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Lesley Stahl Reveals What She Misses About Her Career Prior To 60 Minutes

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“60 Minutes” is many things, but a live broadcast isn’t among them. In an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Stahl discussed her work on the CBS Sunday morning news program “Face the Nation,” and how it compared to her later work on “60 Minutes,” putting particular emphasis on the peculiar energy of doing live TV interviews with notable Washington figures (and for some reason failing to mention her cameo role in “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”).

“[‘Face the Nation’] is live television, so it’s completely different from what we do at ’60 Minutes,'” Stahl explained. “I miss the rush of that,” admitted Stahl, as well as “being part of the big story of the week, every week.” Stahl remembers how her job as White House correspondent for CBS News, which she held for much of her time on “Face the Nation,” helped her get access to important figures in the White House, doing important reporting on big, “explosive” stories like the Iran–Contra scandal, and all of it happening live on TV.

Stahl also fondly recalls a contentious interview with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher evidently didn’t appreciate Stahl’s “tough questions,” at one point asking the reporter “why does it seem like I love your country more than you do?,” but Stahl remembers the interview as great TV nevertheless.

“60 Minutes,” by contrast, is all taped and edited ahead of time, allowing for more in-depth reporting but without the spontaneity and excitement that live TV can offer. Even in her acclaimed role on “60 Minutes,” Stahl does miss some of those elements from her earlier days as a TV reporter.

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