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Rose had preached character, integrity Preached: Rose may have marred legacy.

Byline: Kyle Swenson and Samantha Schmidt The Washington Post

Swallowed up in the baggy academic robes of Georgetown University, Charlie Rose stood before the schools graduating class of 2015, shifting into the final moments of a commencement speech on lessons learned from one of the most celebrated careers in broadcast journalism.

"Think ahead to the end of your life," he told the graduates. "And think about what you would like to be remembered for at the end of your life. Its not honor. Its not prestige. It is character. It is integrity. It is truth. It is doing the right

thing. Its hard to imagine or think about that when youre 22. Its easy when youre 73."

Two years later, exactly what Rose will be "remembered for" is now an open question.

On Monday, The Washington Post reported on a string of sexual assault allegations against the 75-year-old television host, including unwanted advances, groping, lewd phone calls and other improprieties. Eight women, both former employees on Roses eponymous talk show and aspiring journalists, told The Post about their experiences with him, as well as their fears that speaking out against the famed host could ruin their careers.

Having ascended so high, to the status of "journalistic icon," he now faces the possibility of a rapid descent. By Tuesday CBS News and PBS cut ties with Rose, and Bloomberg on Monday halted the distribution of the hourlong talk show Rose has hosted since the early 1990s.

"Despite Charlies important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace. A supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work," CBS News President David Rhodes said in a memo to staff on Tuesday. "We need to be such a place."

Rhodes said it was important to maintaining credibility in reporting allegations involving media figures elsewhere that CBS manage basic standards of behavior at its own shop. Rose hosted "CBS This Morning" each weekday and was a contributor to "60 Minutes."

The loftiness of Roses career can be measured in part by his many honors, some of which could now be at risk: honorary degrees from Duke, Georgetown and Montclair State, to name a few; a Peabody Award and Emmy Award; the Walter Cronkite Excellence in Journalism Award; the Vincent Scully Prize; the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award; his induction as a "knight" in the French Legion of Honor.

There was considerable irony in his apology after Mondays story broke.

On Nov. 10, while interviewing New York Times columnist David Brooks in the wake of reports of sexual predation by Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Brooks had said he was struck by the nature of the mea culpas coming from many of the accused.

"The first thing they say," Brooks noted, " ... is I had no idea the women were thinking this way."

If Rose was listening closely, it was not reflected when it was his turn to apologize.

"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior," Rose said in a statement to The Post. "I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate.

"I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."

Brooks had described that sort of expression in harsh terms.

It reflects, he said, "an inability to put your mind in the mind of the person your pushing yourself all over. Its sort of a moral, and a humanist blindness, to another persons experience," Brooks said.

Rose responded: "Its a significant societal change for sure."

Brooks agreed, adding that, in the past, he said, such stories of sexual harassment caused just "a little ruckus." Now, he said "were going to code red."

Rose is the latest in a series of high-profile personalities toppled by similar allegations. Unlike Fox News personality Bill OReilly or comedian Louis C.K., Rose was not known for cultivating controversy or exuding an edgy personality. If anything, the broadcasters career had been marked by on-screen gentility and middle-of-the-road calm.

The rise of Charlie Rose began with a little boy reading biographies of powerful figures by candlelight in the North Carolina bedroom he shared with his grandmother.

By his own account, Rose never set out to be a talk-show host or television journalist. "There was no great plan," Rose told New York Magazine in 1992. "I wasnt smart enough to have a plan."

Eventually, he was pulled into the orbit of Bill Moyers, working as a producer for the commentators PBS show International Report in 1974. Soon Rose stepped onto the other side of the camera, picking up his first Peabody in 1976 for an interview special with Jimmy Carter, according to Fortune.

He found his niche in 1983, when CBS hired him to helm "Nightwatch." A lobster shift weeknight show from 2 to 4 a.m., Rose turned the interview-based format into a popular forum for high-profile guests, from George H.W. Bush to Woody Allen, New York Magazine reported. In one 1986 segment, Rose interviewed cult leader-turned-murderer Charles Manson. The segment went on to win an Emmy, but it also exposed Rose to a criticism that would follow him for the rest of his career that he had little interest in pressing guests with hardball questions.

The hosts increasing profile thanks to "Nightwatch" also sparked rumors of womanizing and outsized ego, People reported.
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Title Annotation:Nation_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Nov 22, 2017
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