Hail Charlie Rose

Seriously, why don’t more people watch / talk about Charlie Rose? His interviews with big name people are consistently the best on television. This is due not only to his spirited, soulful interviewing style but also to the fact that since he’s on public television each interview lasts 20-30 minutes. Say goodbye to vapid sound bites and hello to in-depth discussion.

Of late, no one has covered the financial crisis on TV better than Charlie Rose. Who else has had in-depth discussions with Paul Volcker, Warren Buffett, Hank Paulson, Maria Bartiromo, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Peter Thiel, Martin Wolf, and so many others? There’s a reason people of these caliber go on his program — they know it’ll be a conversation of substance and length.

The diversity of his guests shows a real intellectual curiosity. I have recently enjoyed his interview with David Foster Wallace (a rare video appearance) and Adam Gopnik (interesting thoughts on having kids), Chris Rock, and many others.

As a plus, his web site is wonderfully organized, videos load fast and are clearly labeled. I don’t watch TV. I only know Charlie Rose on the web. Just search for a name or browse the guests page.

If you wanted to spend a Saturday watching stimulating video, you could do worse than watching Charlie Rose online, then heading over to TED Talks, and finishing with a few good Bloggingheads episodes.

11 Responses to Hail Charlie Rose

  1. JP Adams says:

    I could not agree more Ben. I particularly like how well he prepares for each of his interviews. His guests recognize the fact and many (including several remarkable leaders, actors, etc.) have clearly grown to respect him deeply.

    Because of this mutual trust he is able to elicit answers to ‘hard ball’ questions unlike any interviewer in media.

    In the Buffett interview he point blank said ‘What are you personally prepared to do to help our country?’ Buffett took the question seriously.

  2. JP Adams says:

    By the way, his job rocks. In my next life…

  3. Amema2020 says:

    Charlie Rose is the worst interviewer ever. Want to know why I can’t stand to watch him, in spite of his stellar guests?

    Although his guest usually has heaps of insight to convey, as soon as the guest gets a sentence and a half into an answer, Charlie interrupts with other questions.

    I say “other questions” rather than “another question” because Charlie can’t seem to ask just one. No, each time Charlie speaks he rambles through three or four loosely-related questions, accompanied by at least one digression on why it occurred to him to ask one of the sub-parts.

    The interviewee then attempts to answer one of the new questions, and is interrupted again… Repeat… Repeat. It’s really frustrating to hear a promising answer being being cut off before we have the opportunity to hear it.

    By the way, this behavior is so egregious that the New Yorker ran a full-page satire of it back in the mid-1990’s.

    I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

    • TwoFourFixate says:

      I’m in total harmony with you about TheBloomIsWayOffTheCharlie.

      Charlie Rose is, without a doubt, the worst interviewer I’ve ever had the displeasure to experience. His questions are almost never that interesting; quite often, they show that he really doesn’t know the subject matter at hand. He doesn’t even listen all that well to the answers…he’s too busy trying to get in his next hurried question.

      It is absolute torture trying to get thru one of his interviews—his constant interruptions of the more-than-patient guests…his intrusive ramblings…his egocentricity and need for attention…it’s all just too much for the discerning viewer/listener.

      No viewer/listener should ever have to be subjected to such unprofessional, sophomoric efforts. Be gone with thee, Rose.

  4. The man’s my hero. Nobody does it better.

  5. tbrooks says:

    I heartily agree Ben.

    Charlie Rose has a unique ability to extract the thoughts that rummage around inside people’s brains. I think this is especially true with the DFW, a person who is notorious for holding his cards close to his chest.

  6. Grant says:

    Charlie Rose is great.

    And his interview is style is different from most other major journalists. Which is why people like Amema2020 (see comment above) repeatedly criticize him for interrupting his guests. But that’s what makes his show so good – he has a “conversation” with them, not an interview – it even says so right there on his website (slogan)!

  7. Sean S. says:

    I was able to see him recently at a science festival in NYC where he interviewed a panel of scientists, artists, and philosophers on the topic of what it means to be human.

    To add to your list at the end of your post, you might also find Google Talks interesting.

    link to youtube.com

  8. Jake Russ says:

    I’ve just started to watch the Charlie Rose interviews, but I’ve been on the Ted Talks kick for over a year. Any time I’m feeling a little overwhelmed or generally lost, I pop on over to their site and see the amazing things people are doing. Instant shot of enthusiasm.

  9. etavitom says:

    i agree 100% ben. his shows are always enlightening and full of wisdom.

    thanks for a great post, once again…

  10. John N. says:

    Ben,
    I recently watched Charlie Rose interview James Watson and E.O. Wilson in which he revealed he’s conducted more than 30,000 interviews!

    TED talks is great, but my new love is meaningoflife.tv, where journalist/philosopher Robert Wright interviews intellectuals about their views on life and religion. Also, user AtGoogleTalks on YouTube has an amazing list of lectures from intellectuals, philosophers, authors, artists, politicians, etc. that are wonderful and typically about an hour long.

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