Has ”60 Minutes” Jumped the Shark?

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No, ”60 Minutes” has not irrevocably jumped the shark (yet), but the venerable news magazine has gotten off to a terrible 35th season. Steve Kroft’s Clarence Thomas piece was astonishingly uncritical (Where was Anita Hill to offer a contrasting view of Justice Thomas? Where was Angela Wright?). And then there is the legitimate question of the ”sportsification” of 60 Minutes (Especially evident in the 38th season).

Which causes us to wonder: Has ”60 Minutes” Jumped the proverbial Shark? Bob Simon has infused the show with some much-needed oxygen. His pieces on ”The Ship Breakers of Bangladesh” and ”In Search of The Hobbit” were so exciting they raised the hairs on my arms. Scott Pelley, a solid worker, will interview Ramzi Yousef, the World Trade Center bomber on Sunday. Pelley’s aggressive interview of the Iranian President several weeks ago presaged –and possibly influenced? — the tone of Columbia President Bollinger’s similar cross-examination of Ahmadinejad days later. Morley Safer’s pieces are musty. Bob Simon is a solid worker. Anderson Cooper is still finding his legs on the show (Kudos, though, to his controversial Hip-Hop Snitchin story, though). The jury is still out on Katie Couric. The loss of Don Hewitt — who underwent a forced retirement — is obvious (A fact acutely noticed by Don Hewitt himself). The absence of Ed Bradley is also vast. Andy Rooney absolutely needs to be replaced, preferably by Jon Stewart or Bill Maher.

So, no: ”60 Minutes” has not officially Jumped the Shark (yet), but after a few weeks of really bad judgment, it certainly appears headed in that direction.

(image via cbslocal)