Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 8:18 AM

Charlie Rose, Accused Sexual Predator, WAS My Favorite TV Interviewer

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

The phenomenon of women outing powerful and influential men as sexual predators has reached critical mass. More to the point, it has already ended the careers of such closeted creeps as Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey. Never mind its conspicuous failure to end that of Donald J. Trump …

I have written many commentaries on men falling from grace in this respect. Many have yet to fall, and I shall welcome the comeuppance for each one. But, truth be told, the confluence of schadenfreude, disgust, and shame (for my gender) became such that, after Weinstein, I decided to write no more.

Then came this:

Eight women have told the Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the Charlie Rose show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011.

(Washington Post, November 20, 2017)

Trust me folks, Rose was so revered and respected that this is almost like the pope himself being outed as a pedophile. Nobody who hailed his public face could have imagined that he was showing a private face to women that looked very much like that of the predatory Harvey Weinstein.

Apropos of which, the following excerpt is from “Professional Epiphany: I have Returned My Flower, a Changed Bee,” June 20, 2006. It explains why I think his fall from grace is at least worthy of dishonorable mention.


Charlie Rose is my favorite TV interviewer. …

As I was confined to my own sick-bed, I watched Charlie mark his celebrated return by explaining to viewers [of his eponymous Charlie Rose interview show] the impact his illness has had on his personal and professional life. …

It was instructive to listen to Charlie talk about his commitment to work, which he invariably pursued at the expense of family and friends:

I have to think now of what is the appropriate balance. … I’m asking have I lived a good life….

Nobody on their death bed says I wish I spent more time at the office. I’ve spent too much time working, and the opportunity, or the commitment I have now is to read more and to spend more time with friends.

Charlie (himself a former practicing attorney) shared his intent to reduce his workload to have more time for the family and friends he has neglected over the years.  I have resolved to do the same.

Close friends know that I find writing tremendously therapeutic. This is why they have been exhorting me for nearly a year to make this weblog more a vocation than avocation. I have resolved to try.


Except that, instead of reducing his workload as he publicly vowed to do, Rose doubled it. Specifically, he signed on in 2012 to co-host the breakfast show, CBS This Morning. This indicated that the satisfaction he got from his work went far beyond the lust for power, influence, and money that drives most professional men.

In any event, CBS broadcasts his critically acclaimed morning show; PBS his equally acclaimed interview show. Both networks suspended him immediately pending further investigation. But this is tantamount to firing him – as men like O’Reilly will attest.

Rose issued a characteristically urbane statement. Unfortunately, it smacked as more of a self-righteous explanation than a heart-felt apology:

I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken. …

All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.

— Charlie Rose (@charlierose) November 20, 2017

Alas, I suspect he will not be saying his signature TV sign off “see you next time for the rest of his life. In which case, he will be able to spend all of his time reading and hanging out with the few friends who haven’t already abandoned him.

Mind you, it’s not as if I ever thought I knew Rose or what he did behind closed doors. It’s just that I thought my informed cynicism inured me to the shock and dismay others are experiencing as they watch so many powerful and influential men fall from grace.

And no, they are not all white men. After all, the pioneering public face of these predatory creeps is that of the very black Clarence Thomas. Never mind that he got away scot-free, and is now sitting on the US Supreme Court.

But I am truly shocked and dismayed by this fall. I am saddened to see his august career end in such disgrace. It really could not have happened to a better man.

That said, this seems a good time to reprise my clarion call for women to replace men in positions of power and influence in every facet of public life. I sounded it in many commentaries over the years, including as lately as “Men Should Be Barred from Politics,” September 25, 2013, and as early as “Cracking the Glass Ceiling: First Woman to Become President in South America,” December 12, 2005. Notably, “Women Make Better Politicians than Men,” October 14, 2010, includes the following:

We have enough data, as well as anecdotal evidence, from the way women have influenced the corporate world to make some credible extrapolations. The correlation between more women holding positions of power and the implementation of family-friendly policies is undeniable in this respect. Therefore, it’s entirely reasonable to assert that if more women held positions of power in politics they would use their power more towards building up human resources than military armaments – just to cite one obvious example.

Finland’s president, prime minister, president of the Supreme Court, as well as eight of its eleven government ministers are all women. Arguably, there’s a direct correlation between their positions and the fact that Newsweek rated this county the best place to live in 2010 – in terms of health, economic dynamism, education, political environment, and quality of life.

Sorry, Charlie(s)!

Related commentaries:
Professional epiphany
Hurricane Harvey
Men should be barred

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