Bimbo Banter

Diaz, Drugs and Dealing with Unexpected Questions

  • Crisis
  • July 23, 2014
  • by Merrie Spaeth

Cameron diaz

People really do identify with celebrities. I got a call from a reader of the BIMBO memo, who asked if I had seen the news about Cameron Diaz. No, I hadn’t. My caller felt terrible for Diaz who was doing a radio interview with an Australian station when one of the hosts asked her about her best friend Drew Barrymore’s drug use. Diaz got huffy and defensive and snapped back at the host and cut the interview off. My caller asked what Diaz should have done, and said she would have reacted similarly.

What do you do when you get a totally unexpected question? The trick isn’t to anticipate every question, it’s to know how to cover when you’re not prepared.

The simplest technique is – catch this – the truth. “I would like to think about that, what’s your next question?”

The idea is to get to the next topic as quickly as possible. Remember Senator (then presidential candidate) John McCain, who was asked why he supported legislation that provided Viagra but not contraception. He said, “I did?” incredulously, and the reporter said, “Yes, many times,” He said, “Really? When?” Just the wrong way to handle the topic because it kept alive his ineptness.

Diaz’s interview was a lose-lose. The radio hosts look petty and will never get Diaz on their show again. Diaz looked defensive, and she took the focus off her new movie, “Sex Tape,” and made the news her reaction. And of course, she unintentionally emphasized Barrymore’s drug issues. 

You May Also Like

Christopher ruddy

The Definition of a Friend

Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of NewsMax, appeared on PBS Monday night and was described as a “friend” of President Trump’s. He dropped the bombshell that the president was considering firing Robert Mueller, the just-appointed Special Counsel, charged… more 


The Comedian Who Cried Trump

“He broke me,” sobbed so-called comedian Kathy Griffin reacting to the virtually universal condemnation of her stunt of holding up a severed bloodied (plastic) head of President Donald Trump. In the resulting outcry, CNN announced Griffin would not… more 


Setting the Stage: The First Comment

Setting the stage, or more accurately, setting expectations is imperative in crisis management. The initial findings are rarely confirmed and your spokesperson should choose a response that implies the process is fluid. We call this the first comment… more 

Back to Top