The New York Times reported Tuesday that 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager was apparently so bothered that the original author of the show’s 50th-anniversary book, “Fifty Years of 60 Minutes,” interviewed subjects about the treatment of women in the workplace that he took over the project himself leading to a book largely devoid of the issue.
After having completed roughly a dozen interviews in 2015, Mr. Zoglin was summoned to meet with Mr. Fager, who told the writer that he was focusing too much on the negative. Specifically, Mr. Fager expressed concern that Mr. Zoglin had asked his interview subjects about the treatment of women in the 60 Minutes workplace, according to three people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive internal matters. Mr. Fager also asked Mr. Zoglin why he had brought up the rocky tenure of Katie Couric, a onetime correspondent for the show and former CBS News anchor who left the network on bad terms.
The Times referenced several incidences of sexual harassment from the show’s correspondents including the much-revered Mike Wallace, father of Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
The treatment of female co-workers by Mr. Wallace, the show’s signature correspondent, was also often insensitive. “What would now be called sexual harassment was par for the course back in the ’50s and early ’60s,” Mr. Wallace said in a 1996 Playboy interview. “And I would indulge in it.” In the same interview, he admitted that he had once had a habit of “snapping a bra” in the “60 Minutes” office.
Sexual harassment may exist at 60 Minutes, but that won’t be apparent to readers of this whitewashed version of the show’s history.