Category: CBS News

'Will & Grace' creator talks of Obama's same-sex marriage comments

Cbs this morning
"Will & Grace" creator and executive producer Max Mutchnick weighed in during "CBS This Morning" on Presdent Obama's comments regarding same-sex marriage, calling the statements "choreographed."

Mutchnick said that two weeks before Vice President Joe Biden's statements endorsing same-sex marriage, he attended a private event in Los Angeles where Biden expressed his views about the topic. Biden made a reference to "Will & Grace" during that function, he said.



Late Night: Obama's same sex comments win praise

Fox renews "Touch", cancels "Alcatraz", "The Finder"

— Greg Braxton


Ted Nugent goes off on 'CBS This Morning' reporter

Ted NugentTed Nugent sat down with "CBS This Morning" reporter Jeff Glor to discuss his recent fiery comments about President Obama and the Democrats that earned him a visit from the Secret Service. But the interview, which aired Friday morning, got fiery itself when Nugent unexpectedly yelled at both Glor and an off-camera female CBS News producer.

Nugent and Glor were seated outside at Nugent's Texas ranch, discussing the rowdy comments he made in April at an National Rifle Assn. convention, where he called the Obama administration "vile, evil and America hating," and the subsequent fallout, when the rocker unexpectedly lost his cool.

While answering a question about the comments and his perceived lack of moderation, Nugent asked Glor if he'd conducted a lot of interviews.

"Call me when you sit down across from someone who has more families with dying little boys and girls who get a call to take them on their last fishing trip in life. Call me when you meet someone who does that more than I do. Because that's really moderate. In fact, you know what that is? That's extreme! I'm an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I'm a damn nice guy and if you can find a screening process more powerful than that, I'll..."

And that's where the swearing begins. First at Glor, and then at the unseen CBS News producer.

During the post-segment wrap-up with co-anchors Charlie Rose and Erica Hill, Glor explained that following the interview, Nugent's wife forced him to apologize and he later told Glor that he was rushed to the emergency room after their interview to have a kidney stone removed.

Never a dull moment in the Nugent house.


Ted Nugent will plead guilty to illegal black bear hunt

Barack Obama has no chance to win the Ted Nugent voters

Ted Nugent at NRA meeting: Obama administration is 'vile, evil'

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Ted Nugent. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / AP

Chris Wallace on his late father, Mike: 'He became my best friend'

Chris wallace mike wallace
Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday," was an infant when his parents divorced in 1948, and it wasn't until he was a teenager, following the death of an older brother, that he began to get to know his father, broadcast journalist Mike Wallace. The elder man eventually repaired the damage, and his son was grieving Monday.

Two days after the famed "60 Minutes" reporter died at age 93, Chris Wallace released a statement:

"My dad was everything you saw on television: fascinating and funny, challenging and exasperating.  He was the best reporter I have ever known.  And while work often came first for him, over the last 20 years, he worked hard to make connections with his family.  He became my best friend.  And at the end, he was surrounded by children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  I already miss him terribly."

Chris Wallace, 64, has been with Fox since 2003 after lengthy stints at NBC News and ABC News.


Mike Wallace dies at 93

Remembering Mike Wallace

Analysis: Mike Wallace's pit-bull style made him a household name

— Lee Margulies

Photo: "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace and his father, Mike Wallace, during taping of the television show on Nov. 3, 2005.  Credit: AP / Fox News.

Oprah Winfrey to visit 'CBS This Morning'

Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to make a rare network morning show appearance on April 2, when she joins her BFF Gayle King on "CBS This Morning"
When Gayle King, also known as Oprah Winfrey's best friend, joined the lineup of a revamped "CBS This Morning," it wasn't a matter of if Winfrey would appear on the morning show, but when. The answer has been given: She is set to appear on the April 2 edition.

Although it's a true rarity for the Queen of Talk to appear on a morning program, the fact that her cable network OWN is desperately in need of ratings makes Winfrey much more of a pitch man than she's been in the past.

According to a statement from CBS, Winfrey will discuss "the latest developments at OWN, her Leadership Academy, and life after her daytime talk show."

CBS' entry in the morning show derby underwent a major revamp in January, with a re-emphasis on hard news and the installation of new anchors Gayle King, Charlie Rose and Erica Hill. However, according to the ratings last week, the show was still in third place behind NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America," and was down 6% in total viewers from the same week the previous year.

