60 Minutes

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60 Minutes logo in use since 2006

60 Minutes is an American television newsmagazine program that is broadcast on the CBS television network in the United States and on Global Television Network in Canada. Launched in 1968, Don Hewitt created the program and set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation. In 2002, 60 Minutes was ranked #6 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.


Publicity photo of Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner from the premiere of 60 Minutes.

Opening Roll Call

Dan Rather: I'm Dan Rather!
Bob Simon: I'm Bob Simon!
Charlie Rose: I'm Charlie Rose!
Vicki Mabrey: I'm Vicki Mabrey!
Scott Pelley: I'm Scott Pelley! Those stories, And Steve Hartman, Tonight on 60 Minutes II.
[Clock Ticking Sound]

"Werner Erhard" (March 3, 1991)

Alphabetized by author
  • I would never have believed that I, could be a person who would wind up in a cult...And yet, certainly mind control was involved. And if that's what cults do, and they set up a leader to be bigger than anybody else, a god-like figure, I would say yes, that was true in the organization.
    • Wendy Drucker, high-level manager who was employed by Werner Erhard for 9 years
  • There is only one appropriate response to these allegations, to heal and restore my family. And that is what I will do. To respond to the accusations at this time, would only further publicly exploit my family, and there has already been enough of that.

Bill Clinton interview (1995)

Note: Quotes from this interview are public domain, from the work Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents as published by the United States Government Printing Office.
Alphabetized by author
  • Mr. President, this is Ed Bradley in New York. There are many people who would question our system of criminal justice today in the United States--in fact, many people who have lost faith in our criminal justice system. With so many people languishing on death row today for so many years, how can you say with such assurance that justice will be certain, swift, and severe?
  • You know, we accepted a minor infringement on our freedom, I guess, when the airport metal detectors were put up, but they went a long way to stop airplane hijackings and the explosion of planes and the murdering of innocent people. We're going to have to be very, very tough and firm in dealing with this. We cannot allow our country to be subject to the kinds of things these poor people in Oklahoma City have been through in the last few days.
  • I don't want to interfere with anybody's constitutional rights. But people do not have a right to violate the law and do not have a right to encourage people to kill law enforcement officials and do not have a right to take the position that if a law enforcement officer simply tries to see them about whether they've violated the law or not, they can blow him to kingdom come. That is wrong.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz in an interview with Lara Logan, April 15, 2009.

Bill Clinton interview (1999)

Note: Quotes from this interview are public domain, from the work Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents as published by the United States Government Printing Office.
Alphabetized by author
  • I think what I'll miss the most is the work, the job, the contact with all kinds of people and all kinds of issues, the ability to make a difference, to solve problems, to open up opportunities for other people. There's almost no--not almost, I suppose there is no job like it in the world. It's been an unbelievable thrill and a profound honor, and I will miss it very much.
U.S. Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander, Multinational Force Iraq, answers questions posed by 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl during his visit to the People's Market in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq, Sept. 18, 2008.
  • On balance, I think the two-term tradition has served us well. I'm glad President Roosevelt served the third term, because of the war. But on balance, I think it's served us well. Now, you know, I'm young, and I'm strong, and I'm, as far I know, in good health. I love the job. And so if I could serve again, I probably would. But I think that's the reason we have this limit, so that people like me don't get to make that decision.
  • I believed when I got here that there was a chance that we could have a very long period of economic growth. Now I couldn't have known, when we started and we started slashing the deficit and investing more in technology, that we would have the longest economic expansion in history that would even outstrip wartime when we had been fully mobilized.
  • I would remind you that in the United States we had an increasing gap between the rich and the poor for about 20 years, as we moved into this new economic phase. The same thing happened when we changed from being an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. In the last 2 or 3 years, we started to see the gap close again. And the answer is not to run away from globalization. The answer is to make change our friend. The answer is to have broad access to information and information technology, to have broad-based systems of education and health care and family supports in every country, and to continue to try to shape the global economy.
  • I have done everything I could as President to try to organize the permanent Government, the people who will be here when I am gone, and the Congress to deal with the long-term threat of biological, chemical, and small scale nuclear war, as well as the increasing sophistication of traditional weapons.
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates takes part in an interview with 60 Minutes anchor Katie Couric during a trip to Camp Victory, Iraq, on April 7, 2011.
  • We've got plenty of talented people. We just need to be imagining the future, thinking about all the problems as well as all the opportunities, and then prepare. Society always has problems; there are always misfortunes. But basically, I believe the future is quite promising and far more exciting than any period in history. I wish I were going to live to be 150; I'd love to see what happens.
  • I think the most important thing is for me to be a useful citizen of this country and of this world, because I've had opportunities here only my other living predecessors have had. And I think that for me to be able to continue the work I've done in racial and religious and ethnic reconciliation and trying to convince people that we can grow the global economy and still preserve the environment and trying to empower the poor and the dispossessed, in trying to spread the universal impact of education and use technology to benefit ordinary people, these kinds of things--I think I should continue to do this work and trying--I want to get young people into public service. I want them to believe this is noble and important work.
Mike Wallace interview with William Waterway Marks in 1986

Ken Burns interview (2021)

