TV Criticism


Lloyd Sachs, entertainment critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, has a pithy summary of almost everything wrong with PBS's late-night talk-show host, Charlie Rose: "Better at dramatizing thoughtfulness than revealing it, he acts like he's on some kind of empathy pill, continually interrupting celebrities to put words in their mouths and demonstrate how impressively on their wavelength he is."

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  1. Sachs kinda blows any credibility trying to bring up Kup as any kind of standard to achieve. I know he works for the same paper, but still.

    And does he actually think "high-concept" is NOT an insult?

  2. I caught a great Charlie moment the other day, when he had Norman Mailer as his guest.

    Mailer: Saddam Hussein may be the worst person since Hitler-

    Charlie: And Stalin.

    Mailer: OK, and Stalin.


    Charlie: I don't mean to- Go ahead, make your point.

    Really moving the conversational ball forward. Later, he was wrapping up with Mailer and said, "I want to have you back soon so we can finish this talk."

    Mailer: OK, I can tell you now I'm heading out of town tomorrow, but I'll be back-

    Charlie: We're still on the air.

    Mailer: Well, I'll be back on the 18th.

  3. I saw a moment like that when Hunter Thompson was on the show. He obviously thought the interview was over, and started asking Rose if he wanted to get together later on. This went on for maybe 30 seconds before the host managed to point out that he still had to wrap up the program.

  4. Rose wasn't always this much of an earnest magpie, he was actually quite stoic and probing in his CBS News Nightwatch days (not "the Insomniac's News"). The best case was his remarkable interview of Charles Manson circa '86 or '87. I had for on VHS for years and must have watched it 20 or 30 times.

  5. Tuning Spork:

    It's interesting you brought up the Rose Manson interview. I was just thinking of Tom Snyder's interview with Manson (1981, I think) as an example of interviewer grandstanding. Manson kept dropping hints that he knew more than he'd let on, and might be about to elaborate on the subject. And then Snyder, oblivous as usual, cut him off with a Geraldo-style moral lecture.

    And BTW, Manson's rants at Snyder were spectacular theater of the absurd.

    SNYDER: ...because the word is, Charlie...
    MANSON: Word is? Word is? Word is, turkey in the sky! Word is, you're an old woman.

    SNYDER: Do you have any children, Charles?
    MANSON: Children? In a lot of ways, you're kind of like a child, Tom....

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