Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 7, 2004
POP CULTURE: Tangled Up In Green

Slate.com carries a negative review of Ed Bradley’s mailed-in Sunday interview with Bob Dylan and sees a Viacom connection as the motivation behind Dylan’s rare appearance and Bradley’s fawning. The Crank mentioned in passing here the tendency of CBS to shamelessly plug books put out by its corporate masters.

Aside from ethics, I guess there’s nothing necessarily wrong about it - Dylan is certainly a worthy interview subject - but you have to wish that “60 Minutes” would be a little more forthright about this type of thing.

UPDATE: I misread the end of the Slate piece, which, as a more alert reader points out in the comments, says that Steve Kroft had apparently mentioned the Viacom-CBS-Dylan connection at the top of the show. Having just caught the tail end of the interview and reading the Slate author’s tone, I assumed that CBS had failed to disclose it. Anyway, as a result, I don’t see any real problem here except for a boring interview. My bad.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:18 PM | Pop Culture | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Agreed. It's been pretty well confirmed this week that the only reason he was on CBS was because of his connection to the network. Dylan doesn't get interviewed anywhere, by anyone, from what I can tell - he's definitely hard to get.

It's one thing to be worthy to interview, it's another thing when you figure out how the venue got him.

Posted by: Tom at December 7, 2004 8:09 PM

This really seems like no big deal to me. It's simply synergy -- no different from ESPN advertising a Wide World of Disney movie (on ABC, no less). Dylan wrote a book, he's a newsworthy, interviewable subject -- what's the beef? It's not like they fraudulently pumped fake data or something...

Posted by: Dan at December 8, 2004 4:33 AM

Did CBS at least mention the conflict? God bless media consolidation.

Posted by: Zach at December 8, 2004 9:53 AM

Zach -- Actually, Steve Croft disclosed it at the top of the show.

Posted by: WD at December 8, 2004 3:45 PM
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