  • One would think that making a film is an additive process; you're building this—it's not, it's subtractive. The best metaphor I know of is we make maple syrup in [Walpole, New Hampshire] and it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. And that's what the process is.
    • Season 53, Episode 42, "SolarWinds, Ken Burns, Best Band in the Land" (2021)


Alphabetized by author
Jimmy Carter and 60 Minutes reporter Ed Bradley in 1978
  • Words, rather than pictures, are what 60 Minutes is all about.
    • Michael J. Berland, ‎Douglas E. Schoen (2009). What Makes You Tick?. HarperBusiness. p. 74. ISBN 0061940410. 
  • The story of 60 Minutes is also any self-respecting capitalist's vision of the American Dream.
    • Richard Campbell (1991). 60 Minutes and the News: A Mythology for Middle America. University of Illinois Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0252017773. 
  • Started in 1968 by CBS, 60 Minutes is probably television's most well-known news magazine—or even one of its most successful shows in general.
    • Brian Cogan, ‎Tony Kelso (2009). Encyclopedia of Politics, the Media, and Popular Culture. Greenwood. p. 326. ISBN 0313343799. 
  • 60 Minutes is a popular CBS television news and commentary show coming out of the 1960s. It was among the first to use a narrative approach to news (stories) and a confrontational style.
    • Joshua Frye, Michael Brune (2012). The Rhetoric of Food: Discourse, Materiality, and Power. Routledge. p. 44. ISBN 978-0415500715. 
  • There is no disputing the fact that the CBS 60 Minutes program is the finest news magazine show in the history of television broadcasting.
    • Phil G. Giriodi (2010). Breakfast in Paris, Lunch in Rome, Dinner in London. Tate Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 1616634731. 
  • Don Hewitt, the creator and executive producer of 60 Minutes, loves to tell the story about how, when the show first went on the air, Bill Paley, the founder of CBS,told him, 'Make us proud!' 'Now,' Hewitt says, 'they tell us: Make us money!'
  • 60 Minutes is the most successful television series of all time, measured by almost any standard, not the least being cash flow. One year, in fact, the profit generated by 60 Minutes was said to have been all the money made in prime time by the CBS Television Network. It has been honored for dozens of awards for outstanding television journalism.
    • In the Storm of the Eye: A Lifetime at CBS. Putnam Adult. 1987. p. 142. ISBN 978-0399132551. 
  • 60 Minutes is famous for their extremely tight close-up shots, particularly those which come in tight while someone else is speaking.
  • In the newsmagazine field, CBS's venerable 60 Minutes is the most-watched news broadcast. For twenty consecutive seasons ... it has been in the top ten rankings.
    • Leonard Mogel (1998). Creating Your Career in Communications and Entertainment. Routledge. p. 122. ISBN 978-0883622087. 
  • Whatever the formula, 60 Minutes is a relatively low-cost, spectacularly revenue-producing success. In in 1991-1992 season, the one-hour show was listed as the one that was the least expensive to produce.
    • Michael D. Murray (1998). Encyclopedia of Television News. Greenwood. p. 238. ISBN 1573561088. 
  • 60 Minutes has been one of the premier programs produced by CBS, which counts the profits from this show to be significantly in excess of $1 billion.
    • Horace Newcomb (2005). Encyclopedia of Television, Volume 1. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishing. p. 1083. ISBN 978-1579584115. 
  • In 1991, 60 Minutes ran a damning profile of charismatic EST founder Werner Erhard (born Jack Rosenberg). A onetime student of Scientology, Erhard was accused of sexual and physical abuse by his family, though some of those claims were later recanted. That same year, Erhard sold out to Landmark Education, which continues to attract millions of followers from all over the world. Landmark is now run by Erhard's brother and sister.
  • One of the best things about being at 60 Minutes is the amount of time devoted to a single story.
  • When Les and I spoke, he looked me in the eye and convinced me that he was sincere in what he was saying about wanting me to stay with CBS for many years on 60 Minutes. I trusted him as a man of his word.
    • Dan Rather (2012). Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News. Grand Central Publishing. p. 220; Chapter 10: Rather v. CBS. ISBN 1455502421. 
  • After an hour of 60 Minutes, Erhard was as dead as Audi. One might have thought that Werner Erhard, the company, was beyond saving. Not true. The name was destroyed, but not the company.
    • Al Ries (2007). Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It. HarperBusiness. p. 164. ISBN 978-0060799908. 
  • 60 Minutes is still the most successful news program in television history, continuing to earn high ratings, journalistic awards, and an enormous fortune for CBS.
    • Brian Geoffrey Rose (1999). Directing for Television. Scarecrow Press. p. 145. ISBN 0810835916. 
  • The media today are controlled by the big corporations. It's all about ratings and money. Believe it or not, I think the downfall of our press today was the show 60 Minutes. Up until it came along, news was expected to lose money, in order to bring the people fair reporting and the truth. But when 60 Minutes became the top-rated program on television, the light went on. The corporate honchos said, "Wait a minute, you mean if we entertain with the news, we can make money?" It was the realization that, if packaged the correct way, the news could make you big bucks. No longer was it a matter of scooping somebody else on a story, but whether 20/20's ratings this week were better than Dateline's. I'm not knocking 60 Minutes. It was tremendously well done and hugely successful, but in the long run it could end up being a detriment to society.
    • Jesse Ventura, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008), Ch. 3, p. 48

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