Tag Archives: Charlie Rose

Mind-boggling series of events keeps head spinning

My mind is officially boggled.

I awoke this morning, looked at my social media news feed and saw that NBC fired “Today” co-host Matt Lauer for “inappropriate sexual conduct.” It didn’t end with that stunning announcement.

Later today, I saw that NPR icon Garrison Keillor also has been let go by the public radio network for, um, similar conduct.

This is getting even more stunning than it was before.

NBC went straight for the throat in canning Lauer. The network didn’t wait for any further substantiation of the allegation that came from a network colleague. At this moment, I don’t even know the particulars of what the woman accused Lauer of doing to her.

The network acted immediately on hearing what I am going to presume it believes was a credible accusation.

Network news icons are falling like tall timber. Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor. Those are just the biggest of the big names. Then we have the likes of Mark Halperin and Glenn Thrush who have lost their jobs over accusations of misbehavior with women.

When is this going to end?

I haven’t even mentioned — until this very minute — the accusations that have sullied the reputations of political leaders. It’s a bipartisan affliction.

I’m beginning to think that employers will need to revamp the applications they ask prospective employees to fill out. Many businesses ask applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony. That’s fine.

They will now likely have to ask: Have you ever committed an act that someone could construe to be sexual harassment … or worse?

This wave of dismissals amid accusations looks for all the world like a purging that needs to occur.

Media getting the lashing they deserve

It hurts a bit to say this, but the so-called “mainstream media” are getting trashed — for the right reasons.

The media have been criticized for the slant of their coverage of news events, of politicians. Conservatives have labeled the MSM as tools of the liberal political establishment. I haven’t bought into that argument.

What’s happening now to the media, though, is an examination of a culture that seems to pervade it. We are witnessing the toppling of media heavyweights because of the way they behave toward women … allegedly.

Bill O’Reilly at Fox News: gone; Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS; he’s toast; Mark Halperin of MSNBC: he’s outta there; Glenn Thrush of the New York Times and MSNBC: he, too, is gone; Michael Oreskes of National Public Radio: see ya later.

What do these men have in common? They all were accused by women of making sexual advances on them, of committing acts of sexual harassment, of sexual abuse. The allegations include groping, prancing around in the nude, making inappropriate remarks … and some things I probably shouldn’t mention here because they’re in poor taste.

The word now is that media outlets are soul-searching. They are schooling their employees — the males at least — on how to behave, how to treat their female colleagues.

What gives this story its extra legs quite arguably is that the media have been covering the sexual misdeeds of others, namely politicians and entertainment tycoons. That coverage has exposed media companies — and the men who report and comment on others’ conduct — to the very revelations we have learned about their own behavior.

As Politico has reported: “We have robust policies in place and have become more focused on communicating those policies across the organization,” said New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha in an email. “In recent weeks, we’ve reminded employees of our Anti-Harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Non-Discrimination policies and we’ve highlighted the many ways an employee can raise an issue or file a complaint, including through an anonymous hotline.”

That’s fine. Now it’s time for the Times and other media outlets to root out the bad actors within their ranks immediately.

Another media giant takes a header

I’m not going to venture too far out on the proverbial limb by making this declaration: Charlie Rose’s broadcast journalism career likely is over; he’s toast; he’s done, finished, a goner.

Sexual harassment and sexual abuse charges have brought down the former “CBS This Morning” co-host. CBS fired him today after allegations arose from eight women who said Rose pranced naked in front of them and made improper sexual advances. PBS also terminated its relationship with Rose, who had a late-night interview show on the public TV network.

The wave of reform continues to purge the media and the entertainment industry of men who behave badly. Yes, the political world also has been affected by this scourge. Women have accused Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of coming on to them when they were underage girls; U.S. Sen. Al Franken is facing pressure from political progressives to quit his office after two women have accused him of groping and unwanted kissing; U.S. Rep. John Conyers has acknowledged “settling” with women who accused him of harassment — but, in a weird statement, denies doing anything wrong.

I’m going to give Fox News credit for the way it handled the Bill O’Reilly matter. Women accused O’Reilly of bad behavior. The network where he worked as a talk-show host paid out big money to settle the complaints. It then suspended O’Reilly … and then it fired him.

The O’Reilly story, in my view, is what made Rose’s departure from CBS a done deal after the allegations came forth.

