On September 15th or 16th, I received a call from Mike Weatherford from the Las Vegas Review Journal. He wanted to chat about the fact that CBS had a weekly TV series titled "The Mentalist." He was curious how I felt since CBS was using the name of my Las Vegas show and my 2004 NBC TV show as the title to their new series.
I told Mike I felt it would help with my brand recognition. The average tourist has no clue what a mentalist is, so when they see my ads in publications, they are not always sure what my Las Vegas show is about. Having a successful TV series with the same name, would help educate the public regarding what a mentalist is.
I also told Mike that mentalism was a form of magic. I mentioned that some mentalists cross over to the dark side and use their mentalist skills to convince people they are psychic or have the ability to communicate with the dead to dupe them out of their hard earned money. This is something I find despicable, and speak out against in my stage show.
The fact that the CBS TV series character plays a reformed TV psychic like John Edwards, and is now using his mentalist skills to help the police department, would shed a good light on the field of mentalism.
I told Mike that the CBS show was actually making me very happy because not only was I going to get brand recognition, I was also being paid to promote the show for them. I told him that on Tuesday, I would be pitching the show for CBS on radio stations across the country. I mentioned I had an advance copy of the show from CBS along with the shows EPK press kit.
Just before Mike called, I was about to watch the pilot episode so I knew what I was talking about during the radio interviews. I told Mike if he wanted to call me back in an hour, I could be more detailed with my description of the show.
Instead of calling me back, Mike decided to check up on me as if his reporter instincts were telling him I was lying. He contacted Warner Brothers asking if I was working on behalf of the CBS show. His contact at WB was not aware of my association with CBS and could not confirm my association by the time Mike was going to press.
The smart thing to do would be to call me back, say his contact at the WB was not aware of my association with the network, and ask me for my contact to confirm my claims. Instead Mike prints "A spokeswoman for Warner Bros., the series producer, said Wednesday she was not aware of McCambridge doing any sanctioned interviews for the series" making me look like a liar.
Since they couldn't confirm it, why print the entire story until they could, or why add that sentence calling my character into question? I decided to send Mike an e-mail regarding his crappy journalism. I gave him a list of radio stations and times to listen backing my claims and insisted he corrected the facts in his next column.
Mike's next column then said "Last week, representatives of CBS and Warner Bros., the series producer, could not verify by deadline Hooter's performer Gerry McCambridge's claim that he is a paid spokesman for the TV series. After McCambridge objected to last week's column, they did additional research and now agree that McCambridge was indeed paid by CBS to do promotional interviews for radio stations in different cities."
Instead of taking the blame for his own poor journalism, Mike puts the blame on CBS and Warner Brothers for not being able to verify my claims. Because the one person he spoke to at a company employing thousands did not know my association with the project, he questions my credibility in print for many to read. I personally think Mike is to blame for bad journalism and printing facts that he was not able to verify by all sides, since he did not believe me.