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Recipient Of Anthony Weiner Tweet Shows Media Mastery

I’ve been very interested in the ham-handedness with which Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York has managed his Twitter fiasco. But even more interesting is the way the recipient of the tweet, Gennette Cordova, a college journalism student in Washington, has handled her sudden brush with the proverbial “15 minutes.”

In a word, brilliantly!

You can read all about it in this excellent Washington Post piece.

As you might imagine, every news organization imaginable has clamored for her attention. But she has steadfastly refused, even though, as she said, “I love Matt Lauer!” In our celebrity culture, especially for a journalism student, passing up opportunities to be flown across the country, put up in style and discuss a news story on national TV, must be quite difficult.

Instead, she’s taken a savvy and sharply critical view of the journalistic standards these media outlets have practiced, the New York Post going so far as to “interview” her under false pretenses and then publish it as if it were an honest piece of reporting. And she’s also criticized Politico, so it’s clear she doesn’t take political sides.

Here are the rules of “Media Mastery” Ms. Cordova has faithfully observed:

  1. Don’t speak to the press. I call this the “Jackie Kennedy Onassis Principle.” If you don’t want them to talk about you, or get caught up in a maelstrom of misinformation and innuendo, refuse all requests for interviews, no matter how tempting. Eventually they will tire and go away.
  2. If reporters deceive you, use Social Media to call them out. Twitter, in particular, has the flexibility, in fact forces you to be succinct. All the media and reporters are on it, so they will see and hear you.
  3. Be polite. In her tweets, she has been direct, but not rude.

Kudos to Gennette Cordova.

And, attention all Public Figures: Watch her to see how it’s done.

Copyright 2011 Ruth Sherman. All Rights Reserved.

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