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Tick... Tick... Tick...: The Long Life and Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes Paperback – October 11, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
But how many of us have watched every broadcast? Probably no one saw them all but those who worked for the show from the beginning. Certainly, if you're under a certain age, you haven't watched them all because the show is older than you are.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. Blum had captured as many of the pivotal stories over the years as possible, both in terms of how they were developed and how they were reported. These stories also include 60 Minutes's biggest flubs and embarrassments. As a result, you can catch up on stories you missed the first time around. You also learn details that you didn't know when you first saw the stories you have seen. And you will find out about the aftermath that was often obscure at the time. The key interview lines and responses are usually in the book.
Beyond that, you find out what it's been like for all of these prima donnas to work together all these years. Predictably, they get on each other's nerves and the blow ups can be explosive. Don Hewitt, the show's executive producer and founder, turns out to be one of those high energy, aggressive people who has a million ideas a minute . . . and most of them are worthless. So he's drove people crazy for all of those years. There's a convincing portrait of how his instinct for entertainment in news added a lot of profits for CBS but often undercut reporting professionalism. You will also learn about the personal vices, quirks and flaws of the key players.Read more ›
What better time to read all about it! Tick, Tick, Tick is a must read history of 60 Minutes--the genetic originator of so many of the TV news formats that we now take for granted. Read it now before 60 Minutes the brontosaurus of bushwack journalism sinks into the media tar pits of history.
Don Hewitt, however, comes off the worst -- even though Blum singles him out for his cooperation with the book. Hewitt was the original creative force who developed 60 Minutes, but the book makes it seem as if the show succeeded despite him rather than because of him. Hewitt's many terrible ideas, such as offering a correspondent's spot to Candice Bergen post-Murphy Brown, are related in great detail. In addition, Hewitt was reportedly an incurable letch who made Clarence Thomas seem like a boy scout in comparison. That Hewitt cooperated so fully with Blum is stunning. So much so, in fact, that the reader has to admire Hewitt's honesty even while repulsed at his abusive and erratic behavior.
Truth be told, I would have rather had some more behind the scenes details about some of 60 Minutes' greatest stories. The interview with Clint Hill, the Westmoreland suit against CBS and the Jeffrey Wigand fiasco are recounted in the book, but the main focus seems to be the backstabbing and bad relations between Hewitt and his correspondents. The book, as it is, is a very revealing portrait of the journalists who have kept 60 Minutes so good for so long. However, a little less gossip and a little more about the inner workings of the show would have been nice. Still, it's a fascinating read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
TICK..TICK...TICK... is a 2004 non-fiction account of the history of 60 MINUTES, one of the longest-running programs on television. Read morePublished on October 24, 2012 by Stacy Helton
With sand running out in his professional hourglass, Don Hewitt agreed to cooperate in the writing of David Blum's book about SIXTY MINUTES, After years of stalling and a slipshod... Read morePublished on July 7, 2005 by J. Lewis
Foul-mouthed book about foul-mouthed, mean people. Every bit as vulgar as watching network tv. I look forward to the G-rated version as beneath the bad language is a fascinating,... Read morePublished on March 21, 2005 by E. E. Eiber