Chris Brown and Larry King: Batter Up

Absolutely perfect fall morning here in NE Ohio. And I managed to drag by dead foot along the concrete for five miles or so this morning at 5 a.m. I figure I better take advantage of this weather while I can. According to an article in The Huffington Post (most likely originally from AP, but not sure), the Farmers’ Almanac (on sale today apparently) predicts a frigid and snowy winter for most of the nation.

What happened to global warming?

I don’t know. Maybe Larry King will assemble panel of  gurus to opine on this issue.

And I was thinking about Larry King this morning while running. I saw on the CNN news program The Situation Room last night a promo for the interview King is going to have Wednesday night on his show with Chris Brown — the popular singer who by all accounts  beat up his then (still?) girlfriend Rihanna.

Here’s a preview of the show — and King/Brown interview — by Steve Krakauer, writing on Mediaite, “Wow, Chris Brown Is, Like, A Total Douche”:

Larry King’s pre-taped exclusive interview with Rihanna-beating Chris Brown is in the can, and CNN has released a short preview ahead of its Wednesday night premiere.

And despite what had to have been heavy coaching, the disgraced pop star comes off looking like a bigger douchebag than before.

Wearing a ridiculous powder blue bowtie and big bling in his ears, Brown is flanked by his mother and his celebu-lawyer Mark Geragos. For some reason, the decision was conveyed for him to express his remorse by claiming he doesn’t remember what happened.

Oh mama. Please, not the I-don’t-remember-what-happened defense. Sigh.

And whether that is an accurate representation of the interview remains to be seen. Brown has been out trying to put his take on earlier reports, telling People (via MSNBC) that he does remember what happened and that he is ashamed and sorry.

Judge for yourself if you are interested in what he remembers — or doesn’t.

I rarely watch Larry King’s show. But I know celebrities, politicians and just about anyone else wants to get on this national forum because King serves up some softball questions and most, with some media training, can knock them out of the park. It’s like a public confessional without the curtains and drama.

And I don’t know anything about Chris Brown, or Rihanna, for that matter. Never heard either perform. Have no interest in their previous relationship.

But here is another one of those teachable moments (think Prez O and the recently held White House Beer Summit) that most likely, and unfortunately, won’t amount to anything if this interview is just — dare I say it — a public relations ploy to restore Brown’s image and career.

King should use the hour to explore what really is an important subject: violence against women throughout our nation and world. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimates that nearly 5 million women in the United States are victims each year of partner-related physical assault and rape. (Much more information on the National Organization for Women Web site.)

I know that Brown wants to be on King’s because it is, or at least should be, an ideal forum for him. But regardless of what he says, he’ll be less of a douchebag if he sincerely does something positive now to help solve the problem.

Public relations isn’t just about words and the ability to present yourself well in interviews. It’s about actions — and yeah, doing the right thing.

Let’s see if a miracle happens and Brown and King use the interview and national forum as a real teachable moment.


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