Mark Zuckerberg On '60 Minutes'

posted by Choire Sicha   Jan 14, 2008

Lesley Stahl of '60 Minutes' did a big piece last night on Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (It followed Anderson Cooper's horrifying story on rape in Congo and the spillover of Rwandan terror into the country; unreal.)

The worst part (about 3 minutes in, on the online video) came when Stahl said Facebook was the new Google. "You seem to be replacing [Google co-founders] Larry and Sergey as the people out here who everyone's talking about," she said. Zuckerberg didn't say anything. "You're just staring at me," she said, almost immediately. "Is that a question?" he asked her. Then: "We were warned he could be awkward," she said in a voice-over. Actually no, Lesley, that was a savvy response to a terrible, no-win question.

Reader comments

TheHonJudgeSmailsJan 14, 2008 at 10:21AM

Less rape, more funny!

Good work so far - you are missed over at Gawker!

Tom DolanJan 14, 2008 at 10:23AM

Terrible question and fairly terrible interview, which I don't think left Zuckerberg looking too good. Despite all the success (and kudos for it) I'm not sure if he came off as a horse that one should be betting on at this point in the game. Savvy yes, but the Beacon fiasco shows that any 23-year-old CEO has too learn a few things the hard way. And BTW, Facebook is not displacing Google anytime soon, except in Leslie's head maybe.

Ryan ImelJan 14, 2008 at 10:29AM

I'm glad others noticed the horrible question and how his response was not "awkward". If anything, Zuckerberg was very natural and authentic compared to Stahl.

NerdsavantJan 14, 2008 at 10:42AM

I had the same response. Every time they said "Facebook is the new Google," I just sat there staring for a minute or two. Really? The new Google? Really? Are we talking about the same Facebook?

MitchJan 14, 2008 at 10:43AM

Stahl had no place doing that interview. She might have read anything and everything she could get her hands on, but it obviously wasn't enough.

narnioJan 14, 2008 at 10:54AM

I think Stahl just ruined the 'mom test.'

GavinJan 14, 2008 at 11:35AM

What's interesting here is that LStahl keeps getting all these high profile tech interviews (MySpace, Google, TPerkins). Is she the hippest reporter on staff? Where's Ed Bradley?

Also, can someone please start an Andy Rooney vlog? That shit on umbrellas last night needs to be talked about in a deep and meaningful way.

Keith TJan 14, 2008 at 11:55AM

Either you are a moron, or that was an unfunny Ed Bradley joke.

BenJan 14, 2008 at 12:26PM

That interview was terrible. He's a 23 year old Harvard graduate running a massively popular company. The entire beginning of the interview sounds like she's talking to an 11 year old. So condescending and idiotic.

BenJan 14, 2008 at 12:28PM

Okay a Harvard dropout, but still. She's all, "Look it's a computer with some Internets isn't this novel?"

ChipJan 14, 2008 at 12:47PM

The entire interview was awkward and he looked uncomfortable.

KenJan 14, 2008 at 12:50PM

LStahl was also wrong when she said, "You're not an alum of Harvard. You didn't graduate!"

Hey, princess, anyone who attends a school is an alum of that school, even if they don't graduate. Way to do your homework.

Nick HusherJan 14, 2008 at 3:14PM

I can only think that the right answer to Ms. Stahl's statement was, "You think so? Huh." In sort of a dismissive way.

Imagine you've created and are successfully marketing the first radio ecosystem and an interviewer muses, "You seem to be replacing Gutenburg as the information media guy everyone's talking about." Clearly, radio isn't going to replace the printing press, anyone who thinks as much has a fundamental misunderstanding of both radio and print. The same is true with Stahl's comment about Google v. Facebook.

slinkimalinkiJan 14, 2008 at 3:57PM

i think it's more of an "umbrellas are the new chromatographic spectrometers" analogy.

llomoJan 14, 2008 at 5:04PM

sorry this isn't stahl- or facebook-specific

i'd just like to take this opportunity to bemoan the terrible terrible ads on 60 Minutes
you would think that only people senior citizens tune in to that show
what is wrong with the neilson ratings - cbs ad staff that they have no idea their audience includes intelligent people in their thirties and fortires who dont yet need depends diapers?

JenguinJan 14, 2008 at 7:14PM

Regardless of the content of his answers - he needs some serious media training. I don't care how old you are - if you're running a business (and a "going to take over Google apparently" one at that - heh) you don't say "type stuff" in your response.

You know, that type stuff makes me cringe. ;)

I might have poor grammar in casual conversation, but on 60 Minutes? C'mon.. Media Training!!

Charles FollymacherJan 14, 2008 at 7:44PM

There's lots of ways he could have handled that question. Some variation of the following would work out just fine:

"Well, it was pretty exciting at first, but we've gotten pretty used to it now and we're just trying to focus really hard on building a really useful site and enhancing user experiences. Y'know, as long as they're still talking about our company ten years from now, I don't mind one bit." {laughs}

Staring at the camera, waiting for a specific question actually shows a lack of savvy. It indicates a lack of experience with how pop interviews work and/or a refusal/inability to play the game. He came off a little dodgy/defensive. Still it was basically a fluff piece, it's not like Yahoo'll drop their offer down to $100M because of it.

CharlesJan 14, 2008 at 9:35PM



A graduate is one who has a degree from a particular institution.. You're wrong.

RobertJan 15, 2008 at 10:01AM

That was a very awkward interview on both sides, a old-school media outlet trying to look hip and Mark coming off as a coder with an attitude. I would suggest a business coach for him, especially if he goes public and gets a board he has to report to. He's not Shaun Fanning, I'm sure some people on the board would want to show him the door.

JohnJan 15, 2008 at 9:07PM



Actually, you are wrong. To be an alumnus you only have to have attended an institution. No need to graduate.


haydesignerJan 17, 2008 at 2:12AM

Robert showed proof.
John showed none.
Guess who won.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.