In a recent interview with Germany’s Welt Am Sonntag newspaper, singer Bryan Ferry praised the Nazis’ iconography saying, “The way that the Nazis staged themselves and presented themselves, my Lord! I’m talking about the films of Leni Riefenstahl and the buildings of Albert Speer and the mass marches and the flags — just fantastic. Really beautiful.” Ferry later apologized unreservedly for his remarks, which he said were intended only from the perspective of art history.
For anyone speaking to the media, there are two important lessons here.
First, Ferry probably didn’t plan his remarks. Most likely, the interview turned to German art or film and the next thing he knew, Ferry was discussing the Nazis. The lesson: Have a plan for the interview. If you don’t have a plan, it’s very easy to get off on a tangent.
Second, there are some things that you simply don’t say in an interview. The Nazis were masters at using imagery and propaganda. But their crimes were so heinous that 60 years later it remains socially unacceptable to say anything positive about their regime.
For more information on preparing for a media interview, click here.