Update on Miss South Carolina of Teen USA

August 28, 2007

News:  By now, you’ve probably seen the viral video of Miss South Carolina in the Teen USA pageant, in which she gets completely stumped by a question and is reduced to talking gibberish.  The video has over 3.5 million views on YouTube (there are several other copies of it, so the total number of views is even higher).  Just to put these numbers into perspective, the video of Miss South Carolina has generated far more views in 3 days than all of the videos of any presidential candidate has generated on YouTube in months. Here’s the video of Miss South Carolina with subtitles:

The video was aired on news stations around the country and on David Letterman last night–twice!  Paul Schaeffer, a Canadian, said he enjoyed every second of it.  Miss South Carolina, who is Lauren Caitlin Upton, will appear on the Today show today to explain what happened.  To a local paper, she said, “”I wasn’t expecting [the question]. I lost my train of thought.”  (More)

Analysis:  In the grand scheme of things, I think this botched answer will help Lauren Caitlin Upton.  Just look at all the media attention she has received!  Ironically, no one is talking about the winner of the pageant.  Ms. Upton is really marketable right now.  She should capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame.  For example, how about a commercial for Rand McNally or a GPS maker?  Or even the iPhone, which, of course, has a map function.

My advice to Ms. Upton would be to just laugh off her botched answer.  Trust me, I’ve seen law students and practicing lawyers “crash and burn” in answering questions during oral argument in pretty embarrassing ways.  In fact, I’ll give Ms. Upton credit for delivering her answer so earnestly, without stopping like a deer in headlights, and even smiling at the end!  That was a nice touch.

The good thing for Ms. Upton is that we’re only talking about a beauty pageant, not a multi-million dollar case with everything on the line for the client.  Personally, I thought the question was pretty stupid itself.   

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South Park creators score $75 million deal w/ Viacom

August 28, 2007

News:  South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker just signed a $75 milllion extension with Viacom.  Part of the deal gives the pair 50% of revenues generated on a new South Park website (which will have videos).  Viacom is, of course, embroiled in a lawsuit with YouTube over the posting of unauthorized clips from South Park and other Viacom shows.  (More)

Analysis:  The sharing of Internet revenues is an interesting development.  Right now, the amount of revenue probably will be small (especially compared to television).  That may change one day, perhaps sooner than we expect.