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Salman Rushdie: Talk Show Host?

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on May 26, 2006

Apparently, TV journalist Charlie Rose became ill in late March and was forced to undergo open-heart surgery. During his recovery, his interview show has been hosted twice (on April 27 and May 12) by Salman Rushdie. Yes, that Salman Rushdie, the notoriously reclusive author whose controversial novel The Satanic Verses has brought him death threats, as well as a fatwa by the late Ayotolla Khomeini calling for his assassination. Rushdie is known for ducking even loyal fans and allies, mannerisms that have been parodied on an episode of Seinfeld in which Kramer believes he saw Rushdie in the sauna. Rushdie and Rose became friends after Rushdie appeared on Rose’s program in the mid-1990s, so Rushdie volunteered to be a guest host when he learned that Rose was having surgery.

The episodes of the Charlie Rose Show hosted by Rushdie are available on Google Video here and here. The interviews are interesting (particularly the May 12 show) but I find the novelty of Salman Rushdie as a talk show host to be fascinating (as well as amusing and/or unsettling) in its own right.

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