Charlie Rose – Must not die!

Charlie Rose must not die! Ever!

Charlie Rose delivers guests and perspectives you can’t get anywhere else on TV, in print, or on the internet.

Where else can you go to hear Warren Buffet, Paul Volker, Paul Krugman, Tim Geithner, Laurence Summers, Nuriel Roubini, Hank Paulson, and Niall Ferguson weigh in on the economy for 30 minutes or more (and often multiple times) without commercial interruption? Let me save you some time, nowhere!

Maybe economics is not your thing. Where could you have gone to hear authors Norman Mailer, John Updike, David Foster Wallace, and William Buckley before they passed? How about John Grisham, Studs Terkel, Tom Wolfe, or Malcom Gladwell? Some of them you can find on the Booknotes archive, but nothing since 2004. The answer to this question, again, is nowhere but the Charlie Rose Show.

Maybe you don’t know any of the people just mentioned? Pity. They have a lot of interesting and relevant things to say.

How about the scientist who c0-discovered DNA, James Watson? DNA is, after all, perhaps the most significant discovery of the 20th century. I bet he’s got something interesting to say.  Well guess what? Charlie’s interviewed him TEN times!

One more try, celebrities. Sure you can hear Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Neil Young, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Tony Blair, Dolly Parton, Jay Z, Dave Mathews, and the Dali Lama elsewhere. But can you hear open up and speak unencumbered by the commercial break? No where I know of.

Maybe it’s the desk.

Maybe it’s just Charlie.

A lawyer-turned-journalist, it is estimated that Rose has conducted over ten thousand interviews fulfilling Gladwell’s criteria for “outlier.” His folksy North Carolina way and epic preparation create the perfect environment for guests to let it all hang out.

Charlie Rose is the best and most relevant show on TV for any thinking person who cares about what is going on in the world today. Sure, Charlie has his dead spots – primarily with too many leaders or emissaries from other countries commenting on world politics in accents impossible to penetrate. These are  dull most of the time. Also, the 30-minute format sometimes hurts the show when he (and we) are stuck with a boring guest for the full segment. These are minor criticisms, however.

Oh and it is embarrassing to watch Charlie get all giddy with certain female guests.

Several years ago had open heart surgery and seems to be doing well. Let’s hope his team of doctors is on speed dial and he is getting regular check ups. Let’s hope he exercises and watches his BMI. Let’s hope he monitors his stress and keeps it within a healthy range.

We hope this because it is important that Charlie Rose must not die, ever. Where would we, that devoted following of about half a million nightly viewers go to hear these topics discussed? The Sunday morning shows? Nope! Commercial interruptions kill the flow. Plus, these shows once-a-week format features guests with agendas.

How about the News networks? Bill O’Reily? Rachael Maddow? Joe Scarborough? Nope, those shows have even more commercials than the networks Sunday shows. Cable news hosts’ perspectives are more clearly politicized.

How about network TV? Couldn’t Jay Leno or David Letterman talk with Neil Young? Sure, they can. For three minutes!

It is critical that Charlie Rose must not die. He is the last (if not only) bastion of regular intelligent discussion with important people to be found on the media. If you know of another, I won’t believe you. I have looked and come up empty-handed. There are some good podcasts, but no one that I know of can touch Rose when it comes to caliber of guest.

This is because Charlie is a unique, a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-replaced TV icon. In this respect he is very much like Johnny Carson – only much nicer in private life.

I pity those poor fools who fill in for Rose secretly hoping they may get his gig should he decide to move to Paris permanently, play tennis all day, and get giddy with the ladies at night in some darkened bistro over foie gras. The truth is he’ll never let that happen. He’s actually picked up his work load (adding CBS mornings). It’s in his blood. Watson can confirm it’s in his DNA.

So thanks Charlie for doing all you do. Keep those guests coming. Keep asking your questions. Keep getting giddy with the ladies and the sports figures. We love you.

But most of all Charlie, please, pretty please, don’t ever die! You’ll never be replaced.

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