Time's "Ten Questions" feature is wasted this week on CBS "60 Minutes" hound Mike Wallace. I'm not saying Wallace isn't worth interviewing, but Time managing editor James Kelly gives him a complete book-promoting walk in the park. He doesn't ask about the latest Wallace gaffe in the news, his appearance at an anti-gun Brady Center fundraiser.
Full transcript of the exchange follows.
Cam Edwards, a talk-radio host at NRANews.com, drew out CBS Public Eye facilitator Vaughn Ververs on the subject of "60 Minutes" star Mike Wallace appearing at a $250-a-pop fundraiser (and birthday party for political humorist Art Buchwald) for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Ververs took that question to Wallace and CBS senior vice president for standards Linda Mason.
Even when journalists try, they just don’t understand Middle America. CBS proved the point with a story on the multi-billion dollar business of NASCAR. Even in a story made possible by the enormous success of the sport, CBS’s “60 Minutes” depicted racing promotions as “hucksterism” and advertisers as “not wholesome” while the product itself was portrayed as an “good ol’ boy Southern Confederate flag sport” hostile to minorities.
Bob Simon: "Elian's arrival in Cuba seemed designed for a conquering hero. And here he was without his two front teeth.
Simon: "Elian embarked on a two-month tour of Cuba, all recorded by Castro's personal cameraman, Roberto Chile, who helped us on our story, too. Chile was rolling the first time Elian met Fidel.
STAHL: Has anyone from our government called you, like our President?
Tonight (Sunday, September 18, 2005), 60 Minutes aired a segment entitled "Life in Baghdad," hosted by Scott Pelley and produced by Shawn Efran. The story was nothing but the bleakest of portraits of life in the city of Baghdad. The story? Violence, fear, despair: repeat.
However, unless you were paying close attention to Pelley's introduction to the story, you may have missed the fact that the segment originally aired nearly one year ago (On 60 Minutes II, October 6, 2004)! ("Last fall," as host Pelley put it.)
Sunday's 60 Minutes closed, as usual, with a crabby commentary by everyone's favorite curmudgeon, Andy Rooney. His kvetch of the week had to do with how much people incessantly using cell phones annoys him.
Now, perhaps in a spirit of corporate synergy, today's Against the Grain column by CBS News's Dick Meyer happens to be about how much people incessantly using cell phones annoys him.
At one point Myers defensively insists:
Contrary to what you undoubtedly think by now, this column is much, much more than just a misanthropic, Luddite rant by a cranky middle-aged white man. This is a genuine public service.
I'm sure Rooney tells himself the same thing, except for the "middle-aged" part.
Not an instance of bias, but a touch of humor: The Late Late Show's host Craig Ferguson gently ribbed his network's entertainment and news lineup during his opening monologue last night/this early morning, scoring laughs off the tedium of CBS's 60 Minutes by comparing that show to braving long lines at theme parks.