The Fries Have It!

When dealing with the news media, you usually can expect the unexpected.

These situations can come in many forms, many ways. One way is the reporter/interviewer injecting himself into the conversation and putting you on the spot.

What can you do when you feel like you’re being personally attacked?

Case in point, CNBC’s Joe Kernen prefers the French fries at McDonalds and is quite vociferous about it. In a recent interview he praised Mickey D’s CEO Jim Skinner for his fries. Of course, Skinner gladly accepted the accolades.

A few days later, Burger King CEO John Chidsey was the guest. While talking to anchor Becky Quick at Davos, Kernen injected himself from the studio, first asking Chidsey if the fast food restaurant’s burgers were indeed flame broiled, or simply made to taste that way.

Chidsey paused, considered the question and then had some fun with Kernen, saying he should know the answer, that Burger King’s burgers indeed are cooked over real flames.

Then Kernen claimed McDonald’s French fries are superior. And he even suggested that the potatoes could be pivotal to the company’s stock price.

“Why are McDonald’s fries better?” he demanded. Talk about getting into a CEO’s face. To his credit, Chidsey kept his cool and maintained a slight smile…except for one brief moment when he gritted his lips (as opposed to his teeth). (Click on the video below.)

Lesson learned: park your emotions outside the interview. For the most part, Chidsey did. And, he paused before he answered, giving himself time to take a breath, and responding instead of arguing.

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