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Overtime Mail: Since You Asked...

Last Updated Nov 3, 2010 4:19 PM EDT

Each week, "60 Minutes Overtime" executive editor Bill Owens responds to letters and comments from viewers. If you have a comment or a question, e-mail him at

Letters To The Editor:

"It is always a great idea when a new NEWS show is born, but too often they rarely cover the kind of hard-hitting news that the old 60 Minutes used to cover. So many people I talk to are VERY concerned with we perceive as the corporate takeover of the American political system, particularly in terms of new laws allowing even more corporate money to buy splashy and negative political ads that trash opponents with untruths and never discuss real issues. This extreme anti-government or rather anti-governing and anti-public good trend is most exemplified in the pro-big business/corporation ideologies of libertarianism. As its more incoherent form of the Tea Party movement becomes increasingly popular--the American people REALLY need to know exactly what this economic philosophy really means. If more viewers knew that in its strictest sense, it is all about privatizing everything but defense (in my congressional district of Norfolk, VA--in 2010, we had a Libertarian who wanted to sell off all national, state and municipal park land and eliminate public schools! also note the propositions in Colorado regarding privatization of police, education, and fire services!) ala Ayn Rand, perhaps they wouldn't be so enamored. The network and cable media along with traditional print news magazines are doing a TERRIBLE job educating Americans about the issues that will affect them and their children. PLEASE, I do don't give a damn about Eminem's problems or any of the other fluff you had listed for an upcoming show--I am STARVING for real news from the big 4 networks and cable. With newspapers dying and all the irresponsible journalism going on in the Internet, who will take up the mantle for intelligent analysis and REAL news? It needs to be television who still hire real journalists. GIVE THEM REAL NEWS TO COVER--REAL ISSUES TO INVESTIGATE. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE FOURTH ESTATE? So many in the popular press lamented how asleep at the wheel they were when we got involved uncritically in Iraq, then when Wall Street was allowed UNCRITICALLY to blow up our economy and WILL DO IT AGAIN. Sorry, You guys are STILL asleep at the wheel--but, I suppose its whatever SELLS and boosts RATINGS (ala Fox News which by the way is an entity I can't believe has escaped the criticism of the "serious" media)."

--D. Kitchell, an angry but reasonable citizen (yes, we do exist, and we aren't 65 year old teapartiers!)

Thanks for your reasonable and angry note. "60 Minutes" is very proud of the mix of stories we do. You mention the Eminem profile we did, and I am sure there are plenty of people who would agree with you that Eminem is not of interest. We also got a lot of feedback from our audience applauding the story.

So far this season we have covered the war along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, the economic crisis (multiple times), the plight of homeless U.S. veterans, and the Gulf oil spill, just to name a few. We are always looking for hard news stories and we are currently involved in a number of investigations, but interesting feature stories and profiles help to round out our broadcast.

"I am a big big fan of 60 Minutes.And I also enjoy 60 Minutes Overtime very much. I have one suggestion: Could you please focus on one topic every week on 60 Minutes Overtime? I mean, for example, this week's topic is China, so 60 Minutes Overtime can provide us with all the episodes on China from the 40-year archive. It will help the viewers know more about China and enjoy the past 60 Minutes episodes which can never be found on the internet. Thanks a lot!"


Kankaqi, Thank you for your idea. It's a good one and, in fact, sometimes we may be able to produce a version of what you are talking about. We do have a vast archive, and when we do a story on, say, China, we might do our "Overtime Original" based on that week's story and then dig back in to our past stories in China for the "Rewind" section too. But in general, we like for 60 Minutes Overtime to mirror the TV broadcast, with three sections and a sense of something for everyone.


"Is it possible to get a copy of the Zenyatta Overtime segment? I would love to have it."
Thanks so much,

Jodi Sheridan

Jodi, You (actually anyone) can see the Zenyatta piece online at If you'd like to buy a DVD copy, go to Thanks for watching.

Jerusalem: The City of David?

"This report is so flawed and lacks any truth. It is so blatantly slanted toward the Arabs. Once again 60 minutes has staged a confrontation trying to make Israel look bad. Thank G-D that most Americans side with Israel and will not pay any attention to this false report. Americans are just too smart for this kind of Yellow Journalism. CBS is really digging low for any kind of sensational news."
- chinmomo

"This was a terribly one sided report. The Mayor was disrespected and I did not agree with Ms. Stahl's obviously Anti-Jewish sentiment. Haven't we always been taught that the news remains neutral and reports as many perspectives as possible? If you are going to produce an opinion piece, then call it what it is, '60 Opinionated Minutes,' or the '60 Minute Indoctrination.'"
- bythesea15

We obviously don't agree and felt the story was fair. I think it's useful to know that everyone who appeared in our story, including the Mayor of Jerusalem, told us they felt the story that aired was "fair."

Homeless Vets

"Wow! I was so touched by this story. I don't understand how such a young and vibrant man such as Charles Worely could not get any housing help. It brought me to tears to see him almost begging and admiting that he would pretend to have an addiction just so that he could have a bed to sleep in. His last comment to the one woman he was speaking to said it all, "so we just wasted our time here didn't we?" Boy would I love to be able to help him. Where do I start? I hope he hears about the many of us who want to help him and so many others. How can I get in touch with him? If anyone has any info. please email Thanks!"
- nhughes100

Viewers who would like to help homeless vets can find information at the following websites: or


"My grandson (15) and I are both big fans of Eminem. We watched the 60 Minutes segment together and have shared Em's music many times. He is a rare entertainer, in that nothing he does is contrived. His music is real, from the heart, and more brutally insightful than Freud could have ever been. Marshall is able to articulate his insight like no other, and with the amazing flare of a true artist. (That word "artist" is thrown around casually today by so many, but back "in the day," only a chosen few were called artists.) Eminem is one of those extremely rare, gifted people - a true artist. Bravo to 60 Minutes for running this piece."
- wolfenlove

We were interested to know how this profile would play across generations and we're pleased to know, that at least in your instance, it was a hit. Thanks for watching.