Winfrey recently had a ratings success on her own network when she interviewed the teenage daughter of Whitney Houston. And she is hoping for high ratings for her a jailhouse chat with convicted killer Shaquan Duley.


"CBS This Morning" gets a makeover

CBS 2 and KCAL 9 launch weekend morning newscasts

Oprah's next ratings jackpot? Shaquan Duley's jailhouse chat

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Gayle King, Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey in 2011. Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images

'CBS This Morning' gets a makeover

  'CBS This Morning' with Gayle King, Charlie Rose, Erica HillDespite the talk of big change and redirection, “CBS This Morning” remains, essentially, a morning show, which means a softer, pre-packaged presentation of select national news broken up by local reporting, including traffic and weather, with segments on health and an inevitable emphasis on celebrity culture. Still, with Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill all but physically embodying the various aspects of a newsmagazine, the network has reexamined the genre in a serious way, and that alone makes it worth watching for at least a while.

Full disclosure: Although it may be a case of professional heresy, I am not a huge fan of the morning show in any format, preferring to begin my day with the written word, spread out in many sections, and blessed silence, over my kitchen table. 

That said, I was pleasantly surprised by CBS’ attempt to finally gain a foothold in the first-light ratings with the promise to “put the news back in the morning news.” While they didn’t quite do that — the first half of the show simply recapped the stories of the week, including the Republican primary race, the new book on the Obamas and a segment on fraudulent stem cell treatments that ran on the network’s “60 Minutes” the night before — there was at least an attempt to address bigger issues before moving to the more traditional morning topics: the former Kate Middleton’s 30th birthday, Beyonce’s baby girl.

CBS gave the show a big new set, which, with its exposed brick and wall of flat screens, looked a bit like the Williamsburg loft of a monied blogger, and a jazzy pop soundtrack. But it was the sight of Charlie Rose that went furthest in establishing a break from early morning convention. With his drooping lids and lugubrious tones, Rose is a striking contrast to the preternatural perkiness so often required of (and lampooned in) morning hosts. He is not naturally effervescent and seldom smiles, and one doesn’t just assume, one simply knows that, unlike, say, Matt Lauer, he always wears socks.

Much more anchor than host, he took on the “news” stories, grilling Newt Gingrich in a taped interview (the “Today" show, meanwhile, had Gingrich live), but he spent more time chatting with CBS correspondents Norah O'Donnell, Bob Schieffer and Scott Pelley about the Obama book, the New Hampshire primary and stem cell research.

Continue reading »

David Letterman extortionist hired for Paula Zahn show

Joel halderman

Joe Halderman, the former "48 Hours Mystery" producer who tried to extort $2 million from talk show host David Letterman, has been hired as a producer of Investigation Discovery's "On the Case With Paula Zahn."

Halderman recently joined the staff of the documentary crime series, and is not expected to work in the field.

Scott Weinberg, executive producer of "On the Case," said in a statement: "On behalf of 'On the Case's' production team, we have been impressed with Joe Halderman's professional accomplishments as an Emmy award-winning producer for '48 Hours' and CBS News. With the network's prior approval, the team has brought Halderman on as a producer for 'On The Case.' We are confident that Halderman will make significant contributions to the success of our award-winning investigative newsmagazine."

Halderman was released from jail in September 2010 after serving four months for pleading guilty in a case that put the spotlight on Letterman's affair with a staff member. Halderman admitted he demanded $2 million in hush money to keep from revealing information about the talk show host.


2011 Best TV Meltdowns: From "winning!" to whining

Q&A: Brad Goreski on his new Bravo series and parting ways with Rachel Zoe 

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Joe Halderman pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted grand larceny in the David Letterman extortion case.


CBS plans new version of Edward R. Murrow's 'Person to Person'

"Person to Person," the iconic interview show hosted and created by legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow, will be revived by CBS News next year.

"CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose and CBS News Chief Foreigh Affairs Correspondent and "60 Minutes" Correspondent Lara Logan will co-host the new version, which will premiere Feb. 8.

