PERFORMING ARTS

Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes

St. Martin’s. Feb. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781250756428. $29.99. TV
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Rosen (The Warning: Accident at Three Mile Island) was only 26 in 1980 when he was hired to be a producer at 60 Minutes, the iconic television news magazine that relies on reporter-centered investigations. Rosen spent the next 40 years immersed in the biggest news stories of the times, working with famous news anchors at CBS and later ABC (for Primetime Live and 20/20) and meeting the politicians, celebrities, and criminals whom he deemed newsworthy enough to be profiled. Here he provides gossipy dish on the anchors (Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer argued over who would say the show’s goodnight) and fascinating tidbits, but the book is most interesting when he describes the toxic misogynistic environment cultivated by Mike Wallace, one of the original 60 Minutes correspondents. Rosen is a master cultivator of potential sources (he exchanged more than 1,000 texts with Steve Bannon to get the inside scoop on Trump’s White House) and has himself been accused of encouraging women reporters to flirt to get information. He unapologetically thrives on the excitement of the “get,” at whatever cost.
VERDICT News buffs will love the behind-the-scenes stories, and journalism students will find advice direct from legendary reporters.
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