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Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday at the age of 95, seemed like an indelible and welcome presence on our TV screens over the last two decades -- not quite omnipresent, but hardly invisible either. In fact...that's all a bit of an illusion: He didn't do all that many major TV interviews. I suppose this all comes under the heading of "He Had More Important Things To Do..." But more important than TV! In fact, there are some politicians who don't make a beeline for the camera, and he was apparently one of them.
I've collected a few notable interviews here,however, from Oprah to Charlie Rose, and a couple in between. Of course, this is hardly conclusive -- far from it -- but this small tour does reveal a gracious screen presence who seemed to intuitively understand the two rules of interviews: 1.) Don't evade; 2.) say what's in your heart (as long as what's in your heart isn't loathsome, I suppose -- then please hide it.)
I've posted Charlie's full interview below -- please don't blame me, Charlie, but it's good; the world needs to see! Meanwhile, if you're a Newsday app-ster, please head on over to Newsday.com/tvzone. .
In this great precooked world of celebrity chatter, in which famous people are carefully coached by their well-paid team of publicists about what to say and how to say it, candid commentary — particularly about Oprah Winfrey, the most powerful woman in television — is absolutely unheard of. That's why Jenny McCarthy's comments on "Watch What Happens" the other day are — if not "significant"...Read more »