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The Ties Behind the News in Author Interviews on TV
NY Times ^ | April 11, 2004 | BILL CARTER

Posted on 04/11/2004 5:42:13 AM PDT by Pharmboy

In the space of a month, the CBS News program "60 Minutes" has landed two highly sought-after interviews with authors of books promising news-making revelations about the Bush administration.

In both cases the interviews stayed in the corporate family.

A week from tonight, "60 Minutes" will have a long interview with Bob Woodward, whose soon-to-be-released book, "Plan of Attack," reportedly will contain important new details about the administration's decision to go to war against Iraq.

The Woodward interview, already taped, follows a similar interview with Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism official whose book, "Against All Enemies," described the administration as ill-prepared for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Both books happen to be published by units of Simon & Schuster Inc., a company that is owned by the Viacom Corporation — which also happens to be the parent of CBS.

Earlier this year, CBS landed another big Simon & Schuster book on public affairs, "The Price of Loyalty," Ron Suskind's account of Bush administration policies as viewed by the former secretary of the treasury, Paul O'Neill.

Both CBS News executives and Simon & Schuster executives say there is nothing at work in this relationship besides good marketing and mutual benefits. CBS News and "60 Minutes" want to break the news available in hot political books, and Simon & Schuster wants to promote sales by first exposing books and authors to the biggest and most book-oriented audience the company could find.

"60 Minutes" has a demographic of older viewers most interested in politics and current affairs, so the match makes sense, executives of both companies say.

The policy of matching books with television shows has become a minor art form, aggressively pursued by networks and publishers alike. Deals are often offered by networks to land news-making authors, "gets" in the parlance of the television news business, usually by granting authors appearances both on prime-time newsmagazines and morning news programs.

NBC is also active in the game of securing important books and authors. Only last week, NBC staged a cocktail party for publishing company executives attended by the president of NBC News, Neal Shapiro, and other division executives, along with some of the most recognizable names of NBC News — Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and Brian Williams.

Mr. Shapiro said the purpose of the meeting was to demonstrate how effective NBC could be in publicizing new books across all its news platforms. David Rosenthal, the executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, said he attended the party.

"It was a lovely event," Mr. Rosenthal said, "and an indication of how competitive the `get' business is becoming."

He said NBC was selling the benefits of tie-in appearances on its newsmagazine "Dateline," its morning show "Today" and its cable networks CNBC and MSNBC. Mr. Rosenthal joked that if NBC really wanted an author, "they might offer nine parts on `Today,' and Katie will do one interview in the nude."

Asked about the success of "60 Minutes" in getting books, the show's executive producer, Don Hewitt, said: "There are quid pro quo deals made for interviews with book authors. We never do them. I think Simon & Schuster is smart enough to put their books where they can do them the most good."

He noted that most of Mr. Woodward's books had been publicized with an initial interview on "60 Minutes" long before 2000, when Viacom bought CBS. He also said that Mr. Woodward had a longstanding relationship with Mike Wallace, who conducted the interview.

"60 Minutes" got the Clarke interview, Mr. Hewitt said, because Richard Bonin, a producer who worked with Leslie Stahl, the correspondent on the piece, had a relationship with Mr. Clarke that long predated his book. "We got it in an old-fashioned journalism way: a personal connection," Mr. Hewitt said.

In the wake of the news generated by Mr. Clarke's interview, "60 Minutes" was criticized for not revealing that the book was published by an imprint, Free Press, which is a part of Simon & Schuster Inc. Mr. Hewitt and others at CBS said that criticism was part of the White House attempt to discredit Mr. Clarke.

Mr. Hewitt said he did not even know Free Press was part of Simon & Schuster. "Who the heck was Free Press?" Mr. Hewitt said.

Mr. Rosenthal noted that if any network should have had an advantage in landing Mr. Clarke it would have been ABC, because Mr. Clarke is a paid on-air analyst for ABC News. Executives at ABC News and NBC News, both of which did seek to land Mr. Clarke, said they believed CBS and "60 Minutes" were granted the interview because of personal connections, not the corporate connection with Simon & Schuster.

"60 Minutes" doesn't always win. Mr. Hewitt noted that perhaps the biggest recent public-affairs book from Simon & Schuster, Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir, "Living History," went to ABC.

