"60 Minutes" reporter on pattycake Obama/Hillary interview: They knew we weren't going to "play gotcha" with them

Via the Daily Caller, it’s one thing to softball an interview with The One so badly that even liberals are calling it “state-run media propaganda,” it’s another to go on TV and congratulate yourself for doing it. Kroft and Morgan sound like two gossip reporters chattering over one of them having finally landed a Brangelina interview, replete with cooing over “body language.” To appreciate how embarrassing it was, read Conor Friedersdorf’s transcript of each question asked by Kroft during the segment — but make sure to read to the end or else you’ll miss the contrast with what Scott Pelley asked Bush when he interviewed him for the same show in 2007. When Kroft says “60 Minutes” doesn’t “play gotcha,” what he means is that they’re willing to use precious time with the current president and secretary of state to ask things like this:

You said the staff took a little longer to ignore, to forget the campaign stuff. What about the spouses? Is that an impertinent question?

“Is that an impertinent question?” deserves to be etched in granite above the entrance to the Newseum’s eventual “Media in the Age of Obama” exhibit. Morgan, in fact, goes so far as to praise Kroft for not reminding Obama and Hillary how nasty the 2008 primary got. This is the moment we’ve arrived at as a culture, when a CBS News reporter’s failure to ask uncomfortable questions of top government officials isn’t dereliction of duty but rather “very gentlemanly” in the eyes of a primetime CNN host. Obama wanted a big audience for a joint interview with Hillary because he wanted to remind people who are grumbling about the lack of diversity in his cabinet that he did, after all, appoint the most famous and popular woman in American politics to a key position. So he chose “60 Minutes” and made the calculated gamble that even an outfit with a reputation for hard-hitting “serious journalism” would go weak-kneed at the chance to chat with both of them and end up treating the whole thing like a “People magazine” interview. You win, Barry.

Exit question: Why is Morgan interviewing Kroft at all here? Is gaining an audience with He and She so magnificent an experience that it qualifies as news in itself? Coming soon: Anderson Cooper interviews Piers Morgan about what it was like to interview Steve Kroft about his interview with Obama and Hillary.