Looks like Charlie Rose has just ascended to the 60 Minutes presenter pantheon -- for what that's worth these days... (He joins recent additions Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper.)
One of the L.A. media blogs in my feed, Tabloid Baby, has a pretty interesting post up this morning about Rose evidently saying Nigg-r on the air back in 1985, when he was hosting a wee-hours show called Nightwatch. It sounds like there was pretty raucous media uproar, and Rose had to go on the air and give a tear-caked "I worked for Bill Moyers" apology.
I highly recommend reading the whole post at Tabloid Baby. The writer there seems pretty smart and hilarious. I plan to check him out more often.
But back to Rose. I've always had a soft spot for the guy. I hear he's a pretty inveterate boozehound, and I've heard some pretty entertaining stories. Imitating a besotted Charlie Rose is a favorite in my impersonation arsenal. Also, when Rose has lightweight guests on his show -- like Hollywood actors and directors -- it's my professional TV viewer's opinion that he tipples a few first to deal with the excruciating monotony of listening to their answers ("You know Charlie, with me, it's all about my craft. ... The work comes first. ... Then, comes my passion for children's charities.") Usually, Charlie will be caught looking away and smirking, before giving a slightly slurred prompt to the next segment. ("The new film is ... <slapping table with one hand> ... 50 First Dates ... Jimmy Fallon ... Always a pleasure to have you at this table.)
I looked around fruitlessly on You Tube for a clip of the long-forgotten Rose racial slur. If anyone can find it, let me know. I did, however, find a clip of Rose hosting Nightwatch 22 years ago. It's worth the price of admission for a younger looking Rose doing the trademark Rose smirk and speech cadence, as well as the vintage Family Ties footage. (The guests are Meredith Baxter Birney and David Birney.)