Mr. Rosenthal said that he delivered authors where it made the most sense for profits, explaining, "I base decisions on where to place authors on my self-interest: what is going to sell me the most books."

Mr. Clarke's appearance certainly seemed to have that effect. The program was seen by more than 16 million viewers; it generated enormous news and Mr. Clarke's book instantly became the No. 1 nonfiction best-seller.

For his part Mr. Hewitt acknowledged he was interested in maximizing ratings for his program by generating news. He even asked Mr. Rosenthal to move up the date of Mr. Woodward's appearance to April 4, so that it would have completed a kind of triumvirate of news-making interviews related to the Bush administration's actions.

The program booked Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, for the week after Mr. Clarke and again scored a big rating. Mr. Hewitt said he wanted to keep that momentum going by moving up Mr. Woodward's appearance.

But Mr. Rosenthal refused to switch the date of the interview because "the books would not have been in the stores yet." Mr. Hewitt acquiesced.

The Woodward interview will also "make big news," Mr. Hewitt said, and the program has scheduled it at special length, two sections of the program, the same amount of time given to Mr. Clarke's book.

But one thing will be different. Though he still argued that he did not believe it was necessary to do so, "60 Minutes" will take note of the fact that the book is being published by a company also owned by Viacom. "I'm doing it from here on out, only because of the brouhaha about it," Mr. Hewitt said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 60minutes; agendas; bobwoodward; cbsnbccnnabc; cbsnews; deceit; lyingmedia; phonies; seebs; viacom
It is NOT just about marketing; if it was, there would be an occasional book that was AT LEAST down the middle and not promoting the left's agenda. They think we are all so effin dumb.

The good news is that their strangle hold on opinion is loosening and younger voters (even African Americans and Jews) are moving to the right.

1 posted on 04/11/2004 5:42:14 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
Vast Left Wing Conspiracy
2 posted on 04/11/2004 5:44:02 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: Pharmboy
""60 Minutes" got the Clarke interview, Mr. Hewitt said, because Richard Bonin, a producer who worked with Leslie Stahl, the correspondent on the piece, had a relationship with Mr. Clarke that long predated his book."


"Richard Bonin," ..... "had a relationship with Mr. Clarke that long predated his book."????????????????
3 posted on 04/11/2004 5:45:01 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: rhombus
And Hillary's their Queen (or maybe that's Barney Frank).
4 posted on 04/11/2004 5:45:41 AM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: Just mythoughts
And just what WAS that relationship? Are they related? Are they golfing buddies? Was Clarke leaking information to CBS?
5 posted on 04/11/2004 5:47:07 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Just mythoughts
Y'know, there have been rumors about Clarke's preferences; I read something where Laura Ingraham's reference to Clarke as a "drama queen" was taken as an accusation of his his being gay. The writer was saying that this made it "ugly." So, your post is doubly interesting.
6 posted on 04/11/2004 5:48:13 AM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: Miss Marple
"And just what WAS that relationship? Are they related? Are they golfing buddies? Was Clarke leaking information to CBS?"


This just has to be a slippppp of the old tongue! Funny though written right there for all to see and so PC'ed not many will notice.
7 posted on 04/11/2004 5:49:20 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: rhombus
FLASHBACKS

Dan Rather [trolling again on the frequency of murder, mayhem and terror]: "Mr. President, if only you knew how
much I and others at CBS support you and Castro and other dictators,
rather than our unelected Bush."

Terrorist-Murderer Saddam: "Mr, Rather, it is absolutely remarkable that you media girly men
will repeatedly betray the USA, your President, and even the free American people during war
and for so very little. You and Mr. Cronkite are truly amazing.
Do you realize, Mr. Rather, that for millions and millions of Iraqis and my captives
I had to gang rape each man's children and his wife,
and then burn them in nitric acid, and mutilate them by cutting off at least an ear,
and then force them to watch me push their children through a paper shredder.
Mr. Rather, I used to have to remove testicles and arms before we have every seen such betrayal.
But you and CBS, grovel to me ...... ..... for ..... for nothing.
Thank you, Mr. Rather.
Thank you. We, terrorists, al Qaeda, and Baathists worldwide,
are very very very very lucky to have you at our feet, Mr. Rather.
If anything happens to me, take care of my Baathists and Mr. Castro, Mr. Rather."


