NBC spat offers lessons on preparing clients for big interviews

Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel bristled at questions Brian Williams asked during an interview. Here’s how to ensure you client doesn’t feel like Ari after meeting with the press.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Just landing an interview with an important figure is not enough to get a credibility boost. National news reporters are expected to ask tough questions, and do so without upsetting the interview subject or the handlers. It’s a tough needle to thread, but if they fail, the reporters risk getting pilloried on social media.

NBC’s Brian Williams, apparently all too aware of the potential criticism, purposefully strayed from a discussion with the Emanuel brothers—Hollywood mogul Ari, doctor and author Ezekiel, and Chicago Mayor Rahm—about Ezekiel’s new book, “Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family” and broached edgier topics during an interview for last Friday’s “Rock Center” broadcast.

Ari Emanuel, who is usually described as a Hollywood super agent (he’s the inspiration for the Ari Gold character on HBO’s “Entourage”), reportedly said Williams was acting “like it was ‘Meet the Press.'”

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.