I thought 60 Minutes still had some journalistic standards, but then maybe I am stuck in a different century.
Letting James Brown conduct the 60 Minutes interview with convicted dog killer Michael Vick, coming up Sunday, seems like more of a public relations strategy engineered by Vick’s people than a jouranlistic decision.
You need to know, in case you don’t already, that James Brown and Vick’s close advisor, Tony Dungy — who has staked his reputation to Vick’s successful return to the NFL after serving his time in federal prison on dog fighting convictions — are very close friends (Dungy is reportedly interviewed for the 60 Minutes piece). Their relationship should disqualify any purported journalistic exercise by Brown.
Here is the endorsement that Brown wrote for Dungy’s book, “Quiet Strength:”
“In the 21 years that I’ve known Tony Dungy, I have consistently found him to be a man of integrity, sincerity, and openness. As a man of faith, no matter what trials or tribulations he’s faced, he has embodied the Scripture found in Proverbs 16:32: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ Dungy has followed the Biblical prescription for success. In football and in the game of life, Tony Dungy is a winner.”
Oh, yeah, it’s going to be a real grilling.
You should also know that the author of Dungy’s book, Nathan Whitaker, is also the writer for the book Brown has coming out — and that Dungy lobbied Brown to use Whitaker.
Just keep all this in mind when you are watching this 60 Minutes interview.
Listen to myself and co-host Kevin Sheehan on “The Sports Fix” from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN 980 AM Washington and espn980.com
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com