Dan Rather and Castro discussing the new CBS policy of supporting
Castro's murders of dissidents, including the CBS suggeston proposing it for the DNC as future policy.


8 posted on 04/11/2004 5:49:40 AM PDT by Diogenesis (If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us)
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To: Pharmboy
"Y'know, there have been rumors about Clarke's preferences; I read something where Laura Ingraham's reference to Clarke as a "drama queen" was taken as an accusation of his his being gay. The writer was saying that this made it "ugly." So, your post is doubly interesting."


No need to add any words to their words, we have been educated in the "PC" language. These liberals can't itch if we understand their "CODE" language.
9 posted on 04/11/2004 5:51:27 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
"Bonin"?

If that doesn't just take the cake...
10 posted on 04/11/2004 5:51:40 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("Pessimism never won any battle." - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: redlipstick
""Bonin"?

If that doesn't just take the cake."


SPEWING coffee LOL, How about

"Bonin"?

If that doesn't just take the "Clarke"?
11 posted on 04/11/2004 5:54:06 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Pharmboy
"...and Katie will do one interview in the nude..."


And exactly how many books would that sell!?!
12 posted on 04/11/2004 5:54:39 AM PDT by Maria S (Assigned parking only...all violators will be towed)
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To: Just mythoughts
Quit making me laugh! I'm trying to be high-minded for Easter.
13 posted on 04/11/2004 5:55:39 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("Pessimism never won any battle." - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: Pharmboy
You are so right!

"It is NOT just about marketing; if it was, there would be an occasional book that was AT LEAST down the middle and not promoting the left's agenda. They think we are all so effin dumb."

Really an insult to our intelligence for this writer not to mention the conservative best sellers who are routinely ignored by the networks. Not only ignored, but in the case of Aldrich, blacklisted at the behest of George Steph and the Clinton White House.

14 posted on 04/11/2004 5:58:07 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@CNN And The New York Times Still Think They Have The Power.com)
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To: redlipstick
"Quit making me laugh! I'm trying to be high-minded for Easter."


OK, sorry, this bunch keep exposing themselves for what they are.......PERVERTS!
15 posted on 04/11/2004 6:00:03 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Maria S
Viacom has purchased "Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream". Now, if you buy Clarke's book you get a coupon for free ice cream. The coupon for Clarke's book is for 1 container of "Chunky Bareback Monkey Fudgecicle Flame". Designed by Ben and Jerry's in their San Francisco location, the new ice cream is supposed to be very high in protein.
16 posted on 04/11/2004 6:00:56 AM PDT by isthisnickcool (I'm isthisnickcool, and I approved this post!)
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To: Just mythoughts
;)
17 posted on 04/11/2004 6:01:30 AM PDT by EllaMinnow ("Pessimism never won any battle." - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: isthisnickcool
Ooooh...glad I already HAD my bagels and lox this morning. Yecch to B&J's ice cream.
18 posted on 04/11/2004 6:03:40 AM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: Maria S
Well, we've already seen the inside of her colon...
19 posted on 04/11/2004 6:04:19 AM PDT by Pharmboy (History's greatest agent for freedom: The US Armed Forces)
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To: isthisnickcool
tsk! tsk!
20 posted on 04/11/2004 6:14:41 AM PDT by Maria S (Assigned parking only...all violators will be towed)
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To: Pharmboy
Both CBS News executives and Simon & Schuster executives say there is nothing at work in this relationship besides good marketing and mutual benefits

Sure, that's why Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage etc. got long 60 minutes interviews when there books were published...after they hit number 1...well I'm sure there is no bias at CBS
21 posted on 04/11/2004 6:17:30 AM PDT by sharkhawk (I want to go to St. Somewhere)
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To: Pharmboy
Sony has bought the film rights to Cluck's book, and is plaaning a movie. Here's a list of Sony's holdings I will be avoiding:

Electronics and Communications

Products include:

compact disk players
mini disc players
Walkman
WEB TV devices
audio and video tapes
digital video disks
camcorders and digital imaging products
televisions
radios
video cassette recorders
business and consumer communication systems
digital satellite systems
digital radio and microwave telecommunication systems
computers
CD and DVD players
batteries

