There are few things more important to me than credibility. So when Pete Wentz told me Fall Out Boy wasn’t getting back together, only for Fall Out Boy to announce it was reuniting the same day my story ran in the Tribune and RedEye, I was furious. He could have just said “no comment” when I asked about the reunion rumors, but Wentz, who I was somewhat friendly with and may have interviewed more times than anyone else did during Fall Out Boy’s hiatus, instead denied the rumors to my face and said “Don’t hold your breath.” And because I didn’t feel stupid enough about the whole thing, Wentz tweeted “You can take a breath now” once the news broke, poking fun at my story.
Wentz would end up apologizing by email and offered to help me out any way he could. I ignored the offer, which was well-intentioned but came two days after the band had already done a string of interviews in Chicago. He apologized again at a party a few weeks ago, following me outside in the freezing cold without a jacket to let me know how bad he felt. It was a nice gesture. Does that mean we’re somewhat friendly again? No. But I'd say we’re OK.
Now that I got my least favorite celebrity interview of 2013 off my chest, here’s a look at what my Chicago media peers said when I asked for their least favorite interviews this year. And to read their favorite interviews, click here.
Roe Conn, 89 WLS AM’s “Roe & Roeper”: “Jon Lovitz. Let's just leave it at that...”
Eric Ferguson, 101.9 FM The Mix’s “Eric & Kathy Show”: “I don't really have any negative interview stories. Miley Cyrus was interesting, but seemed very distracted. Now we might know why.”
Christopher “Brotha' Fred” Frederick, 103.5 Kiss FM’s “Fred + Angi In The Morning”: “While I wouldn't say it was my least favorite, as we are always happy to talk to Britney Spears, she just seemed disconnected. It was difficult to get more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from her. But she did tell us she ‘never’ lip syncs, and that surprised more than just us as it made national news.”
Jamar “J Niice” McNeil, B96 96.3’s “The J Show”: “Least favorite interview this year was Britney Spears. She was not at all interested in her own new album, her new single or her Vegas residency show. She wasn't interested in the interview. Why'd her label make her do this? Waste. I would've rather spent that time with a corpse. No, like really. A corpse ‘off gasses,’ might twitch, decomposes, bloats -- pretty interesting stuff. Britney Spears? Two words: Nothing there.”
Michelle “Showbiz Shelly” Menaker, B96 96.3’s “The J Show”: “The worst interview of the year had to be Britney Spears. While she has catchy songs and cool music videos, it was almost a struggle for her to form a sentence. She might have been nervous, but it was tough for her to elaborate on things as simple as her new Vegas Show.”
Matt Pais, RedEye: “At a glance, the widely beloved Joseph-Gordon Levitt may seem immensely charming in person. Sadly, he’s not; closed off and disinterested, the guy for his first feature as writer-director created a movie with countless interesting topics to discuss … and then in conversation refused to get into any details or personal opinions on any of them. There’s wanting to keep certain aspects of yourself private, and there’s just plain refusing to engage.”
Dean Richards, WGN-TV: “My least favorite interview this year was Selena Gomez. During a routine interview when her new album was being released on her 21st birthday, we talked about the music and what she was planning now that she was legal. When I asked her to explain to me what most people don’t understand about her former boyfriend, Justin Bieber, she paused, looked over at her ‘people’ surrounding her and then the satellite feed was abruptly cut off. That’s one way to not deal with a question. Sometimes these divas tell us ahead of time when they don’t want to talk about something. Nothing like that happened here or we would have turned down the interview in the first place. When it spread like wild fire, I became the target of a national attack by teenage girls telling me how ‘dumb,’ ‘ugly’ and ‘bald’ I am. We all somehow survived.”
Jeanne Sparrow, WCIU, The U’s “You & Me This Morning”: “My least favorite celebrity we chatted with this year, Morris Chestnut, could have been my favorite except for two minor, but significant, details. There will always be a special place in my heart for that beautiful man, but we talked to him via satellite after seeing him in all his glory in ‘Best Man Holiday.’ Not having him within touching distance and the fact he wouldn't take off his sweater to make up for it when Melissa Forman asked nicely? Well, that's gonna take some getting over.”
Ramblin’ Ray Stevens, US 99.5 FM’s “Lisa Dent & Ramblin' Ray Morning Show”: “The least favorite was with mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. He kept telling us how the Blackhawks were overrated and that real Hockey gets played in Canada. I said, ‘What are you smoking, crack? Well that opened up a can of worms, didn't it?”
Kelli Zink, Celebtv.com: “Gwyneth Paltrow. Her ‘friends’ Kim and Kanye had just had their new baby, and I chose to ask her about it -- and it backfired. As a reporter, you can play it safe or take a risk and when it pays off, it’s so worth it. When it doesn’t, you feel like a real creep for asking.”
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