Body of evidence – OR – How watching TV can make you a better auditor.

By Eh’den (Uri) Biber

David Axelrod is one of the most influential persons in the world. His boss is the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and he is serving as his most important political adviser. David and Rahm Emanuel form the closest team to the president, both totally loyal, each focusing on different areas. While Rahn is making sure legislation will pass, David acts as the “compass” of the administration.

On Monday the 28th of June 2010 David was a guest on “The daily show with John Stewart”. Watching this interview was extremely fascinating as there are rarely any one better then both those people to represent the American “Leftish” Jews. It was a match between two intellectual opponents that share something that is so engraved into them – extremely sensitive and extremely focused on their targets.
As I was watching I noticed I couldn’t not stop noticing the body language of David Axelrod. The more I watched, the more it became obvious that this is one of those rare examples where you can interpolate an interview between a TV host and a guest to the work an Auditor do when he interview a person. The interview itself was an excellent example on how easy it is to read people when they encounter with a good interviewer – someone that takes them off their balance.

Like in a good audit – I think the intellectual match here was good. David knew he will be kicked by John but he also appreciate him – as you can see throughout most of the interview. This is also the situation in a good audits – if you are being interviewed you know you’re going to get kicked a bit, but you know it comes from a good place, of people who want you to be better. Actually there are many approaches – John is really the best in interviewing politicians as he always comes prepared. The other approach which also works is the one Craig Ferguson is using in his late night show, where he uses his sense of humor and openness to extract outstanding reactions from normally-more-then-boring TV/Movie stars.

I set down to write some of the physical elements I have noticed during the interview, one that if an auditor can master will allow him to extract some very interesting statements from the people he audits.

Interview Part 1

1:20-1:32 David Getting even more nervous – Edgy leg movement

1:55-1:56 Swallowing in focus on the target question

3:45-3:50 Satisfied with the interview

About the questions on people who led the economy – not sure at this point he supported those people but for sure he covers up for his bosses decisions by giving examples of the people who were not from wall-street, and whom he seems to feel more happy with.

5:36-5:37 fast look toward John, I can see he anticipated a very smart reply from John on his claim that the economy is getting better.

Interview Part 2

00:05 – eyes focus on John’s question

00:54 – The story about Chicago was prepared, he’s body language from hand gesture to face movement feels very pre-orchestrated mainly because of the sudden change from the what was his “current” state

01:20 – very fast eye movement, inserting predefined message that was practiced before.

01:30 what surprises me – he obviously was not surprised when the republicans attacked the president.

01:40 – 01:46 – obviously he is not disappointed from their behavior as it was only natural they will do so, based on how he knew they will react them (or shell I say, he never appreciated the republicans)

02:04 – tries to read John’s thoughts

02:29-02:30 – Oh, he really didn’t like that example!

02:50 – he really believes in what he says, he really believe the only way forward is to have a strong regulatory system, and he wants to change the current malfunctioning one.

02:57-02:58 – big fake smile to cover real feelings of anger, what really goes in his mind is something like “tell me about the fact that government is so not urgent enough, if I had the option I would have kicked some people asses and I am not a violent person.”

03:50 fast eye movement, predefined statement “it’s pretty clear the oil industry will not regulate itself”

04:03 – lip movement, he is not happy to see John criticism

04:20 – I can’t believe he came up with the H1N1, it shows how bad the administration has managed so far if the best example they can give the counter hell they can’t seems to manage is what was called by an investigation committee by the EU as a pharmaceutical fraud.

04:29 – 04:30 – look at his eyes, even he don’t believe that example… LOL

Interview Part 3

0:20 – About the criticism from within the Democratic party – He knows it’s going to hurt, lip movement, and he don’t like that at all (the criticism)

till 01:08 – he really believes in the things the administration did till now, especially Iraq.

01:08 – 01:10 – very fast eye movement. I think he don’t believe what he is just said 😦

02:22 – break. I can see why this guy is a political adviser, he is very committed to his agenda.

02:43 – John is criticizing Obama for his leadership, David lip movement expose his unhappiness from it.

Talking about Wall Street. This guy hates Wall Street. I mean, really, surprise surprise. Total agreement between the two, and I think David is trying to use John’s arguments.

05:00 – John is dropping THE question now – Did we the voters expected too much from “our” politician. There is no one that represents Obama’s way of thinking (and David’s way of thinking) on TV then John Stewart. From the standpoint of people in the administration John is a HUGE influential opinion shaper and if he will be dropping his support for Obama then the ripple effect will be strong.

This is why David is on the Show, they can’t loose him.

Take a close look on David. Lip movement, eye movements – He knows John is right, and he can’t hide it.

05:31 “too gradual” again, fake smile, he also think it was WAY too gradual the change. He wished the President had much more power.

05:50 – the question about prisoners, he is not happy with it. Eye movement.

06:03 – David is upset 🙂

07:05 – fast eye movement – he is bringing predefined message.

07:17 – he really cherish human rights. Look at his body language. Eyes open, direct look, body opens, breath – all shows he is very open on this as he truly believes it.

07:45 – again, fake smile talking about getting sobered. It’s like “I wish I could have told you, but I’m not allowed to as it will expose too much”

08:25 – look at his eyes, now we can see why he is so passionate about the healthcare reform. He has a child with developmental disorder, he totally feel obliged to that cause.

08:56 – David was happy with the example he gave

~ 09:20 – I think David feels exactly like John did towards the level of anticipation he has himself from Obama, he really believes in Obama.

10:45 – David totally agrees with John.

10:53 – “People worried” → David lip movement.

12:25 – “what I would say to you” – prepared, about why the left should continue to support a president that promised them endless things and ended up doing just a little of them.

Final words:

First, it is obvious why David is not a politician. You can’t read the body language of politicians in the same easy way you can read a political adviser. If you’re an auditor, take that in mind when you plan to an audit, prepare for your audit by getting a good profile of the people you are about to interview. Being both professionally ready for the interview you make, as well as having the right skills to read the other person can make a huge difference. If you are being interviewed, please take into consideration that auditors do read body language and use it. Also, if you’re audited – prepare for the audit interview – this will helps the interview – if both you and the auditor communicate with confidence the mutual impression and the results are usually on the positive size.


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