It seems like Don Hewitt, exec. producer of CBS News’ “60 Minutes”, is out to head off any criticism of his show’s interviews that are tied to new book releases from corporate sibling Simon & Schuster. Hewitt, known for being at odds with top company execs at times, has clearly been on a roll of late, breaking news this month featuring the first interview with Simon & Schuster’s “Against All Enemies” author Richard Clarke two weeks ago and a follow-up interview with Condoleeza Rice one week later. Next Sunday, the program will present the first interview with author Bob Woodward who will be talking at length about Simon & Schuster’s “Plan of Attack,” a new book about the Bush’s administration’s move towards war in Iraq. A New York Times interview with Hewitt, published in tomorrow’s paper, says that the new book will make news.
Clarke’s best-selling book, which I’ve just finished reading, is a scathing critique of the Bush’s administration’s handling of the terrorist threats before and after 9/11, including the decision to attack Iraq. Despite the administration’s attempts to discredit the book and Clarke since his “60 Minutes” appearance, the author has become a bestseller and emerged as a compelling source whose criticisms grow more and more alarming as the statements of Condoleeza Rice and other’s within the government are disproven.
Hewitt says he never even knew that Clarke’s book was published by a division of Simon & Schuster before government officials raised the link as a way to discredit Clarke and the book.