Disgraced journalist Charlie Rose has kicked off a comeback attempt nearly five years after being fired by both CBS and PBS amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Rose, who turned 80 in January, posted a 75-minute interview with 91-year-old business giant Warren Buffett on his personal website on Thursday. In it, the two talked about the latter’s career as Rose quizzed him about fellow billionaire bigwigs and space jockeys Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, among other subjects.
“I’m proud to share this recent conversation with Warren Buffett,” Rose wrote as an introduction to the chat — seemingly the start of a series titled “Charlie Rose Conversations” — on his website. “It is his first interview on camera in almost a year and the first I’ve done in more than four years. It is a step in a journey to engage the most interesting people and explore the most compelling ideas in the world.”
Rose, a former “CBS This Morning” anchor and host of his own self-titled talk show on public television, was “terminated” from his high-profile positions in November 2017 after he was hit with allegations of unwanted sexual advances.
Not everyone was thrilled, though, with Rose’s return to broadcasting, even on his own streaming platform.
“Once again, I shall ask, how’s that whole cancel culture going for folks?” tweeted writer Rebecca Carroll, while another social media commenter added their own snark: “Look at how cancel culture has ruined the careers of men like Charlie Rose and Louis CK. So sad,” referencing the fallen comic who recently received a Grammy Award, despite sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Others called out Buffett for even agreeing to do the sit-down tête-à-tête.
“What is wrong with #WarrenBuffet? Hundreds of respectable journalists who don’t sexually harass women available, and he chooses to give an interview to #CharlieRose?” wrote one commenter who claimed to be a retired journalist in their profile. “Please let Rose crawl back under the rock he’s been hiding under for the past 4 years – and stay there. #MeToo“
During the interview, the discussion never touched on any accusations against Rose. Instead, the talker steered Buffett to blithely open up about aging and its effects on him, with Buffett acknowledging that while he may be winding down, his “happiness” was still intact.
“I’ve gotten dumber, but I’ve gotten wiser,” he said, noting that his memory and more aren’t quite as good as they used to be.
“I am a decaying machine that still feels wonderful,” he continued. “But I can’t hear as well, I can’t see as well, my balance isn’t as good, but it doesn’t interfere with my happiness, my work — anything.”
He also said that certain forms of 21st-century communication remain beyond his skill set.
“I don’t know how to send emails,” he admitted with a laugh. “I literally don’t know how to send an email.”
When Rose asked him how he felt when people referred to him as a “genius,” business leader Buffett dismissed the thought — and he even suggested that his line of work didn’t rely on brainiacs to keep it functioning.
“I’m a bright guy who’s terribly interested in what he does, so I’ve spent a lifetime doing it. I’ve surrounded myself with people that bring out the best in me — and you don’t need to be a genius in what I do,” he responded. “That’s the good thing about it. If I went into physics or a whole lot of other stuff, I’d be an also-ran. But I am in a game that you don’t need — you probably need 120 points of IQ. But 170 doesn’t do any better than 120. It may do worse — probably do worse. But you don’t really need brains.”