By the Chicago Bureau Chief
Wednesday night’s Charlie Rose was supposed to feature celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. I was supposed to write an article about it. But when your beat is Charlie Rose, you go with the flow, you roll with the punches, you sop up whatever the man has to offer.
Even an interview like this one.
The Chicago Bureau Chief has made no secret of his libertarian leanings in the past, so it won’t come as much of a surprise that he rarely enjoys Charlie’s interviews with high ranking government and banking officials. But it’s usually because of the content and the slant, the sickening, middle-of-the-road, “bi-partisan building blocks of America” drivel that we hear time and time again. Whether you’re looking for journalism, conversation, or debate, this is not why we watch the Charlie Rose show.
But the reason that at least SOME of these interviews are palatable is because of the personalities. Charlie, we know, is never afraid to let his real, honest personality shine. And because of this, his guests usually let at least some of their guard down and let their true colors show.
But for that to happen, the guest needs to have a personality. Charlie’s many corporate guests have proven to us that just because you’re a high ranking CEO, it doesn’t mean you have to be the blandest guy (or gal) around. In fact, it’s because of Charlie that I’ve grown to appreciate the impact that a CEO’s personality can have on a corporate culture.
Which makes you wonder how Bob Diamond’s Barclay’s International has had such stunning successes.
What follows is a series of clips featuring some recent appearances by CEOs on Charlie Rose. Some are bold, some are bland. But none – not one – approaches the boring milquetoastosity (if I may coin a phrase) that was on display last night.
Overall Score: -7
Charlie looks good, he’s wearing his go-to business suit, his go-to blue/purple tie, buttoned button cuffs. In other words, he comes to the table well aware of how bland his interviewee is going to be, and he knows that he better look plain and professional, and that even a single cuff link would outshine his guest.
P.S. My other option for today’s article was Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo talking about the upcoming Master’s. For 22 minutes. I chose the more thrilling of the two interviews (and I’m a golf fan). Needless to say, Wednesday night’s was not a good episode of the Charlie Rose Show.