I've had a love/hate relationship with the "Charlie Rose" show for decades now. I think he represents what is the best, and what's most lacking in TV journalism. No, he never did interview Howard Zinn, even once. Charlie interviewed Chomsky only once himself (even though Rose told Chomsky, on camera, that the show receives more email requests to have Chomsky on than anyone else. Yet Chomsky was only interviewed once more, and by a guest host.) The only time he interviewed Ralph Nader (and for just a few minutes each time) was when Nader was running for President. (I guess he felt he had to.) In other words, yes, Charlie Rose is as "Establishment" as the driven snow.
That being said (and with that not insignificant caveat in mind), I personally think Charlie Rose may still be the best interviewer in the history of the medium. This would include David Susskind, Dick Cavett, Edward R. Murrow, and David Frost (very early, pre-talk show) who, in his earliest incarnation, may have been the very(?) best.
There was a time when I was frankly so obsessed with the "Charlie Rose Show" I actually emailed them (crose|AT|bloomberg.comEmail address) often enough that a niece of mine (who happened to be an intern at the show at the time) once told me that they kept a separate folder on me. On rare occasions, I was even notified by the staff that my concerns had been passed on to Charlie himself.
So, this naturally led to me seeking out his web site and discovering that it was a very user-friendly, well laid-out, piece of web architecture; and I proceeded to take full advantage, spending untold hours there. I really thought (in my very limited experience) that it must have been the best one of its kind.
Alas, after a while (many years in fact), for some reason they re-did it. I still can't understand why the show would virtually decimate such a useful, and (I thought) culturally indispensable tool. I (naturally) vented my rage in one of my scores of emails...
I guess I wasn't the only one. Because at some point (it must have been fairly recently) they did it over once again. But this time they have managed to vastly improve even on the original one, of which I was so fond.
The new web site is extraordinarily user-friendly: indexed by year, topic, guest; cross-referenced with photos of each guest, and with very high definition video and sound. It's a true cornucopia for anyone who has a similar affinity for talking heads (I have no association with the show, despite my niece getting a job there so, no, this review has not been planted by Bloomberg News...)
My one problem is that it is 80 - 90% journalists and politicians. This may be a plus for some. But my favorites are the novelists, followed by musicians, followed by actors (hey, I'm only human, too...) and other show people. He has had some absolutely amazing, and I think priceless conversations with people like Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Martin Amis, E. L Doctorow and critic Harold Bloom (one of my personal favorites), etc. He also may have been the only person ever to nab an in-depth interview with Warren Beatty, and in addition has had classic chats with Neil Young, Andre Previn, Daniel Barenboim, Aaron Copland, a great interview with Robbie Robertson of "The Band" (Dylan is still a holdout for some reason) and on and on.
Perhaps what is unique about the show is that since its first broadcast in September 30, 1991, and the fact that it has been on 5x per week since then, and that it reflects generally weightier matters than the many other talk shows available, what the web site provides is at least one decent interview with virtually every notable person who has been in national public life, since that first show in 1991 and now. And, sometimes it offers more than one interview with the same person, and ofttimes those interviews are much better than "decent', indeed.
Anyway, one of the nice things about places such as OpEdNews.com is being able to share things with other like-minded people.
So here it is:The Charlie Rose Show
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