The original "Person to Person" broke new ground in 1953 when Murrow began taking viewers into homes of famous figures, including Elizabeth Taylor, John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Harry Truman, Fidel Castro and John Steinbeck. The show also shows Robert Kennedy soothing his young children and Sammy Davis Jr. practicing dance routines.

In the new version, Rose and Logan will also go in the private homes of public perople, including musicians, actors, directors, political leads and news makers.


"Golden Globes: "Homeland" creators discuss the show's nominations

"Golden Globes: Who Got Snubbed

— Greg Braxton

Photo: Edward R. Murrow. Credit: CBS Inc.

Charlie Rose, Gayle King to host CBS 'The Early Show'

Gayle king
Charlie Rose and Gayle King will be joining CBS' embattled "The Early Show" as hosts in what is being described as a complete makeover of the struggling early-morning news series.

Rose, who has an interview show on PBS, and King, who has a morning show on OWN, the network founded by her best friend, Oprah Winfrey, would join current co-hosts Jeff Glor and Erica Hill in a revamp of the show. It would be broadcast on a new set being built on the West Side of Manhattan, said sources who were knowledgeable about the situation.

CBS declined comment. Rose, who is part of the "60 Minutes" news team, could make a relatively easy transition, but the status of King's show at OWN is initially uncertain.

Earlier reports from the New York Times said that Rose and King would be part of a two-hour show that would emphasize hard news and have a more conversational format, like that of "The View" on ABC and "Morning Joe" on MSNBC. The more popular "The Today Show" on NBC and "Good Morning America" on ABC have a multilayered format that mixes news with entertainment and lifestyle features.


Howard Stern likely to join "America's Got Talent"

Sharon Osbourne to Piers Morgan: "Please Don't Go"

Ashton Kutcher's Paterno tweets send actor running for PR cover

--Greg Braxton

Photo: Gayle King. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images


Appreciation: Andy Rooney, 1919-2011

The American humorist Andy Rooney, who last month retired from his longtime seat on the CBS news magazine "60 Minutes," which he would cap each week with an observation about this thing or that -- or more often this thing and that, and then another thing -- died Friday night at the age of 92.

Rooney, whose job was to be publicly himself for a few minutes every Sunday evening, was inescapably different things to different people, and even from essay to essay: On the one hand, a teller of truths, old enough to remember a world that made a little more sense, or wise enough to imagine the world in which we finally might get it right; on the other, a mean old man yelling at some damn kids to get off his lawn. (Cameron Crowe's recent documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty," about the Seattle rock band, replays at length Rooney's less than gracious remarks on the 1994 suicide of Kurt Cobain, and the generation that idolized him.)

PHOTOS: Andy Rooney| 1919 - 2011

Indeed, Rooney was nearly (or almost nearly) a senior citizen when he began his long last act on "60 Minutes" -- 33 years encompassing 1,079 editions of his secular sermonette, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney." He had already lived a professional lifetime by then, beginning as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes during World War II and entering into television in its infancy, where he would write for both entertainer Arthur Godfrey and newsman Harry Reasoner. These comic and journalistic voices he would later combine in his own work, beginning in the 1960s with the video essays he wrote for Reasoner and then, in the '70s, the self-hosted prime-time specials, including "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington" and "Mr. Rooney Goes to Work," that first established him as an on-air personality.

There are a lot of people talking on television today, in the precincts where Rooney worked, and many of them are talking without much reflection, wit or attention to the words they use. They deal only in volume: They speak loud and they speak long. As a TV personality, Rooney was always foremost a writer -- there, in his cluttered office-as-set was his typewriter for the world to see -- and even with the multiple digressions that were a hallmark of his style, he did not belabor a point. And he made his points quietly. His language was deceptively elegant, colloquial but precise.

Like his fellow video essayist, the late Charles Kuralt -- another longtime employee of CBS, for what that's worth -- Rooney paid exacting attention to the small and overlooked things of the world: The first of the video specials he wrote for Reasoner was titled "An Essay on Doors." Although he was reflexively called a curmudgeon -- not least because, with his beetling white brows, he looked the way we imagine a curmudgeon would -- he also spoke often of things he loved: elastic bands, dogs, New York weather. Even his complaints more often than not betrayed a general delight with the strangeness of the world, not a desire to be shut of it.

