Was 60 minutes Serious About That One-Sided Drew Rosenhaus Piece?
In the category of interviews-that-are-less-like-interviews-and-more-like-sucking-someone-off, 60 minutes’ “profile” of Drew Rosenhaus was an embarrassment to journalism. The piece consisted of about 14 minutes of Scott Pelley verbally making out with Rosenhaus and feeding into every storyline the sports agent has ever created about himself. It’s no wonder the segment was sponsored by viagra.
Through this piece, we learned:
- Rosenhaus is the hardest working sports agent in the NFL
- The NFL needs him and would “fall apart” without him
- His clients are the best served in the NFL
- He’s on call 24/7 no matter what sacrificing his personal relationships for the sake of his clients who are like his “family.”
Not a word of his canned talking points was challenged. What a fluff piece. And it angers me because sports agents and their relationships with their clients aren’t the stuff that fluff is made of. Sports agents have been responsible for players’ careers successes, but also in many cases their downfalls and advice that led to bad financial decisions. It’s an industry that deserves a deeper look in the mainstream media, not a fluff piece designed to enhance the image of someone who’s already filthy rich.
Rather than do the work of providing a complete picture of Rosenhaus, 60 minutes decided to allow its show to be used as some promotional tool for Rosenhaus Sports. Pelley even went so far as to try to prove to the viewer that Rosenhaus’ exuberant way of speaking is natural and not “put on” for the cameras. There seemed to be a concerted effort on the part of CBS to wrap Rosenhaus’ flaws into a a ball of eccentricities without which he would not be successful. In other words, who cares about personality defects when errytime I come aroun’ yo city bling bling? It’s the American way! [Side note: It felt like the piece was consistent with America's utter disinterest in questioning charismatic white men about their actions. Like, isn't this how old ladies get conned into giving up their pensions? Isn't this why people are occupying Wall Street?]
Pelley interviewed NO ONE else for the Rosenhaus story except New York Jets Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress. Yes the same Plaxico Burress who is forever indebted to Rosenhaus for finding his financially troubled ass a job post-incarceration. None of Rosenhaus’ former clients, no other agents, no one in the NFL, no one who objectively covers the business side of the NFL commented for this piece. Pelley did mention that Rosenhaus has been sued for poaching clients by other agents, but again, other agents weren’t contacted to provide context. The lawsuits were glossed over with a dismissive wave of Pelley’s oddly flirtatious hand–though he did find time to mention that Rosenhaus has won every case filed against him with the NFL Players Association.
The crux of the “profile” is that Rosenhaus is the most financially successful sports agent because he’s smart and works hard. Nothing else. No other reason. He’s just smarter and works harder than anyone else. The story lends ZERO time to the realities of being a sports agent such as towing ethical lines, advancing players money, wooing them from other agents, helping them hide their cheating and addictions from significant others and any other host of things that most agents get involved in on some level. I’m not sure whether you file all of those under “smart” or “hard working,” but I’d be hard pressed to believe that Rosenhaus’ ability to navigate those murky waters whilst staying in the favor of the NFLPA isn’t a big part of why he is successful. Pelley did mention Rosenhaus sending clients to rehab, but that was under the umbrella of how much Rosenhaus cares. **insert girly sighs**
Of course, I’m not saying that Rosenhaus doesn’t work hard. It’s clear that he does, and I respect that. Though I’d be just as remiss as CBS if I didn’t point out that most sports agents do whether they’re powerhouses in the stratosphere of Rosenhaus or whether they run boutique agencies. It’s really not a business that much lends itself to laziness.
But I’d like to take issue with what 60 minutes allowed Rosenhaus to portray as “dedication.” When Rosenhaus says that he works out with clients and parties with them too, I didn’t get the sense that that was a result of being hardworking so much as having a twisted sort of fascination with the guys he works for. And, not to mention, no personal life of his own. When Burress said he had to tell Rosenhaus not to call every day, I got what Buzz Bissinger described as “psycho sexual” Nevin Shapiro vibes all up and through that piece. There will ALWAYS be something odd to me about older white men who insist upon inserting themselves deeply into the lives of young strapping black dudes.
But who wants to discuss all that when you can watch the King of Men Drew Rosenhaus split fiery bricks with his texting hand. aye carumba!
Just so it’s clear, my frustration with this piece has nothing to do with Drew Rosenhaus. He is undeniably supremely talented and a master at the game of business. My annoyance lies with the 60 minutes broadcast using a light hand to draw a heavy character in a shape of his own choosing.
Shout out to Drew though. His name formed the basis for my alias. I am now known as SHREW Rosenhaus. I like it.
If you missed 60 minutes’ airing of the Drew Rosenhaus sex tape…er…I mean interview, you can see it here: