Monday, April 09, 2012

Mike Wallace, Dead Yesterday

I was doing public relations/crisis management for the American Dental Association in, say, the mid-80s when 60 Minutes called up the ADA and said they were doing a story about mercury content in silver fillings and how people with MS who had their fillings removed experienced spontaneous remission of symptoms.

The ADA then called me. If it had been an episode of the Simpsons, I would have hung up the phone after that initial conversation and my eyelids would have snapped shut and open, exposing dollar signs instead of eyeballs. Ca-Ching!!!

But that's not the point.

The point is that 60 Minutes, the presumed paragon of electronic long-form journalism, was engaged in the most irresponsible brand of crapola, ratings-driven, gotcha news broadcasting. I'll spare you the details (it gets boring quickly and here at TYOMP we are all about the short, pithy post), but I had no real skin in the game--still don't--and I can objectively say 60 Minutes' reporting was not just complete bullshit but likely a risk to the general public health. Anyway, at one moment in the broadcast, as if to emphasize a point, they scanned their camera over Tamara Jacobs (the media trainer) and me--the so-called expensive consultants.
A cheap shot.
No, not very sporting. Although Tamara was extremely attractive.
I hear you, brother.
And I was wearing a full-enough beard that some of my friends referred to me as Rabbi Huffnagle.
And yes, we were expensive. But that's not the point.

The point is, I stopped watching 60 Minutes after that because I decided it was a load of crap. So while I dutifully note the passing of Wallace (and it should be noted for accuracy that the ADA correspondent was Morley Safer, not Wallace), let's not get carried away with the hosannas.

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