed? He didn't show you up ... Typo. Thanks, honey.