Where this all goes remains anyone’s guess. It well might end only when the last news media outlet gets rid of its last sexual predator; or when the last entertainment tycoon with similar proclivities is revealed.

As for the political world that is beginning to roil in this climate, it’s fair to wonder how many sudden “retirement” announcements we’re going to hear from pols who are overtaken by guilty consciences.

Something tells me many more men are going to be culled from the public stage.

Penn fails to make the case

Bloomberg's Best Photos 2014: Drug trafficker Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter by Mexican security forces at Mexico's International Airport in Mexico city, Mexico, on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Mexico's apprehension of the world's most-wanted drug boss struck a blow to a cartel that local and U.S. authorities say swelled into a multinational empire, fueling killings around the world. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sean Penn invented a word last night on “60 Minutes.”

He called himself an “experiental” journalist.

I’ve been working with words for, oh, damn near 40 years. I consider myself a journalist. I worked at four newspapers in two states. I enjoyed some modest success during my career.

“Experiental”? What the . . . ?

Penn is a movie actor of some renown. He recently ventured to Mexico, where he shook hands with Joaquin Guzman, aka El Chapo, the then-fugitive drug lord; he had escaped in early 2015 from a maximum security prison in Mexico. Penn interviewed this supremely evil individual for a 10,000-word article he wrote for Rolling Stone.

I watched with considerable pain in my gut as Penn sought to explain to CBS News correspondent Charlie Rose what he hoped to accomplish by writing a story about El Chapo, who was recaptured by Mexican authorities the day after the magazine article hit the streets.

I think I heard a tinge of sympathy in this guy’s voice as he tried to relay Guzman’s reasons for peddling drugs, for delivering so much misery to so many millions of people, for being responsible for the deaths of thousands of individuals with whom he has come in contact.

I also believe I detected a look of incredulity in Rose’s face as Penn offered his explanations.

And then Penn would drop that hideous, made-up adjective that he put in front of the word “journalist.”

This thought doesn’t come from me, but I’ll pass on what a friend of mine said this morning on social media.

My friend, too, is a trained journalist. He wants to know if he can now seek to become an “experiental movie actor.”

***

This just in: I’m advised that “experiental” is a real word. I stand corrected on that particular point.

 

 

Drones at my door? No thank you

Allow me to toss a wet blanket on what I will acknowledge to be a truly unique idea for delivering goods to people’s homes.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, says he intends to fill the sky with commercial drones to drop products ordered through his company.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/191844-door-to-door-drones-spook-lawmakers

Members of Congress want to hold hearings on the idea to examine ways to protect people’s privacy.

I’m thinking they also should have hearings to ensure that the drones don’t clutter the sky with traffic that could put people’s lives in danger.

I watched the “60 Minutes” segment Sunday night when Bezos knocked Charlie Rose over with the idea of drones. I’ll admit to being floored by the idea. Then I thought a little about it.

Do we really need to launch these vehicles into the air to ensure prompt delivery of these goods? I’m wondering now if we’re taking technology a bit too far.

“As we move forward toward integrating drones into civilian life and capitalizing on the economic opportunities they offer, we must make certain that these aircraft meet rigorous safety and privacy standards,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Do you think?

I’m all for technology. Heck, I’m learning — finally — to embrace much of what many millions of others embraced long ago. There’s just something vaguely creepy, though, about unleashing these drones to deliver mail-order gifts to people’s front porch.

Just how many of them will take flight? Our airspace seems a bit crowded as it stands right now.

Assad to surrender weapons he doesn’t have?

Syrian dictator Bashar as-Assad virtually denied on Charlie Rose’s show last night that he possessed chemical weapons, which President Obama says he used in August on civilians in Syria.

Now he has agreed to get rid of the weapons. Reports say he’ll surrender the weapons to international inspectors, who then will dispose of them. He’s trying to avoid being hit by the United States, which President Obama has threatened to do as punishment for using the weapons.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365076639/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=charlierose

Which is it, Mr. Dictator? Do you have the weapons or don’t you? Did you gas civilians, including women and children, or didn’t you?

Assad dodged Rose’s questions fairly deftly Monday night regarding whether he used the weapons. He was even less convincing about whether his military establishment possesses them.

Take a look here at the interview.

Seems we have a strongman talking out of both sides of his mouth. Big surprise, eh?