Top Five Best Media Experiences

December/2007: I've been cracking away at the whole thing for four and a half years now. Long time, and for almost all of it, we've been dealing with the media. Having to deal with reporters and the media can be an odd thing. I'm going to post my top five best media experiences in this blog. The NEXT blog will be the top five most ridiculous media experiences. I've got some doozy's we've never talked about planned for that one. I'd just do that one (because it's the really good one) but you can't do the most ridiculous without the best.

So without any further ado, the top five best media experiences.

5: The French!
Back in January 2007, I got an email from a guy named Dominique asking if we can help him on a story for French television. I was pretty busy at the time and replied no. The French were so excited about doing the story that they had already FLOWN TO PORTLAND to do the interview prior to ever talking to me.

Apparently they had talked to Frag and Del and the French had started calling them incessantly for weeks, to the point where both of them didn't even want to answer the phone anymore. Well, at some point, the French had gotten confused, and thought they had spoken with me. Long story short, the French were sad, disappointed and sitting around bored.

It was one of the rare times I relented on saying "no" to something as the emails from these guys were basically broken disappointed English. I mean, read this and tell me you could say "no" afterwards.

Emails from the French:
Unfotunatly, we stay in Portlnd a very quick time.
I really want to meet your association since we're convince we must o the same in France and we want to explain it.
So, what can we do? If you are agree for a report, we can wait till tomorrow, if not, we must leave because we have a very short time to do it.
Excuse me to be so direct. I don't want to hurt you.
It will be a great pleasure to meet you

C'mon, that's adorable.

They had booked one of the most expensive and oldest hotels in Portland, which I thought was pretty weird too. I guess people don't know any better coming into town. I did the interview and was struck by just how nice those guys were. They were simply nice people wanting to do an interview and talk about how citizens can fight against predators and pedophiles. As regular readers of my blog know, I'm not much a fan of the media but guys like these help redeem doing any media to begin with.

Definitely the nicest media people I've dealt with and they were French. Goes against the stereotype, eh?

4: Beating down Julie Posey
Back in early 2005 I was asked to go debate a woman named Julie Posey on an old Fox News program called "Dayside with Linda Vester." Posey had been going around attacking us for being private citizens conducting chats, despite the fact that Julie Posey was herself a private citizen that conducted chats. The difference between us was/is pretty simple... Posey says that only she can do such chats, we say anyone can be trained to do so. She trolled rooms for nine years and got about sixty convictions. Kudos for that, but considering that in 2007 alone we have over 120 convictions... well, let's just say I couldn't wait to finally be able to address her bullshit directly.

I had one my research on Posey and realized that her anti-citizen message wouldn't play well with most watching. What I didn't know about the Dayside program is that it had a live studio audience. The audience surprised me by applauding everything I had to say (chiefly that Posey is a goofy elitist hypocrite and in it for personal fame) against her. At the time, our "Conviction Machine" was just being built, but we had come off a nice run of arrests and convictions. After that head to head debate, Posey stopped trying to criticize us. Probably both from the embarrassment of her performance and due to the fact that since then we've accomplished what took her nearly a decade in the span of barely a year's time.

3: Calling out a defense attorney on CourtTV Radio
Yes, you can obviously tell I like strife too much. I was asked to do a radio segment on CourtTV talking about online predators, To Catch a Predator, etc. I love doing radio because it's long-form explanation. You can actually take the time to develop ideas unlike television and print media. On this particular show, a really mouthy female defense attorney was on trying to shit-talk us, stating that our cases don't hold up in court, the usual defense attorney bullshit. It was the first time I got to take on some mouthy celebutorney and I did something she didn't expect nor knew how to respond to.

I called her out.

Rather than listen to her blather on hypothetically, I made an off-the-cuff challenge... to go take a case! Insulting her, I stated that she had no chance, couldn't do anything more than a public defender and basically would get beaten down by our evidentary procedures if she even dared to take a case. I asked her where she could practice law, she noted California... fuck, we have dozens of arrests in California. So I out and out challenged her to go take her pick of any arrest we have in California and to defend the case pro-bono. She stuttered and then after having her shit called out, weakly said she would.

