Handicapping the Race to Get the First Bernie Madoff Interview

Bernie Madoff's only remaining purpose in life is to be exploited by the media. Who will land the first jailhouse TV interview with the villain? We handicap the possibilities, below.

  • ABC: 3-1. Barbara Walters? Hello? She was made for this.
  • CBS: 4-1. Madoff could easily fall prey to the charms of Katie Couric; then at the last minute CBS could swap her out for the 60 Minutes people. Maybe all the 60 Minutes people, at once, hurling questions at Madoff press conference-style, as he squints into a bright spotlight, confused. That's good solid television.
  • NBC: 5-1. They have the resources of a network, but who are they really going to send in there, Stone Phillips? Heh. NBC's correspondents would all seem to wear too much hair gel to be considered top-tier contenders.
  • CNBC: 9-1. They could appeal to Bernie like so: "Those other networks just want to make you look like a monster in front of an audience of unsophisticated, bloodthirsty, oafish Americans. We can make you look like a flawed but intriguingly brilliant financial genius in front of an audience of slightly more sophisticated, bloodthirsty, greedy investors, who are more than willing to suspend moral judgment if you toss off a few stock tips." Then they can send Jim Cramer to do the interview and just imagine how fun that would be.
  • Fox News: 12-1. Hey, Republicans respect self-made millionaires. Plus they could agree to send Bill O'Reilly to interview him and talk only about how New York was a better place when white guys lived in Flatbush.
  • Youtube: 18-1. This is what Madoff would do if he was really smart. Get a flip cam, start his own YouTube channel, and do the interviews himself. All the networks would be forced to run them anyhow, and he wouldn't have to tolerate one god damn second of Steve Kroft's mock-surprised look.
  • PBS: 25-1. Charlie Rose or Jim Lehrer are both incapable of showing outrage on their faces, which would serve Madoff well, PR-wise.
  • CNN: 30-1. Were Larry King to be the guy chosen to conduct the first Madoff interview, the public outrage when the interview devolved into two guys trading stories about women and baseball could potentially get CNN's headquarters burned to the ground.
  • NY1: 80-1. Bernie's been transferred out of Manhattan jail now, but still. Roger Clark and Bernie Madoff, on roller skates, at the Central Park Zoo, feeding the sea lions. DO IT.