July 2011: The Five Worst Video Media Disasters

It’s time for July’s five worst video media disasters!

Narrowing down the list to just five media gaffes was tough this month – I noted at least 16 significant media disasters over the past four weeks.

But as always, some rose to the top. So I offer a sincere thank you to the profane journalist, the clueless executive, and the manipulative politician who made this month’s list so easy to compile. Here, without further ado, are this month’s top bottom five!

#5: Summer’s Eve Debuts New Talking Vagina Ad Campaign

Congratulations, Summer’s Eve Feminine Wash. You become the first ad campaign ever to make this media disasters list. What, exactly, were you thinking when you launched your “ethnic talking hand vagina” campaign, complete with racial stereotypes? The ads featured a talking African American hand vagina, along with a Hispanic and Caucasian version. Summer’s Eve finally pulled the ad late this month. (Video no longer available.)

#4: Journalist Mark Halperin Calls President Obama a “Dick”

Time Magazine reporter Mark Halperin expressed his vulgar opinion about President Obama on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. What made this clip worse is that his profanity was premeditated. Given how fast MSNBC is to hand out suspensions, Halperin should have known better (just ask David Schuster, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, and Joe Scarborough). Unsurprisingly, the network suspended him indefinitely.

#3: Wait. You Mean Our Leader Can’t Just Investigate Herself?

Simon Greenberg, News International’s director of corporate affairs, agreed to speak with interviewer John Snow of Great Britain’s Channel 4 News, back when executive Rebekah Brooks was still employed by the company. During the interview, Mr. Greenberg insisted that Ms. Brooks would lead a thorough investigation into the company’s phone hacking scandal.

But when Mr. Snow pointed out that Ms. Brooks couldn’t possibly conduct a thorough investigation of herself since she was the editor of News of the World at the time of the hacking incidents, Mr.  Greenberg was woefully unprepared to offer a satisfactory response.

#2: British Labour Leader Tries To Control The Message (And Fails)

Ed Miliband is the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. He sat down for an interview with ITV’s Damon Green to answer questions about public sector strikes. He did everything he could to control the message – repeating the same lines over-and-over again, ignoring his questioner, and even staging the shot. His effort backfired badly. If you haven’t seen this video yet, it’s worth watching as a perfect example of what not to do.

#1: Rupert Murdoch Channels Tony Hayward

When testifying before the British Parliament, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch was asked whether he accepts the ultimate responsibility for his company’s phone hacking scandal. Not only did he say “no,” but he delivered his answer without even a hint of humility. So much for Harry Truman’s axiom, “The buck stops here.”

By delivering such an indifferent answer, he gave former BP Executive Tony “I’d like my life back” Hayward competition as the most clueless executive.

Bonus Video: Michele Bachmann Tries to Speak Yiddish, Fails

Here in New York City, we’re used to people speaking Yiddish. I’m guessing the same can’t be said in Michele Bachmann’s Minnesota district. This video appears to confirm my theory.

(For the uninitiated, “Chutzpah” isn’t pronounced as “choots-pa,” but rather with a “ch” sound that sounds a bit like clearing your throat.) 

Related: Caught With an Open Microphone: They Never Learn

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