Film production & distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Columbia Pictures

Tri-Star Pictures

Jim Henson Productions (partial interest)

Mandalay Entertainment (partial interest)

Phoenix Pictures (partial interest)

Sony Pictures Classics

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Columbia-Tri Star Home Video

Cinemas

Metreon

Sony's stake in the Sony/Loews Theaters group ( around 2,960 screens in North America, inc Magic Johnson Theaters and Loews-Star Theaters) was a victim of the Loews Cineplex crisis of 2001

Merchandise

Sony Signatures - (entertainment related clothes and merchandise)

Insurance and Financing

Sony Life Insurance Company

Sony Finance International

Games & Interactive

Sony Play Station - machine and software

Psygnosis Limited - video game developer

Sony Online

TheStation@sony.com - online entertainment network

Jeopardy Online, Wheel of Fortune Online

Columbia Tri-Star Interactive

Music

Sony Music

Legacy

Sony Music Nashville

Sony Wonder (children's music)

Sony Music Products (promotional music for business)

Sony Music Soundtrak

Tri-Star Music

WORK

Crave

57 Records

550 Music

Columbia Records

Epic Records

Epic Soundtrak

Shotput Records

Relatively Entertainment

RED Distribution

Relatively Records

Harmony Records

Sony Music International

Soho Square

Dance Pool

Mambo

Rubenstein

Squatt

Sony Classical

Arc of Light

Masterworks

Sony Broadway

SEON

Vivarte

Sony Music Publishing (copyright owners, joint venture with Michael Jackson)

Columbia House (minor stake in venture with AOL Time Warner and Blackstone Capital Partners)

Music Choice (with AOL Time Warner, EMI and General Instrument - digital stereo for cable TV)

Music Choice Europe

Television Production & Distribution

Columbia-TriStar Television (programming)

Columbia-TriStar Television Distribution

Columbia-TriStar Television International Television

The Game Show Network

International Television Ventures

Cinemax Latin America

Interests in:

E! - Latin America

HBO Ole

HBO Brasil

Mundo Ole

Warner Channel - Latin America

Showtime - Australia

Encore - Australia

TVI - Australia

Channel V - Asia

Cinemax Asia

HBO Asia

Beijing Television Arts Center

Viva 1 - Germany

Viva 2 - Germany

Carlton Productions UK - controlled by Carlton Communications

Golden Square Productions (UK)

Frensch Productions (Germany)

HBO Poland

Sony has licensing arrangements and interest in:

Kirch Group (German television/film production and broadvcasting)

FORTA (Spain)

BSkyB (satellite broadcaster in which News Corporation has dominant share)

JSkyB (Japan)

Telemundo (Sony is managing partner of venture with Apollo Management, Bastion Capital Fund and Liberty Media and will oversee programming and marketing.)



22 posted on 04/11/2004 6:20:19 AM PDT by Solamente
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To: Pharmboy
The Presdential television debates are on the horizon, and we must be diligent in making sure CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNNBC,etc. do not give Kerry a bigger part of the t.v. screen, than Bush. I remember somthing about them doing that in the past...shortchanging the Republican candidate out of equal t.v. screen coverage during a debate.
23 posted on 04/11/2004 10:26:35 AM PDT by timestax
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To: Pharmboy
In the wake of the news generated by Mr. Clarke's interview, "60 Minutes" was criticized for not revealing that the book was published by an imprint, Free Press, which is a part of Simon & Schuster Inc. Mr. Hewitt and others at CBS said that criticism was part of the White House attempt to discredit Mr. Clarke. Mr. Hewitt said he did not even know Free Press was part of Simon & Schuster. "Who the heck was Free Press?" Mr. Hewitt said.

I wish the Times had called him on the fact that Clarke's Simon and Schuster/Viacom was well-publicized before the show aired, including in an article in the New York Times!

24 posted on 04/11/2004 10:52:23 AM PDT by NYCVirago
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To: rhombus
I love hearing President Bush has to get his message out.
Where?? These people remind me of the stereotype south. All the media is related.
25 posted on 04/11/2004 10:57:39 AM PDT by Brimack34
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