Monday, July 22, 2024

Bill Clinton: Book PR Backfires, Ambushed by NBC, Today Show on Monica Lewinsky Story


The president’s PR machine is missing.

Bill Clinton didn’t have to write a mystery with James Patterson, but he did. And in doing publicity for “The President is Missing,” Clinton has walked into a PR buzz saw.

On the Today show, in a pre taped interview, Clinton was ambushed on a number of subjects. But the worst of it was about Monica Lewinsky. In this new climate of #MeToo, Clinton left himself open to questions about his affair with Lewinsky, who was his White House intern when he was president in 1998. What was possible to get away with 20 years ago is no longer.

The book is number 1 already on Amazon as it’s released this morning. But not without a price. Interesting too because Clinton certainly doesn’t need the money from the Patterson book. But you wonder why he did an interview blindly, thinking it was just going to be about the novel. No one around him read the signals — Today show, Matt Lauer, Tom Brokaw, accusations and allegations.

And on top of it, NBC ran the most contentious part of the interview this morning on Megyn Kelly’s low rated but very much to the right and hostile segment at 9am.

The interview with Craig Melvin-– just 20 minutes altogether– turned out to be a disaster. Clinton actually gets angry and red faced, a rare off moment for a politician never looks off topic.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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