Even the supposed good guys do hatchet jobs and tell half the story. Last Sunday, 60 Minutes did a story on Chicago’s propensity for convicting innocent people based on coerced confessions. Anita Alvarez, the Cook County State’s Attorney (essentially the Chicago D.A.) appeared in the interview looking like a typical Chicago hack, blinkered and weak. Press reports have pronounced her career DOA. I was critical and several friends and Alvarez fans banged on me about it. I was probably wrong.
Anita Alvarez released a blistering letter to 60 Minutes, denouncing the show’s failures to disclose the hidden motives of sources and the embarrassment of facts that blur a conclusion of truth. In her letter, Anita Alvarez sounds like the sort of strong, smart public servant we want. I don’t want to believe that 60 Minutes gets it wrong in service to the gotcha, but it’s another lesson in growing up. However, if you’re going on 60 Minutes, don’t shift your eyes, make sure you say things with vigor and try not to give them a self-inflicting soundbite. But, if 60 Minutes gets you, come back strong!