eMeg Meltdown II & What Poiz Will Renounce Next
eMeg Shipwreck, The Sequel: Meg Whitman got a little payback Wednesday for her year-long campaign to stiff the California political press corps in favor of giving interviews to friendly national types, when The Fix, the Washpost’s widely read national politics blog, did a long post that featured video of her embarrassing media meltdown in Oakland the day before.
Kudos to Randy Shandobil of KTVU and Hank Plante of KPIX, who each turned in a nice piece of story-telling on the debacle, giving insiders and other hacks across the state and nation a chance to hoot and cackle at the spectacle. Given the breathtaking stupidity of the play, it’s a challenge to pick one favorite image from the event:
a) eMeg’s Alfred E. Neuman act, as she sits behind a mike wearing a moronic rictus grin and utters the words that serve as the brand of her whole campaign: “I think we’re not going to be taking questions right this minute.”
b) The unfortunate Sarah Pompei’s portrayal of Ron Ziegler, after Her Megness turns to her press secretary in doe-eyed desperation: “How do you want to handle this, Sarah?” Pompei first shoos the press out of the room, as a guy who looks like the third-string nose tackle for USC starts blocking and body checking the cameras, before the campaign mouthpiece fabricates a total whopper about Union Pacific, host for the event, being the ones who imposed the no-question rule.
c) The bizarre shot of a white screen hurriedly set up to block any video of Whitman being interviewed by Debra Saunders, the Chron’s conservative pundit. Knowing from long experience that the most dangerous place you can ever stand is between Debra and a TV camera, we’re pretty sure that if there were pictures, they’d show the columnist gnashing her teeth throughout the sit-down with eMeg.
Calbuzz pick: a).
Being a CEO means never having to say you’re sorry: Both Shandobil and Plante reported at the end of their yarns that Whitman personally called them late in the afternoon to apologize for what happened, although her explanation to Randy – more press showed up at the event than they expected – makes absolutely no sense.
The pencil press was less fortunate in the area of soothed feelings: Josh Richman of the Bay Area News Group did receive a smooth-it-over call from the lavamoric Pompei, but Chronicler Carla “Costco” Marinucci got zilch. We’re sure it’s just a coincidence that she’s the one who’s been leading the charge in demanding that eMeg be more accessible to the press.
What will Steve disavow next? Channeling his inner Goldwater, Steve Poizner in recent weeks has energetically been tossing red meat to the true believers – crack down on illegals, slash taxes of every kind, etc. – while piling up a host of high-profile right wing-endorsements, from Mr. Cranky Pants himself, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Sirloin, to the Tea Party-tinged California Republican Assembly.
Along the way, of course, the Commish has also enthusiastically jettisoned a batch of common sense policy stances from his not-so-long-ago days as a liberal moderate Republican, from offering school districts an easier way to pass bonds to backing public funding of abortions for poor women.
While these flip flops make him look like a total weenie neo-neo-con who’s seen the light, sources close to our imagination tell Calbuzz that Poizner is reportedly making plans to renounce more of his past positions, in an effort to attract more conservative support. Be alert for these upcoming big moves by The Commish.
1-Retitling his tax and spending cut agenda from the “10-10-10 plan” to the “11-11-11 plan.”
“The number 10 smacks of statist, Stalinist-era, five-year plans and 10-year programs,” we hear that Poizner plans to say. “But 11, as a prime number divisible only by 1 and itself, represents the essence of individualism and liberty, core principles of my life for the last couple months, unlike that commie Meg Whitman.”
2-Changing his name legally from “Steve Poizner” to “Steve Patriot.”
“Since boyhood, having a “Z” in my name has troubled me,” a draft Poizner press release says. “The letter recalls Eurotrash egghead poetry places like Czechoslavkia and Islamo-fascist outposts like Azerbaijan, where the liberal Meg Whitman would no doubt feel right at home.”
3-Demanding his wife return to him the $21,000 he sent to the Democrats and Al Gore.
“I swear she told me the money was for the Visa bill,” reads a talking point memo from inside the campaign. “So today I’m calling on my wife to re-deposit the money in our checking account, so I can buy more ads in Fresno bashing eMeg as a commie liberal.”
Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Just think what she could have gotten if she sold the little buggers on eBay.
So let me get this straight, Jerry Brown “maturing” his positions is adapt or die brilliant strategy by a super duper smart politico, but Steve Poizner maturing his positions is fodder for mockery? Way to be consistent guys.
Who said anything about “maturing”?
I know eMeg is rich, but does she need her Glamor Shot head shot to emulate a C Note?
Sorry guys but far from running Whitman’s ship aground, most of the California press corps are acting like complete dullards in their handling of Meg-lomaniac. The videos reveals that most the reporters in Oakland to be a pack of lambs who were passively led off to the slaughter.
The aptly named “Pompei” created a PR disaster with her dishonest, rambling attempt to hide her candidate from the press, then Meg herself sat there in front of microphones ignoring questions at her own press conference, then Pompei’s hired thug grabbed the press’ microphones and recorders while shouting “thank you!” and practically pushed them from the room with Meg smiling from the table — and all the voters got was a Chron story, a couple of TV news stories, and a few blog entries? Do you think Meg Whitman cares a lick about a fast-scrolling item on DC blog?
California’s reporters need to collectively wake up to their responsibilities, stop just “getting what they can,” and start demanding accountability from this “front-runner” — loudly, in unison, on the record, and in Meg’s face. They need a coordinated strategy of attack to ensure that this conduct lands on the front page of California newspapers and the lead story on TV news — statewide. Only then will Meg-lomaniac start taking the press seriously.
The approach on the video, of threatening to leave because she won’t answer reporter’s questions, is missing the whole point (in fact it plays right into her strategy of using TV ads to define the public’s understanding of her). When a candidate for Governor of California refuses to answer questions from the press — that IS the story. (And where the hell are the Ed Boards?)
Ramp it up guys, this charade has gone on too long.
I have to jump on Ave7’s bandwagon here. Plante writes that Whitman’s campaign “…hit a roadblock”. Note the passive tense. Better stated would be “…created a roadblock”. Or better yet, “…really effed up today”. But the worst part is the last paragraph. Plante suggests this behavior is out of the ordinary while it is not. If her media blockade is “inexplicable” then the fact that the Sun rose in the East this morning is inexplicable as well.
Shandobil’s headline also takes the passive route, “Whitman Press Event … Goes Awry”. No it didn’t. They actively drove it off the road.
From my perspective, Whitman is paying a steeply discounted, e-Bay level price for her actions.
By the way, my pick is b). She has to ask an aide whether to take questions at a presser? Huh? Her “leadership” mantra just rang more than a bit hollow.