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Morley Safer

Correspondent / Anchor

Morley Safer on the Cam Ne story, during which he reported on American soldiers burning a Vietnamese village 

15:58

I have a pretty solid body of work that emphasized the words, emphasized ideas, and the craft of writing for this medium. It's not literary, I wouldn't presume to suggest that. But I think you can elevate it a little bit sometimes with the most important part of the medium, which is what people are saying -- whether they're the people being interviewed or the guy who's telling the story. It's not literature, but it can be very classy journalism.

About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, Morley Safer (1931-2016) describes his early years in print journalism, recounts his initial broadcast work in Canada, and details his first job for CBS. He recalls inheriting Edward R. Murrow's office when he became CBS London Bureau Chief, and discusses his experiences as a war correspondent in Vietnam. Safer details his ground-breaking story on Cam Ne and how the story changed public opinion on the Vietnam War. He outlines backlash from the Pentagon after the story broke and how Fred Friendly and others at CBS News supported him during this tumultuous period. Safer also speaks of his long tenure as a correspondent for 60 Minutes, and touches on several memorable stories he covered for the news program, including "The Music of Auschwitz," "Casa Verde," and interviews with Katharine Hepburn, Jackie Gleason, and Betty Ford. Dr. Ralph Engelman conducted the two-part interview on October 26 and November 13, 2000 in New York, NY.

I have a pretty solid body of work that emphasized the words, emphasized ideas, and the craft of writing for this medium. It's not literary, I wouldn't presume to suggest that. But I think you can elevate it a little bit sometimes with the most important part of the medium, which is what people are saying -- whether they're the people being interviewed or the guy who's telling the story. It's not literature, but it can be very classy journalism.

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Morley Safer on the Cam Ne story, during which he reported on American soldiers burning a Vietnamese village 

Morley Safer on the Cam Ne story, during which he reported on American soldiers burning a Vietnamese village 

Morley Safer on the Cam Ne story, during which he reported on American soldiers burning a Vietnamese village 15:58
Embedded thumbnail for Morley Safer on the public reaction to his reporting of Cam Ne

Morley Safer on the public reaction to his reporting of Cam Ne

Morley Safer on the public reaction to his reporting of Cam Ne02:28
Embedded thumbnail for Morley Safer on being a broadcast journalist in Vietnam during the war

Morley Safer on being a broadcast journalist in Vietnam during the war

Morley Safer on being a broadcast journalist in Vietnam during the war11:55
Embedded thumbnail for Morley Safer on the success of  60 Minutes

Morley Safer on the success of 60 Minutes

Morley Safer on the success of 60 Minutes05:11
Embedded thumbnail for Morley Safer on the Lenell Geter story and helping to save a man's life

Morley Safer on the Lenell Geter story and helping to save a man's life

Morley Safer on the Lenell Geter story and helping to save a man's life02:03
Embedded thumbnail for Morley Safer on his legacy, how he'd like to be remembered

Morley Safer on his legacy, how he'd like to be remembered

Morley Safer on his legacy, how he'd like to be remembered32:00