New tell-all book by network TV news producer exposes disgusting private behavior of many lefty ‘talented TV a–holes’
It turns out that lots of AT readers and I despise a number of lefty TV news readers for excellent reasons beyond their bias. Mike and Chris Wallace, Diane Sawyer, Chris Cuomo, Katie Couric, and others are exposed for being miserable human beings in the new memoir by former 60 Minutes and ABC News producer Ira Rosen, titled, Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes. Mary Kay Linge, writing in the New York Post, dishes a lot of gossip taken from the book, which is due out on February 16. From what she excerpts, the biggest a-hole sounds like Mike Wallace, but that may be a function of the years author Ira Rosen spent working as a producer at 60 Minutes. Here are some highlights, but if your taste runs to reveling in evidence that your disgust at certain TV figures is abundantly justified, read the whole thing. One of the least acceptable but common abuses of the rich and famous media divas is their tendency to indulge in tantrums toward their less powerful underlings. After a guest unexpectedly cancelled a pending interview with the senior Wallace, Rosen recounts that Wallace flew into a rage while being driven in.
“Mike went crazy,” Rosen writes, grabbing fistfuls of documents from Maraynes’ [another 60 Minutes producer] briefcase and hurling them into his face as he struggled to keep the vehicle on the road.
“Wallace cursed Allan, told him that he was a failure as a producer, and that he would be demoted as soon as we returned to New York. It was the most astonishing verbal abuse I had ever witnessed.”
Before #MeToo, misbehavior toward females was pretty much standard operating procedure.
At the office, he was notorious for his “Neanderthal behavior” toward women, snapping their bra straps and slapping their bottoms. When one female producer reacted with a furious smack in the face, Wallace was perplexed.
“What the hell is her problem?” he wondered aloud.
Co-workers today “might call HR, hire an attorney, and threaten a very public lawsuit,” Rosen admits. “But in those days the possibility of such actions never even crossed my mind.”
Sexual harassment by female news stars may have been less common, but they had their own issues:
The “two-faced” Diane Sawyer was infamous for her behind-the-back insults. “If she was overly friendly and began to kiss you on the cheeks to say hello, chances are she was trashing you behind your back,” Rosen dishes.
Sawyer would be all smiles when she ran into Barbara Walters in ABC’s hallways, chuckling over rumors that the two were at odds — and dropping the act the moment Walters was out of range.
“Inside the elevator, Diane looked at me and said, ‘I hate that woman. Don’t believe a word she says. She knifes me any chance she gets,’ ” Rosen writes. “She had the look of someone who wanted vengeance.”
There is a lot more, including the story of Mike Wallace stealing a story (which is not unusual in the business) from his son, Chris. I confess that I have known fairly well a small number of very famous people in the media (my lips are sealed), and my observation is that they face a semi-lethal combination of extreme pressure (from ratings, sponsorship, and sheer competitiveness) with adulation from members of the public that is combined with extreme hatred (and jealousy) from others. I see it as crazy-making. Some of them, like the late Charles Krauthammer, have the intellect and moral character to remain decent human beings. But most do not. I confess that I plan to buy the book.