Welcome to another installment of “Tuesdays With Morley,” a semi-regular feature in which Daily Intel runs into Morley Safer at an event (he’s quite the man-about-town, you know) and quizzes the venerable 60 Minutes reporter about the events of the day. In the past, Safer has told us stories about being a journalist back in the day and sounded off on current media issues, like whether Katie Couric’s going to Iraq was actually just bullshit hype. Last night, we saw him at the premiere party for John Adams at MoMA, and Morley took a few minutes out from admiring the framers to talk about the supposed media bias toward Obama, the new Wall Street Journal, and the controversy surrounding his old CBS teammate Dan Rather.
Daily Intel: Will you be up all night [tonight] watching returns?
Morley Safer: I think this is the most compelling election in my lifetime or my memory, I should say. Would I have predicted this six months ago? No, I don’t think anyone could have.
D.I.: Do you buy the idea that the media is biased toward Obama and against Clinton?
M.S.: No, not at all. Look, I think that candidates get the responses they deserve, pretty much. I think that Mrs. Clinton is a very, very tough woman, who is very commanding. She’s also very seasoned, she’s a fighter, and she knows how to give it out. And she’s learning how to take. She has taken a particular road, and Mr. Obama has taken another road, another approach — not just to the politics of it, but to the people. She has hers, and he has his. And they both seem to be very effective.
D.I.: What do you think of the new Wall Street Journal?
M.S.: Nothing that I’ve seen, but I’m obviously always very dubious about mass-media ownership.
D.I.: Why are you dubious?
M.S.: Well, put it this way: Mr. Murdoch has a mixed record.
D.I.: Do you have an opinion on the Dan Rather–CBS fight?
M.S.: I have no idea. I don’t have an opinion and know nothing about it.
D.I.: Are you in contact with Dan?
M.S.: I am not.
D.I.: Do you support him or your employer?
M.S.: I support me. —Justin Ravitz
Hear from Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Eva Amurri, and others at our complete coverage of the HBO premiere of John Adams.