The Charlie Rose Show

Charlie Rose is one of my favorite television shows. Charlie interviews a lot of interesting people from all different walks of life. He interviews politicians, reporters, soldiers, writers, scientists, business people and artists. I “meet” a lot of new, interesting people on his show. It has been broadcast on PBS since 1991.

He is on your local Public Television station Monday through Friday. The show is broadcast out of New York City at 11:00 P.M. each weeknight but, the show actually airs at different times depending on your location. Check your local listings. I shouldn’t stay up to watch it because it is so late, but I often do.

Sometimes he will interview several people at once, but usually it is just him and the person being interviewed sitting around a big, round, oak table. The background is always black unless he is not in his studio in New York. The show is an hour long. The hour may be split into two or three segments. Sometimes the whole hour will be the same person or group of people. It is commercial free except for the normal public television promotion of the sponsors at the start of the show.

I know that I can watch each interview on the shows website anytime after the original show airs, so I don’t worry about missing anything. On the website, each interview is a separate video. If a topic or guest doesn’t interest you, you can just skip it and watch the video you want.

I often see people on the show that I don’t know.  If I find them interesting, and I usually do, I’ll look them up online later. There are a lot of interesting people out there doing some amazing things. The show can be very inspiring.

Charlie’s first guest on October 13, 2009 was Ezra Klein of the Washington Post. Klein was in Washington, D.C. for the interview. Charlie was asking him about the health care vote in the Senate. Klein is a very good speaker. He doesn’t fill in what he says with a lot of umms and aahhs. A few fillers slip in, but not many. Since I joined Toastmasters last year, I notice this type of thing.

Representative Ike Skelton, a Democrat from Missouri and the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee was the next guest. He was in Washington, D.C. too. Charlie asked him questions about the troop request from General McChrystal for 40,000 additional troops and the recent corrupt elections in Afghanistan. He thought we needed to stay in Afghanistan to deny a safe haven to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

David Finkel of the Washington Post was the third guest and was interviewed for the last half-hour. He recently completed a book called, “The Good Soldiers.” He spent eight months in Iraq with a U.S. Army infantry battalion of 800 men from Fort Riley Kansas. Their average age was 19 years old. They spent 14 months in Iraq and then came home. They are now back in Iraq.

Finkel carefully describes EFPs, an extremely violent and destructive type of roadside bomb that these soldiers had to deal with on a daily basis. He describes the horrible wounds of one soldier in particular and how he eventually died back in the United States. The battalion lost 14 men killed and 75 received Purple Hearts during their time in Iraq.  You can read a review of “The Good Soldiers” in the New York Times.

Charlie asks probing questions and then lets his guests talk as he listens intently.

David A. Kaplan, who called Charlie Rose “the hardest-working man in TV news”, wrote a great article about him for Fortune magazine. It is titled, “Why business loves Charlie Rose.” I think David should  have chosen a different title, because the article is much more interesting than that. It has a lot of background information about Charlie and how he got to be where he is. I even learned that Charlie found the oak table himself and it is 60 inches in diameter. I highly recommend the article.

While doing some research for this post, I found out that Bloomberg Television is now rebroadcasting the Charlie Rose show in prime time. The previous nights show is rebroadcast at 8:00 P.M. in my area. If you go to Bloomberg Television here and put in your zip code, the page will tell you if the Bloomberg Channel is available in your area and on what station.

I watched some of the show on Bloomberg Television for the first time this evening. It was a little annoying because of the changing news messages at the bottom of the screen and the “crawl” on top of that. It is distracting. I am used to the oak desk, black background and Charlie interviewing a guest. I’ll have to wait and see if watching it at an earlier time is worth the distractions. My first guess is that I don’t think it will be worth it.

You can read a New York Times story about Charlie Rose and Bloomberg Televison here.

So now you and I have three different options to watch Charlie Rose: PBS, Bloomberg Television or the Charlie Rose website. I can never again say, “there is nothing on TV” because I will always be able to find a Charlie Rose show I haven’t seen.

Charlie Rose is always an excellent, well done show. If you are not familiar with it, do yourself a favor and check it out. If you are familiar with it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the show. I appreciate it.

2 Responses to “The Charlie Rose Show”

  1. Lawrence White says:

    I agree that Charlie Rose presents a fuller picture of the personality he is interviewing than you get in almost any media today. However the sharpest and most prepared interviewer I ever saw was Bob Costas – and I don’t mean in sports. On his own late night show in the 90’s he interviewed politicians, artists, and other personalities and it was simply amazing. In fact it was not unusual for the guest to be so at ease and impressed by the nature of the insightful questioning that they would stay and do another segment on the spot. If you go to the Museum of Broadcasting in NYC make sure to check out his shows. You will not be bored. 

  2. John Tedder says:

    Thanks Lawrence. I like Bob Costas too.

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