She never did. Now, anytime a defense attorney talking head gets mouthy? I just call them out and tell them to go take a case. They never do and never will.

2: Shenanigans on the O'Reilly Factor
The second time I was on the O'Reilly Factor I was booked to "debate" the Mayor of Murphy Texas, a Bret Baldwin. This guy had no PR training and I got to go straight at him. It felt almost unfair, I have been doing dozens of these types of Cable News interviews and I'm certain he had never done one. End of the day, I beat him down and went straight at him. The guy just didn't know what he was getting into. Not to be too pompous, but all I did in college was do formal debate. I was mean at it and won quite a few trophies the two years I did it. End of the day, getting into a verbal confrontation with me in such a setting probably isn't going to go too well for anyone.

The element that made this my second favorite media experience? Calling shenanigans. It can easily be guaranteed that no person on this planet has ever said "I call shenanigans" during a cable TV news interview, let alone on the O'Reilly Factor. Ending one of my verbal attacks on Baldwin, I literally "called shenanigans" on him. I'll likely never do another cable news interview (What's there to talk about? Internet predators isn't a hot news topic anymore) and that's fine because I doubt I could do anything cooler during one than that.

Otherwise, O'Reilly went on in later segments to attack us because we work with NBC (O'Reilly and MSNBC have had a long-running feud) but what will never be aired is the last laugh I got. O'Reilly had me on to talk about the Marsha Bartel lawsuit against Dateline NBC. He went on and on about how NBC would have to settle and how the producer raised "serious issues." What he didn't know was what I know... she's a liar and her claims were groundless. Well, as any reader of knows, Bartel's lawsuit was tossed out of court like the cheaply written piece of shit it was. After that, I couldn't resist emailing O'Reilly.

My petty but fun email to the lead producer of his show:
Hello Ron Mitchell,

The Marsha Bartel lawsuit against NBC News and Dateline NBC was tossed out by the New York Supreme Court. You might remember it as it was the one O'Reilly told me that NBC would "have to settle on" because Bartel "brought up serious issues." I told him that NBC would not settle and would win and that she was a liar. Since then, all you guys have done is attack us without any logical reasoning, seemingly just because we work with NBC News.

Just wanted to officially note:
O'Reilly: 0
Von Erck: 1

Xavier Von Erck
Director of Operations

PS. It'll be 2-0 when the sister of the child pornography freak loses her's too. :)

Mitchell replied that they may do an update to the story. Of course, they never did. Doesn't matter, I got to write the "O'Reilly: 0, Von Erck: 1" line which felt fucking awesome to do. Of course, none of this is to say O'Reilly is a bad guy in my eyes, out of all the cable news hosts that I've done interviews for, he's the only one that takes the time out of his day to have a cordial quick conversation with his guests before going on air. It's the little things when you deal with the media that make the difference to me.

1: Al Roker asks me if I'm a Nazi
Yeah, anyone who reads my blog should know this story as I already blogged about it years ago. The full story can be found by clicking this link. Yeah, I blogged this already. Look, I wanted to do something different for the best media experience, but I have to be honest. Al Roker asking me if I'm a Nazi will never be topped. It's impossible. I can't think of anything more surreal, more off the wall and more strange than having America's Favorite Weatherman ask you if you're a follower of Hitler.

When I reconnected with a couple old friends I hadn't spoken with since college, the first story I told of what I had been doing was Al Roker asking if I'm a Nazi. When I spoke with my half-brother who I hadn't spoken with over ten years, one of the first things I mentioned when he asked about my life was the Al Roker story. I love that goddamned story, so it shall be number one for eternity.

I'll be posting the top five most ridiculous media experiences in the next couple days. Everything on that list is stuff I haven't talked about before, some of the most ridiculous pitches you can imagine, a bunch of dots, drama over a hat, and... a movie premiere? You'll be left scratching your head, without a doubt.

Lord knows I was at the time, myself.