T Dog’s Think Tank: Unnecessary press conference patrol

Yours truly is pleading to the powers that be – enough with the press conferences.

This past week saw the most stupid, contrived, and ridiculous publicity stunts known to man. It reminded yours truly of those phony press conferences the WWE used to have back in the day with Randy “Macho Man” Savage and the Ultimate Warrior nearly coming to blows with Vince McMahon smiling in the background.

On Monday August 30, ABC held a press conference regarding the announcement of upcoming participants on this fall’s Dancing With The Stars during an episode of Bachelor Pad – a reality show that’s a complete waste of airspace, along with the two idiot shows it spun off from.

Among the celebs announced include David Hasslehoff, Jennifer Grey, Kyle Massey, Kurt Warner, Bristol Palin, and The Situation from Jersey Shore (what, were you expecting George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, and Denzel Washington?)

One of the problems with this press conference (which was actually real) was it was anticlimactic. There were a lot of leaks over the last few weeks over who would complete with E!, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and  Access: Hollywood basically nailing most, if not all, of the celebrities participating the few weeks beforehand- even hosts Tom Beregron and Brooke Burke acknowledged it. Meanwhile, ratings for Bachelor Pad didn’t get a ratings boost, since most people who wanted to know knew who was competing anyway thanks to the leaks or went online and found out (what, you think anyone would sit through crap like Bachelor Pad?) ABC should have done what they did for last fall’s cycle and just put out a simple press release.

But this publicity stunt didn’t even compare to the one held last Thursday here in Chicago.

During this “press conference” at Columbus Park in the Austin neighborhood, Chicago gang leaders complained about being targeted by police and tricked into a secret meeting by Chicago Police – all part of a crackdown on gang violence in the city, which has been a hot topic and dominated news headlines all summer.

As you can tell, the press conference was disorganized from the get go and lacked any focus. For one thing, some of the leaders were wearing gang clothing – what, have they ever heard of a suit and tie? Second, they weren’t able to handle the press and lacked total professionalism. Unfortunately, their message regarding unemployment on Chicago’s West Side was lost as the crew on stage looked like buffoons. What the gang leaders should have done was to hire some public relations personnel so they can be coached on how to get their message out and act like professionals.

Instead, this press conference wasn’t taken seriously. In fact, it was so bizarre that those who attended wondered if The Situation and Snooki were going to show up- it wouldn’t been surprising. Even those clowns and the rest of the cast of Jersey Shore are more credible than this bunch (despite their own dizzying press conference at Television Critics Association Press Tour last month.)

While there were some great panels at this year’s Comic-Con and press conferences at TCA, these two (or three if you count Jersey Shore’s appearance) embarrassments just goes to show you how ridiculous and contrived some of these “press events” are.

And how worse can it get? On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced he was not seeking a seventh term. Given how crazy politics are in this town, don’t be surprised if fired Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member and catfight provocateur Danielle Staub holds a press conference to announce she’s running for mayor. Even worse, she could actually win.