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Sunday, 09 April 2006


Roy Blumenthal

Hi Clive...

[A technical note: Please transcribe the text in the story for those who use only text-based browsing, and to enable Google to index this story correctly.]

Holy mother of goodgosh! The story is a travesty, and I, in your position, would be calling for the head of Prakash Naidoo.

This is certainly a huge cautionary tale of how to talk to journalists!!!

Is Prakash thinking of running for office? It would seem so! The way your words have been twisted to meet the needs of his story is astonishing.

Dude, I feel for you.


1. If you're gonna speak to the press, ensure that you have the right of veto before it goes to print.

2. Know that if you're offering anything beyond a soundbite, you're in trouble, cos they'll find the sounbite, with no regard to context.

3. Speak only in context-free soundbites, so that it doesn't MATTER if they only grab the soundbite.

4. Ask the journalist what conclusion his or her article is trying to come to, so that you're forewarned as to how they're going to twist your words.

5. Flee to Outer Mongolia if a journalist phones you.

6. There is no such thing as an objective journalist. They are NOT intellectuals. They are sluts in service of their own needs and wants, and of selling advertising space in their publications. A journalist claiming to be objective has not read enough philosophy.

7. While it's flattering to be called up for a friendly weekend chat by a journo, these cranksuckers are ALWAYS looking for something more.

Eish. Take this further, Clive. This is ridiculous.

Blue skies

Clive Simpkins

Hi Roy! I interpreted it a little differently. Prakash doesn't have a say over the amount of space available. So he had to decide on the key issue or bone of contention. Which was 'can Zuma be rehabilitated?' Jeremy Sampson seemed to think not and in FMCG branding terms he could be right, but he's definitely wrong when it comes to people (not his area of expertise). I posted the rest of my comments purely because I felt they gave a broader perspective on what is a topical issue. Warmest, C

Roy Blumenthal

Yo Clive...

I don't know. Reading the article, I come away with a feeling that the Clive Simpkins presented there is arrogant, opinionated, axe-grindy, and somewhat shaky on argumentation.

The Clive I know, and who comes through in the transcript, is clever, witty, clear, soundly-argued, unbiased.

I've been pondering on this reply all morning, because I didn't want to be hasty, or appear to be defending my 'stance'.

I wanted to be sure I was coming from a point of, 'was my reading arguably plausible?' rather than, 'I felt Clive was attacked by that article'.

And, looking at it, I really feel that Clive Simpkins was not served by that article, and that the journalist is guilty of inappropriate soundbiting.

Blue skies

Clive Simpkins

OK Roy! You've persuaded me. I've Googled Lorena Bobbit and given her Prakash Naidoo's GPS location. ;-) Warmest, C

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