PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: Powell press aide meets the press' wrath

WASHINGTON: Colin Powell put it best: "Emily, get out of the way."

WASHINGTON: Colin Powell put it best: "Emily, get out of the way."

Don't get us wrong - we know PR is a tough business. There are times you have to put people in their place. There are times you must throw an elbow. There are even times, dare we say, you have to get a little rude. However, during the taping of a Meet the Press interview is simply not one of those times. But try telling that to Emily Miller, DC's Scandal Queen of the Week. The 33-year-old press aide to Secretary of State Powell redefined moxie last Sunday - and got more then she bargained for - when she decided to teach Tim Russert a lesson. Russert was going long during a satellite interview with Powell. Not even a call to NBC's control room could get him to wrap it up. Understandably upset, the folks on Powell's end got a little aggressive. The camera suddenly pulled away from the secretary and Miller's voice was heard saying, "You're off!" Powell: "I am not off." Miller: "No, they can't use it." Powell: "He's still asking the questions. Emily, get out of the way." Eventually, Russert got to ask his question. Later, he got his revenge: He aired the embarrassing tape uncut, then went out and publicly upbraided Miller. "A taxpayer-paid employee interrupted an interview," Russert told The Washington Post. "Not in the United States of America, that's not supposed to go on. This is attempted news management gone berserk." (Ironically, Russert's own PR aide cut off an interview the journalist recently taped to promote his book Big Russ and Me.) Reporters came from all over to tell tales of Miller's past offenses and temper tantrums. Eventually, the State Department had to publicly defend her. So Emily, we applaud you for trying to protect your boss. But next time, do what all smart PR pros do - try not to get in the way.

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