He was, of course, a performer; the person you saw leaning confidentially toward you on television was a Rooney edited and organized -- by Rooney -- for comic effect. (When he was simply serious, by contrast, as when commenting on the Oklahoma City bombing, the Challenger disaster or the death of Osama bin Laden, he was simply himself.) But it was a performance informed by real ideas wrought from years' experience.

That experience now includes the last experience of all: "I hate it. I mean, I'm gonna die," Rooney told Morley Safer, when asked how he liked old age in an interview that accompanied his final "60 Minutes" broadcast, "and that doesn't appeal to me at all." He would have gotten a good piece out of his own passing; it's a shame we won't get to see it.


Obituary: Andy Rooney dies at 92

Andy Rooney health 'serious' after surgery scare

Critic's Notebook: Andy Rooney signs off the way he signed on

-- Robert Lloyd

Photo: Andy Rooney in 1979. Credit: Los Angeles Times



Andy Rooney health 'serious' after surgery scare

CBS' Andy Rooney — who announced his retirement from his regular commentator role on "60 Minutes" last month — is ailing following surgery, the network said Tuesday.

"Andy Rooney underwent minor surgery last week and suffered serious complications," CBS News wrote in a statement. "For that reason, he remains in the hospital, but his condition is stable."

At his retirement, Rooney was at 92 among the oldest persons still working on-air in television. (NBC's Don Pardo still does some announcing for "Saturday Night Live" at age 93.)

Rooney joined "60 Minutes" in 1978.

Want to wish Andy well? Sound off in the comments below.


CBS gives full-season orders to two dramas

Zombies will roam again on "Walking Dead" season 3

MTV gets in on Occupy Wall Street action

— Scott Collins (

Photo: Andy Rooney is ailing following surgery. Credit: Agence France-Presse /Getty Images.


What '60 Minutes' Andy Rooney just won't do

Looks like his looming retirement isn't making Andy Rooney any less curmudgeonly.

In his exit interview set for Sunday's "60 Minutes," the retiring nonagenarian commentator tells colleague Morley Safer that he isn't about to start being nice to strangers who recognize him from TV.

"I just don't sign autographs," Rooney, capping 33 years on the CBS newsmagazine, says.

Duly noted! Kids, stay away from the cranky man with the bushy eyebrows.

Rooney said last year that he intended to work "until I drop," but health issues have forced him to retire from the show that made him nationally famous. CBS has said he's welcome back whenever he wants.

What do you think of Rooney? Will you be watching his Sunday farewell?


NBC pushes back premiere dates for "Chuck" and "Grimm"

"The X Factor" closes out its audition phase

Tony Bennett: Amy Winehouse knew she was doomed

— Scott Collins (

Photo: Andy Rooney, appearing on his last "60 Minutes" commentary. Credit: CBS.


Andy Rooney gives his last word Sunday on '60 Minutes'

Andy rooney pic 
Andy Rooney, who has delivered his trademark witty commentary on "60 Minutes" since 1978, is stepping away from the CBS newsmagazine. Rooney, 92, will make his last regular appearance on the series on Sunday.

A release from "60 Minutes" gave no reason for Rooney's departure, but he will outline the announcement in his regular essay at the conclusion of the broadcast, which will mark his 1,097th essay for "60 Minutes." Rooney's commentary will be preceded by a segment in which Rooney will reflect on his career during an interview with Morley Safer.

Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of "60 Minutes," said in a statement, "There's nobody like Andy and there will never be. He'll hate hearing this, but he's an American original. His contributions to '60 Minutes' are immeasurable; he's also a great friend. It's harder for him to do it every week, but he will always have the ability to speak his mind on '60 Minutes' when the urge hits him."

Rooney also provoked controversy. He was suspended without pay by CBS News for three months in 1990 in response to complaints that he had made offensive comments about blacks and homosexuals.

Rooney's first essay for "60 Minutes" in 1978 was a report about automobile fatalities on the Independence Day weekend. He became a regular feature that fall, alternating weeks with the dueling James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander before getting the end slot all to himself in the fall of 1979.

He also produced "60 Minutes" segments for Harry Reasoner during the broadcast's first few seasons.


Starz renews new Kelsey Grammer show before its first season premiere

Mariska Hargitay establishes UCLA acting scholarship

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Andy Rooney. Credit: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press





Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: