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Are Clients Getting More Demanding With Media Outlets?

Photo: Kevin Mazur/

A couple of weeks ago, we said that making outsized requests to reporters about the stories they’re working on is a bad idea after a film company’s grumble about the tone of a Moviefone story turned into an AOL dustup. After reading a few recent stories, it looks like big demands are becoming more common.

During his mea culpa for pitching a fit at the GMA studios, Chris Brown said that it’s normal for he and his team to submit talking points to a potential interviewer. If the interviewer doesn’t agree with the talking points, Brown will take a pass. (In that case, GMA said it received no talking points.)

This week, demands from both Sarah Palin and Britney Spears have turned into stories. Do we smell a trend?

Sarah Palin took to her Facebook page (of course) to go off on Tucker Carlson‘s The Daily Caller because a 650-word statement that she submitted for a story about legislation she signed off on as Alaska’s governor wasn’t published high enough in the article. The reporter who wrote the story, Chris Moody, told Talking Points Memo, that Palin staffers “demanded” that the entire statement be made available to readers. A portion of the statement appeared in the story and the entire statement was made available on the following page.

“Palin’s spokesman said she could give me a quote on the condition that I run the entire statement,” the reporter told TPM.

In the case of Brit Brit, Carson Daly went off on Twitter because he says he was told that his interview with Ms. Spears had to be recorded and sent to her people for approval before it could air.

“F THAT! [Interviews are] never that restricted. Even when I interviewed Michael Jackson, it wasn’t anything like this … it’s really insane,” New York magazine quotes one of Daly’s tweets.

We probably expected that Sarah Palin conducts her media business this way. But PR pros, please fill us in: Are publicists or their clients placing bigger conditions on the media interviews they agree to?

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