By Jonah Goldberg
There was a time when a public figure who wanted to get a “fair hearing” — i.e., get his message out without too much pushback or skepticism — sought out Larry King. I’ve never faulted Larry King for that. He was on the infotainment side of journalism, and that’s a fine place to be if you don’t pretend to be doing something different. He’d ask good, sometimes interesting, but usually easy questions, and then let his guests answer them pretty much as they wanted. This format lent itself in particular to movie stars and politicians who wanted to stay on message. You knew King would let you do that. As a result, King got a lot of good guests. Everyone won.
There was also a time when 60 Minutes was the toughest news show on TV.